August 21, 2017

Library Services

Meaningful Measures | Assessment

Measuring outcomes can be a vital aid to justifying library work to voters, funders, and stakeholders—as well as determining strategic direction—but it can also be overwhelming.

Senior Partners | Innovation

Serving senior citizens has long been a core mission for libraries. Traditionally, these services were often focused on delivering materials to the homebound, yet today’s active and often tech-savvy elders want different things, driving libraries to rethink their paradigm for service to older adults. And even for those who can’t get to the library, the creative application of innovative technology is delivering education, imagination, and human connection as well as books.

Making It Happen | Programming

As Maker spaces in libraries become increasingly common, often backed by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—and Maker activities without a dedicated space even more so—anyone who follows the professional literature and conference presentations is surely aware of the buzz around Making. But just how much does that buzz represent widespread practice, and of what precisely do these offerings consist?

Why Social Justice in the Library? | Outreach + Inreach

Libraries of all types are reevaluating the role they play in their community, questioning whether it is still good enough to provide equal access, or if it is time to pursue an active equitable access that focuses on empowering the less powerful and amplifying the voices of the unheard.

Edmonton Public Library Engages Elder in Residence

As part of its commitment to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation movement, the Edmonton Public Library (EPL), Alberta, appointed its first Elder in Residence. In February Elder Wilson Bearhead, a cultural educator and member of the Wabamun Lake Indian Band in Treaty 6 territory, began a yearlong engagement at EPL, where he will connect with library customers one-on-one to share his knowledge about Indigenous customs, culture, and knowledge.

2017 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: Nashville Public Library, TN

In the scope of its programs, services, and collections; the incredible reach of its efforts in cooperation with other public agencies, departments, and local businesses; and its work to identify and fulfill needs of both the mainstream and marginalized people of Nashville and Davidson County, the Nashville Public Library (NPL), the Gale/LJ 2017 Library of the Year, is a model for the nation and the world.

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.