December 19, 2014

Library Services

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

EasyBib_chart

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

EPL1

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

Stay_Strong_Ferguson

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

Queens Library logo

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.

America’s Star Libraries, 2014: Top-Rated Libraries

America's Star Libraries 2014 (square slug)

We are very pleased to announce the results of the seventh edition of the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat. The LJ Index is a measurement tool that compares U.S. public libraries with their spending peers based on four types of output measures of their per capita use. When the LJ Index and its Star Library ratings were introduced in 2008, our hope was that whether libraries were awarded stars or not, they would examine these statistics more closely—both for their own library and for their peers—and make fuller use of these and other types of data for local planning and evaluation purposes. In the meantime, however, another type of data has come to the fore—outcomes. Here we will explore what some of this year’s Star Libraries are doing with outcome measures.

LJ Index 2014: The Star Libraries

America's Star Libraries 2014 (square slug)

Despite the promotion of outcome-based evaluation by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) almost from its inception in 1996, the difference among an input, an output, and an outcome is still unclear to many in the public library community. Indeed, the term input can be added to this confusion. So, some might find it helpful to substitute for the sound-alike terms input, output, and outcome “library resources,” “library services,” and “user changes.”

LJ Index 2014: All the Stars, State by State

America's Star Libraries 2014 (square slug)

Click a state above, or use the drop-down below to jump to the Star libraries in that state. Star libraries are listed alphabetically by state abbreviation, then ranked by stars and score. Please note that expenditure category peer comparisons are the critical ones; for the Star Libraries by expenditure category please go to The Star Libraries page.

LJ Index 2014: Another Kind of Outcome Data

America's Star Libraries 2014 (square slug)

Generally, public library outcome assessment has relied on self-reported data from library patrons. In many cases, voluntary self-reports from library patrons is the only reasonable approach to learning how they benefited from using a collection, service, or program. But, it is not the only kind of outcome data. Sometimes, for a particular library service, there may be more objective and comprehensive data on the outcome of interest.