MIT invited its university members to “hack its libraries” as part of its Preliminary Future of the Library Report prepared by a faculty/student/staff Ad-Hoc Task Force. After a year of work, the Task Force’s recommendations envision a “global library for a global community.”
News & Opinion
Libraries have a lot of uses for big data. It can reveal useful information for librarians, archivists, researchers, publishers, and authors. What does this set of mobile analytics data tell us about users and their behavior?
Clickbait is certainly nothing new, very much akin to methods used in supermarket tabloids, but what surprised me most is many people believed the fake news and gave credence to outrageous posts that came across their news feed and memes displayed on their phones via social media.
Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) in Columbus, Ohio, is fulfilling a common library goal, to provide more access to library resources, in a less-common way—eliminating daily late fees on library materials. “What it boils down to is that we want to make it easier for more customers to check out more materials and not be deterred by overdue fines,” said Ben Zenitsky, marketing and communications specialist at CML.
The five previous posts in this series have all been mostly concerned with physical spaces. Now let’s take a quick look at basic service design.
For the last eight years, Colbert Nembhard has volunteered his time reading to homeless children at the Crotona Inn homeless shelter in the Bronx. He believes in early literacy intervention and strives to cultivate a love of reading in children while they are young. When Nembhard is not providing programming at the Crotona Inn homeless shelter, he manages the Morrisania Branch Library of the New York Public Library. Andrew Hart interviewed Nembhard via email on December 8, 2016.
How do you store 2.5 million research materials while keeping them accessible? The New York Public Library’s answer is the recently opened Milstein Research Stacks, a two-level 55,600-square-foot underground storage space and a 950-foot railroad with 24 train cars that can cover 75 feet per minute.
A recent episode of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn Show discussed the relevancy of public libraries in today’s world. Through interviews with Wisconsin Library Directors Paula Kiley and Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Dunn examined how libraries are being used by their communities and how this has changed over time.
If I were a better librarian, I think I’d be more like my dog, Chief. Let me qualify that. It’s not that I wish I were obsessed with rabbits or think wistfully of having a tail to wag, but he does have characteristics that could benefit me if I emulated them.
In an earlier post, we talked about the challenges that can come with having volunteers in the library. The benefits of having volunteers, however, can be far greater than the obvious labor they provide. Sometimes having a volunteer program in a library is about much more than getting tangible aid.
In the latest episode of PLA’s FYI Podcast, we talk with Erin Hoopes. Erin is head of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Philadelphia City Institute Branch. Here we discuss an initiative she spearheaded at the Free Library, a Teen Social Justice Symposium.
We have been inundated by articles about the future of the library, yet little has been said about the future of librarians; those bastions of information and troughs of information and experience people rely on. Like the oft quoted proverb from Africa “When a knowledgeable old person dies, a whole library disappears,” librarians are surely as much the library as the brick and mortar buildings they work in.
What is the purpose of a book? Is it to please the reader? To educate the reader? Challenge? The best books do all three, especially educate and challenge us as readers.
Increasingly, libraries are offering programs specifically targeted to the homeless that provide opportunities to talk with library staff, social workers, job counselors, and other social service specialists. Customers who spend the better part of each day with us include a growing number of the homeless, those experiencing mental illness and or substance abuse issues, or those who need help following a variety of personal or family traumas. Many arrive at opening time and spend most of the day reading, using the computers or the WiFi, or simply enjoying a safe place away from the elements.
Books about Islam and any other religion belong in public libraries.