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Brian R Smith Author Archive

Email: smithb@pbclibrary.org  
Facebook: Brian R Smith   Twitter: @brslw

Reference Librarian for the Palm Beach County Library System in Florida. Have been working in public libraries since August 2006 after graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit. Right now I am reading Building Android Apps by Mike McGrath, losing badly in my fantasy football league, and dealing with an unusual number of oddball home repairs. The views expressed on this blog/in these posts are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Palm Beach County Library System.

Sign - Caution Rebranding in Progress

Ensuring a Smooth Rebranding Effort

Rebranding is an important tool for any business, including libraries. An organization’s brand is its public face and you want to make sure it is looking vibrant! Is your library undertaking a rebranding campaign? Here are some considerations which may help ensure a smooth rebranding effort:

bride and groom in sneakers

Weddings and Other Special Events at YOUR Local Library

Who amongst us librarians and library supporters would not want to get married in a library? Even if you have already been married you could still renew your vows there! The District of Colombia Council tentatively passed the 2016 Budget Support Act that allows the twenty-six branches of the D.C. Public Library the ability to charge for “private, revenue-generating activity.” These activities are not limited to weddings, but DCPL library director Richard Reyes-Gavilan needed this legislation in order to allow unrelated activities in their libraries. Reyes-Gavilan intends for all new or renovated libraries to generate revenue.


Carson City Library to Offer Manufacturing Certification

In a first for public libraries in the United States, the Carson City Library in Carson City, Nevada, has created a training environment that adheres to the guidelines of the Manufacturing Skills Institute. The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) is based in Richmond, Virginia, and is an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association.

ipad kiosk checking out ipad

iPad Check-Out at the Library

Those living near Drexel University in Philadelphia will have the opportunity to check out iPads as part of a new partnership between Drexel and the Free Library of Philadelphia. The program allows both students and neighborhood folks to rent the iPads for up to 4 hours. The iPads will be checked out through the use of a special kiosk.

open sign

Up All Night at the Public Library

24/7 – what does that make you think of? 7-Eleven? Taco Bell? Las Vegas? How about your local public library? Back in my college days, our university library would stay open all night for a few weeks around the end of the semester. This was to allow students extra time to study for exams (remember cramming?) and complete their research assignments. Well, now the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) in Utah is proposing to stay open 24/7. Opening all hours is unprecedented, and as a result SLCPL has created a webpage to address their community’s questions and concerns – http://slcpl.org/24hours.

box with check mark

An Interview with the 2015 ALA Presidential Candidates

For the upcoming American Library Association election members are presented with an atypical number of candidates. Typically ALA has two candidates running for the position of Vice President/President Elect, but this year there are an additional two petition candidates — who gathered the necessary number of signatures to throw their hats in the ring.

red stars

Keep on Rocking

There have been a few articles written from a negative perspective lately about so called “rock star librarians.” Most notably these articles appeared in Publishers Weekly and, ironically, Library Journal. Library Journal, it is important to point out, just released their annual ranking of U.S. Libraries, and are gearing up for their annual Movers and […]


Miami-Dade Public Library Advocacy Efforts Succeed – Will Yours?

Over the past few years, the Miami-Dade Public Library has faced the brutal reality of continually decreased funding in a time when more and more citizens have been utilizing the library.


Smash the Status Quo! Rejuvenating Your Library

Let’s face it—we all get frustrated at work from time to time. Whether it is because we have been denied (or delayed) approval to launch a project we feel would benefit our library, or just dealing with the many layers of bureaucracy. At times it can be easy to throw your hands up and say “whatever” instead of remaining upbeat.

old woman thinking

Pass It On at Libraries to Help Seniors Avoid Scams

The Federal Trade Commission, with the support of the Institute of Museums and Library Services, is encouraging public libraries in the U.S. to create Pass It On programs to advise senior citizens about prominent scams.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Photo

The Gates Foundation and Global Libraries

Over the next three to five years, the Gates Foundation will be ending their support of Global Libraries. The Gates Library Foundation began in 1997, and has invested approximately $1 billion in its mission to provide internet access in libraries worldwide. The original goal of the foundation was to supply computers and information to public libraries in the United States. The foundation believes they have been successful in this mission and that the vast majority of U.S. libraries are now information hubs with vital internet connections and necessary computers. The transition will evolve slowly over the next three to five years. What the ending of this massive amount of grant funding means ($12 million in grants to U.S. public libraries in 2011) remains to be seen regardless of the foundation’s optimism.

FLA Logo

Experiences at FLA 2014

During the week of May 7 – 9 I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Florida Library Association (FLA) Annual Conference, “Envision Excellence”, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The theme for the conference was: “Envision Excellence”. This past year I was a member of the FLA Conference Planning Committee, consisting of over 20 highly motivated librarians from across our great state. Our task was to plan and manage the conference beginning with reviewing conference proposals and culminating in analyzing the attendee post conference survey. Attending professional conferences is invaluable and I would be remiss to attempt to mention all of the highlights in one post. Instead I will attempt to showcase several key impressions from the conference.

A tower of used books

Your Role in Reader’s Advisory

What does it say that even the New York Public Library is using Bookish as their featured recommendation engine? Public librarians would be wise to position themselves as human recommendation engines by keeping current with reading trends, and using online search tools to remain relevant for RA and to keep patrons coming back.

Book Hoarder

The Book Thieves

In the fiscal year 2012 book thieves stole over 70,000 books from the Brooklyn Public Library. Most of us working in public libraries have experienced theft at one point or another, but how does this much thievery go on with the news not reporting on it until 2014?

billboard visit your library

Lasting Library Memories

Libraries are extremely important to the development of children, and provide a safe environment where they can learn and explore their developing ideas. I know that I would not be who I am now without all of the opportunities I had as a kid visiting my local library.