"Here are some highlights of New York Times coverage about libraries and librarians in 2011"
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Eight years after financial hardship nearly closed three public library branches and cut 27 jobs, the Regina Public Library Board is now experiencing budget surpluses and working on its infrastructure and maintenance needs.
"Mayor Pat Fiacco, a member of the library board in 2003, originally supported the proposed cuts. He said the library system is in “far better shape” today because of alternative sources of revenue, namely the library’s Home Lottery.
According to the library board’s 2011 budget, an operating surplus of $364,700 was expected, a decrease from 2010 when the surplus was $455,700. The 2011 budget also has an operating revenue of $18.6 million. A large portion of the revenue $14.9 million is from the city’s tax levy."
"Libraries the whole world over are under threat, mainly because the people who fund them are under the mistaken impression that they are no longer needed in the age of the Internet. I used to be a full-time librarian, but I lost my job in 2002 for that very reason. The company that employed me took the view that because it was "all on the Internet" there was no reason why they should employ somebody to do what everybody could do for themselves from their desktop.
Not surprisingly, we librarians have a different take on the matter. We believe that libraries and librarians are hugely important and will continue to be so. Indeed, the ironic thing is that the availability of information via the World Wide Web makes us even more important and vital!
We want to dispel a few misconceptions and make more converts to the cause, not just because we want to keep our jobs, but because we don't want people to miss out on the benefits that libraries can bring.
First of all, what do you understand by the word Library? Do you appreciate just how wide-ranging libraries are? For starters, there are three main types of library, which I shall outline in the rest of this hub."
Answer this question:
"A Librarian in the information age is most like a ____________________________ because ____________________________."
Dr. Wendy L. Schultz:
"Library 2.0: Product
'As information becomes more and more digital, public libraries are striving to redefine their roles. A small number are working to create "hackerspaces," where do-it-yourselfers share sophisticated tools as well as expertise.'
'The Allen County Public Library, which serves the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., has a modest hackerspace inside a trailer in its parking lot. Library director Jeff Krull says hosting it is consistent with the library's mission.'
"Contrary to many futuristic projections—even from bibliophiles who, as a group, enjoy melancholy reveries—the recent technological revolution has only deepened the affection that many scholars have for books and libraries, and highlighted the need for the preservation, study, and cherishing of both."
For Information professionals:
"Digital Strategies for Heritage (DISH) is the bi-annual international conference on digital heritage and the strategies that heritage institutions can follow. Triggered by changes in society, heritage organisations face many challenges and need to make strategic decisions about their activities and services. The key motivators for the conference are inspiration, knowledge, skills and networking.
DISH2011 takes place on 6 – 9 December 2011.
Special DISH2011 edition of Informatie Professional
"I would be interested to see how this can be used to help libraries, as well."
Quote from article:
"Museums are exploring digital and mobile technologies to enhance visitor experience. Initiatives go beyond technology within exhibits and installations, but also include more pervasive uses of tech to create interactive experiences for visitors throughout a museum, as well as remote experiences for those who cannot get there.Here, we highlight what three museums are doing to make the experience interactive, educational and engaging."
Via Pippa Davies @PippaDavies
"A few events over the past few weeks illustrate the downward arc that I have suggested is in store for public libraries in the e-book age. First, Amazon introduced its own e-book "lending library..."
"Libraries have two fundamental problems here: they have less control over the situation than publishers do, and they are about to get some serious competition from the private sector.
An article in Publishers Weekly gives an overview of Amazon’s e-book lending feature and its implications for publishers and authors. In a nutshell, the program is currently limited to a few thousand titles that originate either from Amazon itself or from smaller publishers that still sell e-books to Amazon under a wholesale model, as opposed to the “agent” model used by most major trade publishers, which forbids such activity."
"Rose Holley, Manager of Australian Newspapers and Trove at the National Library of Australia speaks on the success of newspaper text correction by public volunteers. Over the last 3 years more than 40,000 online volunteers have improved the accuracy of searching within 150 years of Australian Newspapers. They have done this by correcting over 51 million lines of text. This activity is referred to as crowdsourcing..."
"Busy children’s librarians use the internet everyday for professional development, assisting patrons, readers’ advisory, program planning and ordering library materials.
Intertwined in the use of the web for work and personal use, are the myriad websites a youth librarian uses regularly to stay in touch with what is going on in the world of children’s librarianship, public libraries, popular culture, children’s literature and forthcoming new children’s books. Without a doubt, there are a dizzying array of blogs, social media outlets, websites and other online tools to choose from."
Insightful points by AnnaLaura Brown:
"1. We will see a sharp increase in the number of libraries that have mobile friendly websites or library related applications for mobile phones.
2. More libraries will use youtube videos and other videos as a marketing channel and as an education medium.
3. We will see an increase in libraries using social media to educate rather than just to market resources and services.
4. Google Plus will increase in popularity and more libraries will develop pages on the site although Google Plus will still not be as popular as facebook.
5. More libraries will seek ways to create mobile apps for various uses and not just for the library website.
6. As more database vendors create mobile apps, libraries will be able to offer more services to patrons via mobile.
7. Book review sites such as Goodreads and Library Thing will be used by more libraries as tools for offering book reviews and for locating new books to read.
8. Libraries will adapt more open source programs for all aspects of running the library.
9. More libraries will find ways to use online gaming as a marketing and educational tool.
10. More libraries will use Google apps for a variety of functions including email."
"Let’s explore what could be ahead for public libraries and how we could collectively transform them into “factories” — not factories that make things, but factories that help make people who want to learn and make things.
Will libraries go away? Will they become hackerspaces, TechShops, tool-lending libraries, and Fab Labs, or have these new, almost-public spaces displaced a new role for libraries?
For many of us, books themselves are tools. In the sense that books are tools of knowledge, the library is a repository for tools, so will we add “real tools” for the 21st century?
Before we dive into the future, let’s take a look at the current public library scene now. Feel free to skip this part. I think it’s pretty interesting though."
"But why does it matter? Some of you will likely say that hackerspaces and TechShops are filling the void where a public library could have evolved to — that’s probably true. I think public libraries are one of those “use it or lose” it things we have in a society. Given the current state of budgets all over the USA, I think unless they’re seen as the future, we might just lose them.
How can we encourage American innovation?How can we get kids access to laser cutters, CAD, 3D printers, and tools to design and build?How can we train each other for the jobs and skills needed in the 21st century?How can we spark the creativity and imagination of kids?How can America be a world leader in design and engineering?"
"Part 5 of my year-end series. As far as ed-tech trends go, 2011 was not the year of the e-textbook.
-Digital Textbooks: Not Quite
-The Library Innovates
-Amazon versus the Publishers versus Libraries
-The Library as Community Learning Space"
“Getting the Most out of Academic Libraries – and Librarians”. Posted on December 10, 2011 by UT Librarians."
"Article on current levels of student proficiency at being able to assess, critically, electronic resources – nothing new, but reaffirms current views."
"The group [academic librarians] unanimously perceived a lack of skills among its clientele: Students are routinely flummoxed as to how to search for or evaluate the sources they need in their work. But even as librarians are poised to teach information technology through classes, online tutorials, and one-on-one sessions, actually laying hold of student time and attention depends on faculty support—and that is not always easy to find.
The extent to which college students are unprepared to conduct research may be surprising to those who assume that young adults are automatically proficient at any computer-related task. “Many students don’t actually know how to interpret the citations that they find in print or online, and as a result, they don’t understand what to search for,” says Georgiana McReynolds, management and social-sciences librarian at MIT. “They search for book chapters in Google because they don’t recognize a book citation compared to an article citation. Or they don’t know which is the title of the article as opposed to the title of the journal. Or they can’t decipher all the numbers that define the volume, issue, and date.”