February 16, 2018

KY Governor’s Budget Would Eliminate Library Funds

Library Legislative Day in Kentucky on February 15 will give directors and advocates their first real chance to push back against Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent FY18–20 budget proposal, which seeks to eliminate every penny of the $2.5 million currently earmarked for direct state aid to libraries.

What’s Hot Now? | Materials Survey 2018

What’s hot, what’s not, and how much does it cost? That’s what LJ first asked two decades ago when it launched its annual book-buying survey of U.S. public libraries. With today’s media mostly on the horizon, the survey initially dwelled on print, and library purchasing power was the main thrust. Now the survey takes in ever-shifting funding and borrowing data for an ever-growing range of materials, with a greater focus on what circulates.

IMLS Report: State Library Funding Still Suffering

State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) across the country experienced major decreases in revenue and staffing during the economic recession, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) biennial State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) Survey, conducted in FY16.

Residents Sue Escondido Over Library Outsourcing

Roy and Mary Garrett, residents of Escondido, CA, and longtime library patrons, are suing the city over its decision to privatize the Escondido Public Library (EPL). Officials voted in August to turn library operations over to Library Systems and Services (LS&S), a private for-profit company that manages public libraries, to forestall a projected citywide pension shortfall. In October, the city council voted to enter into a ten-year contract with the firm. Many residents have opposed the move from the beginning, noting that city officials pursued the plan without asking for input or presenting alternatives.

Nashville, Salt Lake City, Columbus Eliminate Fines

Starting the first week of July 2017, the Nashville Public Library (NPL) and the Salt Lake City Public Library system (SLCPL) have joined the increasing number of public libraries in the United States that no longer collect overdue fines from patrons. These changes will also wipe out fines that users have already accrued. For both systems, this shift reflects their missions to remove a barrier to library borrowing—blocked card privileges due to fines and to provide equitable access to as many patrons as possible.

Montana State Library To See Cuts in Budget, Staff, Service

The first staff layoffs since 2011 is this confirmed will take effect in July at the Montana State Library (MSL) in Helena, as one of several cost-cutting measures forced by budget cuts enacted by the legislature for FY18 and 19. And MSL officials are bracing for a second, even steeper round of reductions in funding, staff, and services later this summer.

Making It Happen | Programming

As Maker spaces in libraries become increasingly common, often backed by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—and Maker activities without a dedicated space even more so—anyone who follows the professional literature and conference presentations is surely aware of the buzz around Making. But just how much does that buzz represent widespread practice, and of what precisely do these offerings consist?

New World, Same Model | Periodicals Price Survey 2017

The shift to digital delivery of serials content has had a profound effect on the information ecosystem. Powerful discovery and social networking tools expose users to an incredibly rich world of commercially produced and open access (OA) content. Most publishers have explored new ways of pricing their content—such as population served, FTE (full-time equivalent), tiered pricing based upon Carnegie classification, or other defining criteria—or the database model, which treats all content within an e-journal package as a database, eliminating the need for title by title reconciliation. However, in the end, the pricing conversation always seems to circle back to the revenue generated by the annual subscription model.

Maximizing the Message | LJ 2016 Marketer of the Year Award

Few libraries were untouched by the economic downturn of the 2000s. As systems began to rebound, however, a challenge was to replace the perception that they were down and out with the new reality of extended hours, replenished staff, and improved services. The strongest marketers among them also focused on the stories behind those comebacks, and information about what users could expect going forward. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), in the city of Charlotte and County of Mecklenburg, NC, was determined not just to recover but to come back stronger than ever, to make sure its customers knew it—and to give them a chance to tell their side of the story.

LIU Librarians, Faculty Return After 12-Day Lockout

When classes began on the Brooklyn, NY campus of Long Island University (LIU) September 7, students found their professors barred from campus and replaced by alternate instructors. A contract stalemate between LIU-Brooklyn faculty and management had resulted in an unprecedented lockout of 400 faculty members by administration days before the new semester began. Thanks to coordinated protests from faculty and students and the support of the LIU Faculty Federation (LIUFF), however, the 12-day lockout ended after a six-hour negotiating session on September 14.