Earlier this month, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) released its annual statistics on library use in the U.K. CIPFA found that the number of patrons borrowing books from U.K. libraries has halved since 1997. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who has been following the ongoing financial crisis that’s engulfed those public libraries across the pond. It demonstrates what happens to libraries when they’re not supported by the communities they serve.
Opinion | From Vicious to Virtuous: The collapse of U.K. libraries and unbreaking the cycle of library support
When one of the bookmobiles at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL), WA, wore out, spending a quarter of a million dollars to buy a new one was not an option. Yet patrons in remote, rural locations in Clark County still needed library service. The innovative solution was the Yacolt Library Express (YLE): a building that is open to the public nearly 70 hours a week, yet staff only spend about ten hours there during the same period.
The Charleston Conference felt bigger than ever this year, with multiple attendees in the halls and elevators commenting on the profusion of programs at multiple venues, the standing room only grounds for popular breakout sessions, and the fact that they could no longer count on seeing everyone they know among the other attendees in the course of the conference. It is equally impossible to see even a fraction of the many compelling programs presented during the event; below is only our impression from the handful we could personally attend.
Last week the board of the Chattanooga Public Library (TN) responded to a city audit released in late August, which criticized Library Director and LJ librarian of the year Corinne Hill and top staffers for receiving excess travel reimbursements (since repaid), and stated that two employees have been reported to the state for suspected fraud for taking paid speaking and consultant jobs on library time.
Lisa Peet has taken over as Library Journal’s Associate News Editor, effective September 2. A graduate of Pratt Institute’s Masters in Library and Information Science program, Peet previously served as editor and researcher at the Darwin Manuscripts Project at the American Museum of Natural History.
Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (Aug., Dutton) and the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal, where he also holds appointments in the Program in Behavioural Neuroscience, The School of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Education, will be one of the keynote speakers at Library Journal’s virtual event, The Digital Shift: Libraries @ the Center, which will be held on October 1. In preparation for the conference, Levitin shares with LJ his thoughts on how his work can help librarians themselves, and their patrons, find the needle they need in today’s ever-growing information haystack.
Wayfinding in libraries is too often an afterthought. But not in Vancouver, WA, where the newly constructed Vancouver Community Library (VCL) had signage planned into the design. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District hired the Miller Hull Partnership architects as well as wayfinding specialists Mayer/Reed and AldrichPears for “interpretive installation.” The result is an intuitive setup that gives patrons the broad brushstrokes at a glance, while being future-proof enough to accommodate shifts in the collection in the years to come.
The West Jordan Library, UT, is the new central headquarters for the Salt Lake County Library (SLCL) system. You might think a building of more than 70,000 square feet would not have to worry about efficient ways to make space do double, or even triple, duty. But when it houses 20,000 square feet of administration, management support, and information technology and another 20,000 square feet of library proper including room for 150,000 titles, it makes sense that the 7,100 square foot community room is designed to serve multiple functions.
At Lead the Change workshops, local library leaders help facilitate the presentation, adding their own perspectives on the concepts presented by program developer David Bendekovic. But they don’t usually bring their own visual aids. The Southern California workshop, held on May 15 at the Pasadena Public Library (PPL), was an exception. PPL director Jan Sanders brought a giant foamcore version of one of Bendekovic’s slides, on which she’d asked library staff members to plot where they felt their library stood.