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Check out this cool film project Free To All:
Inside the Public Library is a multi-platform documentary project that brings together library stories from all across America. Whether historic or contemporary, humorous or heartbreaking, these individual dramas shed light on how public libraries have shaped our society. The project's centerpiece is a feature-length film chronicling a year inside San Francisco Public, a very unquiet library. Shorter films bring alive other extraordinary chapters of the public library story - from the puritans and robber barons who launched it, through the immigrants, suffragettes and civil rights activists who transformed it, to the millions of Americans whose lives are changed at the public library today.
The new library — 11 percent larger than its flooded predecessor but seemingly much bigger, with a roof garden plaza, three walk-and-read treadmills, three fireplaces and a cafe with drive-up window — still will have plenty of printed books even as the rush from print books to electronic books is moving nearly as fast as workers can put on the finishing touches so the new library can open in August.
And no, the e-book revolution doesn’t mean that the city’s new library will be a modern-day dinosaur, an anachronistic testament to tunnel vision in a relentless world of change, assures Bob Pasicznyuk, the Cedar Rapids library’s director.
Walk-and-read treadmills, love it!!
Front page of the NY Times today (below the fold) and home page of the NY Times website features a story by the architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, suggesting that the New York Public Library's plan to remove the stacks from the central building and design a massive new circulating library in that space is a plan that doesn't make sense. Rather than focus on criticisms of how the move to greater off-site storage will hamper researchers or to snotty complaints from researchers that the hoi polloi will sully their temple, Kimmelman looks at the budget and doubts that it can be kept from ballooning.
San Francisco Animal Care & Control has been relying on public contributions and occasional Chronicle donations of old newspapers to line animal cages and catch waste from puppies who don't know how to take their business outside yet. But Thursday, an animal control van parked at the San Francisco Public Library was loaded with two 32-gallon recycling bins full of old newspapers from the library as part of a new program to ensure that the shelter has a consistent stream of paper.
"This most likely will take care of 100 percent of our newspaper needs," said animal care supervisor Eric Zuercher.
Results of a recent Pew Research Study are reported in Publishers Weekly.
The singular most important finding in the latest Pew study, Library Services in the Digital Age, is that libraries—in the opinion of most Americans—aren’t just about books. 80% of U.S. residents say that lending books is a “very important” service, but they rate the help they get from reference librarians as equally important. And nearly the same number, 77%, reported that free access to technology and the Internet is also very important. This triumvirate—books, help, and technology—runs through the entire report.
Could the library brand—historically bound to book borrowing—be undergoing a transformation? In the last major study of users, OCLC’s Perception of Libraries, 2010, patrons were asked to associate the first thing that came to mind when they thought of libraries. And for 75% of the respondents, the answer was books. While Pew didn’t play the same association game, it seems that Pew’s users have a more nuanced take on the library’s role.
The Pew study is based on landline and cell phone interviews conducted in English and Spanish, with a nationally representative sample of 2,252 people ages 16 and older. It could be that the study tapped into a younger demographic who make greater use of library technology. Or perhaps the recession, which has forced millions to rediscover libraries, was a catalyst for users to take fuller advantage of what the library offers.
Copy of the results of this latest study here. According to the authors "Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place."
"I don't personally use the library. I kind of have the feeling that libraries are going the route of the video rental stores but I'm probably... wrong about that," said Coun. Ian Paton. "With the access to information now, with everyone having computers in their home, why do we spend so much money? Do the people out there even know we spent $2.3 million a year of our money to run our libraries in Delta and just how many people use libraries any more?"
The public library has the real ability to add real value and to be a real community hub in social network community world. But does it understand this, or as in the UK, is it obsessed with its statutory obligations and keeping everything ‘as is’ at all costs? Are the ‘Shhh, no noise’ signs actually hiding a sleeping environment that is simply not listening to the market and its customers?
We are witnessing harsh funding cuts, a worrying migration to voluntary services, the wholesale dumping of every customer facing civic service into the library’s ‘underused space’ and a general lack of leadership and digital direction within the public library community.
The News-Herald reports librarians claiming increased activity at their agencies in Ohio's Lake and Geauga counties due to ebooks and ereaders as well as other technologies.