Makerspaces, open source platforms, and other library rebuilds were the touchstones of this year’s Computers in Libraries Conference. The attendee statistics for the 2014 Computers in Libraries Conference, held April 7- 9, are identical to those of a decade ago: 2000 attendees from 46 states and 13 countries. However, the number of speakers had doubled, to two hundred. And, with approximately a third of the presenters making their CIL debut, there was a palpable sense of excitement vibrating through the halls and conference rooms of the Washington Hilton.
Members of the Santa Clara, CA, library community remain in a celebratory mood this week after finally getting the green light to resume work on the Northside Branch Library. The nearly finished building previously sat untouched for eight months while millions of dollars needed to complete the work remained frozen by a bureaucratic snarl, threatening to permanently close the Northside Library before it even opened.
In academic libraries, there seems to be growing concern about the problem of space—not only a lack of it in our library buildings, though that is a problem for many of us, but also a concern that the spaces we do have are going to be (or already are) taken over by campus entities and programs that are related only tangentially, if at all, to library services. I’m convinced that this concern is valid, and that it should actually be more widespread than it currently is.
How would you reenvision a wallet to do what you really need it to, not just what you’re used to it doing? How about a wristwatch wallet, powered by body temperature and jammed with digital utility, plus a secret compartment for real money? The idea, articulated in this pipe cleaner and Post-its model (pictured) by Salt Lake County’s Jim Cooper and TLC Labs’ Will Evans, is the result of a Design Thinking exercise conducted at LJ’s Directors Summit, held November 19-20, 2013, in Chicago, in partnership with Chicago Public Library (CPL).
For years, Ohio State University (OSU) has had a collection of graphic novels, editorial cartoons, and comic strips that could go toe to toe with archives the world over. What it didn’t have was a space that did that collection justice. For decades, OSU’s cartoon collection, which includes more than 2.5 million comic strips spanning decades of American newspapers, was housed in a pair of disused rooms in the school’s journalism building. A recent move to renovated space, though, means that the decades of pop culture history housed at OSU’s newly-minted Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) finally has a happy home, and one that staff are eager to introduce to the public.
This year’s listing of library building projects completed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, expands on the concept of all-purpose spaces to suit a variety of patrons and needs. There are 77 public efforts, and among the 14 academic buildings is the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI (above), which allows students to invent their own environments. A banquet of libraries with that all-important, all-purpose ingredient.
Transformational Libraries include the Polk Wisdom Branch Library, Dallas; the Ladd Library, Cedar Rapids Public Library, IA; the Duvall Library, King County Library System, WA; East Rancho Dominguez Library, County of Los Angeles Public Library, CA; the Teton County Library, Jackson, WY; the new Boca Raton Downtown Library, FL; Jasper Place Branch Library, Edmonton, Alta., Canada; and the Queens Library at Glen Oaks, NY.