August 27, 2016

Library Services

NYPL Opens Permanent Library at Rikers Island

Grand opening of NYPL’s library at Rikers Island (l.–r.): DOC Commissioner Joseph Ponte, RMSC Program Coordinator Shaneka Holdman, City Council Member Andy King.
Photo credit: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

On July 26, New York Public Library (NYPL) launched the first permanent public library location at Rikers Island, East Elmhurst, NY, New York City’s main jail complex and one of the world’s largest correctional institutions. NYPL’s Correctional Services (CS) team has been providing library services at Rikers Island since 1984, currently operating five satellite libraries throughout the complex’s ten jails, but the new 1,200-volume library at the Rose M. Singer Center (RMSC) is the first to occupy dedicated space. Decorated with posters and vibrant, comfortable furnishings, the library is open for six hours every Tuesday, serving half of the facility every other week. Inmates may check out two books at a time for two weeks.

Birmingham Public Library Board Funds Innovative Cool Awards

Birmingham Public Library Board presents the first Innovative Cool Award to help fund the Career Survival Program at Pratt City Branch Library. L-R: Library Trustee Eunice Johnson Rogers, Library Trustee Gwen Amamoo, Pratt City Library Branch Manager Deborah Drake Blackmon, and Byron Williams of Pratt City Library.

While many libraries have come up with creative rewards for staff innovation, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Innovative Cool Awards do double duty. The monthly award, funded and run by BPL’s ten-member Board of Trustees, is an incentive for staff to develop—and promote—engaging new programs and workshops, and also a way to connect the board with staff.

Write Here | Programming

THE WRITE STUFF (Clockwise from top l.): Denver PL’s Hard Times Writing Workshop; SpeakEasy Book Authors Signing for the Community Novel Project at Topeka & Shawnee County PL, KS; Corvallis–Benton County PL, OR, National Novel Writing Month plot planning party; 
White Plains PL, NY, Families of Veterans Writing Workshop (FVWW) participants (l.–r.) Ekaterina Quinones, Julie Geisler, Amanda Cerreto, 
and Kareem Brown; (inset) FVWW book cover

Everyone has a book in them, it’s said. While Christopher Hitchens completed that phrase with “in most cases that’s where it should stay,” it doesn’t seem the public agrees. This is dramatically demonstrated by the expansion of U.S. publishing, as measured by Bowker, the U.S. issuer of ISBNs, the numbers that help track book sales. In 2002, Bowker issued 247,777. In 2012 (the most recent figures available), demand rose to 2,352,797—an increase of 2,105,020, or a whopping 849.5 percent.

CO Parks Collaboration Expands to All State Libraries

Backpack with contents displayed

Colorado libraries of all kinds are celebrating summer by launching a statewide collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Check Out Colorado State Parks program allows library patrons to borrow a backpack containing a Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) pass, which admits a carload of visitors into any of the state’s 42 parks.

Celebration & Integration | Public Services

Syrian library patrons at Louisville Free PL’s 2016 Women of the World event. 
Photo courtesy of Louisville Free PL

Since before Ellis Island became the gateway to the United States for many, libraries have served immigrant communities with language classes and learning materials that can help ease the path toward employment and citizenship. Today, those services have expanded to include referrals to city and health-care services, cultural events honoring countries of origin, legal aid, small business and entrepreneurship assistance, and much more.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Trailblazing in Digital Humanities

Ashley Maynor

LJ Mover & Shaker, Ashley Maynor has put her MFA in film and media arts from Temple University to good use as an Assistant Professor & Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Story of the Stuff, her interactive web documentary on the artifacts, gifts, and remembrances sent to the town of Sandy Hook, CT, after the school shooting, brought those two passions together. “This project in particular is very wrapped up in libraries,” says Maynor. “It’s about the type of research that a digital humanities librarian does.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Digital Scholarship Grows Up

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CURRENT POSITION Mellon Digital Scholar, Five Colleges of Ohio, Wooster DEGREE PhD, English, Texas A&M University, 2009 FOLLOW @dr_heil (Twitter); digitalscholarship.ohio5.org; jacobheil.com Photo by Chelsea Carlson LJ Mover & Shaker, Jacob Heil got his PhD in English Literature at Texas A&M, and his dissertation was on Renaissance drama—he’s got a working fluency in Old English. […]

Rooted in Research | Genealogy

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On Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., a PBS program that’s a must for those interested in family history, viewers watch as Harvard professor Gates reveals to famous people information about their ancestors, some of them recent forebears and others from many generations ago. TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA), based on a BBC series of the same name, is now in its eighth season and offers a similar chronicling of the search for a famous person’s roots.

Word of Mouth | Language Learning

ENGAGING ENGLISH (Clockwise from top l.): New Americans Corner in Nashville Public Library’s (NPL) Southeast Branch;  Nashville patron shows off her new library card; ready to write at NPL; NPL adult literacy coordinator Megan Godbey (l.) offers computer help; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Let’s Speak English group

Programming that supports English-language learning (ELL) is not new in the world of public libraries. Kenneth English, associate director of adult learning centers at the New York Public Library (NYPL), has seen “photos and notices from around 1920 promoting classes in Manhattan’s Lower East Side immigrant neighborhoods.” While ELL programming has existed for nearly 100 years, modern libraries continue to update their offerings to fit the needs of their communities. Innovative and traditional projects that are responsive to demographic shifts and capitalize on local people power are key to best serving library customers working on their English-language skills.

Core Customer Study Analyzes Library Demographics

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A new report published March 29, “Core Customer Intelligence: Public Library Reach, Relevance, and Resilience,” brings together market segmentation from ten public library systems across the United States to explore how libraries can examine and act on granular data about their core customers—the 20 percent of cardholders who check out the most physical materials. Using 2014 customer and checkout data to group top library users by lifestyles, interests, preferences, and behaviors, the study drills down into community demographics to reveal that core customers aren’t found in any one segment of the population but occur across all lines, reflecting the diversity of their communities.