June 22, 2017

Why Should Kids Have All the Fun? | Programs That Pop

Once a month, giddy adults come to the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, IA, just before closing time, armed with Nerf blasters. Other patrons stare with curiosity and a little alarm. Once the building is closed, the quiet reference area explodes with noise, excitement, and foam darts. This is our favorite program: Nerf Capture the Flag, open to anyone 18 and older.

Materials Breakout | Materials Survey 2015

Here’s the good news: respondents to LJ’s annual materials survey of U.S. public libraries nationwide report that their materials budgets are up 3%, averaging $807,000 overall and ranging from $30,000 on average for libraries serving populations under 10,000 to $4,437,000 for libraries serving populations over 500,000. That’s the best budget showing since the $862,000 average in 2008 and a sign that libraries are catching up after the major economic downturn of 2007–08, though with prices now higher, budgets are still playing catch-up.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, February 15, 2015 Issue

The pros and cons of community college for all, library marketing, the need for shooter safety, and more letters to the editor form the February 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Library People News: Hires, Promotions, Retirements, and Obituaries

Watson appointed Associate State Librarian for Ohio; Simons to direct Brown County Library, WI; Grayshaw named director, Middletown Public Library, PA, and more library people news from the February 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

To explain the utility of ­semantic search and linked data, Jeff Penka, director of channel and product development for information management solutions provider Zepheira, uses a simple exercise. Type “Chevy Chase” into Google’s search box, and in addition to a list of links, a panel appears on the right of the screen, displaying photos of the actor, a short bio, date of birth, height, full name, spouses and children, and a short list of movies and TV shows in which he has starred. Continue typing the letters “ma” into the search box, and the panel instantly changes, showing images, maps, current weather, and other basic information regarding the town of Chevy Chase, MD.

LAPL, SELF-e, Surprising Stats | Self-Publishing & Libraries

For at least a generation, libraries have focused their collection development efforts on the Big Six (now Big Five) publishers. But that domination of library purchases and circulation may be about to change.

What’s Your Pitch? | Office Hours

Speaking here and there, I’ve logged a few airline miles over the years and visited some pretty cool places. A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living.

The Long Good Fight: Libraries at the heart of intellectual freedoms | Editorial

Librarians and libraries are essential to discourse about intellectual freedoms. Now we have more work to do in light of violent efforts to curtail such rights, perhaps most notably the January 7 attack on the offices of Paris’s weekly Charlie Hebdo. For me, these events brought our work to date into high relief but also intensified a sense of urgency about what librarians can do to defend a richer understanding of the value of freedom of inquiry and expression.

Editors’ Spring Picks

LJ’s reviews editors discuss exciting spring releases