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.
A radical redesign has helped this Dutch library turn its declining patronage numbers around.
"USC Online has created an infographic called, “The Five Laws of Library Science,” which explores five principles which can help guide the practices of librarians.
According to the graphic, almost 2.5 million public library books were circulated between more than 1.5 million people in 2011. The graphic also points out that there is more than 120,000 libraries in the U.S."
Public libraries are busier and more popular with patrons than ever. Today’s library is a place for social interaction as well as quiet reading. It is a community cultural center, not simply a repository for books. It is a welcoming building with a design focus on transparency, not a series of isolated spaces. These changing operations directly affect the layout and organization of library buildings. So, libraries today must be designed to accommodate more simplified administrative operations and new staff functions.
I am increasingly not liking what the use of the internet does to our society, and to us. I actually find that maybe my techie friends are more likely to share these concerns than my friends at lar...
I quote the author of this excellent and insightful blog entry: "Libraries can play a role as non-advertising-focused civil society institutions providing internet services and infrastructure to citizens."
Around the turn of the 20th century—a golden age for libraries in America—the Snead Bookshelf Company of Louisville, Ky., developed a new system for large-stack library shelving. Snead’s multifloor stack systems can still be seen in many important libraries built in that era, for instance at Harvard, Columbia, the Vatican,...
This article looks at the past and the future of libraries and speculates on the shape of things to come.
American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s public library legacy was built on a boyhood dream: to acquire knowledge. Carnegie believed in “the meritocratic nature of America,” that anyone “with the right inclination and desire could educate himself” and therefore succeed, and that libraries should contribute directly to that. So what are libraries doing lending out toys and holding game nights? Aren’t American...
This is an interesting article with lots of useful links.
The Lexicon is costing €36.6m to build. In an interesting move, the 6,520m2 building – which will be the central library for the county of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown – will be called the Dlr Lexicon, which reflects the fact that it offers more than a library.
It’s also intended to be a cultural centre, with a café (the tenant is yet to be decided on), a gallery, a small auditorium space, crafts spaces, a local history library, 100 parking spaces and a children’s library.
It’s hoped that this mix of facilities will attract more than 50,000 people to Dun Laoghaire every year.
Rather than being detached from the rest of the town, it is supposed to draw people into the centre of Dun Laoghaire, offering them a space to explore and enjoy before making their way into the town.
Public libraries have to prove they are delivering value to their customers to justify the money spent on them. There is nothing different about this library to any other library in the world. Staff & management will need to be on their game.
The library is one of the few institutions that has the potential to organize communities to access and produce information responsibly and safely.
A useful quote from the article: "The library is one of the few institutions that has the potential to organize communities to access and produce information responsibly and safely. Libraries connect people with resources, facilitate inquiry and popular education, and are accessible and highly trusted. For the growing movement fighting for an alternative to a culture of surveillance, they are an excellent place to start."
ALIA has set out to investigate the big questions about the future of libraries: How will libraries remain relevant for users? What changes will institutions and individuals in the sector experience? Will ‘library and information professional’ continue to be a necessary and desirable occupation?
This report was recently released by ALIA (Australian Library & Information Association).
The Chicago Public Library has more than just books for borrowing. It now has a fleet of 500 robots that can be checked out.
The idea is to give Chicago residents of all ages a chance to dabble in the basics of computer coding. The gadgets, known as Finch Robots, were donated by Google Chicago and made the library the first in the nation to have them available for people to take home.
The robots were invented by a lab at Carnegie Mellon University. They are set up for use with more than a dozen of the most commonly used computer languages. Users hook the robots up to their home computer or laptops and download instructional tutorials from the company’s website.