June 30, 2015

President Obama Announces New Library Initiatives

Obama and Osman Yaya (2)

At a visit to Washington, DC’s Anacostia Neighborhood Library April 30, President Barack Obama announced two new initiatives that promise to rally America’s libraries, publishers, and nonprofit organizations to strengthen learning opportunities for all children, particularly in low-income communities. The plan, dubbed the ConnectED Library Challenge, will engage civic leaders, libraries, and schools to work together to ensure that all school students receive public library cards. Commitments from 30 library systems are already in place.

Living Libraries: Green that gives back | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

We talk a lot about resilience when we discuss library sustainability. It is one of the trends identified by Miguel Figueroa, an LJ 2005 Mover & Shaker, in the recent “Forecasting the Future of Libraries” report. It encompasses a broad swath of library work—dynamic programming, deep and robust community commitment to the well-being of the institution, and facility design that can withstand the very real threats of extreme weather change that comes with global warming. Resilience also means creating buildings that don’t drain precious natural resources.

ACRL 2015: A Breath of Fresh Air

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The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2015 Conference, held in Portland, OR from March 25–28, was by all accounts an upbeat event. Academic librarians may be thinking seriously about the future, but for a few temperate and surprisingly sunny days at the Oregon Convention Center—as well as online, for those taking advantage of the virtual conference—everyone involved seemed to be feeling positive about the present as well.

Studying Use, Sharing Space | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

A big part of improving library user experience is designing libraries based on user preferences and behavior. There’s no way to optimize touchpoints or create meaningful services if you don’t know anything about who you’re trying to serve, right? Many libraries collect and analyze user opinions, but fewer dive deeper into examining actual user behavior.

UMass Amherst Library Opens 3-D Printing Innovation Center

MakerBot Innovation Center

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst on March 26 hosted the grand opening of its new MakerBot Innovation Center. Part of the library’s Digital Media Lab, the Innovation Center features 50 3-D printers, several desktop 3-D scanners, and MakerBot’s proprietary Innovation Center Management Platform, which links all 50 printers together, enabling print queuing and mass production of 3-D prints. UMass Amherst is the first institution to offer such large-scale access to 3-D printing within a library setting.

OITP’s Policy Revolution! Initiative (The Exclamation Point is Important) | ALA Midwinter 2015

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On February 1 the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) hosted a session at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Chicago to answer the question, “What is a policy revolution anyway?” The answer: the Policy Revolution! Initiative (PRI)— the exclamation point is important, panelists advised—is a three-year grant-funded program to advance library policy at the national level, led by ALA OITP and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), with guidance from a Library Advisory Committee.

Knight Foundation News Challenge on Libraries Winners Announced | ALA Midwinter 2015

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On January 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the winning 22 projects for its Knight News Challenge on Libraries. A total of $3 million will be distributed among the recipients, representing libraries and organizations from across the United States who brought a wide range of innovative ideas to advance the mission of libraries.

This Week in Libraries #112: Tara Radniecki and Meg Backus (Makerspaces)

Makerspaces and what are they about? Librarians as cheerleaders and how to stay connected to the users of your library.
This and much more in this week’s episode of TWIL: your weekly dose of library innovation!

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia to Expand to Adults with IMLS Grant

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia

In a move that will help the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) expand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)-based Maker space programming to multi-generational audiences, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on October 23 awarded a $500,000 National Leadership Grant to FLP in support of the library’s Maker Jawn initiative.

Westport Maker Space Expands with Robots, SolidWorks Courses, and Volunteer Training

Westport Library Robot

The Westport Library’s ongoing efforts to support its Maker Space, including Maker in Residence programs and the recent acquisition of two programmable robots, have helped establish a virtuous cycle in which residents have begun working on their own projects and helping one another independently.