Tag Archives: Public Libraries

The Future For Public Libraries: Specialized Features Not Starbucks

“My head is still spinning from Panos Mourdoukoutas’ post at Forbes last week suggesting that there should be a Starbucks in every local library. Granted it appeared in Forbes and they slant corporate but it might just be the most near-sighted, wackiest story I have read in some time. Of course he starts out proclaiming his love for his local library but before it’s over he says “Simply put, Starbucks and local libraries supplement each other nicely—they are both “third places” with different rules of conduct, catering to different community segments. That’s a good reason to have a Starbucks store in every library. ”Why not put a jail in every library for it also has “different rules of conduct, catering to different community segments.”  They would compliment each other nicely by providing literacy services and job training to inmates while scaring the pants off the kids so they won’t go astray of the law.” (via Book Patrol)

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Breaking Out of the Library Mold, in Boston and Beyond

“An old joke about libraries goes like this: A boy walks into a
library and asks for a burger and fries. “Young man!” the startled librarian reprimands. “You are in a library.” So the boy repeats his order, only this time, he whispers. So much has changed in libraries in recent years that such a scene may not be so far-fetched. Many libraries have become bustling community centers where talking out loud and even eating are perfectly acceptable.” (NYTimes.com)

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Public libraries get online access to research journals

“Hundreds of thousands of research journal articles are to be made available on computers in public libraries. The Access to Research initiative will give the public access to articles on health, biological research, engineering and social sciences for the first time More than 8,000 journals from around the world are included. It is hoped this will encourage more people to use public libraries. The Publishing Licensing Society (PLS) is behind the scheme.” (via BBC)

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Public libraries seek to rebrand

“In a sign of the times, the Willingboro Public Library is trying to reinvent itself with a fresh slogan and logo to make it more relevant. “You have to keep up with all of the trends,” said library director Christine King. “We want to dispel the notion that we all do is dispense books.” In seeking to rebrand itself, the library has embarked on an ambitious mission to change its image as a community center where visitors can attend workshops, take an exercise class, or see an art exhibit. “We want people to know that you can get information, but you can also get information that can change your life,” King said in a recent interview.” (via Philly.com)

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Indy library is drawing road map to its future

“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)

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Maine libraries write new chapter on lending

“So here’s the dilemma: You’ve been asked to bake a cake shaped like a dinosaur for a child’s birthday, but you’re hesitant to spend money on a pan you’ll use only once.What to do? If you live in New Gloucester, the answer is easy. Go to the New Gloucester Public Library and simply check the pan out, just like you would a book or DVD. And while you’re there, peruse the other 46 specialty cake pans the library has in its collection, including Dora the Explorer and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.” (via The Portland Press Herald)

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Beyond the stacks – Libraries reinvent themselves for the 21st century

“Walk into Arlington Heights Memorial Library, whose renovations were completed this year, and you’ll see an expansive, open space. Several dividing walls have been removed. One section of the library, Marketplace, mimics a supermarket aisle, with 20,000 books, DVDs and music CDs. Books are divided by category — Cookbooks, Health, Jobs & Money and Trending — and shelved with covers, rather than spines, facing out.” (via Chicago Tribune)

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Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

“There’s one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It’s a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There’s no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library. Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian. Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.” (via NPR)

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Twin Cities libraries innovate to remain relevant in digital age

“Grace Mwamasika came to Burnsville’s Burnhaven Library on Saturday morning for a free Excel class. A single mother of two, Mwamasika, 45, has an accounting degree and is refreshing her computer skills while she looks for a job. She’s a regular library visitor with her children, and a day earlier she was at a different public library, learning to fill out online job applications.” (via Minn Post)

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San Diego Central Library use soaring

“The newly opened downtown Central Library is a big hit. On its first day of business, the nine-story, $196.7 million landmark drew 8,000 visitors. That’s roughly 10 times the average 700-800 daily users at the old 1954 library on E Street, the Board of Library Commissioners were told at their first monthly meeting in their top-floor commission room.” (via UTSanDiego.com)

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