Welcome to the latest update on America’s Star Libraries and the data that earn them that distinction. The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2013, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, is based on 2011 data released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Below are the libraries that received stars from the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2013, divided into peer groups by expenditure category.
The LJ Index contains far more data than we can cram into the print issue. Below, some web-exclusive tables that shed some additional light on libraries whose star status changed from last year to this, whether they’re new to the Index, adding or losing stars, or changing spending categories. In addition to tracking which libraries gained a star in 2013 who did not rate one in 2012, for the first time this year, see who has gained a star for the first time since the inauguration of the LJ Index.
When you apply for any kind of managerial or administrative job, there’s one interview question you can always count on: “Tell us about your management style.” I hate that question. Not because it isn’t a fair and legitimate one, but because (in my opinion) a good manager won’t be able to answer it.
Spaces. Services. Digital content. Collections. Learning experiences. Interfaces. Any way you consider it, there is no library practice that doesn’t intersect with accessibility. Accessibility is the principle that the fullest use of any resource should be given to the greatest number of individuals. More than compliance with laws and guidelines, accessibility is a form of social justice. As the most established cultural providers of public space and digital content, libraries share a responsibility to promote universal access to our full range of services for all users, regardless of whether they rely on adaptive technology or not.
Regularly ranked as the busiest or the second busiest library in the United States, the King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington annually processes 22 million checkouts and records more than 84 million visits to its catalog. It’s enough to strain any integrated library system (ILS), and a few years ago, IT services director Jed Moffitt decided that, owing to this volume and the need to add proprietary features to its system, there simply wasn’t a commercial ILS on the market that could meet the library’s unique requirements. He famously coauthored an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant of $1 million that enabled KCLS to experiment with, and then migrate to, the open source Evergreen ILS while developing a peer-to-peer support model to help other libraries and consortia that were interested in doing the same. Moffitt admits that there have been growing pains during the past three years. But he still maintains that commercial ILS vendors simply aren’t organized to do the type of development work that KCLS needs.
People have always known that they can often achieve more working with others than they can alone. Today collaboration is a vital feature of organizational life, but finding the right partner for a supportive relationship is still no simple matter. There are risks and costs, along with the tension between self-interest and resource sharing. Once the right partner is found, the team must figure out how to make the relationship work.
Privacy in our society is being undermined with a daily intensity that may be unmatched in history. The confluence of compromises in our digital lives and the political arena chips away at our sense of what needs to be private and risks codifying a culture in which privacy is not a right but a state hard-won by continual effort or, worse, a state only available to those wealthy enough to protect themselves.
LJ’s exclusive July 2013 report, “Engaging the Occasional Patron,” the fourth and final report in Volume 2 of our Patron Profiles series, takes a detailed look at these infrequent library users. Produced in conjunction with ProQuest/Bowker and the PubTrack Business Intelligence team, the report features data drawn from an online survey of more than 2,000 library patrons, conducted in February 2013. According to this sample, these infrequent users could account for more than half of all library patrons.
There’s leadership. Then there’s library leadership. Or is there? Is being a leader in a library so different that it is a leadership entity unique unto itself? A library leader is ultimately, a leader who performs their work in a library, but what makes him or her a leader is not unique to the library setting.