Libraries exist to provide amazing services and resources to our users. We are so committed to this vision that we continue to offer these services even after users don't need them.
“The easiest way to know that a product should be killed or sold off is when it no longer fits the company’s distinctive competence and market strategy. Regardless of the costs, a product that doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of your products just confuses your customers.”
society as providers of a range of services from book-lending and computer access to children’s activities, training courses and meeting space. But understanding the value of libraries is a complex issue due to the wide-ranging services that libraries provide and the inherently non-market nature of these services (most are free at the point of use). This study looks at the value of the health and wellbeing benefits of library engagement measured through economic value, using methods that are consistent with the HM Treasury Green Book guidance. There are two key research aims of the study. 1. The value of engagement in library services in terms of the impact on people’s overall quality of life.2. The value to society of the health benefits of library services.
The edX Library Collaboration has published a report resulting from a project in which librarians etc. at 39 higher education institutions were interviewed about how they were supporting MOOCs. The institutions were mostly in North America, but with some from Australia, China and Europe, and they were almost all using either edX or Coursera (with one using the Futurelearn MOOC platform). They identified that libraries were supporting MOOCs by: Copyright Clearance; Open content promotion; Licensing resources; Instructional support; Production support; in some cases with a general support model (e.g. a librarian assigned to each MOOC).
The Center for the Future of Libraries’ trend library ( ala.org/transforminglibraries/future/trends) brings together and organizes information from across industries to present succinct information on trends, including how they are developing, why they matter for libraries, and links to the resources that can further explain their significance.
We’ve selected five trends from the collection to highlight. Visit the trend library to learn more about each and to see the expanding collection of trend information.
Anonymity, fast casual, collective impact, robots, resilience
The Neilson Library at Smith College—Photo via Friends of Smith College Libraries/Facebook Maya Lin, the American artist and designer who shot to fame with her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., has been tapped to lead the redesign of the Neilson Library at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Unlike some other university projects by big name designers—say, the Zaha Hadid's work at the Vienna University of Economics and Business or Snøhetta's upcoming robo-library at Temple University—this won't be an opportunity to work on a clean slate. Rather, Lin will have to figure how to undo the damage of three awkward additions that have been tacked onto the century-old structure over the years. As Lin tellsThe New York Times, "It's become a bit of a gorilla."
With funding for libraries disappearing what is the role of libraries in the future? Annemarie Naylor believes that libraries need to evolve so that they function as trusted and impartial platforms for the production, exchange and consumption of knowledge and know-how in both tangible locations and virtual spaces.
ARE you sitting comfortably? Here is the Story of the Decline of the Academic Library. Once Upon A Time libraries were the gatekeepers to most of the information students and academics needed. Books had the information and libraries had the books. Then one day the Big Bad Internet came along and made hundreds of millions of books, articles and manuscripts freely available to anyone with access to a computer. The library was no longer the only game in town. Most of today’s students have used computers since a young age and Googling is second nature to them. Why would they go to a library when they could find the answers from the comfort of their own home — or Starbucks?
But like all good stories, there is a twist. Something strange is happening in Oxford. In 2014, the reading rooms of the University’s Bodleian Library were at their busiest since records began. And on 21 March it will open theWeston Library, an £80 million refurbishment of a Grade II listed building in the centre of Oxford. How has the Big Bad Internet not blown the house down?
April is School Library Month, and this year’s theme is “Your School Library: Where Learning Never Ends.” No tag line could be truer. Librarians are lifelong learners by nature. Whether it is the newest educational theory, the latest research methods, or the newest educational technology push, librarians love to learn and share new things.
When considering a new educational technology initiative, such as purchasing Chromebooks, going BYOD, or choosing educational software, districts often consider many things, including cost, return on investment, effectiveness, and necessary professional development.
In December 2014, the New Jersey State Library predicted “5 Public Library Marketing Trends to Expect in 2015.” One is “visual storytelling.” We’ve seen the rise of this in social media and online news.
Trends in culture, community, and education point to increased potential for expanding the role of libraries of all types I used to think being trendy was a bad thing—a sign of someone who lacks individuality or perhaps is fickle. But in a world of rapid change where people are more and more aware of the latest technology, news, and innovation, being trendy—or at least knowing what’s trendy—is almost essential.
In 2013, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the formation of a Center for the Future of Libraries. The project, initially supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), focuses much of its work on identifying emerging trends relevant to the libraries, the librarians, and the communities they serve.
Publishers bemoan the dwindling of retail space, but they could just be looking in the wrong place for shelves to display their titles. An abundant supply of shelfspace exists in the 16,000 public library branches in America, according to David Vinjamuri who teaches branding and social media at New York University and writes the Brand Truth column online for Forbes. In a recent Publishers Weekly column, Vinjamuri urged publishers to take up libraries as partners. The essay has started an important conversation, says Andrew Albanese, PW senior writer.
Internet search engines seem to be working well enough. There are plenty of choices. So why would an entrepreneur think people will want yet another one? This one has a twist. Librarians.
Librarians and search engines: It’s been something of a love-hate relationship. In 1997, librarians were early advocates for a then-new search engine called Google. Page rank spoke to us, and we could explain it well. Then Google’s success had the public questioning whether libraries mattered anymore. Librarians felt challenged to defend their relevance. We’ve learned to work with and alongside Internet search engines, but still look for our opportunities to point out why librarians are better. Justin Wohlstadter is a technology entrepreneur who thinks librarians and search engines could be a match made in heaven. That’s why he’s doing something we might think is a bit crazy: He’s started a brand new search engine and he wants librarians to help make it work better than anything that’s out there right now—even Google.
I met with Wohlstadter in Chicago during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter conference. He is the founder and CEO of Wonder, and his resume is an impressive listing of technology ventures. That may be why he was named to Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30″ in Media. When we talked I discovered that Wohlstadter’s real passion is rooted in his master’s degree research on the future of education. He believes technology can help improve web search, but it can only take us so far. To really enhance knowledge discovery we need to add a human element to the search process. When Wohlstadter shared his ideas, it did strike me as vaguely reminiscent of early Internet attempts by librarians to catalog or index the content and evaluate it—good efforts that eventually fell by the wayside. Wonder is Wohlstadter’s implementation of an old idea applied to an advanced technology landscape: introducing human mediators to the discovery process. But will it work? Are Internet search behaviors now too entrenched to allow for Wonder? I had the opportunity to ask Wohlstadter some questions and share his responses here.
The Canadian perspective on games and libraries comes to us from Christine F. Smith, ILN Country Ambassador for Canada. Games have existed as cultural artefacts for much time, and in recent years,e have seen games and gaming join our paperbacks and story times in library programs and services around the world. Gaming can been seen quite noticeably in the Canadian library landscape. From the Greater Victoria Public Library’s video game lending, to the Atlantic Provinces Library Association’s “Games@theLibrary” week and Montreal’s grand 13-day “Montréal joue” festival, Canadian public libraries from coast to coast have integrated games and gaming into their organisations..
Back in February I had the opportunity to attend a Lunch & Learn event at the Edmonton Public Library. I joined nearly two dozen Edmontonians at the Stanley Milner library downtown to find out more about EPL and what they have been working on. Pilar Martinez, EPL's Deputy CEO and Tina Thomas, Director of Marketing & Fund Development at EPL, led us through a brief presentation about EPL's history and then told us more about two key initiatives they are raising money for.
Lyn Rice of Rice+Lipka Architects in New York City has been busy giving libraries around the Big Apple a facelift over the past three years. Among the firm's notable projects was the Hamilton Grange Library Teen Center in Harlem, described as the New York Public Library’s “first full-floor dedicated teen space.” Unlike the dark, formal buildings of the past, the modern spaces Rice and his colleagues create are designed to draw not only light, but also people from all walks of life.
As Ottawa moves closer to the renewal of its central library — the topic of a public discussion Tuesday night at city hall — the Citizen spoke with Rice about the evolution of libraries.
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