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The library of the 21st century still has books, but it also has 3-D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, and spaces for conducting business meetings. It offers computer coding classes. It has advanced video- and audio-production software. All things that might and individual may find too expensive but can still benefit from using.
Rosie, a Long Island cat that went missing after stowing away on a fish truck nearly eight months ago, resurfaced this week, after a brief residency in the basement of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Rosie’s owner, Stephanie Villani, said the curious cat sneaked aboard her husband’s fish truck last Memorial Day weekend, hitching a ride to the farmer’s market at Grand Army Plaza where the couple has been selling fish for more than 20 years. When Villani’s husband opened the doors of the truck, Rosie surprised him by leaping out and sprinting into nearby Prospect Park.
“Thirty years ago people primarily came in and checked books out and left,” she said. “Now we have a whole lot of people coming in who want a comfy chair and a place to do their reading.” Patrons today, she said, look at the physical library more like a “third place” outside of home or office, where they can do work, ask for assistance, use wi-fi or computers: “It’s the Starbucks effect.”
Health Canada scientists are so concerned about losing access to their research library that they're finding work-arounds, with one squirrelling away journals and books in his basement for colleagues to consult, says a report obtained by CBC News.
The draft report from a consultant hired by the department warned it not to close its library, but the report was rejected as flawed and the advice went unheeded.
An interesting facebook post by New York State Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner about the NYPL:
I am profoundly disturbed that the leadership of the New York Public Library (NYPL) is using misleading and deceptive language in an attempt to trick New Yorkers into supporting its controversial Central Library Plan for the main 42nd Street Branch.
While purporting to expand public access to the 42nd Street Library, the Central Library Plan is instead a half-baked real estate deal that will result in the selling off of the largest and most used lending library in New York City, the Mid-Manhattan branch at East 40th Street, and the gutting of the fabled stacks at the NYPL’s Main Branch, which house the world-class collections of books and research materials that make the world's leading free research library truly unique. Millions of volumes currently available on-site in the stacks will be warehoused in New Jersey, lessening public access to a public resource unparalleled anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.
By issuing a mass appeal yesterday urging New Yorkers to ‘Support … the daily work of NYPL's network of 88 branches (and) a renovated central branch library that provides longer hours, additional public space, and more resources for children, teens, teachers, and job seekers,” the NYPL is claiming that selling off its largest circulating branch and eviscerating the Main Library’s fabled stacks, at an estimated cost to City taxpayers of $150 million, is improving the NYPL for everyday New Yorkers, when the exact opposite is the case. This is truly an example of Orwellian double-speak. The NYPL’s leadership must harbor serious doubts about the merits and practicality of its Central Library plan to employ such a willfully deceptive appeal. -- Read More
Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future
Even the librarians imitate Apple's dress code, wearing matching shirts and that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie. But this $2.3 million library might be most notable for what it does not have — any actual books.
That makes Bexar County's BiblioTech the nation's only bookless public library, a distinction that has attracted scores of digital bookworms, plus emissaries from as far away as Hong Kong who want to learn about the idea and possibly take it home.
While many are quick to point to technology and a shifting digital age as the end of books and libraries, more than ever, public libraries are becoming a vital hub of civic engagement for communities as societies grapple with a number of social challenges and public policy solutions.
That was the essence of remarks by Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, during a convening of USC’s Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy’s “Conversations on Philanthropy” series at the California Club.
- See more at: http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/58045/could-this-be-the-golden-age-of-public-libraries/
Ohio’s libraries creating ‘Digitization Hubs’ to preserve historical materials
The Columbus Metropolitan Library has landed $188,219 in federal and state grants to buy equipment for a statewide effort creating a network of “Digitization Hubs” to preserve historical materials.