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At 11:00AM EDT today, On Point, WBUR's outstanding NPR show, spends an hour asking, How Can Libraries Survive The Digital Age?
The guests are Anthony Marx, president and CEO of the New York Public Library and Eli Neiburger, associate director of information technology and production at Ann Arbor District Library.
The show is also available later in the day as a podcast.
The Digital Public Library of America, intended to provide free open access to materials from libraries, museums, universities and archives across the country, launches at noon ET on Thursday.
UPDATE: The launch was to happen in front of the Boston Public Library. Because of the events in Boston this week the launch is being delayed.
Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, everyone from indie bands to technology developers to non-profit organizations has asked themselves, “Will crowdfunding work for me?” Libraries, which often turn to more civic-minded crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Fundly, are no exception. But the question remains: does it work?
Cassandra Elton got the idea to establish the Antelope Lending Library in a well-traversed mall on the Southeast side of Iowa City while she was working at an after-school program in a local elementary school. Elton found that her students—primarily from low-income and immigrant families—did not have access to the literary culture for which the city is known.
In conclusion, there is a massive market failure going on right now. Magazines have outlived newspapers, based in-part on their affiliation with women. Not only that, but women have brought novels back into the popular consciousness, with young women leading the way.
With some small exceptions, the major new media ventures of the last decade have bypassed women altogether, and it is a regrettable mistake. It’s a big reason why — for all the success of Bleacher Report, Vox Media, Gawker, and HuffingtonPost — nobody seriously talked about IPOs.
How to attract library patrons, build the community and show people that librarians are cool? One of the ways to do this is organising Bicycool Library in your town.
Bicycool Library is a bike ride for book and bike lovers usually organised by librarians. The idea of the event was born in Poland and first edition was organised in May 2010. In 2012 it was organised in almost 100 places in Poland. This year it will be organised between May 1st and June 9th in many places all over the world.
One of main goals of organising the Bicycool Library is to promote reading and riding a bike as a way of spending time. Promoting libraries and fighting against stereotypes about librarians is also very important to organisers. They would like to show people that library is the place where they can find not only books, but many unusual interesting events as well.
The Bicycool Library is also helpful in library advocacy. This action helps libraries to collect community and show that library connects people and give them oportunity to do something together and simply to have fun.
There are many ways library can organise it and make local event attractive. Variety of ideas and inspirations for organisers are avaliable on the project website: bicycoollibrary.org. Local organisers can also register there their local edition. This is the way to let organisers and librarians all over the world know how many local events will be organised. Also everybody will be able to see that a town is taking part in it, because every city, town and village will be marked on a special map showing “bicycool” places.
Soon more useful materials will be released on a Bicycool Library’s website, so make sure to visit the website regularly or simply like the project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bicycool.Library.
If you are interested in organising Bicycool Library in your town, let people know and register your local edition on the website. -- Read More
Celebrate National Library Week - April 14-20, 2013
More info at ALA.org
This week's program brings a telephone interview with author Dan Flynn of FlynnFiles.com who wrote a piece at The American Spectator that was commented upon by The Annoyed Librarian. After that there are a couple examples provided by federal agencies of how not to do public service announcements. There is no news miscellany this week and there is a bit of an explanation as to what went wrong one way or another.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Matériel purchasing needs including subsistence support selections can be found via Amazon.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Q. Why a national digital library endowment?
A. U.S. public libraries now spend roughly $1.3 billion a year on books and other content in all formats, around 12 percent of operating expenditures. The figure in the 2010 fiscal year was $1.42 per capita in Mississippi and nationally just $4.22. As reported by the Economist, library sales are approximately 5 percent of those of U.S. book publishers (no wonder the ALA can get only so far in talks with the big publishing conglomerates).
Q. Why should the endowment focus on e-books and other digital content?
A. Costs and greater ease of sharing resources at a national level--while still compensating publishers fairly. Not to mention other possibilities such as reliable interbook links and extensive annotations. Librarians should curate annotations and other user content. The Amazon buyout of Goodreads is an example of the perils of libraries NOT updating their mission.
E-books can efficiently help libraries honor S. R. Ranganathan’s classic Five Laws of Library Science--such as “Books are for use” and “Every reader his book” (or her book). Even academic libraries at well-off universities have limited resources. As for the typical U.S. public library branch, it carries just 4,350 books, a fraction of Amazon's more than 1.7 million, according to the Economist.
The endowment would at least indirectly free up a bit more money for possible spending on paper books at the local level while still responding to readers’ burgeoning interest in e-books.
Q. How would the plan work? -- Read More
Recently, the Houston-based Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library (previously) traveled to Odessa to debut the bookmobile-for-hire component of its services, and to help the Ector County Library celebrate its 75th anniversary. This blog post details the different stops they made on their two-day trip and provides some analysis on the successes and shortcomings of the venture.