Tag Archives: Public Libraries

Wake County libraries hope to turn the page on recession

“Since 2009, the Wake County Public Library system has put the construction of new facilities on hold, trimmed operating hours and slashed its book-buying budget. While the county was able to avoid closing any of its 20 branches during the economic downturn, three years of austerity have taken a toll: the number of books in the libraries’ collection is down more than a quarter of a million volumes from 2009.”

via News Observer

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Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators

“Co-working spaces are often treated today as a novelty, as a thoroughly modern solution to the changing needs of a workforce now more loyal to their laptops than any long-term employers. But the idea is actually as old as the public library. One of the world’s first and most famous libraries, in Alexandria, Egypt, was frequently home some 2,000 years ago to the self-starters and self-employed of that era. “When you look back in history, they had philosophers and mathematicians and all sorts of folks who would get together and solve the problems of their time,” says Tracy Lea, the venture manager with Arizona State University’s economic development and community engagement arm. “We kind of look at it as the first template for the university. They had lecture halls, gathering spaces. They had co-working spaces.” This old idea of the public library as co-working space now offers a modern answer – one among many – for how these aging institutions could become more relevant two millennia after the original Alexandria library burned to the ground. Would-be entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for business know-how and physical space to incubate their start-ups. Libraries meanwhile may be associated today with an outmoded product in paper books. But they also happen to have just about everything a 21st century innovator could need: Internet access, work space, reference materials, professional guidance.”

via The Atlantic Cities

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IMLS 2010 Public Library Survey Results Announced

“Public libraries served 297.6 million people throughout the United States, a number that is equivalent to 96.4 percent of the total U.S. population, according to new research by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In 2010, there were 8,951 public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia with 17,078 public library branches and bookmobiles. IMLS today released the 2010 Public Libraries in the United States Survey, an analysis of the most comprehensive annual data collection of U.S. public library statistics. Nationally, public libraries have seen reductions in operating revenue, service hours, and staffing. Numbers for circulation, program attendance, and computer use continue to trend upward.”

via IMLS

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Check These Out at the Library: Blacksmithing, Bowling, Butchering

“In an age where people use search engines instead of reference books and download novels on Kindles and iPads, some public libraries are taking extreme measures to stay relevant. They are offering Zumba dance classes, seminars on landscaping and tips for holiday shopping. Besides hog-butchering, some have hosted demonstrations of blacksmithing and fly fishing. A library in Joliet, Ill., last summer held a “Star Wars Day” featuring games for kids, volunteers dressed as storm troopers and lemonade served at a mock-up of the famous Star Wars Cantina.”

via WSJ

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Five years into new building, Central Library a staple of Downtown

“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.”

via Indianapolis Star

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Libraries can’t use stimulus-funded fiber network

“Librarian Sheila Thorne wishes the 10 computers at the Clay County Public Library wouldn’t bog down during busy afternoons, but it’s not like the slow Internet speeds can be blamed on a shortage of new technology. There’s a new $7,800 high-speed fiber connection in the library’s basement — enough capacity to serve dozens of libraries. And there’s a $22,600 Internet router capable of serving hundreds of computers. But the Clay County library isn’t using the technology — paid for by the federal stimulus. It costs too much.”

via The Charleston Gazette

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Digital age bringing changes to offerings of local libraries

“Patrons continue to stream into Tri-State libraries in large numbers, even as checkouts of printed materials are flat or declining. The Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library system last week unveiled new branding and some new programs which reflect the impact of the digital age on libraries. Local libraries of all sizes say that transition has been ongoing for several years and will not stop. They say investing in technology is paramount, but as taxpayer-supported entities, they also cited a need to be judicious and “demand-driven,” as EVPL Director Marcia Au put it.”

via Evansville Courier & Press

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The library: home away from home for homeschoolers

“One of the indispensable parts of homeschooling is the public library. I have no idea whether people who make decisions at public libraries take us into account, but we are some of the heaviest users of this system of shared knowledge. No matter their political bent, one way to freak out a homeschooler is to tell her that her local library might lose its funding. I was musing about what my family uses the library for, and how we could better let our local library systems know what we need. It seems to me that homeschoolers could come up with a list of services and products that support homeschooling so that people making decisions about how to fund their local libraries would know what we use.”

via Avant Parenting

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Boulder libraries to allow permit holders to carry guns

“A rule change that will allow concealed-weapon permit holders to bring their guns into Boulder’s public libraries received unanimous approval from the city’s library commission Wednesday night. The Boulder Public Library Commission discussed a new set of rules of conduct last month but heard several questions about rule No. 5, banning weapons inside library facilities. Assistant City Attorney Sandra Llanes then took another look at the rules, according to commission documents.”

via Boulder Daily Camera

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Turns Out Dallasites Love Their Libraries. If Only City Hall Didn’t Hate Them

“There’s a briefing for council today on whether or not our public library system sucks. Looks like the verdict will be that it does not totally suck, but it should, because we do. The briefing is based on a nationwide bench-marking system Dallas participates in with most other second-tier cities in the country, along with some third-tiers and some downright damn suburbs. The survey shows that we care about our libraries, visit them and use them at above average rates.Our visitation per capita, for example, is ahead of Phoenix, San Antonio and Miami-Dade but behind Austin and … no, c’mon. Arlington? They gotta mean Arlington, Virginia. I’ll have to watch. Maybe some sharp councilperson will raise that question. If Arlington, Texas goes to the library more than Dallas, Texas, then just shoot us.”

via Unfair Park

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