February 16, 2018

Aspen Institute Releases Model State-Level Dialogue Report for Colorado

On January 31 the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries (DPL) released “Libraries: Building Community Resilience in Colorado.” The report presents the findings of The Aspen Institute Colorado Dialogue on Public Libraries, a meeting of community stakeholders and library leaders held on May 25, 2017, and builds on DPL’s work examining the evolving roles of public libraries and developing models to drive discussions between libraries and their communities.

Guns in the Library | Safety & Security

Gun violence has recently impacted public spaces such as concerts, schools, churches—and libraries. In this environment, many library leaders are taking new steps to keep their staff and patrons safe.

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.

Closure Plans for Cincinnati Library’s North Building Spark Concerns

Update: At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, December 20, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) board voted 5–0 (two members were not in attendance) not to sell the North Building. Instead, the library will seek a 1 mill tax levy in May, 2018 to help supplement its $54 million facilities plan. The library will host a community conversation on December 27.

National Library Partnership Tackles Health Literacy Gap

More than 90 million Americans have low health literacy, hindering their ability to take control of and address their own health needs, according to a 2004 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Public Library Association (PLA) and its parent organization the American Library Association (ALA), together with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), are working to expand the extent to which libraries—among the most trusted of community institutions—can address this issue.

Balancing Connections and Collections | Library Design

In many types of libraries nationwide, staff are trying to make more space for people. Increasingly, libraries support learning that is social and emotional as well as intellectual, carving out room for learning commons, flexible spaces, quiet contemplation, and active collaboration.

Great Outdoor Spaces | Library Design

The best libraries don’t stop at the front door. Gardens and green roofs alike are beautiful and inspiring. The benefits of exposure to nature are much more than cosmetic: for individuals, research has related it to reduced stress, inflammation, and mortality; improved memory, job satisfaction, and eyesight; and greater social capital. For communities, successful public outdoor spaces not only improve the physical and mental health of residents, they have been shown to aid the environment, create a stronger sense of community, and even boost the economy.

Libraries from Puerto Rico to Florida Respond to Hurricane Irma

Arriving hard on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma cut a destructive swath through the northeastern Caribbean and Florida Keys. More than $50 billion worth of damage was reported in the United States, as well as 39 fatalities.

After Harvey Libraries Reopen, Organizations Step Up

Over a five-day period, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast area of southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana. More than 50 inches of rain fell, killing at least 66 people, displacing 30,000 others, and causing up to $190 billion in damages. When skies finally cleared at the end of August, libraries’ cleanup efforts began in earnest.

Texas Libraries Hit Hard by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey brought record-breaking rainfall and catastrophic flooding to southeast Texas during the last week of August. Unprecedented rainfall in the Houston-Galveston area caused what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott described as “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” Area libraries have sustained damage from water and wind, although at press time floodwaters were still so high, and local roads so impassible, that assessment was impossible.