This is what happened in Ferguson at the Municipal Library on August 20 2014:
"Amid all of the strife engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, this month, there is one spot in town that has become a refuge for children and parents: the library.
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… http://t.co/56qhtfFoOz
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
London, England rebrands their libraries as "the Idea Stores"
She presents her story so simply and well. Her point is clear and easy to grasp... libraries are important now, they always will be, to everyone for his or her own reasons and for democracy to flourish.
"Research from the Public Library Funding & Technology,1Opportunity for All,2 and Pew Internet3 studies show that libraries are vital digital hubs that provide access to public access technologies and digital content, and that millions of people rely on the public access technologies and services provided by public libraries. When taken together, these studies also show that success in an increasingly digital social and economic context requires a comprehensive approach to creating digital inclusion so as to ensure that there is opportunity for all communities and individuals regardless of geographic location, socio-economic status, or other demographic factors."
"Based on a national survey conducted in Fall 2013, our analysis provides insights into how public libraries help build digitally inclusive communities."
Created in partnership with Community Attributes Inc. as part of the Digital Inclusion Survey, our data visualization tool maps all public libraries using the FY2011 Public Library Survey data file released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for library locations. The tool overlays Census data (demographic, economic, health, and education) from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year dataset (2007-2011). The map also includes selected Digital Inclusion Survey data from participating libraries, thus showing the roles that libraries play regarding digital inclusion in their communities.
Every library is facing this issue. Some realise it sooner than others but all libraries are making changes to their 'business model' - yes, it is a business model - the way you do business.
Take heart, everything changes and not all chages are bad for libraries or the pursuit of knowledge. What goes around comes around in unexpected ways. Librarians are masters of going with the flow - of life, of information, of democracy and freedom.
The Skokie Chamber of Commerce meets in a section of the public library where the reference collection was once kept.(Photo: Anne Ryan, USA TODAY)
This piece from USA Todayis just one of the hundreds of articles on this subject making the rounds today on Twitter and Blogs across the world. You may want to check it out.
‘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.
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?
*You find the press release below and at the bottom you will find the link to the actual Report.
Libraries 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.
Planning a new library space or building is a huge undertaking and can take up to 10 years from Strategic Plan to Opening Ceremony in this economic climate. I think the participants that took part in our Work Shop for RCLS got the message.
Thank you to the generous librarians in Ontario who spoke with me and shared your experiences with building a new building and addition. I couldn't have done this without you.
Appreciation as always to Grace and Stephen, Ruth, Eileen, Sue and Dan at RCLS for your help in making me welcome.
To all the RCLS Member Library librarians, staff and trustees who took the time to participate and offer insightful observations and questions, it was a pleasure to spend time with you. I had fun.
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 tothe 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:
Check this out and maybe join the discussion at ACRL 2013, Indianapolis today through Saturday @libraryleadpipe #diylib
"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.
(what is that person doing in that grey heap anyway?)
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.
Since 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 in 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.
All 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.
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.
"...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 http://www.governing.com/columns/eco-engines/col-public-services-once-private.html