Cable and Internet service provider Cox Communications has teamed up with the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, and three pilot libraries to launch a new digital literacy website and more.
Teachers and those who study learning have long known that curiosity is important to the learning process and better outcomes. But what causes it, how to encourage it, and even how to define it have proved the concept more complicated than it first appears. Now, recent studies suggest that the desire to know more may be quantifiable, which could provide librarians and other educators with new tools for leveraging curiosity to improve how people process and relate to information.
These days, collecting deep public input before the design phase of a new construction or renovation of a library is de rigueur, with methods ranging from focus groups to community outreach to social media. But a few libraries are taking it to the next level, not just finding out what patrons need or value and filtering that through the lens of librarian and architect expertise but also letting users directly drive design decisions in collaboration with the professionals.
With a slew of superheroes getting the big screen treatment in recent years, comic books are gaining even more cachet as a cultural touchstone. Big-budget blockbusters and critically acclaimed TV spin-offs have helped to spawn a new generation of comic book fans and reignited the spark in former readers, while alternative titles bring in fans who aren’t the superhero type (see “Picture the Possibilities,” LJ 6/15/16, p. 30ff.). Meanwhile, sf has long since gained mainstream acceptance without losing its ability to stir deep devotion (witness the plethora of Doctor Who merchandise), and anime and manga are reaching ever-larger portions of the American populace, particularly among teens and new adults. Board and card games, too, are seeing a dramatic resurgence in popularity alongside their high-tech counterparts, and once under-the-radar fanfiction and fan art are now far more widely known and accepted.
The seven foot tall stacks at Cornell University’s newest library are kept cool and dry, perfect for cardigan wearing. But that’s where the sense of familiarity might end for many LJ readers, as the space contains no books, and offers no borrowing privileges. The brainchild of Susan Henry and Kathryn Boor, the former and current deans of the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS), Cornell’s wine library was part of a $105 million renovation of the campus’ Stocking Hall. The new space will store wines used for teaching in the school’s Viticulture and Enology program.
For a primer on managing disruptive patrons, knowing when to get law enforcement involved, and how to form the relationships that make that call easier, we spoke to Steve Albrecht. A retired police officer and security consultant, Albrecht is the author of Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities (ALA Editions). (For more from Albrecht, see Playing It Safe: Author Steve Albrecht Tackles Security Measures for Libraries.)