7 surprises about libraries in our surveys

“The Pew Research Center’s studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them. As librarians around the world are gathered in Las Vegas for the American Library Association’s annual conference, here are findings that stand out from our research, our typology of public library engagement and the quiz we just released that people can take to see where they compare with our national survey findings: What kind of library user are you?” (via Pew Research Center)

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Pennsylvania libraries feeling pressures of continued funding cuts

“Pennsylvania’s public libraries endured the pain of the funding ax in recent years, cutting back on staff, services, new book purchases and hours of operation. In Washington County, the situation is about to become more dire — one community’s library might have to close altogether. Citizens and Chartiers-Houston libraries, two Washington County libraries that rely on school districts for a portion of their funding, learned in recent weeks that the districts — Trinity Area and Chartiers-Houston — will eliminate their appropriations to the libraries due to budget constraints. The news comes in a year when the state public library subsidy, a portion of the education budget, has fallen to $53.5 million from $75.1 million in 2008-09.” (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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New York Public Library Looks at Innovative Models for Renovation

“The New York Public Library is looking south for inspiration as it goes back to the drawing board for a planned renovation of its landmark Fifth Avenue building and the branch across the street. Library officials say they are considering two innovative libraries in Tennessee and North Carolina as models for creating high-tech, collaborative spaces. Chattanooga Public Library’s “4th Floor” is a so-called maker space stocked with 3-D printers and even a loom. North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh features writable surfaces on walls and tables, and massive video screens for displaying data.” (via WSJ)

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OCLC and Elsevier to offer automated seamless access to subscribed e-content

“OCLC and Elsevier, a leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, are working together to automate the process to keep e-book and e-journal holdings from ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s full-text platform for research literature, up-to-date in WorldCat and library catalogs. The automated process ensures seamless access to subscribed content without intervention from library staff.” (via OCLC)

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Librarians are becoming affordable housing advocates. Yes, you read that right

“A new group is joining the push for more affordable housing: city libraries. Yes, it’s true. Public libraries, in the District and around the country, have long been considered “day shelters” where the homeless hang out until the shelter’s open at night, said Robin Diener, president of the Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, near Gallery Place in downtown D.C.As the city experienced an unprecedented spike in homelessness this winter, libraries have been seeing more homeless residents use their facilities. The group is proud that homeless residents would take advantage of the library system, a place Diener called a “sanctuary for the mind.” But is also comes with challenges, particularly when homeless residents use the bathrooms to shave, groom or, in some case, do drugs. So the city’s homeless crisis, due primarily because of the city’s loss of low-income housing, has become an issue for the city’s library system.” (via The Washington Post)

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Gale Brings Millions of Pages of Treasured Historical Content to Academic Libraries

“Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has added millions of pages of content to its Gale Digital Collections program with the launch of 10 resources, including new periodical collections and the next installments of Smithsonian Collections Online, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, and The Chatham House Online Archive. Researchers now have access to digitized versions of venerated materials such as recordings and transcripts of speeches from Winston Churchill and Henry Kissinger, and photos and exhibition catalogs of World’s Fairs, among others. These collections will be available on the Gale Artemis: Primary Sources platform, giving researchers access to graphing and search visualization tools that will help them explore this historical content in new ways.” (via Cengage Learning)

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Study: To preserve digital resources, institutions should play to their strengths

“The efforts to preserve digital humanities research are as numerous as the definitions of the catchall term, according to a report that urges institutions to develop their own strategies to preserve resources that can’t simply be bound and stored in a library. The report, “Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-Up Phase,” represents an effort by co-authors Nancy L. Maron and Sarah Pickle, a program director and analyst at the consulting firm Ithaka S+R, respectively, to study how institutions support digital resources created on their campuses. The work builds on an earlier report that looked at similar efforts in the United Kingdom.” (via insidehighered)

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SIMON & SCHUSTER EXPANDS LIBRARY EBOOK LENDING PROGRAM TO UNIVERSAL ACCESS

“Simon & Schuster announced today that, following a successful pilot program in more than twenty library systems, it was moving to expand access to its catalog of ebooks to libraries nationwide. Effective immediately, public libraries across the United States can acquire for their collections ebook editions of such beloved classic favorites and current bestsellers as The Great Gatsby, Steve Jobs, Doctor Sleep, Hard Choices, The Flamethrowers, The Light Between Oceans, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Mortal Instruments and Dork Diaries series.” (via Simon & Schuster)

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New York Public Library Receives First City Funding Increase In Six Years

“The New York Public Library will receive a $4.4 million increase in city operating funds for Fiscal Year 2015, according to the new city budget, unveiled today by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the New York City Council. The increase – the first for the system since Fiscal Year 2008 – brings NYPL’s total city operating budget to about $144 million. It is part of a $10 million increase in funding to all three of the city’s Library systems, including the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library.” (via The New York Public Library)

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Queens Public Library trustees plan to remove Thomas Galante as director — then give him consulting job that pays $800G

“The trustees of the Queens Public Library have scheduled an emergency meeting for Thursday night to remove their controversial director Thomas Galante, while also granting him more than $800,000 in a golden parachute consulting deal, the Daily News has learned. Word of the hastily scheduled meeting prompted Public Advocate Letitia James, an ex-officio member of the library’s board, to request State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who regulates non-profit organizations, to join her in seeking a court order to halt the proposed vote.” (via NY Daily News)

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