21st century public libraries are adapting their internal structures to serve their patrons and communities in new ways. An informal look at public library structures from around the country shows they are becoming flatter organizations. Middle management or “deputy director” positions are not common. Directors often have more than five direct reports. Many support functions, […]
Karen Pundsack Author Archive
Executive Director at Great River Regional Library, a six-county regional public library system in central Minnesota. St. Cloud State University alumna and MLIS grad from the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Cult of Done member. Karen is currently reading "Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things" by Brian Burke.
It can be tough to plan programs to engage the whole family. Research shows parent involvement means better learning outcomes for our kids. And the public library is an ideal community space for these types of programs.
Many see social media as a panacea – connecting libraries with the people we serve. However, social media done right takes time, effort, strategy and planning. Social media in libraries done right can reach users in new ways. Maintaining social media accounts for an organization takes a level of expertise often underestimated or taken for granted.
Reading for pleasure is at an all-time low in America. Librarians need to extol the merits of reading wherever we go. We need to champion the importance of reading to turn the tide on declines.
Refugees seek a safe and welcoming space to call home. Public libraries can offer support for transition to a new country. Libraries Serve Refugees and Project Welcome are two online spaces where librarians share information and best practices to meet these unique needs.
If kids are hungry, they can’t read. This summer, millions of kids do not have a reliable food source to replace school lunch. Getting a tchotchke as an incentive for reading is pretty worthless if you’re too hungry to read.
Ransomware took down service at another public library system in January. The world of cybersecurity grows more complex each day. Staying informed about the risks is a step everyone should take to build a wall of defense.
The library workforce fails to reflect the increasing diversity of our communities. It’s time for effective change.
Opioid abuse is reaching critical levels in many cities across the country. Some public librarians have taken on the battle firsthand.
Wi-Fi lending is a growing trend across public libraries in the United States. Gwinnett County Public Library in Georgia joined the ranks this year. The fifteen-library system in Georgia began lending ‘Connect Gwinnett’ Wi-Fi kits. The kits include a T-Mobile 4G LTE wireless hotspot, USB cable, and wall charger. Libraries are uniquely positioned to add Wi-Fi lending because they are eligible for generous lower-cost data plans as nonprofit entities. Many libraries across the country are adding this service, including New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Brooklyn and St. Paul.
Finding funding to support the library is a constant challenge. A powerful, free, new tool from the Foundation Center can help your library connect with grants, partners, and potential funders. It’s a great place to start turning data into dollars for your next big idea.
While 77 percent of Americans have smartphones and nearly 50 percent have tablets, that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to use them well. A recent international study shows nearly 40 percent of adults age 16-65 have little to no technology skills.
Promoting innovation takes a conscious decision to change our management structures and organizational cultures. Below are a few ways companies are sparking creativity. Try one of these concepts at your library and see what new ideas you can ignite.
As a potential candidate, it is up to you to convince hiring managers you are the person they’re seeking. Be ready for the many steps in the public library hiring process.
How is public library usage trending nationally? How does usage compare with pre-recession levels? How are investments in public libraries reflected in their usage? These are all questions explored in the Public Libraries in the United States Survey (PLS) for FY 2013. This annual statistical report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) shows how public library usage is changing over time. While some of the major public library output measures are showing short-term declines, many continue to show a ten-year increase in activity.