August 18, 2017

Nashville, Salt Lake City, Columbus Eliminate Fines

Starting the first week of July 2017, the Nashville Public Library (NPL) and the Salt Lake City Public Library system (SLCPL) have joined the increasing number of public libraries in the United States that no longer collect overdue fines from patrons. These changes will also wipe out fines that users have already accrued. For both systems, this shift reflects their missions to remove a barrier to library borrowing—blocked card privileges due to fines and to provide equitable access to as many patrons as possible.

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.

Making It Happen | Programming

As Maker spaces in libraries become increasingly common, often backed by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—and Maker activities without a dedicated space even more so—anyone who follows the professional literature and conference presentations is surely aware of the buzz around Making. But just how much does that buzz represent widespread practice, and of what precisely do these offerings consist?

New World, Same Model | Periodicals Price Survey 2017

The shift to digital delivery of serials content has had a profound effect on the information ecosystem. Powerful discovery and social networking tools expose users to an incredibly rich world of commercially produced and open access (OA) content. Most publishers have explored new ways of pricing their content—such as population served, FTE (full-time equivalent), tiered pricing based upon Carnegie classification, or other defining criteria—or the database model, which treats all content within an e-journal package as a database, eliminating the need for title by title reconciliation. However, in the end, the pricing conversation always seems to circle back to the revenue generated by the annual subscription model.

Maximizing the Message | LJ 2016 Marketer of the Year Award

Few libraries were untouched by the economic downturn of the 2000s. As systems began to rebound, however, a challenge was to replace the perception that they were down and out with the new reality of extended hours, replenished staff, and improved services. The strongest marketers among them also focused on the stories behind those comebacks, and information about what users could expect going forward. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), in the city of Charlotte and County of Mecklenburg, NC, was determined not just to recover but to come back stronger than ever, to make sure its customers knew it—and to give them a chance to tell their side of the story.

LIU Librarians, Faculty Return After 12-Day Lockout

When classes began on the Brooklyn, NY campus of Long Island University (LIU) September 7, students found their professors barred from campus and replaced by alternate instructors. A contract stalemate between LIU-Brooklyn faculty and management had resulted in an unprecedented lockout of 400 faculty members by administration days before the new semester began. Thanks to coordinated protests from faculty and students and the support of the LIU Faculty Federation (LIUFF), however, the 12-day lockout ended after a six-hour negotiating session on September 14.

Who Pays the Freight? Open Access: The Future of Funding

In this webcast, our experts will highlight how librarians are tackling this important issue, and how the library can shape the future of funding Open Access.
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Fracking the Ecosystem | Periodicals Price Survey 2016

What does fracking have to do with scholarly publishing and journal pricing? While the library financial landscape has improved since the depth of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, it still cannot be considered robust. As articles such as this one chronicle annual serials price increases, libraries, publishers, and vendors search for innovative ways to fulfill information needs within the finite, predefined budget environment. New business and access models ranging from the initial e-journal big deal packages, article pay per view, open access, mega-journals, and publisher e-journal database pricing have evolved in response to the environment; libraries, publishers, and vendors have merged, consolidated, or disappeared along the way. Just as fracking keeps the oil and gas flowing, these strategies enable the current scholarly publishing ecosystem to extract the necessary resources—intellectual and financial—to survive.

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Grow Your Budget: Think Like an Australian

With book budgets being chipped away by price increases for serial subscriptions, and ebook budgets feeling the squeeze from journals, librarians are spending more time seeking ways to relieve this financial pressure. But a model of fiscal efficiency does exist—Down Under. “Australian libraries have been sort of the canary in the coal mine when it […]

Gaining Ground Unevenly | Budgets & Funding

LJ’s 2016 survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, reveals that while libraries continue to regain lost ground, recovery is gradually slowing—and not evenly distributed. Libraries reported moderate gains in overall budgets—an across-the-board increase of 3.2%, representing funding from all sources. Combined with a slight drop in inflation rates—.5% over the 12 months ending in November, compared to .8% for the preceding year—this is still smaller than last year’s overall uptick of 4.3% but welcome nonetheless.