Nobody can know—but perhaps we can talk about what libraries should be in that imaginable future.
For instance, how many libraries will there be? I can think of two good answers, both of which I hope are correct—and one very bad answer, which I hope is entirely incorrect.
The first correct answer is simple. There will be a library: one library, globally comprehensive and globally accessible.
That vision means we think of libraries as collections, which is one thing they are. The old model depended on physical collections of material widely and strategically distributed in locations where communities or institutions could create, sustain, and support them. If consulting the Encyclopedia Britannica was a good thing, then every library worth its salt had to buy a set periodically and figure out what to do with the old edition it replaced.
Librarians are the Jedi knights of our culture’s future and deserve to be respected for that.
The New Jersey State Library commissioned the Librarian’s Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook and Workbook. Thanks to a grant from PSE&G, the New Jersey State Library is pleased to offer 9 training workshops based on this new resource developed for librarians to help their community after a disaster.
his piece is part of a special series on Libraries + Media.
When the Pew Research Center tracks where Americans get their news, we hear about Reddit, Twitter and Facebook, television, newspapers and radio. Libraries don’t make the list. You might not expect them to.
“I believe we have a responsibility to be partisan on the side of democracy, human rights, social inclusion, and social justice.” —Mark Hudson
But there’s another side to this story. Pew studies also report that Americans do head to libraries, online and in person, to read news and research topics of interest. People do value the services of reference librarians. And they do trust libraries to help them decide what information is trustworthy.
Libraries are now turning that trust into an opportunity: Around the world, they’re experimenting with more direct participation in the issues that affect their communities. Library teams are selecting topics of local importance, compiling resource guides that keep up with evolving issues, and inviting public discussion and debate.
Librarians are curating current events.
Hot Topics In America At California’s Alameda County Library, guides to current events feature the “news you are talking about.” Feeds from local and international news sources dovetail with guides to newsworthy subjects such as privacy, elections and guns and violence. While research guides are old news for libraries, these modernized versions are created with content management tools like LibGuides that let librarians organize selected sources and incorporate live news feeds, reader polls and other interactive features.
This book offers a guide for librarians who see their profession as a chance to make a positive difference in their communities—librarians who recognize that it is no longer enough to stand behind a desk waiting to serve. R. David Lankes, author of The Atlas of New Librarianship, reminds librarians of their mission: to improve society by facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. In this book, he provides tools, arguments, resources, and ideas for fulfilling this mission. Librarians will be prepared to become radical positive change agents in their communities, and other readers will learn to understand libraries in a new way.
The infographic shows how libraries can go beyond their traditional roles. For instance, they can be very helpful in improving health of community members.
Libraries are not only the place where you can borrow a bestselling novel or a new movie release. You can use them in any way you imagine. To learn things, to play, to meet people, to get help in finding a job, to develop new skills.
(Photos: Paschalville Branch/Free Library of Philadelphia)One of the roles of the public library in American society is to be the source of a Plan B for your life. Have you lost your job? There are books about writing résumés and computers on which to type and print them. Often, there are free workshops on helpful skills, such as succeeding at job interviews.A couple years ago, one of my patrons needed professional clothes for a job interview. I managed to connect her with a non-profi
The LibraryFarm is an organic community garden located on the grounds of the Northern Onondaga Public Library at Cicero. The mission of the LibraryFarm is to provide a place for our community to grow, share, and learn about food literacy and sustainable gardening. At the LibraryFarm, half of the area is dedicated to the Community Garden; the other half is dedicated to the LibraryFarm Plotters – our individual gardeners. Serving the Upstate New York communities of Brewerton, Cicero, and North Syracuse.
They’ve long served as communal gathering spots, but these civic institutions are becoming gateways to technological tinkering.Miguel Figueroa, who directs the Center for the Future of Libraries at the American Library Association, says makerspaces are part of libraries’ expanded mission to be places where people can not only consume knowledge, but create new knowledge.
If you haven’t been into a Los Angeles Public Library lately, you may be surprised at the variety of services and resources available to community members. The Library is no longer just the “place with all the books. So there are:
1. online learning options available through LAPL. Many classes are offered free of charge and include language classes, personal enrichment classes, business-related courses, and more.
2. Special Exhibitions. Museums aren’t the only places in Los Angeles that have special exhibits. The Central Library houses exhibits that do change periodically.
3. Involvement Opportunities. Our public libraries are a rich community resource, and they also provide us with many opportunities to get involved and do our part.
Yanis Varoufakis considers himself a politician by necessity, not by choice. An economist and academic by training, he became Greece’s finance minister amidst the country’s financial crisis, creating an image for himself both beloved and reviled. He discusses his complicated role in his new book, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future, and on the LIVE stage alongside renowned academic and theorist Noam Chomsky. YANIS VAROUFAKIS is the former finance minister of Greece. A professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and former member of parliament for Athens’ largest constituency, he is the author of The Global Minotaur, among other books. He lives in Athens. NOAM CHOMSKY is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, which have been translated into scores of countries worldwide. Among his most recent books are Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Hopes and Prospects, and Masters of Mankind. Haymarket Books recently released twelve of his classic works in new editions. His latest books are What Kind of Creatures Are We? And Who Rules the World?
Alexander Street Press has furthered their goal of bringing high-quality digital collections to users through Public Library Video Online: Premium. Designed for the academic and entertainment interests of patrons of all ages, the resource consists of nearly 43,000 videos from 500 providers such as CBS, PBS, Broadway Theater Archive, and Research Methods. The platform features video, audio, and documents associated with a variety of disciplines, including science, education, news, theatre, and fashion, with 333 audio tracks and 1,773 pages of documents as of this printing. At nearly 19,000 hours, users have access to a plethora of footage, from documentaries and raw footage to commercials and feature films. The database includes resources from the late 1890s up through the present day. Film history buffs will especially appreciate the ability to view footage from as early as 1890, beginning with an Edison camera test.
U.S. institutions of higher education and U.S. local governments are under extraordinary pressure to cut costs and eliminate from institutional or governmental ledgers any expenses whose absence would cause little or no pain. In this political climate, academic and public libraries may be in danger. The existence of vast amounts of information – a lot of it free – on the Internet might suggest that the library has outlived its usefulness. But has it? The numbers tell a very different story. In spite of the findings of a survey in which Americans say they are using public libraries less, the usage numbers reported by libraries indicate the opposite.
Some upward trends
In the last two decades, the total number of U.S. public libraries slightly increased – inching up from 8,921 in 1994 to 9,082 in 2012 (a gain of 2.14 percent). Over the same period, the data also show that use of public libraries in the U.S went up as well.
Hyperlocal's goal is to enable every library to become a hub for local multimedia publishing efforts, from surfacing local history to empowering local writers to develop skills and share stories—with a national platform for sharing the best of the results. Library Journal and Toledo Lucas County Public Library will partner to co-develop a model program and to support local journalism and other storytelling efforts at the hyperlocal level, with the library acting as the place to access the program guidance, tools, and research support for creators to develop skills and publish in various formats. Local library platforms will feed into a national channel to share with a larger audience.
Now anyone in Flint can preserve their story of living through the water crisis.
The Flint Public Library is opening its recording studio for residents to tell their experience of living with poisoned water. The library is partnered with StoryCorps, a spoken-story archiving organization. The interviews are done in a conversational style, and the group will archive the recordings. With the storyteller's permission, StoryCorps will also send the story to the Library of Congress.
The Libraries Taskforce has taken its first step towards producing a national strategy for England's public libraries with a new draft report published. However, it has been criticised for not going far enough regarding funding proposals.
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Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.