Public Libraries

Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing

The El Pueblo library evolved from a partnership that includes Reading Advantage, a Brentwood-based nonprofit, the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, the county library and its Pittsburg branch, and the Grace Worship Center.

"They love being able to go home with books," said Terris Allen, a volunteer with Grace Worship Center, which also runs after-school and tutoring programs at the learning center that opened in June. "They can start their own personal library. This is something they can keep with them, and pass it down to a little brother or sister as they grow older so there is always a book in the house."

From Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing - ContraCostaTimes.com

Sacramento's Library of Things

From today's New York Times:

(as we know quite well...) Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls etc.

How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library convinced 13,000 people to come back

After a year, you go to “inactive” status and begin getting emails saying the library misses you. These alone have brought back 13,000 people so far, Anderson said. Interestingly enough, the library’s found that the No. 1 thing inactive users do first is to actually go into a branch and check out a book.

More granular demographic clusters include “dependables,” or heavy users, “rising stars,” or children who check out books regularly, “audiophiles,” who use audiobooks, or “bedtime stories,” or people checking out a lot of fiction/nonfiction books.

The data project coincides with a special advertising campaign the library is introducing this fall. Beginning this month, the library will have billboards on I-77, I-85 and Independence Boulevard, each for eight weeks at a time.

From How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library convinced 13,000 people to come back - Charlotte Agenda

Where Have All the Libraries Gone?

The data shows that libraries are needed, and in fact usage has steadily increased, yet funding remains stagnant. Rather than implementing short-term gaps in service by leasing space to nonprofits, the city should be finding ways to fund fully-functioning libraries that offer an array of free services for all members of their communities.

From Where Have All the Libraries Gone? | Nonprofit Quarterly

The public library in an Internet age: a series from Michigan Radio

“That is is a sign of great optimism for the future of not just libraries but for the future of curious communities, which is really what libraries are designed to serve.”

From The public library in an Internet age: a series from Michigan Radio | Michigan Radio

Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers

The library's renovation is as exquisite as its history is turbulent. The building sits in the heart of the provincial capital that was wracked not so long ago by battles and bullets.

A three-decade civil war pitted Sri Lankan forces against rebels fighting a brutal campaign for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils. The rebels, known as Tamil Tigers, were crushed in 2009, in the closing months of the fighting.

From Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers : Parallels : NPR

Redlands California Library as Center of Civic Revival

The public library in Redlands, California is much more than a steward of books and information. It is an exemplar of the history of the town and a living legend of its spirit of generosity, a hallmark of Redlands since its first days.

From Redlands California Library as Center of Civic Revival - The Atlantic

Outrage as city with new £188m library ask readers for help buying books

A council which spent £188million on a state-of-the-art new library has been criticised by readers and authors after it ran out of money and asked the public to donate books.
Libraries in Birmingham have posted notices requesting members donate their new and recently-released books, saying they would be “gratefully received”

From Outrage as city with new £188m library ask readers for help buying books - Telegraph

Libraries need a deeper online presence

Librarians understand the context in which books make sense, how they go together, what are the canonical readings, and what are the dissenting works worth reading. Library information systems may not know as much about users’ behavior as Amazon does, but even highly anonymized usage records can say a lot about what a community values: which works people are reading, which ones they like or think are important, and even the relations they see among the works. In essence, the library can hold a mirror up to the community, allowing it to get a clearer and stronger sense of itself.

From Libraries need a deeper online presence - Opinion - The Boston Globe

The Public Library Lives and Is Loved

Via Alternet:

Indisputable fact--Americans love their public libraries. Evidence to support this statement abounds. A 2013 report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project noted that in the previous decade “every other major institution (government, churches, banks, corporations) has fallen in public esteem except libraries, the military, and first responders.”

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