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State of America’s Libraries 2013

Maybe these libraries are on another continent but we all still share the same problems and values.

This report The State of America’s Libraries 2013 confirms that libraries continue to play a transformative role in their communities  even after an economic recession that has left about 12 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed.

Over 16,000 public libraries nationwide “offer a lifeline to people trying to adapt to challenging economic circumstances by providing technology training and online resources for employment, access to government resources, continuing education, retooling for new careers, and starting a small business,” Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, said in an open letter published July 10, 2012.

“More than ever, libraries are community hubs, and it is the librarian who works to maintain a safe harbor for teens, a point of contact for the elderly, and a place to nurture lifelong learning for all.”


I am really chuffed to be speaking at International Federation of Library Associations  World Library and Information Congress in Singapore in August 2013.

IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.

IFLA was in fact Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 30 September 1927 at an international conference.

For 2010-2015, the IFLA Governing Board has set out four Strategic Directions:

  • Empowering libraries to enable their user communities to have equitable access to information;
  • Building the strategic capacity of IFLA and that of its members;
  • Transforming the profile and standing of the profession;
  • Representing the interests of IFLA’s members and their users throughout the world.

1927 was a long time ago and libraries here have changed hugely I hope we can host a congress again at some point over the next few years

World Library and Information Congress – Singapore

The 2012 State of America's libraries

The state of America’s libraries

The 2012 state of America’s libraries is well worth a read.

Despite the challenges they faced in 2011 what becomes clear through the report is  that amid the shifting winds of an economic storm, libraries continue to transform lives, adapting to and adopting new and emerging technologies, and experimenting with innovative and transformational ideas to provide services that empower their cuustomers.

The public libraries in many major U.S. cities continue to see circulation rise, with Seattle leading the way with a whopping 50% increase in the past six years.

The use of social media by libraries of all types increased dramatically, and the American Library Association (ALA)  continues to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasing global digital information environment.