The Ottawa Public Library in partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) make a documentary: The Human Library.
Video in this link.
We had the chance to check out this amazing space and concept in San Fransisco today.
"Noisebridge is a physical space open and welcoming to all, providing infrastructure and collaboration opportunities for anyone interested in programming, hardware, crafts, science, food, robotics, art, and technology. We teach, we learn, we share. With no leaders, we have one rule: 'Be excellent to each other'."
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.
Privacy DOES MATTER.
“Copenhagen City Hall is about to embark on an ambitious plan to make the whole city climate-change-resilient. Though there will be individual variations, each neighborhood will feature cloudburst boulevards and beautified squares ready for water-basin duty. One Copenhagen suburb is already building its own climate quarter, and Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology, reports receiving climate-quarter inquiries from mayors around the world. Following a catastrophic cloudburst in 2011 that resulted in damage of about $1 billion, this windy port city had little choice but to find ways of protecting itself.”
In the St. Kjeld neighbourhood, “city planners looked at the option of adding ‘gray infrastructure’ technologies that, in this case, would have included essentially more and bigger sewers, or of designing “green,” nature-based structures that collect the water and lead it away.’”
Flemming Rafn Thomsen of Tredje Natur, the Danish architecture firm chosen for the project reports that they “looked at St. Kjeld and thought, ‘That’s a lot of asphalt with no function. We can use some of that space for water.’ ”
“The answer, Rafn Thomsen and the city decided, was to tear up the neighborhood’s squares and replace their asphalt covering with what’s essentially a hilly, grassy carpet interspersed with walking paths. Should a storm, flood or rising sea levels hit the Danish capital again, the bucolic miniparks will turn into water basins…”
“Surrounding streets will, for their part, be turned into “cloudburst boulevards.” Under ordinary circumstances, they’ll just be ordinary streets with raised sidewalks, but during floods and megastorms, they’ll become canals, channeling rainwater away from the squares to the harbor. Millions of gallons of water will be dispatched back to the harbor on such above-ground waterways, St. Kjeld becoming a temporary Venice.”
This beautifully paced TedxMildeHigh 2013 presentation by Pam Sandlian, Rangeview Library District director and the recipient of the 2010 Colorado Librarian of the Year Award presented by the Colorado Association of Libraries, is popular on YouTube, and timeless.
I want to include it in our space for the record.
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.
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.
This piece from USA Today is 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.
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.
Good news America - there is sanity in the North.
The Canadian Conservative Government must rewrite it's proposed bill to limit our right to privacy on the net.
Link to the following excerpt: article here.
"Canadians have the right to be anonymous on the internet, and police must obtain a warrant to uncover their identities, Canada's top court has ruled.
The landmark decision from the Supreme Court Friday bars internet service providers from disclosing the names, addresses and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials voluntarily in response to a simple request — something ISPs have been doing hundreds of thousands of times a year."
The decision has law enforcement people scrambling to ensure that there are lawful ways to track those who prey on victims of internet crime.
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?
Thursday October 10, 2013
| 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 http://goo.gl/ZeSRX2 (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?
- 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"
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,
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
"If you promise something clearly, deliver on that promise, and repeat the process, you build strong emotional links to your company with certain consumers. But that’s where the value resides: in my head and your head."
It's true, engineers at a steam generating company don't sit around all day designing a branding strategy to make the customer aware of the electricity it helps produce.
Everyone uses electricity. Electricity is essential to our way of life.
Are librarians thinking about their library branding strategy enough?
Are libraries relying on the fantasy - 'We exist, therefore people will use the library'?
Make sure that your product is the best quality and meets your communitiy's needs. Your library building will support a well executed strategic plan that includes a good, honest look at what your community needs.
Check out this article for more inforamtion on the discussion ... 'Why Branding Is An Artifact of the Past', fastcodesign.com, Brian Millar.
photo: K.Watson, for the Wallkill Public Library, Geek Your LIbrary Campaign M.L.Carolan - CEO
"With public employee unions under attack in states like Wisconsin, and with cities across the country looking to trim budgets, behold a town built almost entirely on a series of public-private partnerships — a system that leaders around here refer to, simply, as “the model.”" - NYTimes
Sandy Springs, Georgia. Go ahead, do the search.
Where would a member of a private city run on contracts to private companies go to find information like that resident in a public library? Is the 'pubic' library in the neighbouring town providing service? How does that work?
Here's what is written in the 'Newcomers Guide' to the Sandy Springs community about the Library:
"The Atlanta-Fulton Library System serves residents of Sandy Springs with a local library." my note: this branch operates 7 days a week!)
Atlanta-Fulton County Library System web site for the Sandy Springs Branch.
If this is the future; and this is the present, then I'm getting pretty nervous. There is real and present support for this model of living in the "United" States of America and in Canada (there is a blog I won't give mention to in print that loudly supports the Canadian dream of the tea party ideal- including this private city.)
Included in our webinar for SOLS - Building a New Library, Taking the Lead - is a talking point under the topic 'Trends', "the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ will continue to widen in our lifetime, on a global scale." Sandy Springs,GA, a contracted community, is an example of that widening that reinforces my decision to add that subject to our presentation.
Here's an interesting statistic: from the income, earnings and wages data.
Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $442,100 (it was $316,600 in 2000)
Want to follow a truly worthwhile site for news about exciting ways libraries are helping their communities? Try following 'Library as Incubator Project' on Twitter @IArtLibraries.
They are so creative in finding the news about libraries that they search for. All the stories make me smile - imagine, getting the word out about how librarians support local communities through promotion of the arts! Take a look at this article.
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."
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).