"all libraries (really librarians in all contexts) serve a community, be that a community of citizens, students, faculty, lawyers or what have you. There is more that binds librarians together than separates them. That said, I have heard of a special set of concerns surrounding public libraries recently and it got me thinking. The conclusions I’ve come to, I believe, relate to libraries and librarians in just about every setting. But let me start with public libraries.
The two big concerns I’ve heard about are “what happens when public libraries are the last civic service agency standing,” and “as libraries expand services to include everything from tax help to maker spaces, how am I supposed to know it all?!” These two concerns are related.
Our libraries are continuously changing. Library 2.0 is still present in every little information activity in the social media and library context, but we no longer need this particular concept to put its meaning into action.
Social media is an opportunity for libraries to market themselves, to develop and to interact with users. Each library is still challenged to shape their own strategies, find the right level of priority for social media among all the other provided services, and reach out to their own library users.
Pew Report Finds Millennials Are Readers, Library Users Library Journal Kimberly Matthews, executive director of the Trenton Free Library and coauthor of the 21st Century Library Blog, sees her Millennial patrons as critical thinkers who want to...
Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.
This is very cool. This should be a trend worldwide...
Based on the winners of the International Interior Design Association’s (IIDA) Library Interior Design Awards, the answer seems to be incredible, boundary pushing design.
“With the function of library spaces continually being reshaped and retooled to align with shifting end-user needs and advancing technologies, design in library interiors must evolve quickly and creatively,” said IIDA Executive VP and CEO Cheryl S. Durst.
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.
As I got ready to tour the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, last spring, as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting held nearby, the buzz about the newly unveiled building had reached such a level that I expected to find it, however cool, overhyped. It wasn’t. It was exactly the right amount of hyped. “Every corner of the Hunt Library is designed to be memorable and stunning,” the library’s vision claims. Grandiose as that might sound, those corners deliver.
Common Libraries works with enterprising organisations to prototype the library of the future – today. We believe there is an urgent and pressing need to evolve libraries so that they may serve as bastions of a 21st century knowledge commons – functioning as trusted and impartial platforms for the production, exchange and consumption of knowledge […]
The title to this post is a quote from Corinne Hill, Director of Chattanooga Public Library that I just love. It's the public library version of Google's 'fail fast, fail often' mantra and it ironically reflects the reality of public library funding constraints, while also describing the creative, entrepreneurial energy her library embodies. Her inspirational approach to library innovation is something we can all learn from. We need to get away from fear of failure and move towards embracing new ideas, even if they don’t turn out to be quite the right ideas for us in the long run.
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.