Congrats to Anythink Libraries, One of Five Winners of IMLS Honors

Rangeview, CO Anythink library system, which The Times profiled as part of its "Future of Reading" series is one of five U.S. libraries to win the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for libraries. Here's the story from the LA Times.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which awards the medal each year, praised the winners for "serving their communities with innovative and creative new approaches to lifelong learning."

Rangeview appeared in a Times story last Friday that detailed its maverick attitude toward many traditional features of libraries: The district got rid of the Dewey Decimal System, overdue-book fines and reference desks and put in game rooms, big-screen TVs and cafes.

"It's a departure from books," Pam Sandlian-Smith, Anythink's director, said this past summer. "Our emphasis is on creative activity between people and information -- we connect people with ideas."

A few years ago, Rangeview had the worst-funded urban library system in Colorado. Its drab branches were poorly lighted, crumbling and crammed with obsolete books. Less than 10% of the community's population had library cards. If not for a last-minute measure to raise ­property taxes, its libraries were in danger of being shut down.

All of this year's winners are listed on the IMLS 2010 Medals webpages


this just confirms that libraries are dead. people may like the word "library" (not sure why), but they really want buildings with movies, coffee and video games.

"the library. no books. we promise."

Bye-bye library...hello recreation and parks. The "library" concedes it has nothing unique to offer so should just merge with or become Recs and Parks and be done with it. In the meantime, quit talking about "connecting people with ideas".

I used to work for this library district. I believe I quit just in time. (I left for another district for many reasons, but the direction Rangeview was headed was definitely one of them.) It's so unfortunate that "Anythink" has dumbed themselves down so much. Rangeview used to be a regular library district, and it was fantastic when the mill levy was passed in 2006. But it's so sad that the funding has been used to create this monstrosity.

You're an entertainment director. Quit calling Anythink a library. I guess with Kindles, iPads, Nooks, and other reading devices you have desperately dumbed down to an entertainment center. Bye-bye libraries and librarians. Librarians are their own worst enemy by trying to appeal only to the pleasure zone of the public's brain.

>Rangeview appeared in a Times story last Friday that detailed its maverick attitude toward many traditional features of libraries

Sarah Palin is a maverick. Enough said on mavericks.

You might be surprised to know that circulation at Anythink Libraries has increased steadily over the past three years (during our evolution). This year it is expected to be 50% higher than last year and this is with one branch closed most of the year and two others closed for over 1/2 of the year (during their remodels and renovations). These items do include DVD's but the majority of our circulation is books, books, and more books. Some of these books are on CD and some are downloadable, but they are books. Our patrons love to read and our selection of materials meet their needs. They tell us that they appreciate the way they are displayed so they can find them.

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