March 2, 2015

Library Services

Vickery Bowles, Moving the Toronto Public Library into the Future

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On January 5 Vickery Bowles became Toronto’s newest city librarian. Bowles has been with the Toronto Public Library (TPL) for 32 years, most recently as director of collections management and citywide services, and will now oversee one of the world’s busiest library systems, with 99 (soon to be 100) branches, some 2,000 employees, and 10 million items in its collections.

“All Eyes on IMLS”: Priorities for 2015 | ALA Midwinter 2015

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Eager to promote strategic priorities for 2015, officials for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) trained a spotlight on the various federal funding resources available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) during a recent American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter session in Chicago. At a talk entitled, “All Eyes on IMLS: Funding Priorities and Reauthorization,” IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx and Robin Dale, the associate deputy director for state programs, outlined the scope and focus of LSTA’s grants to states and other discretionary spending for libraries.

The Loaves and Fishes Library | Best Small Library in America 2015

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Over the last decade, Belgrade, MT, has grown and shifted from a small agricultural town to a diverse community of 12,700 in the exurbs of nearby Bozeman. In tandem, the Belgrade Community Library (BCL) has reimagined library services and aggressively developed new outreach efforts to meet the community’s changing needs. The result is intense engagement and support from the community and an impact that extends beyond Belgrade’s borders through active partnerships and state-level leadership.

New York City’s Municipal ID Will Do Double Duty as a Library Card

New York City ID

On Monday, January 12, New York City began taking applications for its long-awaited municipal identification card (IDNYC). Not only will this be the first photo ID card ever issued by the city, it will also serve as a library card at all three New York City library systems—the first time a single card will grant access to Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library.

Salt Lake City Public Library Proposes 24/7 Operations

Salt Lake City Library by CGP Grey

When the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) was chosen as Gale/LJ Library of the Year in 2006, then-director Nancy Tessman asserted that “the building reflects the idea of an open mind.” SLCPL’s newest proposal—to keep its main branch open 24 hours a day, seven days a week—will put that concept to the test.

EasyBib Compares Two Years of Information Literacy Data

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Students’ confidence radically mismatches librarians’ assessment of their skills, two reports from EasyBib conclude, particularly in website evaluation, paraphrasing and direct quotation. Also, students are using the open web less often they were two years ago, and dramatically more librarians are stressing the role of faculty in promoting information literacy. The first report, Trends in Information Literacy: A Comparative View, was published in May 2014; the second, Perspectives on Student Research Skills in K-12 and Academic Communities, came out the following October; taken together, the two reveal some thought-provoking data on information literacy across the country.

Edmonton Public Library Adds Homeless Outreach to Five New Branches

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One of the many reasons Alberta’s Edmonton Public Library (EPL) was chosen as Gale/LJ Library of the Year for 2014 is its commitment to community services. In particular, EPL’s outreach program to support the city’s homeless population is a necessary initiative in a rapidly growing urban center—Canada’s fifth-largest municipality—where temperatures rarely rise above freezing from November through March. Not only has the program survived the loss of its province-based funding, with the library system itself stepping in to cover costs, but this winter EPL’s outreach will expand to five additional branches on a pilot basis.

Conspiring to Educate: Working together for transitioning students

JOINING FORCES Resources for transitioning learners. (Clockwise from top r.): CCC’s CPL @ Metro banner; a fourth grader working on her Bigfoot Field Guide; CPL @ Metro’s popular collection; community members explore Colorado’s Anything York Street on the Mapleton Public Schools’ Skyview Campus; and CPL @ Metro, located in a former storage room

Today’s learners have more options than ever on their paths to education, but they will also encounter more obstacles. We may live in an age of access to information, but it’s becoming increasingly easy for students to miss out on crucial information during their middle and high school years—a high school diploma is no guarantee that they will be prepared for the requirements of college—and after graduation, especially for those who do not go on to higher education. Working as partners, however, different types of libraries can join forces to help students bridge the gap from high school to higher ed to the workforce while remaining a viable part of their lives.

Ferguson Library Provides Calm Refuge for a Torn Community

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On November 24 a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, delivered its verdict on the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis County grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officer, Darren Wilson; the decision, which was announced just after 8 p.m. CST, set off a night of protests and civil unrest, the most violent including arson, shattered windows, injuries, and, as of press time, a possible murder.

As App Gains Traction, Queens Library Considers Vending to Other Libraries

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The initial success of the new free app developed by Queens Library has led QL to consider adopting a library-as-developer role, selling customized versions of the app to other libraries to support this and other in-house development projects.