November 21, 2017

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.

Broward County Library Pilot Tackles Digital Divide

As part of an effort to bridge the digital divide, Broward County Library (BCL), FL, in partnership with T-Mobile, the county’s Enterprise Technology Services division, CareerSource Broward, and the School Board of Broward County, has launched a two-year pilot program that will provide 300 tablet computers and data access plans to eligible residents of the Broward Municipal Services District (BMSD).

Literate on Literacy | Public Library Think Tank

Literacy—and how libraries are reimagining services to address it for patrons of all ages—took center stage at the Northeast Dade–Aventura Branch, Miami Dade Public Library System (MDPLS), FL, March 9–10, at LJ and School Library Journal’s 2017 Public Library Think Tank. The event—targeting “Libraries and Literacies: Redefining Our Impact”—looked at multiple literacies, including digital, media/information, civic, reading, visual, multicultural, and health, and focused on strategic thinking through a literacy lens.

New Mexico Librarians Use Lyric Analysis To Examine Indigenous Hip-Hop

Delores Tucker is often remembered for her criticism of “gangsta rap,” but she can also be credited with prompting a new form of hip-hop scholarship. In 1997 the activist and politician used several Tupac Shakur lyrics to issue a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the artist’s estate. Teresa Neely, then a doctoral student, heard the news and recognized the lyrics as being taken out of context. To her it was a sign that Shakur’s words needed to be studied as a whole to be understood.

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.

Conference Catch-Up

The 2017 conferences held by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L), in March and April respectively, covered trends ranging from diversity to emerging technology.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

Protecting Patron Privacy

Recently, I was teaching a privacy class for librarians, and the topic turned to the privacy versus convenience trade-off—the occasional annoyances of using privacy-enhancing technologies online. An audience member laid out what she felt I was asking of the group. “You’re telling us to start selling granola when everyone else is running a candy store.”

Diverse Consortium Chicago Collections Welcomes Jeanne Long, DPLAfest

These are exciting times for Chicago Collections (CC), an online member consortium of libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage organizations in and around Chicago. CC named a new executive director, Jeanne Long, in February, and is gearing up to cohost the annual gathering of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in April.

One-Stop Shop | ER&L Preview 2017

With content divided into seven distinct tracks—Managing e-Resources & Licensing, Collection Development & Assessment, Organizational Strategies, External Relationships, User Experience & Promotion, Scholarly Communications & Library Publishing, and Emerging Technologies & Trends—the annual ER&L conference in Austin, TX, offers attendees deep-dive presentations, case studies, and panel discussions on every aspect of electronic resource management (ERM).