By Letitia Stein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - The library opening with the first day of classes on Monday at Florida's newest college features a sunlit arched roof and cozy reading chairs - but not a single book. A fully digital library is among the futuristic features of Florida Polytechnic University's striking dome-shaped building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. "It's a boldly relevant decision to go forward without books," said Kathryn Miller, the university's director of libraries. Rising along a drab stretch of highway between Tampa and Orlando, Florida Polytechnic envisions building a technology corridor in the image of Silicon Valley.
Facing declining visitors and uncertainty about what to do about it, library administrators in the new town of Almere in the Netherlands did something extraordinary. They redesigned their libraries based on the changing needs and desires of library users and, in 2010, opened the Nieuwe Bibliotheek (New Library), a thriving community hub that looks more like a bookstore than a library.
Fliss Clooney's insight:
Would love to visit and see how the public are reacting to this great community space
How often do librarians find themselves trying to explain that the library’s mission is not about books but about information? This public misunderstanding about what we are doing and why leads to a community misconception of what we should be doing in the future. The reality is that we as librarians make the same mistake all the time. We know intellectually that informational flow and access are our main missions, but our decisions and our hearts often put the focus on books. Books, in many cases, remain by far the best delivery vehicle for information, but there are many subject areas where other informational vehicles would be more effective, even if implementing those vehicles might mean less money spent on books.
In the scramble to gain market share in cyberspace, something is getting lost: the public interest. Libraries and laboratories—crucial nodes of the World Wide Web—are buckling under economic pressure, and the information they diffuse is being diverted away from the public sphere, where it can do most good. Not that information comes free or “wants to be free,” as Internet enthusiasts proclaimed twenty years ago. It comes filtered through expensive technologies and financed by powerful corporations.
In brief: As librarians we continue to grapple with our role in a world of digital information. The case has been made for an enthusiastic embrace of cutting edge technologies and the development of a ‘startup culture,’ and a role as ‘gap filler’ supporting faster take-up of new technologies. Rather than blindly supporting a market-driven technology industry, librarians should ensure the privacy and autonomy of library users is protected. When considering how we can use technology, librarians must remember our core values, and our mission of empowering an informed and free citizenry.
Murphy’s ‘gap filling’ proposal was pre-empted by David Lankes in 2012, when he wrote:"If libraries continue to be remedial organizations, focused solely on the problems and deficits of our communities the communities themselves will find libraries obsolete"
The main problem with Murphy’s vision of libraries as a ‘gap filler’ is the question of who determines where the gap lies, and who determines how it is to be filled.
Posted on behalf of David Normal (edited by Sophie McIvor and Mahendra Mahey) The British Library meets Burning Man… In December 2013 the British Library uploaded over a million images from our 19th century digitised books onto Flickr Commons, with the invitation for anyone to remix, re-use and re-purpose the...
Around the globe, libraries are a force to be reckoned with. A recent webinar highlighted cutting-edge libraries in developing and transitioning countries that are empowering their communities to achieve local goals. Presenters Bill Cartwright, President and CEO of Riecken Community Libraries, and Ugne Lipeikaite, Impact Manager at EIFL-PLIP (Public Library Innovation Programme) led webinar participants on a worldwide tour of libraries that are creating huge impacts with modest resources. Community development can be understood to mean many things, but the United Nations recognizes it as
A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people.
"The Carnegie UK Trust publication Speaking Volumes: the impact of public libraries on wellbeing shows the wide range of ways in which public libraries can affect the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Speaking Volumes demonstrates in a clear graphical way how libraries are relevant to four main policy areas: social, economic, cultural and education policy – all of which have an impact on wellbeing.
The leaflet is based on hundreds of examples of practice throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as published evidence of impact. Databases of some of these examples show how public libraries support learning, promote economic wellbeing, act as cultural centres and contribute to the creation of strong and healthy communities."
If you want to print your own novel, cookbook or dissertation for under $20, you're in luck. The Toronto Reference Library has unveiled a new book printing machine that prints store-quality paperbacks.
This post was co-written by Corey Holmer and Jamie Trow A class set of novels, binders, poster boards, and enough post-it notes to wallpaper a school…. all supplies associated with a traditional middle school book club model. With the addition of iPads, Google Apps, and other educational technology, the age of the “traditional” book club …
Many teachers have added ‘digital literacy’ as number four on the list of literacies their students should have (or be working towards, in most cases). Reading, writing, and math are now followed by digital literacy. Obviously, depending on the grade level you teach, your students will have different abilities in each of the four areas, …
BUT, as WE are using "Technology", let us ALSO learn about the basics of "Cyber Security", a MUST in a connected technology driven world:
"Research libraries have an important opportunity to meet the urgent need to make information resources accessible to all of their patrons, regardless of ability or disability. In so doing, libraries can fulfill their mission to be content leaders in higher education and enhance information access to their users."