November 19, 2017

CT Library Supporters Worry as Doomsday Spending Plan Hangs Overhead

Being able to easily get their hands on materials needed for job hunting, financial or legal research, or college applications, whether or not their local branch has them, saves library patrons in Connecticut money and time. In many cases, it may be their only option.

Denver News Report Spurs Library Crime Crackdown

A stepped-up effort to curb unwanted and illegal activities, including the sale and use of drugs, at the sprawling downtown Denver Central Library, CO, is starting to yield results, the city librarian said recently, after a particularly troubling few months that saw 14 drug overdoses on the premises since February, along with dozens of arrests.

Preserving the Personal Past | Programs That Pop

In August 2016, the Greater Baton Rouge, LA, region was impacted by widespread and sustained flooding. Many people were forced to get rid of a majority of their personal archives, including a number of photographs. The materials salvaged were wet and/or in advanced states of mold development. In response to the crisis, the archival community in Baton Rouge began to educate the public through local media and library resources on how to halt degradation of flood-damaged items. As a result, some of these mementos were saved.

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.