April 15, 2014

Library Lifeline: The Ideas Box from Libraries Without Borders | Editorial

Ideas Box

The new Ideas Box from Libraries Without Borders/ Bibliothèques Sans Frontières is fun, smart, and inspiring. The comprehensive vision behind it and the resulting design hold lessons for anyone interested in library outreach. It takes a significant step forward in framing an ideal outpost library that can reach into the gap as an element of humanitarian aid in the wake of a disaster when basic services and cultural institutions are unavailable or inactive.

Radical Home Economics | Programs That Pop

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Radical Home Economics revives homemaking skills for adults. In this hands-on series, participants work together to make things that are meaningful in their everyday lives. RHE is a fresh and exciting take on one of the library’s oldest and most fundamental purposes. The real power behind lending books is the conviction that you can be your own expert. Maker programming shares this purpose. In a culture where everything is increasingly commoditized and prepackaged, access to this foundational library value is increasingly rare, valuable, and transformative.

Seattle Aims to Become Second American City of Literature

Seattle Central Library

Seattle, regularly a contender for the title of most literate city in the United States by Central Connecticut State University’s annual ranking, is doubling down on its reputation as a book-loving burg. This March, the city submitted its application for designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, a bid that would make Seattle the second city in the United States and the eighth city in the world to receive the title.

Queens Library Controversy Expands Into Construction Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) have launched a joint investigation into Queens Library (QL) president and CEO Thomas Galante. The New York Daily News reports that on February 28, federal investigators arrived at the Central Library branch in Jamaica, Queens, NY. There they served subpoenas to Galante and Frank Marino, a construction consultant whose firm has managed 15 projects for QL since 2008—and who works at the Elmont Union Free School District, the same Long Island, NY, school system where Galante holds a part-time consulting position netting him compensation in the six figures.

Queens Public Library CEO’s Compensation in The Spotlight

Galante

The water surrounding Queens Public Library (QPL) President and CEO Thomas W. Galante just keeps getting hotter. In the weeks since the New York Daily News published a story detailing his $392,000 annual salary and the pricey renovations done to his office while QPL branches were suffering staff cuts, Galante has consistently denied any wrongdoing, even while other city officials call on him to step down from the post he has held since 2005.

A Townwide Scavenger Hunt | Programs That Pop

Winning team: the Daly family

THE One Book, One Community pick for 2013 at the Darien Library, CT, was David ­Benioff’s City of Thieves, in which the two main characters are charged to collect a dozen eggs in the starving city of Leningrad during the Nazi invasion. The penalty should they not complete this outrageous task is to forfeit their lives. As soon as I knew City of Thieves was the choice, I knew that we had to do a townwide scavenger hunt. It also seemed like a great opportunity to partner with and support local businesses.

The State of Readers’ Advisory

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Does your library offer a readers’ advisory (RA) service? If so, you’re in good company—and a lot of it! All of the public librarians who answered a survey recently developed by LJ with NoveList and the RUSA/CODES Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee said that they conducted personal RA in-house. Methods varied, however.

Texas Successfully Appeals IMLS Funding Cuts

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) successfully appealed an October 2013 decision by the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS), restoring $6.5 million in federal matching funds designated to support library activities across the Lone Star State.

Gale, Libraries Team To Offer High School Diplomas

For years, adults who had dropped out of high school had only one venue to prove that they’d mastered the same skills that a diploma reflects: passing the general educational development (GED) test. While it’s better than nothing, though, in practice, a GED is not a complete replacement for a diploma, since it’s treated as a lesser substitute by colleges and employers. Now, Gale Cengage Learning is partnering with the country’s first accredited online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), to offer a way for adults to earn a full high school diploma through libraries across the nation: Career Online High School (COHS).

MOOCing at the Public Library

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While much has been written about the role of academic libraries in supporting massive open online courses (MOOCs), the inclusion of MOOCs in a public library setting is largely unexplored territory. This past summer, the Ridgefield Library included a MOOC as part of its adult summer reading program. Based on this experience, the Ridgefield Library plans to continue as a meet-up destination for MOOCs as part of its mission to be “an intellectual and cultural center” and to support lifelong learning for all ages.