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Human centered librarianship

How to revolutionize library service through focusing on people instead of stuff or problems. Presentation for 2012 ILA annual conference.
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Librarysoul
The search for reinvention of libraries from the deepest belief in the social relevance of a save harbour in the public domain
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Book Review Site for Librarians in Public Libraries and School Libraries | Booklist Online

Book Review Site for Librarians in Public Libraries and School Libraries | Booklist Online | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Booklist Online: More than 170,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers—from the trusted experts at the American Library Association

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Lancashire council to close more than 20 libraries

Lancashire council to close more than 20 libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

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.

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Dustin Fife Takes Library Evangelism Beyond Brick and Mortar

Dustin Fife Takes Library Evangelism Beyond Brick and Mortar | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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Don’t Touch That Dial: Standardizing a Consortial Library System – Medium

Don’t Touch That Dial: Standardizing a Consortial Library System – Medium | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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People who read books live almost 2 years longer, study finds

People who read books live almost 2 years longer, study finds | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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Meet the "Human Google" at the New York Public Library

Meet the "Human Google" at the New York Public Library | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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More evidence that literary, but not pop, fiction boosts readers’ emotional skills

More evidence that literary, but not pop, fiction boosts readers’ emotional skills | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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…
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Libraries Are Not Neutral | Opinion

Libraries Are Not Neutral | Opinion | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground have a clear position: Librarianship is not a neutral profession, and libraries are not neutral spaces.
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Making Libraries Visible on the Web | The Digital Shift

Making Libraries Visible on the Web | The Digital Shift | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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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A Snapshot of a 21st-Century Librarian

A Snapshot of a 21st-Century Librarian | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
A Snapshot of a 21st-Century Librarian
As the way people access information changes, librarians like Theresa Quill are exploring ways to make their jobs newly relevant.
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Syria's secret library - BBC News

Syria's secret library - BBC News | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings - and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it.
Down a flight of steep steps, as far as it's possible to go from the flying shrapnel, shelling and snipers' bullets above, is a large dimly lit room. Buried beneath a bomb-damaged building, it's home to a secret library that provides learning, hope and inspiration to many in the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya.
"We saw that it was vital to create a new library so that we could continue our education. We put it in the basement to help stop it being destroyed by shells and bombs like so many other buildings here," says Anas Ahmad, a former civil engineering student who was one of the founders.
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The Enduring Appeal of Libraries Around the World

The Enduring Appeal of Libraries Around the World | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Australian academic and author Germaine Greer once enthused, “Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark … In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.”

Therein lies the beauty of libraries, past and present. Often referred to as cathedrals of knowledge—and free ones, at that—libraries remain civic and cultural icons within their communities where visitors can do everything from read international publications and learn computer skills to launch a business idea. In an age when information is ubiquitous and universally accessible at the click of a button, libraries are adapting to an increasingly digital society while remaining true to their heritage as a welcoming gathering place, with their alluring stacks of books, striking architecture and knowledgable staffs. 
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Stop the privatisation of Public Libraries: Library Workers of the World Strike and Fight!

Stop the privatisation of Public Libraries: Library Workers of the World Strike and Fight! | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
There's a saying in libraryland that if library workers are on strike then things must be really bad, well things are really really really bad!
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For the last 3 or so weeks library workers in Mississauga, Canada, have been striking for a better pay deal and terms and conditions. For the last two years they've been offered 0.5% and with 50% of the library workforce on part-time contracts with no holiday or sick allowances their union branch CUPE Local 1989 decided emough was enough and brought their members out. With wonderful support from their local community and library users they've managed to secure a better deal albeit a tentative one.
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Algorithms Could Save Book Publishing—But Ruin Novels

Algorithms Could Save Book Publishing—But Ruin Novels | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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19 Secrets Librarians Will Never Tell You

19 Secrets Librarians Will Never Tell You | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
A lot of them have always been, and probably always will be, readers. They love discussing all things books both in and out of the library.
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Broad Foundation donates $1 million to LA public libraries - LA School Report

Broad Foundation donates $1 million to LA public libraries - LA School Report | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them.

No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them. | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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.
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Ursula K. Le Guin on the Sacredness of Public Libraries

Ursula K. Le Guin on the Sacredness of Public Libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
"Knowledge sets us free, art sets us free. A great library is freedom."
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Elijah Harper inspired Winnipeg librarian to make change

Elijah Harper inspired Winnipeg librarian to make change | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

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.

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Columbus Metropolitan Library – treasure and tranquillity. 

Columbus Metropolitan Library – treasure and tranquillity.  | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Columbus Metropolitan Library – treasure and tranquillity. 
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Write Here | Programming

Write Here | Programming | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

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.

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The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help

The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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."

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The oldest library on Earth was started by a woman, and finally everyone can visit it

The oldest library on Earth was started by a woman, and finally everyone can visit it | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Founded by a Muslim woman, the University of Al Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco, opened its doors in 859. Its library has been restored during the last three years by another woman, Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni. A wing will be open to the general public later this year.
The library houses a collection of 4,000 rare books and ancient arabic manuscripts written by renowned scholars of the region. According to the AP, the manuscripts include a 9th century version of the Quran and a manuscript on Islamic jurisprudence written by philosopher Averroes.
The University complex was founded as a mosque by Fatima Al-Fihri, who inherited her merchant father’s fortunes after the family moved from Al Qayrawan, or modern day Tunisia.
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The most beautiful libraries in the world (infographic)

The most beautiful libraries in the world (infographic) | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Libraries, not only the old but also the modern ones, are among places many book lovers dream to see for their own…
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Denver Public Library Offers a Day of Hugs, Empathy to Fight Homelessness

Denver Public Library Offers a Day of Hugs, Empathy to Fight Homelessness | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
In the midst of a grim summer of terrorist attacks, political strife and racial tension, it can be difficult to stay focused on the positive. But folks at the Denver Public Library, which has been at the vanguard of discussions about homelessness in the city, have an unusual day of services, events and activities coming up this weekend that promises to create more connections than divisions on the issue — and even a few hugs in the bargain. 
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