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.

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Public to Private and back again?

I read this first through Ian Anstice’s excellent Public Library News and felt the need to spread the news further.

The Commercial Appeal News  in Tennessee has reported that library officials in Millington want to cut ties with their private operator LSSI  and create a library services department in the city again.

They say the move will save the city money, improve customer service and provide more book options for residents. “LSSI is making it very hard for the Millington Public Library to be the Millington Public Library,” Hartley, chair of the Millington Library Board said.

Hartley recommended that the board end its contract with LSSI this month, in time to give the company the required 180 days notice. Standing next to her in support Monday night was Brian Miller, director of the Millington Public Library and LSSI employee. Miller said LSSI has repeatedly denied the Millington library’s requests for specific books because they weren’t on the company’s approved list. And he said, the contractor has made it difficult to get electronic books and requires the library to purchase equipment from specific companies, even if it’s cheaper somewhere else.

 

Embodying the public library ethos in Craigmillar Library

Library services are based on a number of underpinning principles, which have driven public library development and shaped the trusted role they play in society.  Our ethos is rooted in education for workers, equality of access to resources and information and the right to participate in democratic society.

We are also about sharing and sustainability, sharing content and spaces. Embodying all of this is  Craigmillar’s brand new library which opened its doors to the public  on Monday 26 November.

The fabulous, purpose-built library replaces the old and unfit building that was no longer fit for purpose. The new community space supports the ongoing regeneration of Craigmillar and is a key focal point of the new town centre.

Bustling with customers, families and children it is a wonderful addition to the community of Craigmillar

Call for Award entries for EDGE2013

Call for Award entries for EDGE2013 – Pushing the boundaries of public service delivery

Is your project good enough?

Edinburgh 28th February – 1st March 2013

EDGE 2013 highlights and rewards good practice in innovative library and information projects which:

  • Show or sell benefits of library and information services to other sectors, organisations and communities
  • Demonstrate innovation and creativity
  • Increase participation

The purpose of the awards is to recognise positive achievements and promote outstanding library based initiatives which celebrate the value of libraries.
We don’t want the process to be cumbersome so we are asking for some brief details which will be followed up with a phone interview.
We are looking for cutting-edge innovative projects around developments in the following categories;

There will be 3 awards for innovation (The winners for each category will receive the EDGE 2012 trophy, no financial reward) which will follow the format of the conference
1. Physical  – buildings, layout, targeted spaces.
2. Virtual – Websites, apps, virtual library, digitisation
3. Social – Work involving communities or target groups, engagement or making a difference
CLOSING DATE – 31st January 2013
The awards are open to global applications – Finalists will be offered 1 free place at the 2 day conference & Gala Dinner.

 

Publishers and librarians – to partnership!

Stronger together!
We share many of the same audiences from adults children, readers, book lovers researchers students so why any divide ?
As book shops and libraries across the country close, libraries are more than ever ideally placed to showcase a wide range of publishers’ output, to encourage, engage, support and enhance reading through reader development activities, opening new avenues of reading to library users.
E-lending is one of the bigest issues facing public libraries and will be essential if public libraries are to continue to be an integral part of a networked society.
Tomorrow we will explore some of these issues at the Publishing Scotland Open Book Event in Edinburgh.
The only way forward is partnership.

Place and platform

I spoke at Internet Librarian International 2012 earlier this week and listened to many interesting speakers.

The conceDavid Weinbergerpt that intrigued me most was the  library as a “platform”.  At the same time the library as a “place” is a powerful one more so coupled with this concept of a platform

Interesting possibilities open up if we think of    libraries as platforms and this simplified for me when I came across  David Weinberger

David described a library platform as about “developing knowledge and community, not primarily for developing software. Still, like an open software platform, it would:

  • Be open to all
  • Give access to every scrap of information it has, including its digital content, but also metadata about that content, its usage, and the social interactions around it
  • Enable new products and services to be built by anyone with an idea
  • Integrate everything the library knows into the entire Net ecosystem”

I love David Weinberger “Conceiving of the library as a platform not only opens a range of new services and provides for a continuous increase in the library’s value, it also does something libraries urgently need to do: it changes the criteria of success.”

Public libraries – the not so secret weapons!

Jefferson County but relevant to us allsecret weapon!

In a 2010 survey of county residents , 71 percent of respondents agreed that libraries “contribute to economic development by offering assistance with employment searches and applications, job skills, training, career support and research/planning resources for business owners.”

A study commissioned by the Urban Libraries Council notes that the role of public libraries has shifted “from passive, recreational reading and research institutions to active economic development agents.” Libraries are “a dynamic
part of the community’s learning infrastructure which supports economic development.”
Another urban myth suggests that the Internet is making libraries obsolete. In fact, the Internet is driving significant growth as more and more people turn to libraries to access and utilize digital information.

Great quote

“Public libraries are positioned to fuel not only new, but next economies because of their roles in building technology skills, entrepreneurial activity, and vibrant, livable places. The combination of stronger roles in economic development strategies and their prevalence make public libraries stable and powerful tools for cities seeking to build strong and resilient economies.”

Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development

Girls’ Night In !

Shari Low

The lovely Shari Low

Our fabulous girls’ night in!  Central Library was transformed into fabulous fun, author, fashion and make up venue.

Check us out on youtube Girls Night In

What a great event with author Shari Low  author of Friday Night With The Girls

See it on film Shari Low at Central Library

Check out or other ideas too Books for a great girls night in !

Libraries – driving a digital future for Scotland

The Scottish Government published its Digital Public Services FrDigital future wordleamework  on the 19th of September. The document sets out the vision and helps shape how the Scottish Government will move forward with their priority of public service reform over the coming years.

It puts the needs of users at the heart of services.  We know online services mean that we can access information when we require it, pay a bill or even arrange social care in a simple and quick way. The strategy outlines how different organisations can join up across all sectors to deliver services in a more responsive way.

So where is our library and information leadership? This is our opportunity to put forward a business case for libraries now and  in the future Who is going to keep people skilled up? Who will people trust to access much of this?

I believe the future of libraries is in driving and  underpinning this strategy and making it a reality for real people.

Join us at Libraries driving a digital future at the VOCAL conference

No modesty please!

Surprise surprise ! reading for pleasure continues to be the most popular cultural activity in Scotland, attracting 63 per cent of the adult population in 2011 The Scottish Household Survey .

Image courtesy of Turning Point

Statistics in the Scottish Household Survey show the percentage of adults in Scotland visiting libraries – including online – increased in 2011 compared to the previous 12 months. Libraries were also the most frequently attended type of cultural venue, with six in ten attendees visiting once a month or more.

Our trusted libraries remain one of the free universal services for communities where the population can visit as individuals or groups to pursue reading for pleasure, learning or hobbies. They also support the business community, individual and community information needs and are inclusive of all age and social groups, nationalities, genders and religious beliefs.

Surely our mission should we choose to accept it?  is to assist individuals and communities that are having hard times? We know we can and do help people get back on their feet and provide them with the means and the knowledge that they need to write new CVs, lerarn digital skills, get new jobs, or start new businesses?

Stop saying save our libraries start shouting about impact !