November 24, 2017

CT Library Supporters Worry as Doomsday Spending Plan Hangs Overhead

Being able to easily get their hands on materials needed for job hunting, financial or legal research, or college applications, whether or not their local branch has them, saves library patrons in Connecticut money and time. In many cases, it may be their only option.

LYRASIS Names Recipients of Leadership Circle Catalyst Fund

LYRASIS last month named the first recipients of its $100,000 LYRASIS Leadership Circle’s Catalyst Fund, which was created to support new ideas and projects by LYRASIS members.

OITP’s Report from the Swamp | ALA Annual 2017

Looking beyond the headlines to examine public policy issues that affect the American Library Association (ALA), panelists at the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) session “Report from the Swamp: Policy Developments from Washington” discussed the need for ongoing vigilance—and also promising avenues for advocacy.

Montana State Library To See Cuts in Budget, Staff, Service

The first staff layoffs since 2011 is this confirmed will take effect in July at the Montana State Library (MSL) in Helena, as one of several cost-cutting measures forced by budget cuts enacted by the legislature for FY18 and 19. And MSL officials are bracing for a second, even steeper round of reductions in funding, staff, and services later this summer.

New York City’s FY18 Budget Promises $110M for Libraries

In what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the earliest budget agreement since 1992, on June 6 New York City Council voted to adopt the city’s FY18 budget, which will include $110 million for capital projects in libraries across the city, more than doubling capital library funding.

Federal Budget Compromise Keeps—and Boosts—IMLS Funding

UPDATE: Trump’s FY18 budget request to Congress, released May 23, proposes to cut nearly all funding for IMLS, NEA, NEH, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among many severe cuts to social service and non-millitary domestic programs. The proposed budget would keep ten percent of IMLS’s budget for costs necessary to shut down the agency.

Public Outcry Saves Saskatchewan Library Funds

In an abrupt about-face, the provincial government of Saskatchewan, Canada, on April 24 restored every penny of the $4.8 million it had cut just a month earlier from public library funding as part of its 2017–18 budget. It was a reversal that elected officials admit was prompted by mounting public opposition to the cuts, spurred in part by a Facebook group that sprang up almost overnight to energize many grassroots protests.

Teach Library Politics: Missing and Neglected Content in LIS Programs | Blatant Berry

My alma mater, Boston’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, just asked me to complete a survey on what ought to be in its LIS curriculum. The survey’s hierarchy descended in priority from “core,” the things every graduate should have studied. There were five or six levels offered, but I only used the top three: “core,” “very important,” and “important.” The questions covered nearly everything I would have tried to fit into the crowded LIS curriculum.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

Doing Fine(s)? | Fines & Fees

Fees and fines have traditionally been a fact of life for public libraries in America, even though a nonnegligible proportion of librarians and patrons have long considered fines at best an unpleasant hassle and at worst a serious barrier to access to resources for those unable to pay them. As many libraries continue to assess and overhaul their fine and fee structures, sponsored by Comprise Technologies, LJ surveyed a random selection of public librarians in January 2017 to learn about their libraries’ approaches to fines and fees. LJ received 454 responses.