June 22, 2017

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.

Life + Library | Innovation

Libraries in Chicago, San Francisco, and Cornelius, OR, have taken advantage of economies of scale to plan new locations in the same building as affordable senior housing developments. By working together, they maximized resources to improve the lives of all neighborhood residents.

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.

Libraries in Balance | Office Hours

One of my students was telling me about her public library job: “It just breaks my heart some days…. There is such a disconnect between the technologies our management wants us to explore and implement and what our patrons need and want. Our patrons are the city’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Doing Fine(s)? | Fines & Fees

Fees and fines have traditionally been a fact of life for public libraries in America, even though a nonnegligible proportion of librarians and patrons have long considered fines at best an unpleasant hassle and at worst a serious barrier to access to resources for those unable to pay them. As many libraries continue to assess and overhaul their fine and fee structures, sponsored by Comprise Technologies, LJ surveyed a random selection of public librarians in January 2017 to learn about their libraries’ approaches to fines and fees. LJ received 454 responses.

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.

Peer Navigators Bring “Lived Experience” to DPL Social Work Team

Across the country, more and more library systems are embracing their role as de facto matchmakers between social services and the people who need to access them by hiring social workers as staff. Sometimes, though, people who need to interact with these organizations don’t want to find out about them from traditional social workers, but from people who have dealt with them as users. That’s where the Denver Public Library (DPL) Peer Navigators come in.

Librarians Mobilize Resources, Information, and Solidarity in Response to New Administration

The results of the 2016 presidential election caught many by surprise. With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, and his immediate remaking of American policy through executive orders, public and academic librarians began to mobilize. From book displays addressing resistance and inclusivity, to graphics proclaiming that all are welcome in the library, to topical LibGuides, to online groups organized by discipline or principles, library staff and supporters across the country joined forces with like thinkers to do what they do best: share information where it’s most needed.

WhiteSpace Project Could Grow Rural Broadband Access

Leveraging TV white space (TVWS)—unused, license-exempt portions of the radio spectrum that have been traditionally allocated to television broadcasters—could expand broadband Internet access in rural areas. The San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Information, in partnership with the Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN), has been assessing ways to do so through the Libraries WhiteSpace Project.