Tag Archives: Libraries

‘Libraries are forever’: The future of libraries in the digital age

“We tend to think of libraries as collections. But the libraries of the future will be more about connections, said Harvard professor Jeffrey Schnapp on Wednesday. He spoke on a panel discussion for HUBweek, co-founded by the Boston Globe about the next generation of libraries. The event was hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The challenges facing libraries today are no secret. Panelist Dan Cohen cited chronic underfunding as one example. Cohen is the executive director of the Digital Public Library of America, a project that helps people access public-domain and openly licensed works. Another challenge to libraries is the transition from print to electronic media, Cohen said.” (via Beta Boston)

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Libraries Find Creative Ways to Color Outside the Lines

During the week of Sept. 13 to 19, 2015, more than 270 libraries across the U.S. and Canada (and even one from Australia) participated in an aggressive PR campaign to break down negative perceptions and celebrate “the innovation and creativity happening in libraries” today. This is the second year that all types of libraries reached out “to their communities in new and engaging ways,” with the shared event Outside the Lines. Its motto is “Libraries Reintroduced,” and it is “a weeklong celebration to reconnect you with the creativity, technology, discovery and all of the fun and unexpected experiences happening in libraries today—think: 3D printers, ebooks, woodworking classes, personal job search help, laptop checkouts, biz incubators, seed libraries, recording studios … the list goes on.” (via Infotoday)

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Keep the Library, Lose the Books

“Americans love libraries. No, wait, scratch that. Americans love the idea that they love libraries. A new Pew survey published Tuesday finds that while people report feeling strongly about the importance of public libraries in their communities, those people are actually using libraries less and less. It appears the share of people visiting libraries has “edged downward” over the past three years, though researchers at Pew say it’s still too soon to know for sure that this is a trend. (Incidentally: Women, parents of young children, and people with higher levels of education were all more likely than other groups to have used a library in the past year. Of people who use libraries, Hispanics visit them most frequently, Pew found.) – (Via The Atlantic)

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Who Uses Libraries and What They do at Their Libraries

“Libraries are in great flux as information is shifting from the analog age to the digital age, as people’s need to acquire knowledge shifts, and as Americans’ interests in personal enrichment and entertainment are reshaped. The findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center highlight how this is a crossroads moment for libraries. The data paint a complex portrait of disruption and aspiration. There are relatively active constituents who hope libraries will maintain valuable legacy functions such as lending printed books. At the same time, there are those who support the idea that libraries should adapt to a world where more and more information lives in digital form, accessible anytime and anywhere.” (via Pew)

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With no fixed address, two men start Toronto’s only underpass library

“Al is an avid reader. He estimates he reads a different book every two days. He reads so much, people give him new books all the time. Al had so many books, he and a friend decided to start their own library. Only Al has no fixed address. He lives on the street, and so his upstart library is also on the street. Toronto’s new library is under a small bridge on Lower Simcoe Street in Toronto.” (via CBC)

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The public library in an Internet age: Walton Erickson Public Library

Although Walton Erickson Memorial Library in Morley is one of only six libraries left in the state that uses a physical card catalog instead of an automated one, that doesn’t mean it’s technology deficient. The library has six computers, often occupied by patrons who come to file their taxes, book bus and plane tickets, or do homework. Morley is a rural town an hour north of Grand Rapids, dotted with cornfields and farm stands full of fresh produce. The library serves an area of 9,800 people, including a sizeable Amish population.” (via Michigan Public Radio)

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The public library in an Internet age: a series from Michigan Radio

“Pre-Wikipedia there was the encyclopedia. Pre-Google there was the reference desk. In the age of the Internet, what’s the future of the local library? “They will be even more of community spaces than they are today,” said Judith Fields, a professional-in-residence at the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science, who spent much of her career working at public, academic, government, and corporate libraries. “There will probably be fewer books … People will meet in the library to do a variety of things. The library is morphing.” (via MPR)

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A Library of Good Ideas

“In 2010, the administrators of the Deschutes Public Library system, in the beautiful high desert region of central Oregon, had a great idea. As part of their extensive research about their patrons’ library use and needs, they would also film some Q & As with community residents about the library. For Todd Dunkelberg, the director of the six-branch Deschutes (sounds like de-shoots) libraries, the results were a wake-up call about the library’s visibility and familiarity. “People felt guilty about not knowing about their library,” he told me.” (via The Atlantic)

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Where are the books? Libraries under fire as they shift from print to digital.

“The hallmark of public libraries — the printed book, bound by covers and centuries of page-turning — is being shoved aside by digital doppelgangers. Around the country, libraries are slashing their print collections in favor of e-books, prompting battles between library systems and print purists, including not only the pre-pixel generation but digital natives who represent a sizable portion of the 1.5?billion library visits a year and prefer print for serious reading.” (Via Washington Post)

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The Internet can’t replace libraries: Why they matter more than ever in the age of Google

“If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again. Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both public and private, the public library is the truest democratic space.” (via Salon)

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