Larra Clark Deputy Director for the Public Library Association and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), talks with Marijke Visser, Associate Director at OITP, about ‘Ready to Code” a new ALA initiative in partnership with Google, that aims to investigate the current nature of coding activities in public and school libraries for youth and broaden the reach and scope of this work.
Simple incremental steps go a long way to effect change. Start with a new voicemail message or venture out from behind the desk to help patrons on the floor. Try something new. If it doesn’t work, try something else. There are no mistakes!
If you have not heard, book-selling giant Amazon currently has book*stores* in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland with plans for more stores near Chicago and Boston. With Amazon also initiating a cashier-free grocery store, many have been speculating both why and what next.
Resources for exploring youth book awards beyond the Newbery and Caldecott.
The unsteady political climate and unsure footing of American foreign policy has led many readers to find solace in books that they feel they can relate to: dystopian novels.
Several have sounded the alarm that information is disappearing. We’ve known for a long time that some of our oldest materials were deteriorating and that we needed to microfilm (now digitize) the items for preservation. What’s happening now is that new information is disappearing from current databases and resources.
In a recent commentary published in the Minnesota Star Tribune, Jacob Woods recalls a visit to the Latimer Central Library in downtown St. Paul, where he had a brief interaction with a man he presumed was homeless. The man had angrily remarked that Woods had “come to the library to read books.” This interaction confused Woods until he realized that, while he was there to pass the time, the man who was homeless viewed the library as a shelter.
A lot of us can recall stories and tales told to us by our grandparents when we were young. Many of us hung on to these oral histories and have retold them plenty of times to our children in the hopes that they, too, will keep the tradition going. But what would happen if these oral histories were lost? Future generations would never know about their family’s history. Such was almost the case for the Navajo Nation.
One of the most devastating things that can happen to a community is for its local library or museum to be permanently closed when they have proven to revitalize struggling communities, act as a commons or safe haven for community members, and act as a resource for individuals of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
In our hyperconnected, networked world, where information flows freely to devices with the tap of a finger, librarians are no longer the gatekeepers of information. Promoting our detective-like information-finding skills is important so people know they can still turn to us when Google can’t cough up a good answer. Here are some innovative ways librarians can shine the light on reference services and continue to be the super info-professionals in their communities:
Throughout presidential history, each of our 44 Presidents have expressed an eclectic list of their own favorites: James Madison’s—John Locke, William McKinley’s—Lord Byron while Warren G. Harding favored The Rules of Poker. Perhaps, no president since Abraham Lincoln has been as shaped by reading and writing as President Barack Obama. As Former President Obama prepared to leave office earlier this month, Michiko Kakutani, book critic for The New York Times, interviewed him about his favorite books and the impact books have had during his life.
With a new political climate in our country, and an economy that still hasn’t fully recovered from the crash in 2008, it’s safe to say that many of you building budgets will hear the phrase “based on a level fund scenario” (or something to that effect) when you are beginning your budget seasons. If you are new to budgeting, it’s important to realize what the folks saying this to you realize already that a “balanced budget” is really a cut.
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.
If you organize a great program at your library, there might be another library where it will also be a hit. Don’t limit yourself to one library!
The Brooklyn Public Library is undergoing a technology upgrade. New York State Assembly members have secured $3 million in state funds to provide a suite of technology in every branch.