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Posts Tagged ‘Public Libraries’

The Public Library as an Incubator for the Arts

Posted by Editor on January 17, 2012

January 17, 2012 | 9:58 AM | By 

Arguably, those who believe a public library is simply a repository of print books haven’t been to a public library lately. Here at MindShift, we’ve been covering the ways in which the library is evolving to change the demands of digital technologies and of its patrons: libraries are becoming learning labsinnovation centers, and makerspaces.

Of course, the public library has always been a community center as much as a place to go to check out books to read, so the new extensions of the library’s service may not be so far afield from the institution’s mission to provide access to information. Even so, much of the emphasis has been on literacy — reading and writing, digital and analog — and not on other forms of creativity.

But three graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies have launched a project that points to another important way in which libraries play a key role in their communities. The Library as Incubator Project highlights some of the ways in which libraries and local artists can work together.

I spoke with Erinn Batykefer, Laura Damon-Moore, and Christina Endres about the project.

Q. What was the inspiration for the Library as Incubator Project? Read the rest of this entry »


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Libraries are More Important Than Ever & Stats Confirm It

Posted by Editor on August 8, 2011

August 5, 2011 – 1:18pm — birdie in LIS News

Downey, CA Patriot: If you thought libraries were going the way of the dinosaur, think again. Recently, on a sunny Thursday morning at 9:50, there was a group of about 20 people anxiously waiting for the Downey City Library to open its doors. At 10 a.m., the pacing hordes darted inside, many claiming computers in the computer lab, while the rest headed for the adult and children’s sections.

Libraries have long been considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population and while library budgets continue to get slashed, it could be argued that they are more essential now than ever before. Many assume that the digital age we’re living in will soon render libraries obsolete, but library attendance says otherwise.

Last year, 416,605 visits were made to the Downey City Library, which is an increase from 2009. The checkout of library materials also increased by 4 percent, with 491,355 items being loaned out. It’s more than a numbers game, however. The services that the library provides to the community are irreplaceable and so are its librarians.

Senior librarian Jan Palen has been with the Downey City Library for 16 years and as California’s economic climate becomes more volatile, the free programs that Palen and her team provide to the city become all the more crucial. One has to wonder, however: How much importance does the city place on books and reading?

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The Future Of Libraries In The E-Book Age

Posted by Editor on April 5, 2011

by Lynn Neary on NPR

April 4, 2011

View Of New York Public Library Building

A lot of attention has been focused on the way bookstores and publishing companies are managing the e-book revolution. The role of libraries has often been overlooked. But when HarperCollins Publishing Co. recently announced a new policy that would limit the number of times its e-books can be borrowed, it sparked a larger conversation about the future of libraries in the digital age.

These days, you don’t have to go anywhere near a library to check out an e-book. You can download one to your digital device in a matter of seconds. And there’s no more pesky overdue notices — the e-book simply disappears from your device when your time is up.

“The fact is that with a digital item, if you give it to somebody you still have it. It doesn’t have to come back,” says Eli Neiburger, the director for IT and production at the Ann Arbor District library in Michigan.

E-books, says Neiburger, are really digital files, but libraries and publishers are still trying to deal with them as if they are just like print books. In other words, they’re trying to do business the way they have always done business

“Part of the models we’ve seen so far are still trying to force 20th century business models onto digital content,” Neiburger says. “And any digital native says, ‘You mean I have to wait to download an e-book? What sense does that make?’ And they’re off to the Kindle store to spend $3.99 or $4.99 or $9.99 to get that same book.” Read the rest of this entry »

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E-books in U.S. Public Libraries: Map (again from Stephen’s Lighthouse!)

Posted by Editor on October 20, 2010

E-books in U.S. Public Libraries: Map

From ALA:

“In addition to free public access to computers and the Internet, public libraries provide their communities with robust electronic collections. One area of significant interest and growth has been the provision of e-books. Nationwide, 66 percent of public libraries report offering free access to e-books to library patrons – up from 38 percent three years ago.”

E-books in U.S. Public Libraries


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Hobby Questions in Libraries – from Stephen’s Lighthouse

Posted by Editor on October 18, 2010

by Stephen Abrams here

Sorry for the delay! I was busy but here are the results from our little poll on what are the most popular questions public librarians get about hobbies today.


Are philately and numismatics still on top like they were when I was kid? (Hint: not by a long shot!)

Drum roll….

Here are the rankings for the most asked questions about hobbies from our elite group of librarian readers of Stephen’s Lighthouse and various other biblioblogs and Twitter feeds.

So, up next is an easier survey so watch for it. I want to find out what your hobbies are. Are librarians just like our users or do we have a unique set of hobbies that interest us? Coming soon.

(Thanks to Lori S. at Gale Cengage for the help on this survey)

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From the librarygarden: Balancing technology in library service

Posted by Editor on November 2, 2009

by Karen Klapperstuck

There is no shortage of continuing education opportunities for librarians. I think we naturally tend toward collaboration and harmony. Earlier this week, while many librarians were in Monterey, CA for Internet Librarian, I attended NJLA’s first Adult Services Forum. On the same day, David Lee King and Michael Porter launched their new video and multimedia collaboration project, Library 101. All three of these focus on something that I have been pondering a lot lately: how, why and in what format we provide services (to all our patrons). Those thoughts cannot be separated from my concern over the division that is created by the acceptance of technology in library service.

Let me start by saying that I suffer from a serious case of technolust. I really love having new technology at my fingertips! But I also have a fair amount of restraint and often will wait to purchase something until (almost) all the kinks are worked out. However, I know that, just from my family and friends, most people are not yet comfortable with a wide range of technologies. As a librarian, I feel that it is important for the library to be a safe and comfortable place to expose people to web 2.0 (and beyond) and new ways of doing things.

John Porcaro (JP) said during his presentation at the Adult Services Forum that he finds librarians are often ahead of the curve compared with other departments and professions when it comes to new technology. This is not the stereotype that people have of libraries and librarians. Just do a Google search on “libraries are dead”: 79,000 results! Not all these websites actually support that idea but some clearly do. The common thread is that unless we do something about the PERCEPTION of libraries, they will die. And isn’t that what we are ultimately fighting against? Both internal and external stereotypes of what libraries and librarians were, are and are going to be.

The Library 101 project looks at what we are doing and what we need to think about doing to stay relevant. And I’m all for that! With a fun music video (with lots of familiar faces in it!), thoughtful essays, and 101 resources and things to know (RTK), Library 101 gathers together all the stuff libraries have been doing and are currently trying to do. The Library 101 project also reminded me that I’m not the only one who thinks that being a librarian can be fun and wants to share that with the world….Read entire excellent post here:

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