Whether a library is designing a building or a program, the first premise of designing for impact is figuring out what impact you’re trying to make and how you’re going to assess whether that impact is occurring. One of the most common buzzwords in librarianship today is “outcomes, not outputs.” In other words, measuring not quantitative metrics of what libraries do, such as circulation or visits, but what impact those activities have on the lives of their patrons.
As I got ready to tour the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, last spring, as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting held nearby, the buzz about the newly unveiled building had reached such a level that I expected to find it, however cool, overhyped. It wasn’t. It was exactly the right amount of hyped. “Every corner of the Hunt Library is designed to be memorable and stunning,” the library’s vision claims. Grandiose as that might sound, those corners deliver.
Major publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) filed plans with the SEC to go public, offering shares to the public worth up to $100 million.
University of Iowa outreach librarian Colleen Theisen’s recent social media efforts are proof that outreach can create new connections inside as well as outside the library, leading to new discoveries. On August 2, Theisen started a series of Facebook posts highlighting the largest, smallest, and oldest items in the libraries’ collection. For smallest, on August 5, she posted about a book so small it couldn’t be identified. Theisen’s post caught the attention of the libraries’ conservator Giselle Simón, who informed Theisen that the library had a new microscope. Using this more powerful tool, the library was able to identify the book.
Columbus State Community College’s Delaware, OH, Campus Learning Center starts its information literacy outreach early—really early. The library doesn’t just reach out to new students, or even prospective students. It’s starting with elementary school students, thanks to a campus-wide partnership between the college and the Delaware City School District.
Citing concerns about the privacy of employees and the security of their networks, both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and nonprofit JSTOR have filed motions intervening in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks to obtain Secret Service documents regarding internet activist Aaron Swartz.
Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) will have to cut 22 branches (out of 49), and 251 jobs, as well as reducing hours across the board, the Miami Herald reported on July 15. According to the Herald, the libraries were chosen based on geography and on whether they’re based in county-owned buildings or rented storefronts.
Major distributor Baker & Taylor will offer publisher services to its customers via a new strategic partnership with Bookmasters, the company announced on July 10. The move comes as private equity firm Castle Harlan acquired Bookmasters; that purchase was also announced yesterday. Castle Harlan had previously acquired Baker & Taylor in July 2006 for about $455 million.
Only July 10, the group Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), together with a coalition of scholars, authors, and preservationists, filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the New York Public Library (NYPL) to stop the demolition and removal of the stacks that support the Rose Reading Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, as part of a major redesign and renovation of the central library. The move follows a separate suit to halt the plan which was filed by different plaintiffs a week earlier, both with the New York Supreme Court.
Robust crowds showed for the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, which took place in Chicago June 28-July 2. Total attendance topped more than 26,000, dramatically higher than 2011 and 2012, which both came in at about 20,000. In addition to the greater total attendance, ALA’s recent initiative to condense programming into fewer, closer locations meant more bodies physically on site, garnering grateful shout-outs from several attendees on Twitter. The combination of more attendees and fewer competing venues also led to excellent traffic in the exhibits, several vendors told LJ, and a sense of intensity that attendees welcomed.