Woman reading a book on the beach

Digital Natives Prefer Print

Many assumptions have been made about the fate of print books, and how e-books and our increasingly digital world will change the way people read and study. We all love the convenience and space-saving qualities of e-books, as well as the fun devices they live on. However, a Washington Post article from February discussed something unexpected: the fact that most college-aged students, often called “millennials” or “digital natives,” prefer reading print books.

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Statistics Season

For those operating on a June year end fiscal year, the finish line is in sight. We are cleaning up our records, gathering our data, and readying our reports. It is Statistics Season. Every year I hear the same thing from someone: ‘statistics lie.’

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Girl reading

Smart Start Community Outreach

Recently I attended an American Libraries webinar on The Future of Libraries. Among the many topics that were discussed was the idea that libraries need to get out of the stacks and into the community. Many libraries already support organizations within the community, whether it’s through hosting events or posting informational pamphlets about these local organizations. However this idea explores how the library can leave the building and help the community.

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Public Libraries Magazine Column March/April 2015

The Wired Library – Exercises in Empathy

The web always has its eye on the future, but online culture is not immune to nostalgia. The last few months have seen several attempts to revive a fascination for the dial-up age. A pair of French artists launched windows93.net, a tongue-in-cheek homage to early browsers filtered through a seriously absurdist sense of humor. Writer Paul Ford launched tilde.club, an ASCII-laden throwback to spalces like GeoCities and the communal webring culture that eventually became the blogging world we know today. Sprinkle in a generous dose of animated GIFs, and it’s like we’re on AOL all over again.

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Woman holding up sign with graphs

Data Librarians in Public Libraries

I wrote a few months ago about the data skills that future academic librarians can develop—but what would a data librarian look like in a public library? In this post, I’d like to review a few data concepts, outline potential differences between academic and public librarians, and suggest ways that public librarians could bring data to their patrons.

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illustration of group

Social Workers and Librarians Working Together

We have all been at a public library enough to witness the inclination of the homeless to hang out there. It makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s open to the public, offers free shelter from the elements, provides entertainment, and has free facilities. The idea of using this public venue, which is funded by the community and for the community, to reach out to these individuals is relatively new and, to use a library term, overdue. In San Francisco, where more than 7,000 people are homeless, the city decided to place a social worker inside the main public library to do just that.

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Man reading Kindle

Teaching Teens Self-Publishing @ the Library

About two years ago, Smashwords was busy working with Los Gatos (CA) Public Library to introduce the world of self-publishing to the library’s patrons. Since then, the affiliation between the two groups has taken on a new venue: local high school classrooms.

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library of things logo

Library of Things Shapes Dialogue on Library Collections

For many years, libraries have been primarily associated with books. What might be considered an extreme case of this is the Sacramento Public Library’s recent initiative to create a Library of Things.

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Public library with American flags

Revised Budget May Restore Much of State Funding to Connecticut Library System

Spring came in like a lion in Connecticut, where the threat of sweeping changes to how public libraries operate arrived in the form of the Governor’s proposed budget. The Connecticut Library System was slated to lose $3.5 million if the original proposed budget was passed. The Appropriations Committee released a revised budget at the beginning of the month that “restores much of the funding for funding for statewide library programs that had been slated for elimination,” said State Librarian Kendall F. Wiggin in his Conntech Budget News update.

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Ignite logo

Hackathons @ the Library

Since libraries are organizations that promote information access and cultural discourse, #hackgirlsrights is an inspiration for libraries that want to incorporate relevant social issues or topics by hosting a hacker night with an aim toward an achievable goal or project.

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Pen Writing Once Upon a Time on Paper

Authors For Libraries

Building a connection between authors and libraries, the Authors for Libraries website also cements the bonds of support and advocacy between them.

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library with fiction books

Separate or Keep Together?

Many book stores separate fiction into genres. Some libraries do it too. Should you?

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Public Libraries Magazine Column March/April 2015

Whole Person Librarianship

The idea that librarians and social workers have something to offer each other isn’t new. When I interviewed PLA Past President Carolyn Anthony about this subject, she told me how she connected with social workers in Baltimore in the 1970s, to help them organize their information and distribute it to clients who visited her library.

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screen shot of raspberry pi home page

Building Small, Cheap, Dedicated Catalog Stations: Do-It-Yourself Raspberry Pi OPACS

Thanks to previous articles on the Raspberry Pi, we were inspired to check out its charms at our library. Check out this step-by-step instructional article on how to actually use these nifty and cheap computers to do something highly practical and still ubiquitous in smaller public libraries – the standalone catalogs.

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Staff of Belgrade Community Library

Lessons from 2015’s Best Small Library in America

When Library Director Gale Bacon began leading the Belgrade Community Library, the roof was leaking. Nine years later, BCL was selected by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Best Small Rural Library in the country. What can public librarians learn from her experience to improve their own libraries?

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