As next week marks “National Friends of Libraries” week (October 18-24), it’s particularly good news that over half (55%) of Americans are extremely or very satisfied with their local library. Satisfaction is especially high (as one might hope) among those with a library card (70%), but that’s not to say Americans don’t have any recommendations to improve library services.
How have people benefitted from books and libraries? By gaining access to information, culture, and education. Libraries without Borders supports the same values of personal and community development in a modern way with their "Ideas Box."
The "Ideas Box" is a portable multimedia library that ships easily to vulnerable populations around the world. From the U.S. to Burundi, France, Australia, Jordan and Lebanon, these kits have reinforced education and stimulated creativity in needed areas.
By supporting Libraries with Borders, you'll help provide a critical resource that can empower communities who need it most.
Armed with an annual influx of up $8.2 million, thanks to a newly approved property tax increase, the New Orleans Public Library is asking the community how it should invest that money. The library has scheduled four community meetings to identify services patrons...
Here is an indisputable fact: Americans love their public libraries. Evidence to support this statement abounds.
A 2013 Pew Research Center report showed that in the previous decade "every other major institution (government, churches, banks, corporations) has fallen in public esteem except libraries, the military and first responders." The study also found that 91% of those surveyed over the age of 16 said libraries are "very" or "somewhat" important to their communities, and 98% identified their public library experience as "very" or "mostly positive." Another Pew study found 94% of parents believe libraries are important for their children; 84% said because libraries develop a love of reading and books.
Although in the 1980s, many predicted the demise of public libraries by the turn of the century, they've been proven wrong. In 2012, the latest year for which we have statistics, the U.S. had more public libraries than ever — 17,219, including branches and bookmobiles. While the number of visits declined slightly that year from 1.52 to 1.5 billion (the recession forced libraries to reduce hours by 2%; more patrons were downloading library e-books from home), the decade nonetheless showed a 21% increase.
The European Union currently consists of 28 member countries. Carol Bream, Advisor on the future of libraries at the European Commission Central Library, tells how their library shares highly confidential materials across borders using OCLC WorldCat...
During the summer of 2013, I took my family on a long road trip west across Illinois, through Iowa and the plains of Nebraska, then high up into the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, we made a point to
top off in small Midwest towns. We were on a mission to find an endangered species in the world of the bibliophile -- Carnegie libraries.From 1883 to 1929, Andrew Carnegie, the controversial American businessman and philanthropist, funded the construction of 1,689 libraries in towns and cities across the United States. Carnegie's legacy is checkered due to cutthroat labor practices as a businessman and an anti-union history. But his dedication to libraries is untarnished. He was, at the apex of his career in the late 1800s, the richest man in the world worth an estimated $500 million. He gave $60 million away to build libraries across the nation.
Librarian as public knowledge leader: ways to use Wikipedia. Wikipedia has become one of the most influential portals for internet-based research — providing readers with an initial overview of almost any topic and acting as a first stop for expert researchers. Moreover, the platform increasingly favours both scholarship and openness: a recent study showed that journals published as open access are used more frequently on Wikipedia, and Altmetrics has begun measuring Wikipedia citations to encourage public scholarly work. This research connection makes libraries an important part of Wikipedia’s ecosystem.
We spend a lot of time talking about various forms of literacy. Various approaches have risen up and faded quickly—transliteracy, metaliteracy, etc.—but the idea remains: How can everyday folks navigate a continually plugged in, all-access world? I think of these skills as life literacies or simply how we make sense of the world.
What’s the best thing going for LC right now? DAVID MAO: We have a lot of great things going on right now. Overall, one of the best assets that we have here at the Library of Congress is our staff. Through thick and thin, we have employees who work at the library because they are … Continue reading An interview with David Mao →
Jorge Luis Borges specialized in envisioning the unenvisionable: a map the same size as the land it depicts, an event whose possible outcomes all occur simultaneously, a single point in space containing all other points in space, a vast library containing all possible books.
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