“There is a lot of chatter about new forms and uses for libraries in and out of Library Land these days. The strange part about it is that it’s often framed in abstract, lofty terms: “reinvisioning,” “reimagining” and other appalling “re-” formations. But behind it is the terrifying, entirely non-abstract Lack Of Money, as government budgets for libraries have gotten tighter and tighter. England has had it especially bad, and there’s no improvement in sight…” (via MobyLives)
“Atingo, a new Swedish ebook lending platform, is not only remaking the relationship between publishers and libraries, it’s also providing a simple way for self-publishers to offer their ebooks to libraries for lending alongside traditional titles. The joint venture between Axiell, one of the library sector’s largest technology companies, and publishing platform Publit was recently launched at the Media Evolution conference in Malmö. Atingo allows publishers to set loan prices and manage availability on a book by book basis, and allows libraries to choose which books they wish to lend and how much they want to spend on them.” (via Forbes)
“Elizabeth Davis walks in undiscovered country these days.The Scranton resident is the first to hold the recently created job of digital services librarian at Scranton Public Library, giving her a chance – and the responsibility – to figure out what the job can and should be. “It’s a little terrifying, actually,” she said with a laugh. Miss Davis started the new position in June, moving from Lackawanna County Children’s Library, where she worked for several years and had been children’s outreach coordinator.” (via The Times-Tribune)
“Shelves and shelves of books sit mostly ignored, taking up space. Thousands of tomes now seem like relics instead of resources. They contribute more to the decor and ambiance of a college library than the use of it – afterthoughts for the Millennials who hunker down to study there. Rooted quite literally by name in books, academic libraries are now backing out of the hard-copy business. But unlike many traditional institutions facing revolutionary shake-ups, experts say libraries are relishing the information age and digital transformation. Instead of existing to house static collections of scholarly journals waiting to be pulled for review, academic libraries are finding more opportunities to push information out beyond their walls.” (via Indianapolis Star)
“Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff isn’t the man you’d imagine as the visionary for the nation’s first all-digital public library. The former San Antonio mayor doesn’t own an e-reader (“I refuse to read the e-book!” he says) and for years has collected first editions of modern novels (in print, mind you). Back in the 1990s, Wolff helped spearhead San Antonio’s 240,000 square-foot, six-story, $50 million central public library, a building the city is now struggling to figure out what to do with. Today, Wolff says he would’ve avoided building such a large facility. “Who would’ve thought 20 years ago we’d be where we are today?” he says.
“It’s not exactly a building boom, but several public libraries around the country are getting makeovers. The Central Library in Austin, Texas just broke ground on a new building that promises such new features as outdoor reading porches and a cafe. In Madison, Wis., they’re about to open a newly remodeled library that has, among other improvements, more natural light and a new auditorium. Historic libraries in Boston and New York City are looking at significant renovations.” (via NPR)
“Toronto’s newest library, its 99th, is set to open in November. The Fort York Library, an unusual, modern building with what looks like a crazy tilted roof, offers a rare view of its namesake, Fort York. It’s a historic site we rarely see unless stalled in traffic high up on the Gardiner Expressway. The library, still under construction, rises up on the east side of the Bathurst Street bridge. It’s an elegant glass pavilion that will glow like a welcoming lantern at night. It’s such a presence that the neighbourhood of condominium towers and community housing has been named by the developer, Context, in its honour: the Library District.” (via Toronto Star)
“The Linda Norgrove Foundation will set up the scheme after receiving a grant of nearly £500,000 from the United States International Development Agency (USAID), specifically to fund the establishment of the libraries and literacy schemes for women and girls.
Some 840 women will receive literacy classes and more than 20,000 people are expected to use the community libraries being set up by Afghanistan Reads, a community literacy project supported by the Norgrove Foundation. Literacy in Afghanistan is among the lowest in the world. It is estimated only 20% of women are literate and the figure is three times lower in rural areas.” (via Herald Scotland)
“It’s appropriate that a book celebrating the 75th anniversary of Nashville International Airport includes a page — and a charming photo — documenting the library branch that opened on-site in 1962. Staffed by a librarian who received an extra $4 in her paycheck to cover airport parking, the Nashville Public Library reading room was the first time a public library was ever established in a municipal airport.” (via USA Today)
“More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center — but the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state. Vermont, for instance, brags it has more libraries per capita than any other U.S. state. And some of them are remarkably quaint. In Ludlow, one library is a white clapboard Victorian, slightly frayed, ringed by lilies and sitting by the side of a brook.” (via NPR)