The association Public Libraries 2020 is the voice of the 65,000 public libraries we have in the EU and their aim is to bring libraries into the digital age. Public Libraries 2020 want to highlight the role libraries play as digital learning hubs for all generations and that they help both with digital and traditional skills every day.
Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, who hosted the event, said: "Libraries and coding is a match made in heaven". I couldn't agree more. Libraries are much more than books. They are real meeting points of digital and traditional skills. This year libraries around Europe have joined EU Code Week and host events where young and old can code, 3D print and tinker with hardware. Some are real maker and hacker spaces – as was shown at the exhibition at the European parliament.
There is no holy book in which God tells us what libraries should be. Over the centuries, the contours of library services and collections have instead been mediated by humans, including founders, funders, managers and -- surprise, surprise -- users. That’s the conclusion I came to after researching and writing Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library. In it, I trace the history of this ubiquitous institution, largely by listening to the voices of those who have used libraries since the mid-19th century, to identify reasons why it has been loved for generations. As I analyzed the data, I was surprised at how quickly those reasons organized into three broad categories. People have loved their libraries for: (1) the useful information they made accessible, (2) the transformative potential of commonplace reading they circulated and (3) the public spaces they provided. Examples abound.
As higher education explores new approaches to student success, academic librarians are more interested in personalizing the library experience. Can we implement relationship management software and balance our privacy concerns?
JODIE ARCHER HAD always been puzzled by the success of The Da Vinci Code. She’d worked for Penguin UK in the mid-2000s, when Dan Brown’s thriller had become a massive hit, and knew there was no way marketing alone would have led to 80 million copies sold. So what was it, then? Something magical about the words that Brown had strung together? Dumb luck? The questions stuck with her even after she left Penguin in 2007 to get a PhD in English at Stanford. There she met Matthew L. Jockers, a cofounder of the Stanford Literary Lab, whose work in text analysis had convinced him that computers could peer into books in a way that people never could.
Soon the two of them went to work on the “bestseller” problem: How could you know which books would be blockbusters and which would flop, and why? Over four years, Archer and Jockers fed 5,000 fiction titles published over the last 30 years into computers and trained them to “read”—to determine where sentences begin and end, to identify parts of speech, to map out plots. They then used so-called machine classification algorithms to isolate the features most common in bestsellers.
The result of their work—detailed in The Bestseller Code, out this month—is an algorithm built to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which novels will become mega-bestsellers.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced Tuesday that it has donated $1 million to the city’s public libraries to fund technology purchases for the libraries’ after-school homework centers used by thousands of the city’s children and teens.
The free after-school homework centers are located at 34 library branches throughout the city. The centers give students internet access and students can get help from library staff with homework, college applications and scholarship essays.
The centers have laptops, computers, tablets and printers available for students to use.
Even with Facebook, Netflix and other digital distractions increasingly vying for time, Americans’ appetite for reading books — the ones you actually hold in your hands — has not slowed in recent years, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Sixty-five percent of adults in the United States said they had read a printed book in the past year, the same percentage that said so in 2012. When you add in ebooks and audiobooks, the number that said they had read a book in printed or electronic format in the past 12 months rose to 73 percent, compared with 74 percent in 2012.
Twenty-eight percent said they had opted for an ebook in the past year, while 14 percent said they had listened to an audiobook.
She calls it her watershed moment. Monique Woroniak was 12 when she first saw the man who sparked her passion for social justice. She was watching the news with her parents. "Elijah Harper stood up in the Manitoba Legislature and held his feather high and effectively killed the Meech Lake accord," she recalled. "Elijah was the first 'real live Indian' that I remember seeing … ever."
Elijah Harper, a former Manitoba MLA and MP, played a key role in defeating the Meech Lake accord. ((Wayne Glowacki/Winnipeg Free Press/Canadian Press)) Woroniak grew up in a working class family in Winnipeg's Fort Richmond neighbourhood. Her early school days in the city's public school system didn't include much education about Indigenous nations, treaties or colonialism.
At the low-cost end of the spectrum for libraries is providing relatively hands-off assistance for local scribes: dedicated space for them to work in, perhaps together, and books that will aid them in jump-starting their creativity or improving their writing skills (see Learning the Craft for recommended titles). Using this approach, a library can foster a welcoming environment for local ingenuity and perhaps boost circulation. Tapping expertise from local authors can promote engagement and build community. The Montclair Public Library, NJ, for example, offers meeting space to the long-running Write Group, an independent gathering of writers that runs several subgroups dedicated to memoir, novels, and short stories; the Write Group also hosts general writers’ support groups, “Free-for-All” events, and “Free Write” workshops that start with a prompt and take off from there. (A writing group at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, KS, the 2016 LJ Library of the Year, collaboratively writes and releases a novel annually.) Lissa Staley, a public services librarian who helps run the library’s writing program, explains that she and her colleagues also promote the option of submitting work to SELF-e, a database that provides a home for self-published work, to their customers. Created by LJ and BiblioBoard, it chooses the best self-published work submitted and makes them nationally available in various genre modules. Works not selected for the modules can still be made available within the author’s state.
In a few short weeks, bright-eyed college freshmen will be ambling onto campuses and into their first lectures. Which means a whole lot of newly minted undergrads are about to get freaked out by their on-campus libraries.
Library anxiety is real. The phenomenon, which involves feeling intimidated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed by libraries and librarians, was first identified by Constance A. Mellon in 1986. Her paper, "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development," reported that college students in particular are prone to library anxiety because they believe their research skills are inadequate, which makes them feel ashamed and unwilling to talk to the very librarians who might be able to ease their worries.
Some students in Mellon's study did their best to avoid the library altogether. "I know that nothing in here will hurt me," wrote one freshman, "but it all seems so vast and overpowering." Another first-year student described the library as "a huge monster that gulps you up after you enter it."
A People's History of the American Public Library Wayne A. Wiegand Brings to life library patrons' perspectives to argue that for many the public library's most important function is providing commonplace reading materials and public space Challenges a professional ethos about public libraries and their responsibilities to fight censorship and defend intellectual freedom Demonstrates that the American public library has been (with some notable exceptions) a place that welcomed newcomers, accepted diversity, and constructed community since the end of the 19th century.
Despite more than 7,000 responses to a recent consultation on library cuts, county council confirms more than 20 closures, with others left unstaffed Lancashire author Andrew Michael Hurley, the Costa award-winning novelist, has warned that “once libraries are closed down that’s it, they don’t come back”, after Lancashire county council confirmed it was set to go ahead with plans to close more than 20 local libraries.
The council proposed reducing its library network from 73 to 44 branches in May, in response to government cuts to its budget. After a consultation to which it received more than 7,000 responses, it recommended in a report on Friday that while a few libraries were facing a reprieve, more than 20 others would still be closed. The report goes to the council’s cabinet on 8 September.
When LJ Mover & Shaker Dustin Fife first arrived at Utah Valley University Library in Orem and took the job of Outreach & Patron Services Librarian—charged with working on interlibrary loan, E-reserve, and faculty delivery—his employers placed great emphasis on the “outreach” aspect of the position. His first task? To create a larger presence for the library on campus.
The current generation of integrated library systems and discovery layers are so different than their predecessors, when it comes to the institutional structures responsible for implementing and maintaining them, the very characteristics that once made such projects a success may now well ensure their failure. Aside from the newfound ways in which shared systems no longer need to be configured separately, both the rapid development and consequential rampant imperfections of these products are challenging the pace of our organizational growth to keep up with that of technological innovations. Times change, and we must change with them.
Good news, bookworms: a new study has revealed that those who read for at least 30 minutes each day are more likely to enjoy a longer life.
Based on a study of 3,635 people aged 50 or older, those who spent time buried in a book survived almost two years longer on average than those who didn't. To put it another way, readers had a "23-month survival advantage", the researchers write.
The local library is a great place to fill your summer reading list for free. But it also remains a vital source for research. And in an era of online searches, librarians at the New York Public Library are still the most- trusted source.
They have been called the "Human Google," said CBSN's Elaine Quijano. And though they may not be as fast as your favorite Internet search engine, they're as reliable as ever.
The Fifth Avenue branch of the New York Public Library attracts about 2.5 million visitors each year.
Many pose with the lions named Patience and Fortitude ... snap pictures in the grand entry hall ... and pass through the reading rooms without cracking a book.
By Christian Jarrett Three years ago, a pair of psychologists at the New School for Social Research in New York attracted worldwide interest and controversy when they reported in the prestigious journal Science that reading just a few pages of literary fiction boosted research participants' recognition of other people's emotions, but that reading pop fiction (also known…
In Library: An Unquiet History, historian and curatorial fellow for Harvard’s metaLAB Matthew Battles describes Melvil Dewey’s impatience with inefficiency in library work in the 1870s. “To Dewey, local interests and special needs were less important than the efficient movement of books into the hands of readers,” he writes. That crisp statement of purpose should be an inspiration to the current discussions around making library collections and programs visible and available on the web.
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