May 26, 2015

Serving Two Masters | Library by Design, Spring 2015

A NATURAL PARTNERSHIP The Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library balances unique design against the retention ponds created to absorb rainwater. Photo ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Joint-use libraries, especially partnerships between public libraries and colleges, are rare but not unheard of. In an era of belt-tightening, pooling resources with a partner that shares many of your institution’s goals can be a tempting proposition for schools and cities alike. It’s complex, but as seen at the Tidewater Community College/City of ­Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library, opened in 2013, it can also be extremely rewarding.

Design for People | Library by Design Spring 2015

1. The Main Library’s Guastavino Room was an impressive backdrop to registration
and lunch. 2. Attendees tossed around ideas during the Gloucester Lyceum/Sawyer
Free Library’s challenge session. 3. The Open Forum allowed for suggestions from
participating architects (l.–r.) Aimee G. Lombardo (LLB Architects), Peter Gisolfi
(Gisolfi Associates), Peter Bolek (HBM Architects), and Matthew Oudens (Oudens Ello
Architecture). 4. The challenge session for Maryland’s Towson University brought
about solid strategies. 5. The session on creative and inspirational spaces featured
experts (l.–r.) Conrad Ello (Oudens Ello Architecture), Michael Colford (director of
library services at Boston PL), moderator Emily Puckett Rodgers (School of Information,
University of Michigan), and Jeff Hoover (Tappé Architects). Photos by Kevin Henegan

Before Boston saw its first snowstorm of what would prove to be a very long winter, an enthusiastic group of architects, designers, vendors, and librarians convened at Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Central Library in Copley Square for LJ’s December 2014 Design Institute (DI). The first question of the event, posed by Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners library building consultant Lauren Stara, set the stage: “The shift to digital and changing user expectations means that even buildings only ten or 20 years old may already be out-of-date…. How do we build for an ever-changing ­environment?”

Author! Author! | Programming

GRAND PRIZE Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award winner Ann Patchett (signing) at Tulsa City-County Library. Photo by John Fancher

Public libraries are all about access: to services, to data, to books. Offering patrons access to some of their favorite authors is a bonus but an important one. Author events strengthen the existing bonds between readers and books: seeing an author read from his or her work and having the chance to ask questions—or just hear the answers—offers a new dimension of engagement. But these events also reinforce the idea of the library as a point of entry into people’s reading lives, beyond simple readers’ advisory. The landscape of author events is continually changing. As programming budgets shrink and authors’ publicity tours get smaller, even libraries with successful track records need to be increasingly nimble and imaginative. While the choice depends on a library’s resources, location, and patron demographics, there are a few best practices that can help librarians develop exciting and well-attended programs.

Managing Multiplicity | Library Systems Landscape 2015

LibrarySystemsLandscape

Selecting a library management system is never an easy decision. Vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) offer solutions tailored to public, academic, school, and special libraries, but even when organized by type, libraries are hardly one-size-fits-all organizations. Choosing a new vendor tends to mean a major investment, with a multiyear commitment to a solution that often will require new training, adaptation, and trade-offs among cost, features, and functionality. Still, it’s a tough choice that many libraries are facing once again. This second edition of Library Systems Landscape, the successor to LJ’s annual Automation Marketplace feature, will examine the impact of recent mergers, the continued adoption of next-generation library services platforms, the emergence of mobile-optimized staff clients, and new partnerships and feature development in the open source arena.

Movers & Shakers 2015

MoversSlug150px

Passion. Vision. Mission. These are just a few of the words that characterize the 50 individuals—and one organization—named 2015 Movers & Shakers.

Taking the Long View | ACRL Preview 2015

ljx150301webACRLPreview2

ACRL is celebrating its 75th anniversary, so it’s no surprise that many of the offerings look to the long-term health of the academic library landscape—reinforced by the conference’s theme, “Creating a Sustainable Community.”

Paralibrarian of the Year 2015: Tamara Faulkner Kraus

Photo by Mitchell Kearney

In two decades (plus one year) she has moved from work with the very young, through young adults, to dynamically serving seniors at the Hickory Public Library (HPL), NC. Tamara Faulkner Kraus’s passion for providing library service to people in need more than sustains her energy and creativity. That unsinkable spirit is now being acknowledged with the 2015 LJ Paralibrarian of the Year Award, sponsored by DEMCO.

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

ljx150202webenis2

To explain the utility of ­semantic search and linked data, Jeff Penka, director of channel and product development for information management solutions provider Zepheira, uses a simple exercise. Type “Chevy Chase” into Google’s search box, and in addition to a list of links, a panel appears on the right of the screen, displaying photos of the actor, a short bio, date of birth, height, full name, spouses and children, and a short list of movies and TV shows in which he has starred. Continue typing the letters “ma” into the search box, and the panel instantly changes, showing images, maps, current weather, and other basic information regarding the town of Chevy Chase, MD.

Paying for People | Budgets & Funding

ProjectedChangeInTotalOperatingBudget_FY14-15

If last year’s budget theme was cautious optimism, LJ’s 2015 library budget survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, continues the general upward trend. Libraries of all sizes, across the board, showed an increase in operating and salary budgets, and most, though not all, saw materials budgets rise as well. Of the 416 libraries that responded, 73% reported an increase in their total operating budgets from 2013 to 2014, up from 68% last year and 60% the year before. The overall change in total budgets was a healthy 4.3% increase. Compared to last year’s more modest 1.3% gains, these numbers indicate that libraries nationwide are beginning to find their fiscal footing after some lean years.

Winning All Over the Map | Budgets & Funding

ljx150201webreferendamap2

On the face of it, 2014 looks like it was a pretty good year for libraries at the ballot box: some 148 libraries reporting for this tally won and 42 lost. About 78% of libraries passed funding, bonds, or authority measures in 2014. Over 1.7 million Americans voted yes for their libraries. Only 22% lost. While unfortunate, it doesn’t seem tragic or perilous. But at EveryLibrary, we’re worried about the 1.1 million Americans who voted no this year.