June 18, 2018

Saskatoon Public Library Readies for Staff Restructuring

As Canada’s Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatchewan, nears the launch of its new organization-wide restructuring, employees are both excited and apprehensive about their new roles, library leadership is optimistic about the shift to a community-led model, and negotiations with the library workers’ union are still in progress.

Death By 1,000 Cuts | Periodicals Price Survey 2018

Flat budgets, price increases, and a reliance on status journals for tenure and promotion keep familiar pressures on the serials marketplace.

LJ Study: Electronic Resources Continue Steady Gains in Academic Libraries

More than one-third (37%) of academic library materials budgets go to database subscriptions and electronic reference materials, followed by journals and serials (23%), print books (22%), ebooks (11%), and media/streaming media (5%), according to the Academic Library Collection Development Survey 2017, conducted by LJ’s research department and sponsored by EBSCO. Book holdings are still weighted toward print, with survey respondents, on average, describing print as 60.3 percent of their overall collection, and ebooks as 39.7 percent.

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?