“Strategic vision and careful management have helped U.S. public libraries weather the storm of the Great Recession, supporting their role as a lifeline to the technology resources and training essential to full participation in the nation’s economy. However, a new report underscores the competing concerns that face America’s libraries: cumulative budget cuts that threaten access to libraries and services, increasing demand for technology training and the chronic presence of the digital divide. More Americans than ever turn to their libraries for access to essential technology services, with 62 percent of libraries reporting that they are the only provider of free computer and Internet access in their community. More than 60 percent of libraries report increased public use of computers and Wi-Fi over the past year. These findings are among the highlights of the 2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, produced by the American Library Association (ALA) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
ALA – ” The American Library Association (ALA) is calling on publisher Random House to reconsider its decision to raise the price of ebooks to the library market starting March 1. ALA President Molly Raphael issued the following statement: “While I appreciate Random House’s engagement with libraries and its commitment to perpetual access,” Raphael said, “I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically.”
ALA Pres Release – “The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “2010 Academic Library Trends and Statistics,” the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The three-volume set includes associate of arts institutions, master’s colleges and universities/baccalaureate colleges and research/doctoral-granting institutions. The individual volumes for associates colleges, masters/baccalaureate and doctoral-granting institutions are also available for purchase.”
Huffington Post – “Libraries across the United States need our help as they are being closed or having significant cuts made to their budgets.
The public library service has impacted each of us at some point in our lives whether as a child, a student or as an adult. It’s presence in our communities reminds us that there are places that deeply respect knowledge and artistic and cultural achievements; places that are much more important than economic profit because of the larger role they play in enhancing our society’s quality of life. And so, before you read my interview with Molly Raphael, President of the American Library Association, please take a moment to look at 10 important things you need to know about our American libraries.”
Star Tribune – “National Gaming Day invites kids and families to go to their local branch to play everything from Monopoly to “Rock Band.”
State of America’s Libraries Report 2011: Public libraries– A key resource for the jobless, entrepreneurs –– and the community
ALA – “More than two-thirds of adults responding to a January 2011 Harris Poll Quorum (PDF). created for the American Library Association said that the library’s assistance in starting a business or finding a job was important to them. These figures were up from a year earlier, testament both to Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit and libraries’ role in nourishing that spirit.
The ALA conducted the January study as part of a Harris Interactive telephone omnibus study conducted Jan. 19-23 with a nationwide cross-section of 1,012 adults.”
Direct Dispatch – “ALA yesterday filed comments (pdf) with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to a Public Notice on the future of media and information needs of communities in a digital age. In late January 2010 the FCC launched an examination of the current and future issues relating to the ability of the public to have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information. The Future of the Media Project will result in a report that assesses the current media landscape, analyzes policy options, and makes policy recommendations to the FCC and other government entities.”
District Dispatch – “In its latest filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the American Library Association (ALA) highlights the vital role libraries play in communities by supporting workforce development, small business creation, life-long education, and access to government resources through public access computer terminals and broadband Internet access.”
District Dispatch – “The American Library Association (ALA) today submitted comments to Federal Communications Committee (FCC) regarding broadband adoption as part of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). As the FCC develops the NBP, the Commission is looking at societal cost of having a large group of people who do not use the Internet as well as the barriers that prevent people from using it.”