May 26, 2017

Library Services

Public Outcry Saves Saskatchewan Library Funds

In an abrupt about-face, the provincial government of Saskatchewan, Canada, on April 24 restored every penny of the $4.8 million it had cut just a month earlier from public library funding as part of its 2017–18 budget. It was a reversal that elected officials admit was prompted by mounting public opposition to the cuts, spurred in part by a Facebook group that sprang up almost overnight to energize many grassroots protests.

Digital Inclusion in Topeka | Field Reports

At the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), KS, we call our website our digital offerings and our social media channels our “digital branch,” and we want everyone in Shawnee County to be able to access the digital content and the services the library offers to its customers.

A Little Light Reading | One Cool Thing

Depending on where they live, up to ten percent of Americans suffer from some form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In their role as community spaces, some libraries are helping by providing light therapy lamps, the standard treatment for SAD.

Public Partners | Collaboration

While librarian-to-librarian collaborations between school and public libraries are nothing new, public libraries are now ramping up their efforts for deeper strategic engagement and collaboration at scale, embedding public library services within schools’ daily operations and combining catalogs and access services. Such deeper integration requires both sides to take into account a range of complex issues—commanding all-in support from library leadership and a strong working relationship with local educational administrators.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

Disaster Recovery | Product Spotlight

The fire burned for days. Water—thousands of gallons of it—saturated the library’s materials, equipment, and interior. Smoke and water damage affected 250,000 bound volumes, two million pieces of micrographics, classified and confidential records, historical military documents, and a dedicated server room with more than 100 computer workstations. The Boeing 757 that had ripped through the Pentagon’s three outer rings on September 11, 2001, blasted open the doors to the Pentagon library sandwiched in the middle, the plane’s nose gear hitting the facility’s back wall. By the time staff were permitted to return, devastating moisture had taken over. Materials and equipment, personal belongings, catalog statistics, personnel files, and more were covered with mold and mildew.

ALA, PLA, and Cox Communications Partner for Digital Literacy

Cable and Internet service provider Cox Communications has teamed up with the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, and three pilot libraries to launch a new digital literacy website and more.

Finding and Filling Needs | 2017 LibraryAware Community Award

From books to bikes to banks, Mississippi Valley Library District steps up to address critical service gaps.

New Library Chapter of Awesome Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

The Innovation in Libraries chapter of The Awesome Foundation is currently accepting grant applications, with an April 15 deadline. Formed in 2009, The Awesome Foundation “is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time.” Autonomous chapters operate on a local level by raising funds from community trustees that are then given as microloans to projects in the arts, technology, community development, or other sectors, deemed “awesome” according to that chapter’s own guidelines.

Harvard Business Alumni Offer SFPL Pro Bono Consulting

While many public libraries could benefit from business counsel from a team of experts, professional consulting services are not always in the budget, even for larger systems. But recently San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) had the opportunity to do just that, after it was selected to receive pro bono consultation from a team of Harvard Business School alumni.