Those of you who listened in on our Webinar for LLAMA - 'Communicating Effectively with Your Design Professional'. ...If you have questions, after you see the PDF of the presentation and read the Notes, contact us - we'll be pleased to help. Anyone interested and who missed it - please contact us directly..

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Librarians Won’t Tell You ... but should!

A trained librarian

This article Readers Digest online, came to my attention through my Linked in feed, posted by Donald I. Crews. He annotated his list.

I think two items are especially noteworthy - numbers 5 and 6 ...

5. As author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” A big part of a librarian’s job used to be finding information—now much of 
it is sifting the reliable information from the slanted.

6. I’m really, really tired of people asking, “Are libraries obsolete?” There are more public libraries in 
the United States than McDonald’s restaurants—16,536, including branches—and 58 percent of American adults have library cards. Those numbers don’t even include school, government, or university libraries.


FROM: Reader's Digest Magazine October 2015Sources: Librarians Jenny Arch in Arlington, Massachusetts; Brita Zitin in suburban Chicago, Illinois; Laura Lintz in Rochester, New York; Rita Meade in New York, New York; Nanci Milone Hill in Dracut, Massachusetts; a librarian in Florida; Pew Research Center;

Link to Neil Gaiman

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Privacy Matters - short short

From The Office of the Privacy Commissioner, New Zealand on YouTube:  

Published on May 3, 2015.

Information is changing the way we live.

Every day brings new demands from government and business for access to your information.


Surv cam
screen shot from vid
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Privacy. Giving it away. What that means.

ThermostatAll your (electronically) recorded information is up for grabs, making you (and your information) accessible to organizations you’ve never even heard of (and never will!).PhoneApps

Companies and governments realise that your electronic devices - mobile devices, lap tops, home appliances with links to the internet and even implanted biometric devices are "powerful data collection tools." 

ArBioscanEye-colpncle you a victim or a willing participant in sharing of information about your life?

Have a look at this short, clearly written article to learn more about things you probably don't want to know about but must ...3 Ways Technology Can Be Used To Limit Your Privacy & Freedoms, By Rick Delgado on 5th March, 2015 - on the makeuseof site

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Yes we are....

The Humans BookCoverWe are listening to the recorded book called The Humans by Matt Haig.





 Watching this video makes us feel good

and reminds us that we are...



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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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there is no free anything ... ever

We aren't pleased that our warnings to our colleagues, friends and family are proving accurate.

The truth about 'free apps' for your Smart Phone has hit mainstream media and the news isn't pretty.

IPhone SamsungInformation is being harvested from mobile phones... information and money, out of bank accounts, all approved automatically because users are giving permission to access bank accounts and credit cards. We'd like to say that these people are victims and unsuspecting but more accurately one would have to say that they are willingly ignorant of warnings that have been common knowledge in a large chunk of web-time.

This willingness to guard our private information on our home computers whilst completely pretending that security isn't an issue on our mobile phones is inexplicable and perhaps lays somewhere in the area of cognitive dissidence.

Whatever the reasons, we have to sit up and take note. Our information is being mixed up with that of our places of business, compromising our and our employers' privacy, this information is a commodity. It is used legally (because we give them permission) by the app developers and of course, illegally by those people who will always be with us, stealing whatever and whenever, to make money at all costs.

This article - "As Facebook changes Messenger, 'risky' app behavior on the rise. A new report out says that the risks associated with mobile apps is continuing to rise, particularly for free apps on the iOS and Android platforms." by Jacob Axelrod, Staff Writer, The Christian Science Monitor, August 11, 2014, succinctly describes further the ways people are finally waking up to this theft of and permission to use, our private data.

We are particularly interested in the reports that parents are finally paying attention to privacy now that charges are arriving on their credit card bills from 'purchases' made by their children when they downloaded apps. If only we could understand more about about privacy because it IS an issue and not just because it hits us in the bank account.

Here's one of the links in the CSM article that is worth a look if you haven't the time to read the whole article now.

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'Repurposing' or 'Adapting, as Libraries always have done'

There has always been movement in the library. Study grps

‘Repurposing the Library’ is today’s term for “That Flexibility Thing Libraries Have Always Done’. Librarians are experts about the subject of ‘Movement’ whether it is movement of people or the movement of relationships and adaptations between spaces to account for new ways people need to use existing spaces. It is so vexing to a librarian who is documenting the needs of her or his library to be able to forecast what the space requirements for the library will be in 10 or 20 years. But librarians have always met the challenge.

Flexibility that is built in to your design will help you, as the leader of your library design project, to cope with planning for the future of your library.

When you know your needs based on your plan to supply your community with what they need, you can lead your designer to solutions that you may have not imagined. The article gives you some examples of what flexible storage is available on the market today. With a well prepared architectural program and a clear budget, you and your designer can together make the library for your community's future.

Screen shot from Spacesaver site ref.

I like the INFO SHEET: THE REPURPOSED LIBRARY found as a freee download on the right column on this Spacesaver Link, because it is clear and short and it's about storage spaces, real concepts that people can easily grasp.  It emphasizes what we have been telling librarians, that you need a plan (a Strategic Plan to begin) that takes into account your community's needs and you need to gather data about what you have now to plan for what you need in the future. You need this information to establish a Budget and you and you staff are the most experienced and well placed persons to gather that information.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Hardcore privacy & DuckDuckGo

Co.LABSCheck out this article at by John Paul Titlow, the Associate Editor for Fast Company's FastCoLabs

I've lifted some points out of the article to pique your interest...


When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.

In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding

In 2008, launching a search engine seemed like a crazy idea. Here's how Gabriel Weinberg proved the critics wrong. 

But t DuckDuckFastCohings didn't start out that way. Weinberg, who says he has "always been a privacy-minded person," wasn't particularly concerned with search privacy issues when he first started building the service. In fact, he knew very little about the matter at all. Then early users started asking questions.

When you do a search from DuckDuckGo's website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn't know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn't logged by default. The site doesn't use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn't save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo's results, those websites won't see which search terms you used. The company even has its own Tor exit relay, allowing Tor users to search DuckDuckGo with less of a performance lag.

Simply put, they're hardcore about privacy.

Like any company with a mostly remote team, DuckDuckGo experiments with all the latest online collaboration tools.

Skype. Yammer. HipChat. Asana. "We've tried everything that we know of," says Pappis.

Lately, they've been toying with Sqwiggle, an online collaboration tool that uses persistent video and periodic screenshots to let coworkers see each other--or know who's away from their desk."

We are early users of The Duck, won't leave home without it. Give it a try, you'll be pleased (and secure) that you did.

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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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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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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.




Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

New Blog on the Street - Books Reviewed by Kids

Treat yourself to a refreshing read.  Check out this blog subtitled "My review of books I have read."

I am pleased to include a link to a well written and info-dense and critically adept blog written by a young woman whom I have the honour to know.  Childrens' and Young Adult Librarians - you may want to take a look.  It's well worth the read.

Here's a little sample: 

"A friend of mine  recommended this book and when I saw the title I w as  not veryWhangdoodle_from NMcL enticed but tried it  anyways. I couldn’t put it down there were so many twists in the plot that I would have never thought were coming. It really captivated the idea that imagination is one of the greatest things that anyone can have, without it we would not have so many things, if someone didn’t imagine that we could have portable devises that we could talk through we would never have gotten a cellphone."


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let's have a lot of fun today

It is my belief that I create and learn and produce better things and ideas when I have fun.

Who doesn't love a Rube Goldberg machine?  Melvin 2 Capture

The fun is just for itself.  The ideas that result can be for others' benefit too.

Here are adults having fun.  Wish I was one of the team.

Melvin the Machine

Start with the first machine   Melvin the Machine 1






and go to the second and most recent...  Melvin the Machine 2

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Oscar Nominated...Animated Short...based on the BOOK....

ALA and every associated organisation should adopt the rights to this Oscar nominated animated short and have it up on their website.  It is that good.

Mr. Morris Lessmore

This website will only be open for a limited time.  If you ever wanted to show people how important are words and the spirit of the book - this is the way to do it.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.


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show the world what your environment means to you




Check out this link to theUnited Nations Environment Programme logoUnited Nations Environment Programme UNEP environment for development.


They have teamed up with musicians and artists, treehugger and piictu. Here is a link to the page where you can sign up with  piictu on your iPhone or iTouch  to submit photos of the environment around you.


Add your 'insights', good or bad to the photo record.  Show others around the world what your environment means to you.  Piictu

Green economy UNDon't limit your photos to ones of the outside. The interior environment in your library is as important as the one outside your walls.

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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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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

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

very cool site for sore eyes and spirits-librarians look this up

One of the coolest pro-library celeb photos I've seen.  A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favourite book and Gosling is from Cornwall, ON.  Awwwww!

HEY GIRL Ryan Gosling Owen Meany Capture

thank you:

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Here to stay - in another form - keeping up to client needs

People are using libraries to fulfill different needs as we roar into the 21st Century. 2011-11-30-1103libraries percent internet usage HuffPost 1Dec11

This Huffington Post article sums it up well - all we have to do now is design physical spaces so that they are flexible.  Users needs morph - so must our buildings.

Here's the article: Good Read!

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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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Geek Posters - Wallkill Public Library, New York

I have had the pleasure of producing the 'Geek Your Library' posters for the Wallkill Public Library.  Wallkill Public Library Home Page    It's been a blast, maily because the Chief Librarian, Lou Carolan is herself a 'Force for Librarianship'!

Here are the posters:


I love doing volunteer effort for my community, except everywhere is my community!

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

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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Roadmap to a Successful New Library Building - the SLIDES & NOTES

LMIMakingTheCase_CoverSlide_10July2011 For those of you who are interested in accessing the slide presentation that we gave at the Library Management Institute at Arcadia University a week they are in .pdf format.

Download 2011-Library-Management-Institute-Conference

  Call out button on Adobe version of LMI Roadmap slide show




 To see the notes, right click or hover on the call out button at the upper left corner of the slide.


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

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

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

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.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

What love can do! ShelvAR - augmented reality app finds books - are you ready for this?

Augmented Reality Library reshelving finding Are you ready to incorporate augmented reality (AR) apps to keep titles in order on the shelves in your library? 

The iPhone app, called ShelvAR, scans a dozen book spines at once and detects errant titles. Viewing the shelf through a tablet PC, the user sees incorrectly filed books highlighted, and on-screen arrows point to their correct place on the shelf. One Per Cent: Augmented reality app keeps libraries tidy.

Is the time and cost of placing labels on all the titles off set by the time wasted searching for mis-shelved books worth it?  Automatic sorters do this in large libraries that have automated book drop sorters.  Would this be worth it for your smaller library with volunteers or interns reshelving your titles?

Bo Brinkman is an associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Miami University, in Ohio. A specialist in augmented reality and computer ethics, he happens to be married to the university’s art-and-architecture librarian. Hearing his wife talk about trying to motivate student workers to do more shelf-reading got Mr. Brinkman thinking about creative solutions to the problem. The app he came up with, tentatively called Shelvar, relies on special tags—kind of like QR codes—attached to the books’ spines. Each tag “exactly represents the call number” of each book.

See video of Dr. Brinkman's demonstration at this link. Augmented reality - library tasks  

Information on this post taken from:

 The Chronicle of Higher Education website, "the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.    Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents.   Online, The Chronicle is published every weekday and is the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe. The Chronicle's audited Web-site traffic is routinely more than 14 million pages a month, seen by more than 1.7 million unique visitors."


NewScientist, OnePercent Blog.

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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!

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

new meaning to 'blue sky' ideas

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 2

Planning a new library?  Let your imagination soar.  Take inspiration from this adventurous and delightful design: the Morris Arboretum Tree Adventure. Morris Arboretum / ArchDaily

"Suspended 50 feet above the forest floor, this network of walkways (450-feet in length) provides a bird’s eye view of the forest, complete with a giant Bird’s Nest, Squirrel Scramble rope, and many vista platforms."

What a dream, to read in a tree house.  Even better, to have a whole library up there in the leaves and sky.  This brilliant little project is, unfortunately not a library...BUT designs like this one can inspire us all to new heights for our library design.

Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibit Out on a Limb, designed by , was the 2010 AIA Philadelphia Design Excellence Gold Medal Winner, 2010 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Award, 2010 “Best of Philly” Award, and the 2010 American Association of Museums Excellence in Exhibition Design Award.  

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 3

Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 1


If you don't envision your perfect solution for your library's design challenges, you will not get a library that meets your community's needs.

When the serious design phase begins with your architect, you will make compromises. 

Your imagined ideas will come up against hard reality.


Let your imagination soar;  take it and your common sense with you throughout the design process and beyond. Morris Arboretum Tree adventure 4



credits:Architects: Metcalfe Architecture & Design
Location: , ,
Consultant: Forever Young Treehouse, Inc
Structural Engineers: CVM Engineering
Construction Managers: CVM Construction
Civil Engineers: Hunt Engineering Company
Lighting Designers: Grenald Waldron Associates
Exhibit Designers: Sparks Exhibits and Environments
Photographs: Paul Warchol

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

'Greening' your library - start simply

Energy conservation in our libraries can be as simple as installing a timer equipped thermostat on your heating/air conditioning unit.

This article Timer on your Thermostat from warns us about the difficulty programming and using some programmable thermostats.

  Thermostat But Librarians are more than up to the challenge!  It's worth it in savings to your operating budgets.

source:Treeehugger main

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

To ad or not to ad...what will be the answer?

Miguel Helft of the New York Times asks, "Is the tantalizing dream of a universal library dead?" (Published: April 3, 2011).

Is it? Maybe not.  In March of this year, a New York federal district court judge, Denny Chin (now sitting as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library (by Google) would benefit many,” but said that the proposed agreement (by Google) was “not fair, adequate and reasonable.” because, "it would have granted Google a “de facto monopoly” and the right to profit from books without the permission of copyright owners". NYT 22 March 2011

Europeana_think_culture_logo_top_5 There are those who do want to have a universal digital library - without commercial advertisers.  Europe is already far ahead of the United States in an effort to digitize information to be read in a commercial free web site, Europeana, Europeana that already has some 15 million "works of art, books, music and video held by the cultural institutions of member countries".

"Unlike in Europe, where national libraries are usually centralized and backed by governments, the United States has a disparate network of independent institutions that have different missions and serve different populations", and is playing catch up in this field.

"...the settlement (with Google that) was rejected in federal court last month, in part because it turned copyright law on its head, giving Google the right to profit from a book unless its author or publisher objected. This was a particular problem for “orphan books,” out of print titles whose authors and publishers cannot be easily found. Since no one else would be able to obtain a license to those books, Google would have a de facto monopoly on millions of texts.

The digital public library will face the same problem" NYT 3 April 2011

No matter what happens, who does it or how fast this project evolves, the affect on our libraries as we know them will be profound.  I suggest that we will be well placed in our communities when we plan properly for and develop spaces for people to read and be together in our libraries.  The delivery system for knowledge and information will change but we humans will always seek each other out for company and discourse.  Libraries are already here and changing to meet these human needs.


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

How we get from here to there...signs are not the answer

Can you read a map? Can you find your way back out of a building that you are visiting for the first time?  

Wayfinding is not a skill all of us possess to the same degree.  For instance, I 'see' a building in 3-D; I know that restrooms are usually placed in a building's core - find the elevator - find the restroom. It's a snap.  For me.

Not everyone has this training or 'view'.  We all navigate through the streets and corridors of our days in whatever manner that serves us well and gets us to that important meeting, the elevator, the restroom - the exit!

I am a strong advocate for a clear architectural design that allows the occupants to navigate through a building easily and safely.  I believe that good design is simple and logical design. 

It seems cognitive scientist, Laura Carlson at the University of Notre Dame can back up my 'instinctual' practice with cold hard fact. Laura Carlson, Notre Dame I love it when that happens! She is "figuring out how we can stay un-lost" ...(when we figure out how to get where we want to go.)

WIRED magazine has a short piece about her work (April 2011, pg.38) written by Katherine Gammon.  Check it out.  Ms. Carlson points to various strategies we can use to  find our way through our built environment. We form pictures in our minds of the building and our route or we use a mental bird's eye view.  We navigate by paying attention to objects so we can use them to retrace our steps.  We 'fix' images of objects or intersections in our minds so that we can construct our mind's eye map.

This quote from her work best sums up my approach to design.  I thank her for it.  "If you see handwritten signs pointing you to an exit, that's a good indicator that it's not a well designed building."

When you are designing your library renovation or addition, keep this in mind.  Ask your designer how easily your patrons can find what they are looking for in your library. Man before maze

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Book Club @ People to People International - hear what the world has to say.

We participated in a delegation of librarians to China in 2007.  The People to People InteVcm_s_kf_m160_160x120rnational (PTPI) organization PTPI has been close to our hearts ever since.  The tour, our guides and our fellow travelers were fantastic in all respects.  The organization just continues to amaze with timely and innovative ideas that bring people together from across the globe.

PTPI  has initiated a way for members to "communicate with members about international topics and gain unique insights into the cultures explored through readings of PTPI's Global Book Club."  I think this is exciting and a very pleasurable way to combine our love of books with budgets that, for now at least, limit our world travel opportunities!  You don't have to be a member of PTPIto sign up.  Registration for the Global Book Club is free.

Global Book Club
…from the shelves of Mary Jean Eisenhower’s (pictured here) library,
An initiative of People to People International

PTPI’ s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your  glob al community. Global Book Club me mbers will communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of the various cultural view s in relation to those topics. The PTPI Blog will feature discussion questions and commentary from PTPI staff and fellow readers.

Current Selection: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Join the conversation now!

New titles are announced in January, April, July and October.

Here is what mambers are reading now.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
December 2010

Nearly 10 years ago, Laura Hillenbrand's Seabuscuit: An American Legend captured the nation's attention and went on to become a highly acclaimed motion picture. We are very please to bring you Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, a friend of PTPI and co-founder of PTPI's Operation International Children (OIC).

Unbroken tells the unforgettable true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete whose training was interuppted by World War II, taking Zamperini to the skies as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Discuss this book on the PTPI Blog!



Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

What would we do? the Egypt edition.

How would we react if our library was under threat of looting and vandalism during a time of extreme crisis?  I'd like to think that we would do what these people did to protect the Library at Alexandria (yes, THAT library!) this month in Egypt.

Here is what the library director had to say on the library's site:

Director’s Statement to Our friends Around the World: The Events in Egypt
30 Jan 2011

The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters. I am there daily within the bounds of the curfew hours. However, the Library will be closed to the public for the next few days until the curfew is lifted and events unfold towards an end to the lawlessness and a move towards the resolution of the political issues that triggered the demonstrations.

Ismail Serageldin
Librarian of Alexandria
Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

People protect Alexandria Library Feb2011_IMG1699
"Young students from the university designed and made a huge National Flag, and put it on the steps of the Library  which elicited cheers from passing demonstrators as the director waved to the crowds."


Children were there Children with people protect Alexandria Library Feb2011_IMG1721



to protect their future and our past too.






Alexandria Library site



A photo posted on the Literary Type, a Canadian source, People protect Alexandria Library Feb2011 from CA the Literary Type

shows gaurdians joining hands.

from 'the literary type' site


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

What does 'the commons' mean to you?

Listen to our teens!  They want a space to call their own in their libraries. 

We all need a space to call our own.  Places and spaces for us to come together face to face, outside of our cyberworlds, are becoming ever more necessary for our sanity, emotional development and survival. 

Thahrir Square February 2011 Think of the importance of a city square where thousands co-operate to bring about the first steps toward democracy to a county. 


Kimpton Hotel Solamor Ssan Diego_lobby Think of a hotel lobby with foor lamps and really cozy arm chairs where two people lay aside their books to discuss both sides of the political views on universal health care.


PIC_0886 Think about how your library provides this essential 'spacial opportunity' that you provide for people of all ages in your community.  We call it the commons.

(seating, teen space - Clifton Halfmoon Library, NY)

Strategic-planning-for-resultsIn our strategic planning sessions with library staff and communities we always hear about the need for a library to provide a space  - a common area - for people to simply be in the presence of other humans.    Strategic Planning for Results, Sandra Nelson for the Public Library Association


Today I found a link to this book.  One part of the synopsis reads:

"Filled with practical solutions for today's economic, political, and cultural issues, it's a much-needed and thoroughly accessible field guide to the new world of the commons. Including success stories from communities across the country and around the world, this book is for anyone seeking new ways of thinking about our shared values."

All That We Share

How to Save the Economy, the Environment, the Internet, Democracy, Our Communities, and Everything Else That Belongs to All of Us

Jay Walljasper and On the Commons

paperback -  $18.95 USD

A very old idea has once more morphed into a very currrent and modern solution for our inter-isolated, globally-intertwined lives. Libraries are the core of the much larger concept of 'the commons' discussed in this book.

At PLAN22 we think libraries are an essential and integral piece of a communty's commons.  Look around you, listen to your neighbours, observe the growing popularity of this concept that is once more becoming a respected ideal in our modern world. 

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Trans-Border Sharianship

Librarians are professional Share-ians! 

Why?  Because they have always had to make do - or make more! - with less.

Here are just a couple links to Canadian sites where librarians gather to share and learn from one another.

About SOLS - Southern Ontario Library System

Canadian Library Association | Home

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Libraries - resources to get us through these tough times

It's no secret.  Demand for library services has risen steadily these past two years as people struggle to stay afloat through this ' economic downturn ' - a polite way to reference this International RecessionSlow Economy Fuels Surge in Library Use

Perversely, the local, state, provincial and federal governments have continued to decresase funding to libraries and systems steadily and mercilessly

Libraries face rising costs:

  • increasing wages and benefitsincreasing demand for print and AV materials
  • increasing demand for digital resources
  • the high cost of telecommunications and need for higher bandwidth
  • the high cost of maintaining computer systems
  • population growth and diversity
  • demands for increased hours and services

People and Libraries are fighting for their lives.  Advocating in aTough Economy - TOOLKIT.

People are beginning to notice how important the library is in their communities.  (...) the Library,a cozy place to look for a job

We particularly like this little sound bite - you can use it to your hearts content - it usually makes people think for a second.

Libraries will get us through times of no money better than money will get us through times of no libraries!

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Get your geek on. Support the library. |

Get your geek on. Support the library. |

29 January 2011

Check out this site!  Learn how to get the word about your library out to your community.  Free. Effectively. Professionally!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded OCLC to develop a promotional campaign that is distributed free to any library that wants to participate in this, beautifully designed and eye-catching program.

Our thanks to Mary Lou Carolan of the Walkill Public Library in Walkill New York for inviting us to join her colleagues -  librarians from Orange County, NY, - their staff; teens; Friends of the Walkill Library; interested citizens and supportive Seniors. 

Jenny Powell from OCLC -Home [OCLC] (US) and Home [OCLC] (CAN) made a comprehensive presentation to introduce the concept and answered dozens of questions from the group who became more excited by the program as Jenny showed how the promotional materials can be used and tailored to fit local library needs.

Polaroid-geek Explore the site and see how you can getyourlibrarygeekon at your library!


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

In Britian: "Library membership from birth"


MARCH 2010 ... a new UK strategic plan for public libraries

UK Strategic Plan for Libraries

Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture who launched the Public Library Consultation in December 2009 writes in her Introduction: “A vision for Public Libraries”: "...public libraries are not about sitting back and passively waiting for people to borrow your books – they are about active engagement with the community, making links to other public services, and responding to the policy imperatives of the day. Where that happens there is evidence of their transformative impact."

The modernisation review of public libraries:A policy statement (issued to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,by Command of Her Majesty, March 2010) has 6 Chapters - the titles of which are:

"Chapter 1 – Aim: to drive the quality of all library services up to the level of the best

Chapter 2 – Aim: to reverse the current trend of decline in library usage and grow the numbers using the library service

Chapter 3 – Aim: that the library service is able to respond to limited public resource and economic pressures

Chapter 4 – Aim: to ensure that all libraries respond to a 24/7 culture and to changing expectations of people who want immediate access to information

Chapter 5 – Aim: that all libraries grasp the opportunities presented by digitisation

Chapter 6 – Aim: to demonstrate to citizens, commentators and politicians that libraries are still relevant and vital"

Here are some of the key issues set out in the plan for implementation at the national and local levels:

  • Library membership from birth
  • people to "have (a) say and get involved in shaping the service (at the local level)"
  • "Free access to a range...of book stock to browse and borrow and online resources and information that meet local needs (including e-books as the market grows)"
  • Access to the national book collection – any book from anywhere
  • Free Internet access for all
  • Help to get online
  • Links to other public services and opportunities
  • Connect(ing) people to other readers through reading groups..."
  • Flexible opening hours to suit the needs of the local people
  • Commitment to customer service and expert, helpful staff
  • A safe local space which is accessible and convenient for the community
  • Services which reach out and attract local people
  • An opportunity to be a member of all libraries in England

 UK Strategic Plan for Libraries

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Oh Canada, (libraries) subtle, strong and free!

"Sometimes a library is just a library. Other times,(...)the coolest place on earth."    The American Libraries Magazine on line published this little gem the beginning of March this year. 

The Winter Games were an opportunity to show the world that libraries are more than just books.Canadalibraryolympics

"...under exceptional circumstances, a library has got to be more than just books, movies, and technology; it’s got to be a flexible, fluid entity that responds to (or better yet, anticipates) its audience. It starts out with noble intentions, and then it gives the crowds what they really want:..."

Read more of Shelley Civkin's (communications officer at Richmond PL) article about their Olympic experience!

Makes this Canadian blogperson proud! Vancouver wows Olympians

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Green Your Library BLOG in American Libraries Mag - check it out!


Check out the American Libraries on line Mag on line!  For specifics on green design and on the 'Blogs' drop down menu at the top of the page - go to Green Your Library for the latest updates on what's happening in the US. or go directly... Green Your Library Blog

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Be current with developing ideas and future trends

Author-abram Stephen Abram - Library Thinker / Future Ideas Guy

Stephen's Lighthouse

If you have not yet found Stephen's blog - do so now.  We heard him speak three years ago and he's right on the money when offering to librarians glimpses of what the trends are and where we are going with technology and possible ways information will affect our lives.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

the book farmer...

We dream of making a positive difference in peoples' lives by helping communities provide space for them to read, research and talk to one another. 

 Pam Shelton book farmer of Botawana from MORE article MORE magazine ran an article  that caught my attention. see article about Ms.Shelton in MORE online Pam Shelton keeps her dreams firmly in reality by bringing books to people who want to read and who have no books.

We support Ms.Shelton.  Perhaps you too will find inspiration in her story. Pam Shelton - brings books to Botswana

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.