Tag Archives: Public Libraries

In digital age, library finds difficulty attaching numbers to its value

“Librarians at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library have a problem unique to the modern age — attaching numbers to the myriad services the library provides across varied platforms. While library CEO Gina Millsap estimates that for every tax dollar provided to the library for operation, $4 in value is returned to the community in such terms as literacy and school achievement, she says that value is difficult to prove without numbers to back up those claims.” (CJOnline.com)

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Libraries to Become Community Publishing Portals

“Public libraries provide an essential community service by promoting literacy and a culture of reading. With the rise of ebooks, public libraries are at a crossroads. Some book publishers, fearful that library ebook lending will cannibalize retail sales of books, are reluctant to supply ebooks to libraries at the very time that library patrons are clamoring for greater access to such materials. Rather than standing idly by as publishers jeopardize their future, some libraries see an opportunity to take control by proactively cultivating a newer, more library-friendly source of ebooks. These libraries are developing community publishing initiatives in partnership with self-published ebook authors.” (via Huffington Post)

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Library nonprofit launches business membership drive

“In the wake of California’s ongoing economic recession, public agencies have been hit hard, and libraries are no exception. To help support the needs of the Sun City Library, the nonprofit that helps the facility has launched a new program that allows businesses to advertise on the window façade of the bookstore it maintains in exchange for an annual membership donation of $50. The membership also allows businesses to have their logos printed on the Friends of the Sun City Library’s newsletter and displayed during its four yearly booksales, as well as on the nonprofit’s Facebook page, said Linda Denver, president of the organization.”

via UT SanDiego

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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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