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.
The internet promised to feed our minds with information. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that
Helping people find meaning in raw information is of growing importance to the library profession. Finding stuff isn't hard; finding good stuff is harder. Putting it into a meaningful context is the icing on the cake.
We have a reading problem in the United States. It’s not that people aren’t reading: in fact the Pew Research Center reports that 76% of adults have read a book in the past year. Even kids are reading – and some studies suggest that millennials are more likely to read [...]
This article describes how some libraries in the 'States have dramatically increased book circulation by reorganizing their collections and physical spaces. They have taken lessons from retail, in particular from bookstores to deliver a very different experience for library patrons.
On the surface this article appears farcical, but read a few paragraphs in and you will find a serious look at the problems New York Public Library faces in balancing public access and research needs, as well as paper books vs ebooks.
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.
rarWith nearly 2.5 billion materials circulated through more than 16,000 public branches, 2013 was one of the strongest years for libraries in the past decade.
Coverage of libraries in the press seems to have turned a corner in the last year or so. Instead of being irrelevant and being in danger of going extinct we are back in vogue.
I think this is partly because the public library's core mission has always been relevant, but also because we have been anxious to adapt to our customer's changing needs. Finding new customers and new ways of adding value seemed like a good way to retain funding, and this has not gone unnoticed. Good news!