Many libraries work with local cultural institutions to provide patrons with free or reduced-cost access. These print passes can be checked out in-house by patrons just like other resources, complete with circulation limits, due dates, and fines. Some software companies are simplifying pass management with web-based tools to help patrons discover and check out museum passes and event tickets or make reservations.
The Book-Rich Environment Initiative will serve children living in HUD-assisted housing—and encourage families to use local libraries. The U.S. DOE and the National Book Foundation are among the new project’s partners.
Academic database and streaming media publisher Alexander Street is beta testing the Open Music Library (OML), a new online resource that will eschew database paywalls, enabling non-subscribers to discover and use high-quality open access and public domain content from contributors such as the Library of Congress (LC) and the British Library (BL), while offering subscribers a seamless experience discovering and using free and for-fee content together.
Academic libraries continue to add to their ebook collections, but while ebooks are becoming the preferred format for reference materials, many students still prefer to read and study monographs and textbooks in print, according to “Ebook Usage in U.S. Academic Libraries 2016,” a survey conducted by Library Journal and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning.
Partnering with Sprint, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is allowing students who don’t have Wi-Fi at home to check out portable hotspots.
The discussion at this year’s Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Orlando, FL spanned topics ranging from online privacy to “superfast application development” on the near horizon. LITA revamped the session format this year to be more interactive: rather than offering individual trend presentations each panelist quickly summarized one trend they’ve been following, and then participated in discussions sparked by questions from moderator Maurice Coleman, technical trainer, Harford County Public Library, MD, and host of the long-running “T is for Training” podcast, with debates emerging on how long libraries should support old devices, and which tech trends may be overhyped within the library field.
In a June 25 session at the ALA Annual conference in Orlando, John Bracken, VP of media innovation for the Knight Foundation, said that the foundation has been focused on three key questions when working with libraries: What can be done to foster cross-discipline collaboration, possibly learning from projects in other civic sectors such as Code for America, 18F, or the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews collaboration; how can community be put “even more robustly” at the center of the foundation’s work; and how can the foundation help libraries tell their stories to wider audiences? “To succeed, particularly in a time of reduced public investment, it is vital to tell our stories in ways that people can understand the breadth of our work, and on platforms” where the public is present and listening, Bracken said.
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Science programs and activities are a great way to capture their interest and encourage the development of early literacy skills. Many science activities and materials are easy to incorporate into library programs; you may find that you’re already including elements that increase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) knowledge, for example, talking about color mixing or identifying and playing with shapes.