Posts categorized "THE COMMONS" Feed

Heard of 'Social Enterprises' yet? You will soon.

If they can 're-brand', why can't we?

File this under the heading : Libraries are suffering under public sector cutbacks, but could social enterprise save the day? Maybe, maybe not.

Companies that are in business to make money see libraries as a lead-in to their other services,because "It offer(s) us a portal to expand our community projects, and at the same time we knew how well used the libraries were... we were already trying to address digital exclusion across the community, so it just seemed like a natural thing to do.", says Gavin Dunn of Eco Computer Systems, speaking about the company's involvement in libraries in Lewisham, UK.

(what is that person doing in that grey heap anyway?) ECO Communities March2013

After re-branding the libraries as community hubs, and the company name to Eco Communities, the business plan mirrors that of all social enterprise-run libraries since – it diversified. "Obviously you don't generate money out of loaning books, or the use of computers – they are all free", says Dunn. "But we are installing cafés in all the libraries and the local housing associations are funding us to provide work experience and training for long-term unemployed residents, and we have a pot of funding from Defra... We also have the contract with the council to sell old library books... on Amazon, and at book fairs." And, of course, it continues to sell recycled electrical equipment, with the library buildings providing effective showrooms and depots.

Wow, and to think we could be doing that at our Libraries; putting the money from 'Friends of the Library' book sales back into our funds to support ourselves!  Interesting.


Library as Third Place - I Geek Global Literacy!


Just checking in on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  Gates Fndtn Logowork with US Libraries.

Here's the latest link form the foundation web site about their work to foster the community library as a safe Third Place in our lives.

Gates Fndtn libary work

 

 

and don't forget the GEEK Your Library program sponsored by OCLC and the Gates Foundation.

GeektheLibrary-PosterTemplate_Colin Palmer_running_2821

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Re-imagining the Purpose & Identity of Libraries


Jian G on CBC interview reimaging libsAre Canadian Libraries keeping up with what our society needs better than those in the US?

Listen to this lively debate on CBC Radio  [The Read on Libraries, May 30, 2012 Radio > Q "What will the evolution of libraries be? The great debate on whether books will become obsolete.] about the re-imagining of the 'LIBRARY' centered on but not limited to the new changes to the NYP Library on 5th. NYPL_20120412-00590

Do we need more social space?

What is the original purpose of a library?

What will come from making the library open to people who would not normally come into a library?

Does opening the library up to the social network increase membership?

What is 'Cultural Architecture'?



we just flip a switch. how does the rest of the world read at night?


"Solar Lantern Project" aims to provide rechargeable solar lanterns to rural Indian areas where electricity is still not available - Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Terrin lead

"TERI (Energy and Resources Institute) campaign uses solar lanterns that have CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) as well as LEDs (light emitting diodes) for dual purposes.  Each solar lantern in its useful life of 10 years replaces the use of about 500-600 litres of kerosene, thereby mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2.  Rural entrepreneurs are trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution centre where lanterns are rented. This creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneur. hostels for tribal children, funded by the government's universal education programmes, are equipped with solar lanterns to help children study at night."

 



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


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.


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


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.

 


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!

 

 


Cross Pollination~Demographics for Chairs and Libraries

Communities benefit when someone can help explain to us how different gerations can work together.  Understanding the make up and demands of a multigenerational community makes libraries stronger, valued members of our communities.

Who knew?  I found this piece on TreeHugger. I am a keen furniture design enthusiast; always on the loolout for furniture for new spaces in libraries.What Is The Future Of The Office? Can Boomers and Millenials Mix?

Tellecomuter What's the connection between a presentation by Ginny Baxter,who works in Herman Miller's Applied Knowledge team, and your interests as a librarian?  Seats on chairs and users at libraries - that's what.  Merging Generations in the Workplace

Certainly, this article was inspired by chair design however, demographics research by Herman Miller can help us better serve our communities even if only to rerinforce that what we inuititively 'know' is based in fact. 

This is the link to Ms. Baxter's presentation.

Ginny Baxter of Herman Miller on Demographics from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

Illustration: Ginny Baxter, Herman Miller.

 


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.