November 21, 2017

Library Services

Reading Is Its Own Reward | One Cool Thing

Whether it’s a summer reading program for kids, adults, or all ages, librarians often debate the appropriateness of prizes; do they take away from the point by substituting external motivation for internal? But in 2016 and for several years earlier, Iowa’s Lake City Public Library found a clever way to split the difference.

Straight from the Source | Innovation

Libraries possess a not-so-secret weapon when it comes to assessing the needs of their patrons—the frontline staff who engage with their communities every day. How can library leaders best tap staff members’ expertise, make staff at all levels feel safe and welcome to contribute, and harness that information to develop programs and policies that meet real-world needs?

Stigma-Free Reading for Adults | Collections

Nashville Public Library, the 2017 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, launched the Fresh Reads collection to adult new readers in 2017 to offer stigma-free reading to promote literacy and learning.

Closure Plans for Cincinnati Library’s North Building Spark Concerns

As the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) considers the future of its Main Library’s North Building, community members continue to object to the library’s lack of transparency regarding its plans, the elimination of public space, and possible conflicts of interest.

Arizona State to Partner with Public Libraries on Citizen Science

Arizona State University is partnering with Phoenix-area libraries to develop field-tested, replicable, low-cost toolkits of citizen science resources for public libraries. Funded by a 2017 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, researchers from ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and librarians from ASU’s Hayden Library have joined forces with Arizona State Library, the citizen science hub SciStarter, and the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net).

Convening Community Conversations | Programming

It can be challenging to start a substantive conversation, not just small talk, among people of differing experiences and opinions, even—or especially—when they are neighbors. But libraries, as institutions used and trusted by a broad cross section of the population, are uniquely positioned to convene productive dialog that can help patrons abandon the “echo chamber” and start talking to one another.

Mainland Libraries Aid Maria Victims with Money, Mapathons

Update: ALA president-elect Loida García-Febo told LJ that disaster relief organizations and library groups like REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) are still assessing the damage. ALA has established contact with the University of Puerto Rico Library and the Puerto Rican chapter of REFORMA—the organization’s largest—she reported, and is just beginning to gauge their needs.

How to Hot Spot | TechKnowledge

Wi-Fi hot spot lending can help bridge the digital divide by addressing a persistent problem: lack of Internet access at home among low-income families. Without such access, students are often unable to complete homework with an online component, and parents can’t effectively job hunt or apply for government and other ­services.

Oculus Virtual Reality Tech Rolls Out in California Libraries

Library shelves have long presented an opportunity for patrons to escape the real world in the pages of a good book. But at libraries all over California, visitors can travel into a whole new reality. Well, a virtual reality, at least.

Participatory Design in Action | The User Experience

Participatory Design (PD) is a method for engaging deeply with users in order to build inclusive, future-oriented, user-centered services. This year I piloted a PD project with a group of four Native American students at Montana State University (MSU) called User Experience with Underrepresented Populations (UXUP). With 650 enrolled Native students, comprising four percent of our student population, this is a growing and important user community for our library.