Despite the advent of Google and other tools that have simplified access to information, public libraries have maintained their relevance by responding to complex problems within their communities, said David Lankes, professor and Dean’s Scholar for New Librarianship at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, during his keynote address at the the fourth annual Urban Libraries Conference on May 6 at the Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) central branch. Lankes elaborated on this thesis throughout his “Rocket Science Is Easy” presentation to kick off a day filled with presentations and discussions on current issues affecting urban libraries.
Urban Libraries Conference Highlights STEAM for Kids, Programs for Adults, and DC Makers in Residence
Early results from two Knight News Challenge award-funded pilot programs indicate that mobile hotspot lending could help bridge the digital divide in city neighborhoods where broadband adoption is low, and home Internet subscriptions are considered a luxury. A capacity crowd was on hand to hear Luke Swarthout, director of adult education services for the New York Public Library (NYPL) and Michelle Frisque, chief of technology content and innovation for Chicago Public Library (CPL) discuss NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” services during their “A Tale of Two Cities: NYPL and CPL Wi-Fi Lending Projects” presentation.
NYC Neighborhood Libraries_groupLibrary leaders, staff, friends, and council members gathered May 20 in a grand celebration atop New York City’s Hearst Tower to for the second NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. This year, the Charles H. Revson Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation teamed up to make the awards even more impactful, doubling the total award amounts and creating strong engagement with library users along the way. The ten winning branch libraries were selected from more than 13,000 nominations. The five winners, which each received $20,000, are: Langston Hughes Library, Corona (Queens); Mott Haven Library, Mott Haven (the Bronx); New Lots Library, East New York (Brooklyn); Parkchester Library, Parkchester (the Bronx); and Stapleton Library, Stapleton (Staten Island).
In the wake of accusations that suspended Queens Library (QL) president and CEO Thomas W. Galante mishandled library funds, Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Queens) proposed legislation on October 21 that would require all three of New York’s public library systems to publicly disclose how their money is spent.
In an effort to address the lack of broadband access among low-income residents, the Chicago Public Library (CPL), and New York Public Library (NYPL) on June 23 announced new programs that will allow patrons to check out and take home wifi hotspots. NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet,” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” programs are made possible, in part, by grants awarded this week by the Knight News Challenge, a competition developed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Mozilla, to fund and promote projects committed to making the Internet an open, equitable platform.
Hachette Book Group today announced that it will once again sell its frontlist ebook titles to libraries, beginning on May 8. Hachette’s entire catalog of 5,000 ebooks will now be available through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and the 3M Cloud Library, under a pricing and licensing model similar to the one employed by Random House.
Patrons visiting the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) now have free access to the entire catalog of more than 1,500 instructional online training videos offered by Lynda.com, thanks to a new partnership announced last week. For the first time, the service will be deployed in a public library setting across a range of IP addresses, allowing SIBL to offer Lynda.com access on more than 60 workstations throughout the building, without requiring any login information.