Activities In Libraries

Letters to the Editor; Responses To Potential Changes to the NYPL

New York Times: A Reimagined Library, Are the Changes Good? in response to previous NYTimes articles.

To the Editor:

Like innumerable writers and researchers over the years, I have experienced the joy (many times) of entering the New York Public Library with a near-hopeless citation in hand only to find the very material I was looking for in just minutes. It is a euphoric moment to which many writers can attest, and it has enriched the quality and content of books beyond counting.

That which gets put off to tomorrow rarely gets done, yet the library administration, under its new plan, would move a huge chunk of its research collection off site, ostensibly available some other day, when a researcher makes a request. The splendor of the library is not only the vastness of its collection but also the immediacy of it.

If there remain any wonders of the world, the New York Public Library is one of them. Please don’t change it.

MITCH HOROWITZ
New York, April 16, 2012

The writer is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin.

To the Editor:

There’s a comfort level in keeping the status quo, yet the 21st century offers us so many new ways of doing research. Without looking at possibilities for the future, we deny ourselves those opportunities. -- Read More

Cafes, Food Service in Libraries: Take the Survey

From PUBLIB:

Primary Research Group (www.PrimaryResearch.com), publisher of research reports and surveys about libraries and the information industry, is conducting a survey of library cafes and other library food service practices of public, academic, special and other libraries.

Survey participants receive a free PDF copy of the report generated from the survey data. Participant institutions are listed but data is confidential. To take the survey follow this link .

Unsupervised Kids @ Your Library

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Parents are using their local library as a way to keep children occupied during spring break. However, many parents are dropping their kids off and leaving them unsupervised for the day.

The Allen County Public Library said Tuesday it has seen nearly three to four times more kids this week, and one staff member admitted some parents do leave their children unsupervised.

"We know that sometimes it does happen," Mary Voors, the children's services manager at the ACPL Main Branch, said. "We know kids beg to come to the library, and it depends on the maturity of the kid, and the guidelines of the parents of the child."

Voors said some parents will tell a librarian the child will be at the library alone, but the librarian will ask the parent if that is a good decision.

"We ask them, would you feel comfortable having them at the mall by themselves," Voors said. "If they're comfortable with the child being at the mall, or at Jefferson Pointe, by themselves, then they are probably ready to be at the library by themselves."

What is YOUR policy on the subject?

Pinterest for Libraries

The only way you’ve not heard about Pinterest yet is if you have been totally living under a rock. Allow me to enlighten you. Pinterest is a social photo sharing website, styled like a pin-board, that lets you create and manage theme based photo collection. Not only has it become a rage with home users, it is also being used by businesses and non profits to gather visibility and let people know about them.

Interestingly, libraries too are jumping on to the Pinterest band wagon as well, to encourage visitors to use their services as well to facilitate the library experience of existing users. Here are 20 creative ways libraries around the world are using this new social platform to communicate with the common reader; twenty categories are suggested.

1. Pinning book covers
2. Reading lists
3. Attracting children and teenagers
4. Displaying archives
5. Letting people know about new acquisitions
6. Helping out in research
7. Showing off your library
8. Sharing infographics related to learning
9. Promoting library activities
10. Sharing digital collection
11. Managing reading programs
12. Sharing ideas with parents
13. Bringing focus on library staff
14. Getting new ideas for library displays
15. Collecting ideas for programs
16. Drawing attention to the local community
17. Sharing craft projects
18. Connecting to other libraries
19. Encouraging book clubs
20. Interacting with patrons -- Read More

Interested in an Internship at Library of Congress This Summer?

Here's an opportunity for talented college-age students headed for the field of LIS:

This summer the Library of Congress once again is offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2011 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from May 29 through Aug. 3, 2012, with Library specialists and curators to inventory, describe and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital-preservation outreach activities throughout the Library.

In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Applications will be accepted online only at usajobs.gov , keyword: 308129000, from Friday, Jan. 27 through midnight, Monday, Feb. 27. For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/. Questions about the program may be sent to interns2012@loc.gov.

The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. [ed. note: not positive about transgendered individuals, see previous story on LISNews.] -- Read More

Have a Local History Special Collection? Invite Patrons in for a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Here's a neat-and-easy programming idea to get local history buffs into the library and promote your special collections: invite folks in for a day of intensive Wikipedia-editing on local history entries. (Spotted on Hennepin County Library's Tumblr; Minneapolis Central Library will be holding an edit-a-thon in early 2012)

Libraries Learn to Raise Revenues

PALM COAST, Florida -- These days it seems everybody's trying to make a buck, including public libraries.

And library officials are coming up with some creative ways to do just that, such as handling passport applications and adding merchandise sales and cafes. Long-range plans at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast call for creating an inviting atmosphere for patrons, with a coffee shop serving as the centerpiece. Officials also hope leasing floor space to a vendor will provide a little extra cash for the library.

"We want people to be relaxed and feeling good," said library director Holly Albanese. "People like to have a cup of coffee when they sit and read the newspaper or the first chapter of a book. We want them to be able to do that here."

Incorporating a casual café into the traditional public library mission of lending books, providing meeting rooms and offering classes to the public is part of a national trend, according to a study by the Primary Research Group, a private marketing company.

"Even the places that don't currently have one (a café) are looking to do it in the future," said Marcia Warner, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. "We're kind of johnnys-come-lately. Museums have been doing this for a lot of years."

More ideas for selling your library at the Lib Success Wiki.

Bad Library Board Members

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague (who is, coincidentally, my manager as well) the other day. We were discussing the differences in how the generations view “need vs. want” and how “going without” now is a rather different concept compared to what it was a few decades ago. If you really compare the idea of “going without” to how people lived during the Depression Era, you will see a stark contrast in views about material goods vs. what we need to sustain ourselves on a day – to – day basis. She had commented to me that her mother, who grew up during the Depression, once lived in a home with twelve other people (family and renters) in order to scrape enough money together so everyone could eat. Imagine doing that now, she said…most people can’t.

Full posting at Closed Stacks: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3352

A Pyschologically Healthy Library

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library recently received the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award from the Ohio Psychological Association. Leslie Hartley, adult services manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library. Kudos!

The application process for this award was part of the library’s ongoing wellness initiative, spearheaded by Hartley.

“The evaluation team was impressed by the library staff’s quick recovery and teamwork following the widespread economic meltdown of 2009, and their success in rebuilding their work teams and service model,” said Hartley.

The library’s award-winning wellness initiative, also recognized by Ohio, includes a demonstration garden, nutrition and exercise information, participation in charity events such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon and several 5K runs, and inclusion of the broader community in the library’s wellness activities.

The library’s wellness program is being nominated for a national Psychologically Healthy Workplace award as well.

Story from Chillicothe Gazette.

Beyoncé @ Your Library

The gorgeous and talented Beyoncé Knowles was at the University of Houston MD Anderson Library to honor her equally gorgeous mother Tina who was receiving acknowledgment for her work as a businesswoman and philanthropist (lots of pix & videos).

More from The Chronicle too (but fewer pix).

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