The Dallas Public Library (DPL) found a way to publicize its hidden vinyl record collection, clear its shelves of items that needed weeding, make some money, celebrate the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library’s 33rd anniversary, and show its patrons a good time—all at once. On the evening of September 17, 2015, the library held a record sale and party, complete with a DJ, refreshments, and a cash bar, dubbed the 33 1/3 party in honor of both the branch’s birthday and the revolutions per minute speed of LP records. The event “was really fun,” said organizer Heather Lowe, manager of DPL’s fine arts division, “much better attended than in our wildest dreams.” Thousands of weeded records were put up for sale at $2 apiece, with a 25 album per person limit. At the end of the evening, the library had netted more than $6,000.
The $2 million renovation of the Carnegie Library Learning Center on the Health Sciences Campus of the University of Georgia, Athens, is now complete. Funded through donations from the Tull Charitable Foundation and the Callaway Foundation, the work on the 1910 Beaux Arts building returned some of the original features to the facility and includes […]
Julie Ann Garrison named Dean of University Libraries at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo; Kyle Neugebauer was appointed Director, Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, ME; William P. Kelly named Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, and more new appointments, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the February 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
I’m working with the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL), NC, on a unique user experience (UX) project, and I’d like to share a bit about it over the next few columns. The project, quite expansive in scope, started in September 2015 and runs though April 2016. During this time, we’re working to improve many different aspects of the library. All touch points are on the table for discussion. Some of our first efforts have included high-level strategic planning: developing a new mission statement, organizational values, and a service philosophy. A small sampling of things we’re studying and improving includes holds shelf location, printing and computers, service delivery methods, collection size, bathrooms, furniture placement, teen services, the website, library lobbies, and telephone service.
Libraries as public information utilities, the value in large scale conferences, EASA doesn’t go far enough, and more letters to the February 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal
In 2015, nearly 150 libraries in 24 states held referenda to renew or enact taxes for operations, staffing, or facilities. More than 1.1 million voters showed up at the polls in 2015 to decide on tax measures for their libraries. Just over 650,000 people voted yes and nearly 470,000 voted no. Of the 148 library ballot measures we have identified (through news reports, surveys, and direct involvement of EveryLibrary, the national library PAC the authors work for), 127 were won and 21 lost. One, while technically passing, actually rolled back the library’s funding, making it, in our opinion, a loss.
LJ’s 2016 survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, reveals that while libraries continue to regain lost ground, recovery is gradually slowing—and not evenly distributed. Libraries reported moderate gains in overall budgets—an across-the-board increase of 3.2%, representing funding from all sources. Combined with a slight drop in inflation rates—.5% over the 12 months ending in November, compared to .8% for the preceding year—this is still smaller than last year’s overall uptick of 4.3% but welcome nonetheless.
The first time I encountered the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) was nearly 30 years ago. Almost miraculously, PLG has survived from just after the Reagan era through the Clinton and Bush years until Obama. It is still small but manages to publish Progressive Librarian (PL), a journal that combines rigorous scholarship with a strong ideological sentiment.
Trend watching is always fun, but it becomes an annual exercise when the New Year arrives and outfits large and small seize the moment to attempt to encapsulate the forces at work in their spheres. With the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting held so early this year, the 2016 trends deep dive dovetailed, for me, with the many conversations I had in Boston, which as usual ranged from essentially functional to highly aspirational, pinging between today’s pressures and tomorrow’s promise. It struck me that our collective work balances in that space, sometimes more precariously than others.