Tag Archives: Libraries

Libraries’ choice: Change or fade into oblivion

“When librarians at the Skokie Public Library near Chicago moved their reference collection online and got rid of the massive print volumes, they suddenly had a lot of newly freed-up space. Carolyn Anthony, the library’s director, also serves on the Skokie Chamber of Commerce. She saw that after the economic downturn, many workers who’d lost their corporate jobs were starting businesses out of their homes. In fact, the fastest-growing segment of the chamber was now start-ups with fewer than five employees — many of them with just a single person running the entire operation, often out of a spare bedroom or home office. Working from home is fine, she thought, but meeting clients in a coffee shop gets old fast.” (via USA Today)

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Video: Why NYC Public Libraries Are More Important Than Ever

“Those of us with our heads firmly lodged in the swirling surreality of the Internet may be somewhat surprised to hear that public libraries—those shadowy old fortresses where information is still preserved on pieces of paper bound into quaint objects called books—remain vitally important to millions of New Yorkers. In an eye-opening video that shows a day in the life of various NYC public library branches, filmmakers Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks show just how necessary these public institutions are today.” (via Gothamist)

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Will books survive as libraries turn the page in the digital age?

“You might think that with the growth of the Internet and the rise in e-books that libraries might become obsolete.

However, it turns out that libraries are simply changing to meet the new reality. Ken Roberts is a specialist on library and technology issues. On April 28 he is giving a lecture called The Future of the Book.” (via MSN CA)

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NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries

“In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $200 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers (PCCs) throughout the United States.  More than 2,000 of those centers are operated by public libraries, from Maine to Arizona.  These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments that have allowed BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 1,300 libraries nationally with ultra-fast broadband, providing a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative. Today we are releasing the first three of 15 PCC and broadband adoption case studies.  These focus on the impact of grants in Delaware, Texas and Michigan.  The release coincides with an important hearing on libraries and broadband, sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, or IMLS.   The case studies were conducted for NTIA by an independent research firm, ASR Analytics, which analyzed the impact these PCCs are having in their local communities.  (via MTIA)

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Oxford Public Library finding vital new roles

“The kids come in their PJ’s. They curl up with stuffed toys and munch on popcorn. And, while their parents are watching a grown-ups’ movie at the Granada Theater next door, youngsters at the Oxford, Nebraska, Public Library are enjoying a G-rated kid-friendly movie on their own big screen, helping the library fulfill its mission to be a vital, vibrant educational, entertainment and social hub of the community. “We’ve done movie night all winter. It has become very popular,” says library director Danielle Burns, who has, with her teen board, board of directors and “Friends of the Library,” created other new programs and activities that are keeping the public library in residents’ minds and hearts.” (via McCook Daily Gazette)

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How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers

“As a librarian, it’ll probably be no surprise that I like to do my homework. I’ve followed conversations about the future of UK public libraries with a mixture of interest and dismay. Developing public libraries as community hubs and problem-solving partners is a top priority at the American Library Association (ALA), so the incredible work of my UK colleagues and the Arts Council is of great interest to us. Recent South by Southwest and ALA conferences show that US public libraries are evolving in this role as well.” (via Guardian Professional)

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Library officials say ‘nothing has changed,’ embrace shift to digital

“It wasn’t that long ago that prognosticators called libraries a dying breed. You only went there to check out books or to research a school assignment, they said. Computers and e-books would render those things unnecessary. It turns out the forecasters were wrong. Personal computers did become a reality; so did electronic books. But the truth is, these days libraries actually are seeing usage and number of visits go up.” (via Omaha.com)

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Why libraries deserve to be hip

“This afternoon, I’m picking up my younger daughter from school and I’m taking her someplace special. It’s a place she and I can look at works by local artists, where we can read quietly together, where we almost always run into friends. It’s one of best places in the world. You’ve probably got something like it where you live too. It’s called the library. Libraries are not terribly fashionable. You’d think they would be. In a world in which educated, enlightened, planet-hugging types are all up in that composting and upcycling and no impact lifestyle, these wonderful places where you can just borrow stuff and then bring it back so someone else can enjoy it somehow languish. Last year was the first year in several that New York City libraries didn’t face any budget cuts – though branches shut after Hurricane Sandy remain unrestored. Libraries in Detroit have been shuttered in the city’s economic crisis. In the U.K., libraries face closures as the number of people using them plummets.” (via Salon.com)

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Biblioracle: Libraries a haven on earth

“Water is wet.” There’s as much news in that statement as there is in a recent Pew Internet survey that revealed that people value their public libraries. How much do we love our libraries? When asked what impact closing the public library would have on their community, 90 percent said it would have at least a “minor” impact. Sixty-three percent believed it would have a “major impact.” (via chicagotribune.com)

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Libraries want better Internet as they eye new tech

“Libraries say they need better Internet services as they provide new technologies to patrons, pointing to a recent announcement from the Obama administration to increase broadband funding for educational institutions. Earlier this week, President Obama and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced changes to the agency’s E-Rate program, which provides discounts to connect American education institutions to high-speed Internet. On Tuesday, Obama said that tech and telecom companies — including Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint — are giving $750 million to the program in services and equipment” (via TheHill)

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