“As the Indianapolis Public Library faces an increasingly wireless and digital future, its leaders want to get serious about taking books out of library branches. With fewer bookshelves, the nearly two dozen outposts would have more space for users to relax and plug in devices to peruse the growing digital collection; to gather for events put on by community partners; or to attend workforce training seminars.” (via Indianapolis Star)
“At a time when the existence of public libraries has been questioned, a strong chorus of voices, supported by local and national research, has demonstrated that libraries do matter. They matter in a way that reveals the central role modern libraries play in a digital age. Findings by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation show that a public library’s role as a technology resource and training center has exploded over the past decade. Free access to computers provides a lifeline for those in need to apply for jobs, secure government services and connect with the world community. As an extension of the education system, the public library has become a valued partner in enhancing literacy, not only in the traditional sense of reading and comprehension, but in developing cultural, media, financial and civic literacy among citizens.” (via Indianapolis Star)
“A resurgent Indianapolis Public Library this week kicks off the creation of a five-year strategic plan that could include expansionary aims after years of budget woes. Whether the resulting plan will recommend investing in new kinds of materials and equipment, adding locations or making other changes to the system remains to be seen. Tuesday’s public kickoff event at the Central Library, called “Yours to Create,” marks the start of a six-month process that will involve a steering committee and several task forces in the creation of a final report, to be issued early next year. But the library system could have more flexibility to pay for system growth when its board and foundation consider the new strategic plan’s recommendations.” (via Indianapolis Star)
“The soaring beams and shiny glass frames of Central Library were more a symbol of controversy than excitement when they welcomed visitors half a decade ago. The expansion of Indianapolis’ aging Downtown library cost nearly $50 million more than projected. Construction problems created a flood of lawsuits. And critics called the new library the Taj Mahal of Downtown Indianapolis, because its glassy exterior felt out of place among the historic monuments and rows of brick buildings in the area.”
Indy Star – “As we enter into both the new budget cycle and the coming election season, there will be a lot of debate over how to address our city’s most pressing issues. We at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library believe we should be included in the discussion. Rated nationally as among the best in the nation, our library is at a major crossroads. Despite numerous cost-saving moves, your library is still in difficult financial straits. Over the past year, we’ve decreased service hours 26 percent, cut our materials budget by $1 million, reduced staff and made other tough financial decisions.”
Indy Star – “Limping along as it may be from revenue shortfalls and budget cuts, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library has been clearing political hurdles with Olympian ease.
Whether that means gold at the end of the day is another question.
A bill to give the library system a share of county income taxes has passed the Indiana House and Senate unanimously, and is expected to win the governor’s signature. In February, the City-County Council likewise voted as one to ask the General Assembly for permission to add the libraries to the list of recipients.”