The FCC voted another $1.5 billion to E-Rate, a federal subsidy program that brings high speed broadband to schools and libraries, and advocates, including the American Library Assocation and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, are voicing their cheer.
Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report, sponsored by Freading.
On October 20–21, scholarly nonprofit organization ITHAKA held its annual Sustainable Scholarship conference at New York City’s Wyndham Hotel. The event’s theme, “At the Starting Line,” echoed the concerns of many libraries, publishers, and institutions about the demands for change driven by today’s information marketplace.
Describing the service as a potentially “disruptive challenge to libraries,” Jamie LaRue, principal of LaRue and Associates Consulting, told LJ that “even in rural areas now, a lot of folks have ereaders, and find that they prefer ebooks. This kind of service, at that price point, will probably result in another market shift. $9.99 is a pretty good deal.”
Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with Instructables.com and the American Library Association, has finally launched its searchable website, makeitatyourlibrary.org, for librarians seeking maker space ideas and projects. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker projects in their own communities at low cost.
Last week’s “The Digital Shift” virtual event, “Reinventing Libraries,” produced by Library Journal and School Library Journal, looked at the broad spectrum of ways in which libraries are remaking themselves and rethinking their missions—and how to accomplish them—in the digital age. Throughout the day, panelists gave presentations, took questions from honing new skills, developing new ones, and thinking ahead about what assets will make a successful library—and a successful librarian—in the future.