Posts categorized "LIBRARIANSHIP" Feed

Misconceptions cleared up

BuzzFeed loves to do surveys and make lists.

This one reveals ideas so many people have about librarians, in 2015 no less, that I wonder if people who harbour these misconceptions are just trying to be, well, trying!

On April 15th, BuzzFeed asked: "What’s The Most Frustrating Misconception People Have About Librarians?" - by Arianna Rebolini.

This photo posted on Instagram by 'heartattackvine'  WhyGoogleAskMe sums up the responses for me. 

Read on. Shatter any notions you may have or anyone you might meet who has weird and outdated ideas about librarians and what they do each day.


Here are the answers to the misconceptions. Read the whole article here.

  1. Being a librarian is at times a very stress filled job.
  2. Technology has not made libraries redundant.
  3. Librarians do not spend their days reading (they WISH!!)
  4. Librarians do not have 'a look' that defines them.
  5. and the misconception of that 'look' has two diametrically opposed stereotypes.
  6. Childrens' Story Hour is not play time.
  7. Librarians work "in corporations, law firms, research institutes and laboratories, the government and military, special libraries (and) are researchers, computer specialists, collection developers, archivists, subject experts, meta data experts (you know, make everything findable off and online) and a lot more.” -AnnaBanana617
  8. Librarians need to have an advanced degree (it's called a Masters of Library and Information Sciences).StressfreeLibrarianship
  9. It's not easy being a librarian. Click this photo to feel the stress: 
  10. Librarians embrace technology. Always have. Librarians are always on the leading edge of technological innovation.
  11. Librarians are not all women and come in all age groups, sizes, ethnicities and nationalities.
  12. Librarians are not prudes (just attend a party at ALA!)
  13. Librarians are anything but introverted loners.
  14. Libraries as a community and national resource are not an 'endangered species' nor an idea whose time has passed.

To quote Ms. Rebolini... "Librarians are heroes and best friends to readers, of all ages, around the world." I second that.

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When 'new' is not 'new'.

The following quote made news this week. I am amazed:

“It's time for a paradigm shift to one in which public leaders engage with their communities and take action based on the voices of their constituents. (And where communities demand that kind of interaction.) So go, get out there, engage your elected and appointed leaders, and use your voice to impact positive change.”

This quote is taken from “100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement”, written by Rebecca Fishman Lipsey and “Co-authored by Francine Madera, MADERA inc." as reported in the Huffington Post on-line.  Posted: 01/29/2015 3:53 pm EST Updated: 01/29/2015 3:59 pm EST” 100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement | Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

The ideas quoted are indeed ‘great’. I am so pleased you have discovered them, but they are not new. No, Ms. Fishman Lipsey and Ms. Madera, what you write about is not a “New Paradigm”, though I do admit each generation comes to the hard, cold truth in their own time. Congratulations! I hope the librarians who read your article do the research they do so well and discover the know-how, in existence for over 30 years, which leads them through this process that, among many other concepts, includes "Civic Engagement".

Many times have I heard this refrain and for years I have read articles urging librarians to use this or that 'innovative idea' to keep libraries fresh and in touch with their communities.  I am dispirited that intelligent people do not use common sense! Then I battle incredulity over the fact that such a well-educated and seemingly intelligent group of people can remain so ostrich-like in the face of tried-and-true, long used techniques to achieve success as librarians in their communities.

Why make your job difficult? Why reinvent the wheel? Why not use the body of knowledge passed on to you by your colleagues over generations to help you do your work? Perhaps it’s easier to read about ‘new ideas’ than to do the work of recognizing and adopting the planning process that has led to the success of librarians who have delivered truly brilliant and responsive libraries to their communities.

copyright PLAN22

For years, we and our esteemed colleagues have been guiding public librarians in the process of community building and outreach; preparing them to determine their needs and enabling them to talk effectively to their communities, boards and architects. This process includes Strategic Planning and architectural pre-programming.  I will not apologize for saying this even though each generation must come to learn the terminology the hard way.  Sometimes a strategic plan is quite simply a strategic plan. If community based Strategic Planning is not done, you will not achieve the type of library specific to your community's needs. Changing the terminology will not make it any easier to do.

All the issues Ms. Rebecca Fishman Lipsey and Ms. Madera bring up in their article are valid. However all these issues have been around since architects and librarians jointly conceived and built libraries in this modern age. Librarians, please read the vast amount of literature available that guides you, minute by in-depth step, toward a successful library building project. As librarians you have the skills to locate, read, grasp and avail yourself of this information. You have the intelligence and the knowledge to lead your library building project with the full support of your community, lawmakers and users. It is hard, constant, diligent, detailed, attention-demanding work. It is worth it.

The American Library Association (ALA) is open and clear in their support for you and your community to achieve the library that your community needs. The Library Bill of Rights Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues supports all the work needed to achieve not only your library facility but also a satisfied constituency. Architects, Urban Planners, Interior Architects, Landscape Architects and other professional organizations that include the Project Management Institute PMI - the World’s Leading Professional Association for Project Management are resources available to you at every turn, and throughout your project. Use them. Research how these professionals actually do their jobs, you will find that they have the knowledge to support your work.


book cover

Sandra Nelson, of Sandra Nelson Consulting , is the author of Strategic Planning for Results and Implementing for Results: Your Strategic Plan in Action, the current Public Library Association strategic planning how-to book. Strategic Planning for Results - Books / Professional Development - Books for Academic Librarians - Books for Public Librarians - PLA Products - ALA Store 

To quote Ms. Nelson:

“The Strategic Planning for Results process has been refined by 30 years of public library planning experiences and reflects today's best practices. The process takes between three and four months and engages stakeholders from the staff, the board, and the community. The final plan describes the library's service priorities and explains how the staff will measure progress toward meeting those priorities. Creating a strategic plan is just a preliminary step in the real work of moving the library forward.(our emphasis) A plan is of little value unless it is implemented and Implementing for Results: Your Strategic Plan in Action is the most practical tool available to guide your implementation efforts.” 

While it may be exciting for each generation to discover a way of making library spaces better for their communities, it still remains that this process takes energy, research, determination, dedication and plain, hard work. No single news release is going to make it easy for anyone but perhaps it will inspire you to do the work that needs to be done. Good luck!

For a concise, easy to read outline of why you will meet success through tried and true, good old Strategic Planning try quickly reading this document by Ms. Nelson: tab_3_handouts.pdf

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We've started partnering - International Librarians Network



screen shot: ILN

"The International Librarians Network (ILN) is a facilitated program aimed at helping librarians develop international networks. (They) believe that innovation and inspiration can cross borders, and that spreading our networks beyond our home countries can make us better at what we do.


ILN is run by volunteers all around the world. Program Coordinators match participants, support the partnerships, and manage the website."

Give it a never know who you may meet while giving back to your international library community!

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Ferguson Library Refuge for Adults and Children

Libraries are relevant

Ferguson Oasis screenshot
screen shot:Ferguson Municipal Public Library

and important

and safe.

Libraries are where we go

for information

and hope.

This is what happened in Ferguson at the Municipal Library on August 20 2014:



The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town's residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.

It has used Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to offer residents a place of respite for them to get bottled water, check their emails, and avoid the unrest developing on Ferguson's streets.

We are here for all of our residents. If you want to come, get water, read, check email, we are here…

As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class.

Today, about 120 children showed up to the library for lessons and activities, though staff only expected about 60. Teachers also began hosting classes in the nearby First Baptist Church."

source: ABC News Online, FERGUSON, Missouri, Aug 20, 2014, 3:17 PM ET, Colleen Curry and Micha Grimes

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Webinar to Clebrate the SOLStice

19 June 2014

Tomorrow we have the privilege of conducting for the third time, the first of two updated webinars for the Southern Ontario Library Service SOLS.

2014_SOLS WBNR1 title slide captureWe kick off their Advancing Public Library Leadership (APLL) Institute. A "two year certificate program designed to expand and advance the leadership capacity of public library CEOs and managers. Pronounced 'apple,' the APLL Institute combines the flexibility of online learning with highly interactive classroom sessions."

This webinar gives an overview of The Library Development Guide #5, 2010.  (That) "covers the crucial work of building municipal and community support for a building project based on documenting the community's need for a new or expanded building. 

The process begins with a thorough information gathering process that helps you assess your facility requirements in terms of meeting the future needs of the community, as captured in the librarys strategic plan." Haves and Have Nots

We hope that you can join us and take the opportunity to ask questions and follow the  links provided during the presentation.  We are available throughout the course to help you develop a through undestanding of the importance of leading your Library Building Project.

PLAN22 are the authors of The Library Development Guide #5, 2010, ed. SOLS


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When everything is digitized who controls the on/off switch?

Who controls the on/off switch? IMLS_Focus_-_2014-04-29_18.05.41

Is it possible all of our digitized information could all go away? ...or just some of it?


These are questions that immediately came to mind when we were listening all day to the Webcast from NYC of the Institute of Museum and Library Services - Strategic Priorities 2014.

Being that the scope of the conversation was Digitizing All the Information in the World!, we thought the on-line following was paltry.  What has to happen before we all wake up and together try to fashion our future into a scenario with which we can almost cope?


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'Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct ?' by Anna Clark - 'Pacific Standard' May/June'14

This month's issues of PACIFIC*STANDARD, has a small piece under the monthly Topic: 'You Don't Know America', by Anna Clark called, 'Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct', that will warm the heart of every person who wants to tell everyone they know how much and why libraries are so important in America.

IMG_20140427_145041_edit_edit_editThis month's issue isn't on-line yet but when it is, you will find it at Pacific Standard's site. In short, it names examples of libraries such as those in Rochester, NY and Tulsa, OK that are providing services that are staying ahead of the "needs curve" to patrons and the community.  These libraries are thriving because of their imagination and service-oriented plans to remain viable, important and accessible partners in their communities.

See the whole article, below in the link to 'Related Articles' to read Ms. Clark's whole article from February this year.


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The American Library Association (ALA) released the 2014 State of America's Libraries Report.

*You find the press release below and at the bottom you will find the link to the actual Report.

2014_ALAState of AmrLibsLibraries continue to transform to meet society’s needs, but school libraries feel the pain of tight budgets

 CHICAGO — Libraries continue to transform to meet society’s changing needs, and more than 90 percent of the respondents in an independent national survey said that libraries are important to the community.

But school libraries continue to feel the combined pressures of recession-driven financial tightening and federal neglect, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, and school libraries in some districts and some states still face elimination or de-professionalization of their programs.

 These and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the American Library Association’s 2014 State of America’s Libraries report, released today during National Library Week, April 13– 19.

 Ninety-six percent of the Americans responding to the Pew survey agreed that public libraries are important because they provide tech resources and access to materials, and the same number found libraries valuable because they promote literacy and a love of reading.

 More than 90 percent of traditional public schools have a school library, but public schools continue to struggle with the impact of funding cuts. For public school libraries, that means that professional staffing has been targeted for cuts nationwide.

 The ALA is on the forefront of efforts to shore up support for school libraries.

 “On one hand, budget and testing pressures have led to decisions to eliminate or de-professionalize school libraries,” said Barbara K. Stripling, ALA president. “On the other hand, the increased emphasis on college and career readiness and the integration of technology have opened an unprecedented door to school librarian leadership.”

 Stripling and the ALA are undertaking an advocacy campaign for school libraries that sets goals in five critical areas: literacy, inquiry, social and emotional growth, creativity and imagination, and thoughtful use of technology. The task for school librarians, Stripling said, is to fulfill the dream that every school across the country will have an effective school library program.

 On another front, Banned Books Week, sponsored by the ALA and other organizations, highlights the benefits of free access to information and the perils of censorship by spotlighting the actual or attempted banning of books.

 A perennial highlight of Banned Books Week is the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, compiled annually by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The OIF collects reports on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals and press reports. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness. In 2013, the OIF received hundreds of reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.

 The most challenged books of the year were: 1. “Captain Underpants” (series), by Dav Pilkey; 2. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison; 3. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie; 4. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James; 5. “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins; 6. “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl,” by Tanya Lee Stone; 7. “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green; 8. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky; 9. “Bless Me Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya; and 10. “Bone” (series), by Jeff Smith.

 The ALA is leading a broad effort to guide libraries and librarians through a process of transformation that deals not just with quantitative change — doing more, for instance — but with qualitative change.

 “This means fundamental change in the very nature of what we do and how we do it,” said Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director, said, including fundamental changes in in community relationships.

 “As communities have changed, so has the relationship of the library to the community,” Fiels said. “The traditional library was a passive provider, reacting to community needs. The library opened its doors, and people came in to use its materials and services.

 “Today, the library must be proactive; it must engage its community. . . . Increasingly, libraries are serving as conveners, bringing community members together to articulate their aspirations and then innovating in order to become active partners and a driving force in community development and community change.”

 Libraries witnessed a number of developments in 2013 in the area of ebooks and copyright issues. Ebooks continue to make gains among reading Americans, according to another Pew survey, but few readers have completely replaced print with digital editions — and the advent of digital reading brings with it a continuing tangle of legal issues involvingpublishers and libraries.

 “Print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits,” the Pew researchers found. Most people who read ebooks also read print books, they reported, and only 4 percent of readers described themselves as “ebook only.”

 After years of conflict between publishers and libraries, 2013 ended with all the major U.S. publishers participating in the library ebook market, though important challenges, such as availability and prices, remain.

 In November 2013, after eight years of litigation, a federal court upheld the fair use doctrine when it dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, et al., a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable database of more than 20 million books. In his decision, the judge referenced an amicus brief co-authored by the ALA that enumerated the public benefits of Google Book Search. The Authors Guild has filed an appeal.

 Other key trends detailed in the 2014 State of America’s Libraries Report:

 More and more public libraries are turning to the use of web technologies, including websites, online account access, blogs, rich site summary (RSS) feeds, catalog search boxes, sharing interfaces, Facebook and Twitter.

 The economic downturn is continuing at most institutions of higher learning, and academic librarians are working to transform programs and services by re-purposing space and redeploying staff in the digital resources environment.

President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill in January that will fund the federal government through September and partially restore funding to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) — the primary source of annual funding for libraries in the federal budget — that were dramatically cut in the 2013 fiscal year under sequestration.

The full text of the 2014 State of America’s Libraries report is available at *


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ALLive: Online. European Librarians Discuss - Institutions and Programs

Thursday October 10, 2013
2:00pm Eastern | 1:00pm Central | 12:00pm Mountain | 11:00am Pacific

"On the next episode of AL Live, we'll take a trip overseas. Our panel of international experts will discuss how some of Europe's top libraries currently see the role of the library and the librarian.

This 60-minute episode will take place on Thursday, October 10th at 2pm Eastern. You can pre-register at (pre-registration is not required to attend).

Among the topics we'll be discussing:

  • What are the ways you engage visitors and drive the continued relevance of the library as a cultural institution?
  • How does the library interact or interface with other public institutions?
  • How does the library market its services to the public?
  • What types of technologies do European libraries use to enhance the user experience?
  • What type of online interfaces do European libraries offer?
                      Joining us for this discussion are:
  • Hans van Velzen from the Amsterdam Public Library
  • Paola Manoni from the Vatican Library
  • Frédérique Manning from the City of Paris Library Network
  • Eric Conderaerts from Infor"
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How did staff involvement in planning a library space help your project’s success?

I am developing a workshop to demonstrate the value of communicating with your library staff during the planning of a new library or l ibrary space.

I seek examples of successes (and as importantly, failures) that show definitively and with examples of how staff involvement in pre-planning and planning aided your project’s success; or because of the absence of communication with staff, the project did not meet expectations.

All communication will be held in strictest confidence.
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Research Brief Finds Use of Small and Rural Libraries is Growing in the Digital Age

I write to you from the NYLA Conference in Niagara Falls. While
checking my e-mails this morning I came across a press release from
the Institute of Museums and Libraries (IMLS) about the release of
their latest Research Brief - The State of Small and Rural
Libraries in the United States

A link to the complete Brief is at the end of this Post.

The Brief reports that the use of small and rural libraries is
growing in the digital age.

Here is a copy of the press release:

The report gives an overview of the distribution, service use,
fiscal health, and staffing of these important community assets. One
of the report’s surprising findings is the sheer number of public
libraries that can be classified as either small or rural.
The report finds that 6,098 libraries (77.1 percent of all public
libraries) are small libraries and that overall 46 million people
(15.4 percent of the population) are served by small libraries.
Further the report finds that city libraries are being outpaced by
their rural counterparts in providing access to broadband and
“This report is a must read for policymakers who are concerned
about the health and vitality of rural America,” said Susan H.
Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library
Services. “Whether the issue is education, economic development,
or access to broadband, small and rural libraries are important
communications hubs for people in small towns and rural
For this analysis, IMLS developed definitions for “small” and
“rural,” terms that lack widely accepted definitions when applied
to public libraries. “Rural” is defined using locale codes
developed by the U.S. Census Bureau for the National Center for
Education Statistics to indicate any area outside of an urbanized
area or urban cluster. “Small library” is defined as a public
library with a legal service area population below 25,000 people.

The brief’s key findings include the following:

  • Of the 8,956 public libraries in the United States in FY2011,
77.1 percent can be categorized as small. Almost half of all
public libraries, 46.8 percent, were rural libraries. Their
sheer number and broad distribution across the country speaks
volumes about the value local communities place on library
  • In FY2011, there were 167.6 million recorded visits to rural
public libraries, a number that has increased by 4.2 percent
over the past three years, and there were 301.2 million visits
to small public libraries in FY2011, a three-year increase of
4.6 percent. The fact that service use continues to increase at
these libraries at a time when other libraries are experiencing
declines on a per capita basis is a further testament to their
resilience and continued relevance to rural life.
  • There were 49,048 publicly accessible computer terminals in
rural libraries in FY2011, a three-year increase of 20.2
percent. In comparison to urban public libraries, rural
libraries have higher per-capita levels of publicly accessible
Internet computers and e-books. Given the lag in broadband
access in rural communities when compared to suburban and urban
areas, this further emphasizes the strong role public libraries
play in providing access to the critical digital resources that
are directly related to 21st-century skills.

A PDF copy of the complete Research Brief is available at:
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ALA Banned Books Virtual Read-Out on You Tube

2013 Banned Book Week"Join... celebrities, libraries and bookstores across the country in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!

For the third year in a row, readers from across the country and around the world will be able to participate virtually during Banned Books Week, Sept. 22 – 28, 2013.

Participants may proclaim the importance of the freedom to read by posting videos that will be featured on a dedicated Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel."

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Once more with gusto! Free Access to OED all week- National Library Week 14 - 20th April

Caroline-kennedy-with-schoo-librarian-craig-seasholesWe are celebrating National Library Week 14 - 20th of April but you can start now.






Interesting to note that you can  "Celebrate National Library Week, 14-20 April 2013, with free access to two of Oxford’s most popular online products.

Starting 14 April and running through 20 April, everyone in North and South America will have free access to the OED and Oxford Reference. Free access will be through a username and password announced here on the OUPblog on 14 April. Everyone will have access through the same login, which will last until the end of the week.  Reported in the Oxford University Press Blog.

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DIY in your Library? Shakin' it up in Indianaoplis

Check this out and maybe join the discussion at ACRL 2013, Indianapolis today through Saturday @libraryleadpipe   #diylib  

In library lead pipe logo


"DIY projects are shiny and exciting (and time-consuming), but to what end? For academic librarians this DIY culture is closely tied with professional development and scholarship, but what does it say about the future of the academic library profession? This is a question we propose to answer in a panel session at the ACRL National Conference this month."

We have always changed to meet our readers and clients' needs, is this a fad or a shift?  Librarians are asking how shifts in our technology and shared media culture are effecting librarians and how they do their work.


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73% of Americans are 'likely' to ask an on-line librarian for research help.

That's a lot of people who want to use our libraries.

Gather your data while ye may!

In a new survey of Americans’ attitudes and expectations for public libraries, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.


The availability of free computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as a vital service of libraries. In a national survey of Americans ages 16 and older: 

80% of Americans say borrowing books is a “very important” service libraries provide.

80% say reference librarians are a “very important” service of libraries.

77% say free access to computers and the internet is a “very important” service of libraries.

Moreover, a notable share of Americans say they would embrace even wider uses of technology at libraries

Read the entire report here.

Here's the summary graph. It is interesting to read in the report about how the answers are split among different demographics.

Library_services_infographic PewInternetorg_March2013

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Need a kick this morning? Keep your spirits Up and Carry On!

Need inspiration to refresh you 'Librarian Button' today?


Here's a well interpreted piece from Stephen's Lighthouse.


He took an article from ProBlogger and adapted it to the work you all do for us at our libraries.  Perhaps it can inspire you on this dreary November day. 

Basic pretext: 

Stop whining 

Find your purpose

 Change your focus 

Stop checking your stats so often

Have faith

Set realistic goals

Set realistic goals

Look to others for inspiration - and for help - we can not do all this alone.




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how we think about what our taxes pay for / a Canadian in America

Manhattan-20120315-00426Since arriving here in these 'United' States of America nearly thirteen years ago, we have been astounded and frankly, gobsmacked by seemingly well educated people who tell us that Canada is a socialist country because we all support health care (with taxes) Now please note well that at the same time,  these same folk don't seem to understand that services  called: Police, Fire and Library are paid with...wait for it ... taxes! 

We have since become inured to this particular American brainfreeze issue; we can't educate a whole country.  We just do our thing and try to spread the news that libraries are good for democracy.  And we explain what taxes do with examples like this one: that when Katrina destroyed a whole portion of a state that was uninsured because the insurance companies (calculatedly and intelligently) stopped insuring properties Medieval Private engravingin such a high risk area, it was the U.S. Government (i.e. taxes) that paid for FEMA payments and restoration and grants to states.

ER-LouisXVILibraryVersAll this to say...once, there was no way to pool our efforts and when the problems became too large in scale or too far away, we accepted and used taxes  to help ourselves in ways that today we take for granted.TianYige1 oldest private libary in China

I'm talking libraries here of course, but the same applies to myriad social and infrastructure supports that help get us through our sunfilled, free days or our darkest hours.

This article touches on this issue and reminds us of the history we may have forgotten about our most cherished civic institutions. 

Give it a scan:

How Private Services Became Public - Things we take for granted today -- public police, roads and libraries -- were only achieved through long, hard political battles that lasted decades and sometimes centuriesby BY: | October 2012

here's an exerpt of the central thesis ...

"...Things we utterly take for granted today -- things that the left, right and center agree on -- were only achieved through long hard political battles, always lasting decades, sometimes for more than a century. I’m talking about really basic stuff, like public water and sewers, policing, public education, public roads and public libraries, to mention just a few."

attribution, link to

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Need a hit of Shakespeare? Heard of the Folger Shakespeare Library?

Folger LibraryVisiting DC this summer?

Check out this fascinating library dedicated to all things Shakespeare.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has masterfully curated on going exhibits, in house and on-line, a theatre, tours, conservation lab, a shop of course and lots more to interest all ages and of course the Collection...

"The Folger Shakespeare Library collection has both great depth and a broad range. In round numbers, the Folger houses more than 256,000 books; 60,000 manuscripts; 250,000 playbills; 200 oil paintings; some 50,000 drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs; and a wealth of other materials, including musical instruments, costumes, and films.

 The collection's two great strengths are materials related to the early modern age in the West, from about 1450 to the mid-1700s, and materials related to William Shakespeare and the theater, up to the present day."

 Admission is FREE!  Get out of the heat and find out what was so HOT in Elizabethan England.

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Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear - Next 5 Years

For Librarians already in the center of controversies about the survival of the idea of the 'Physical Library', this piece from Forbes by Eric Jackson, Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years will give you even more to worry about.  It touches on how "Baby Boomers behave differently from Gen X’ers and (now we are seeing) additional differences with the Millennials."

FB on screenMr. Jackson starts to think about the differences and possible future when looking at:

Web 1.0 (companies founded from 1994 – 2001, including Netscape, Yahoo! (YHOO), AOL (AOL), Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY)),

Web 2.0 or Social (companies founded from 2002 – 2009, including Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), and Groupon (GRPN)),

and now Mobile (from 2010 – present, including Instagram). Instagram on smrtphn


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it's unnanimous...get out into your community NOW


We watch and cringe as some libraries loose ground with their communities.  Funding votes are lost and users are crammed into out of date, overcrowded little libraries.

Overworked and discouraged librarians are missing the chance to get out into their communities to build up their position and BE SEEN as an 'outstanding contributor' and 'valuable asset' in their community.

 This topic is universal within the library community and becoming larger and more urgent as each day passes and technology plows on, with our without libraries.  Here are two related articles from Library Journal.


Users Don’t Know What Libraries Are Talking About, Studies Find 



 That Sound You Hear? It’s The Library World Changing


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Breaking the barriers of time and space: the dawning of the great age of librarians

From the Journal of the Medical Library Association Food for thought.

A great age of librarians is possible, but not guaranteed. We are at the very beginning of the development of a digital culture that parallels the print culture that has been dominant for five hundred years. Innovative and creative librarians have the potential to shape the development of that culture in ways that will truly serve the needs of their communities. (cited with permission)

be Brave~stay Calm~ wait for the Signs

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ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine

This week, ALA leadership met with senior management from Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Perseus publishing houses to discuss ebooks and libraries.

this is the link to the on-line article:  ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine.

In March of last year, Librarian in Black Sarah Houghton took ALA to task for being too timid with HarperCollins. “Speak out and speak out now, ALA. Reassert libraries’ rights to lend materials. Reassert libraries’ responsibilities to the public good. And reassert libraries’ roles in our communities as cultural and thought leaders… Please, say something to the world–or the rest of us will keep talking loudly, angrily, and unofficially.”

...assertiveness is what many librarians want from their organization.

Submitted by Christopher Harris on Fri, 02/03/20 E-12 - 09:34
ALA blog-banner_e-content   ALA logo

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"pre-censoring" in Arizona

Under the category of - You really should READ a book first before you slam it....

Issue:  "(Should) elected officials ... be allowed to swoop in and say whether a book is appropriate or not based on ideological concerns." ?

"Public-school-district libraries have long fielded complaints about books after they hit the shelves. But the question of whether books are being omitted from school libraries simply because of their subject matter, before anyone can complain, is trickier."
Form of school-book censoring emerges.  Read the full article from the 'Arizona Republic'.

You Don't Know About Me coverYou Don't Know About Me, is on the list of books Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, AZ, thought were 'objectionable' based on their titles.  He hadn't read them.

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Library Systems roles and value explained

Library Systems are poster children! 

Librarians have always known how to work together collectively to deliver high quality service to the maximum number of people for the least amount of money.  Library Systems help librarians achieve those lofty goals every day, 24/7.

Library Systems in New York, and in other states and provinces are the support system to librarians and library users.  People who work for a Library System often do so in the background to provide all manner of services from inter library loans; cataloging and automated on line catalogs; trustee training and help with grant applications and processing funds from state aid.  Library systems help our librarians provide the services to a public who expects excellence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on line and in the library.

Title page Albany Hearings still


This  video   was taken 29 November 2011 in Albany, NY. Play time is 25m 45sec.

It is an excerpt from a Public Hearing: Funding Public Libraries in New York State under the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries & Education Technology, Chair, Assemblyman, Bob Reilly. 

The speakers are, in order of appearance: Robert Hubsher, Executive Director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), Middletown, NY RCLS Facts  ;  Marilyn McIntosh, Director/Librarian, Monroe Free Library, Monroe, NY MONROE  and James Mahoney, Director/Librarian, Nyack Library, Nyack, NY The Nyack Library| Welcome .


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TED-Women, Sheryl Sandberg on Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

  • Stay in the workforce,
  • stay with the library,
  • make a difference,
  • sit up tall at the top table,
  • let them see you and what you do
  • and take credit for it.

I've got to say, the very fact that this woman is giving this talk at Ted Women is pretty depressing for me

I knew this shit; hell I lived it - 30 years ago and women are STILL telling other women to do it!  AGHhhhh!  I get so frustrated with this issue and that we are endlessly talking about it instead of 'living our right' to a place in this world.

From the women I've met in this ' World of Libraries ' I'd say all women have a great deal to learn from your intelligence and passion for your work.


Here's the whole article complete with the video - worth a look.

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High-Tech 'Hackerspaces' in Libraries - the Maker Station

There's a 50-foot trailer in the parking lot of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN.

Inside you will find what Library director Jeff Krull says is "a resource to the community that individuals would not be able to have access to on their own."

Maker-station-interior_wide Fort Wayne Allen Co LibHe's right on the money!  In this trailer he is walking the talk - demonstrating his philosophy about today's libraries. 

Mr. Krull shows his community what he believes...that a "library as not being in the book business, but being in the learning business and the exploration business and the expand-your-mind business."

We love this!  Check out just what is inside this trailer - here's the whole article from NPR, 11 December 2011 audio of interview included.

Our thanks to NPR and  Viral Optimism, for their article

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Shareable: How Libraries Are Doing More With Less

PIC_1357 crop centerI just saw this on Twitter - good article.

Nothing we don't already know but important to share with those who don't appreciate the depth of commitment shown every day by librarians and their boards.

An overview of libraries reveals that some library systems are hanging on to a thread for their survival while others are thriving. The overall trend, however, is one of increased usage and circulation of materials, both electronic and traditional, coupled with decreased funding.

 Neil Gaiman - chair Nat lib wk 2011 video in link below...

from:  Shareable: How Libraries Are Doing More With Less.

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there's a whole world in there - gaming, can we play and have a future too?

There are three mags that fuel my mind, one I haven't cracked open in decades - Popular Mechanics - but I've substituted well I think, with Scientific America, Science News and WIRED.

I know no essentially nothing about gameing except that many, many people 'play' and learn through participating in games together and individually on and off line.  I've been reading an article in WIRED - August 2011 pg. 097, about Jason Rohrer's 'Chain World' that describes how people are pushing at the edges of the definition of what gaming is.

But I do know a potential trend when I spot it and I think that library use through gaming is something that is worth considering as a very real possibility.  At the very least it is a notion that is being carefully and seriously considered by some librarians as a way to truly engage a generation who carry their lives on a USB flash and a cell phone.  A group of people at the University of Huddersfield in the UK are determined to find out how to capture the imaginations of a highly imaginative generation.

Nod to Locan Dempsey for: Gamification: services and libraries - Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog

Case in point...LEMON TREE LemonTree_25July2011 a project out of University of Huddersfield in the UK

Here's that text so you can read it easily:

"Lemon Tree seeks to increase the use of library resources through a social, game based e-learning platform. Users will register with the system and be able to earn points and rewards for interacting with library resources, such as leaving comments and reviews of library books. Integration with other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook will be built into the system."

To see your potential library future demographic look here: Game Developers Conference | February 28-March 4, 2011 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California.



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A big thank you to our workshop participants and to Bob Kieserman at the Library Management Institute

Yesterday we welcomed seven people our workshop - Roadmap to a Successful New Building.  Thank you all for your participation and for sharing your experiences. I will have the slides and our notes posted here within the week.

Arcadia University is a little jewel of a campus with "more than 4,000 students choose from among 75 fields of study."  We were impressed with the physical therapy and physician assistant degrees that they offer.  They have a fascinating range of programs: Arcadia University








Bob Kiserman and Ms.Timothy of the Library Management Institute LMI, and the guest speakers were welcoming and accomodating; the roster of workshop topics was timely and useful; the presenters were steeped in the knowledge of their subjects that comes with years of life experience and we wish we could have stayed and gone to many of the workshops ourselves!

ArcadiaCastle_themostat_10July2011_1518 I can't resist adding this photo:  It's a thermostat on the marble wall of the 'Ladies' in the castle building - end of the 19th century technology!  Take a closer look at the bottom when you roll over the pop out image.

Our appreciation also to Ann Marie Mazdiack and the Southern Ontario Library System for allowing us to refer to their Library Development Guide #5 - Making the Case for your Library Building Project that we authored for them.  SOLS publications

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Library talk live and on Skype - world wide interest grows with new librarians

                                 Just in case you think the future of libraries is a dead topic...think again and follow these links! LibraianInBlack TwitterImage

I found Michiel Laan today on Twitter, this energetic and passionate young librarian is interviewed on This Week In Libraries (link below).  I discovered TWIL through a discussion on LinkedIn.

Here is Ms.Laan's conversation with Erik on TWIL:LibrarianInBlack

And so the spiral of world wide discussions about libraries and their futures continues!  gives us hope and stimulates the brain. Watch this lovely interview: cycling unconference out of IFLA

We are particularly interested in the space planning and architectural programming aspect of how the physicall environment provided in new libraries and renovations meet the needs of communities that want their service needs met with spaces that serve as a community Commons.

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New York Court Declares That Libraries Are Educational Institutions

Good news.  Library Journal home dt.common.streams.StreamServer

New York Court Declares That Libraries Are Educational Institutions.

"The judge said it perfectly: libraries are an inherent public good," said Kevin Verbesey director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.

"This decision recognizes that libraries are not cultural amenities. They are educational institutions and are an essential public service," said Michael Borges, the executive director of the New York Library Association (NYLA).

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right brain / left brain...what do you think?

Stephen Abram, in his blog STEPHEN'S LIGHTHOUSE, Stephen's Lighthouse asks if anyone can find a more acurate way of sizing up the libraray profession as it stands today. 

AnatomyofaLibrarianLrgWe would like to know if you agree with the chart showing right and left brain activities performed by librarians doing library tasks.  And so would Stephen!

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we need to talk...

How are you going to plan the spaces in your new library when the very concept of a 'library as a physical place' is being redefined by how your community uses technology?

Steelecase area computer station 2 Librarians are talking.  In journals, newsletters, on LinkedIn, at conferences about how they can manage the demand placed on them, their staff and library buildings by patrons who expect their library to provide them the capability to use technologies to help them with research and homework, job searches and internet connectivity. 

Librarians are engaged in conversations about the future of libraries and the future of librarianship and recruitment of new people into the profession; people  who are equiped to deal with ever changing technological advances.

Central_lounge "There’s a cadre of LIS students coming up who would jump at the chance for jobs in digital media labs or the Information Commons. Before that can happen, however, library leadership must move beyond the lending/reference model to a broader view of what’s possible in a community-based space focused on helping people." (LJ, Apr 2011)

In a recent Library Journal article, Stuck in the Past | Office Hours, By Michael Stephens, Apr 15, 2011, about the reasons people want to become librarians, Mr. Stephens asks some hard questions about the roles and 'evolution of ...(the) services' provided by librarians of the future.  

Teenareaopen In our facilitations and webinars, we have been emphasising the importance of marketing libary services in communities and providing felexible spaces in library buildiing plans.  These concepts are also brought out strongly in Mr. Stephens' article.

"We need a course in library school devoted to teaching people to build spaces both physical and virtual (my emphasis) for constituents to come together. We need to prioritize marketing and branding these spaces and services consistently. Doing so will help us in creating, maintaining, and evaluating the Information Commons."

How do you see your library building and your staff meeting these needs, not in five years, not in two but next year at this time?

credit: steelecase multiperson workspaces

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