As concepts like self-publishing and digitized materials come to the forefront, how are libraries evolving in the new book world? In the new American Libraries digital supplement Digital Content: What’s Next?, leading library practitioners and experts discuss promises and “Faustian bargains” of ebooks.
Each place they go, they’ll tailor their shelves to suit the needs of the community: think kids’ books for pop-up story time in parks, or gay erotica for the Pride Parade, as well as an array of new and best sellers. Librarians will also be on hand to make book suggestions and sign people up for library cards—basically, they’ll provide all the services of a brick-and-mortar library, short of accepting book returns.
From May 7–8, 2013, more than 350 librarians, patrons, trustees, educators and parents met with members of Congress to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s 39th annual National Library Legislative Day. Advocates discussed the need to protect federal library funding and support access to federally-funded scholarly journal articles, among other issues.
A group of Elmhurst residents is pushing for the Elmhurst Public Library to reevaluate its policy for carrying video games rated “M” (mature); in response, the library has released an extensive PDF document of information and varying opinions on the topic.
StoryCorps is teaming up with the Chicago Public Library to record migration stories, part of the library’s programing with “One Book, One Chicago” and the American Library Association’s “StoryCorps@YourLibrary” pilot program.
How do library workers provide information services to immigrants and still stay within state laws that place limits on such activities? Next month, the American Library Association (ALA) will address immigration issues librarians face when they host free the webinar titled “Taking Action: Best Practices to Support Librarians and Library Workers Facing Laws Limiting Access to Information and Library Services to Immigrants.”
The ALA’s “U.S. Public Libraries and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program” is the first to highlight state and local library BTOP projects nationwide and the improvements they have made to public access technology resources, digital literacy, and workforce development. Library projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia are featured in the report.
“Libraries have served as first responders in these tough economic times,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. “Millions of Americans have turned to us to gain new technology skills and access to specialized resources. BTOP has helped to enable expanded services and to develop the improved infrastructure to meet these community needs.”
Nearly all statewide library projects include digital literacy training. More than 367,000 Coloradans increased their digital literacy skills through that state’s BTOP project. Ninety-five percent of those who took formal classes in Colorado stated they learned a valuable skill and would recommend the classes to others.
Nearly 600 people who participated in New York State Library’s “Broadband Express @ your library” programs and used online job resources went on to secure employment.
The Nebraska Library Commission has more than doubled its grant goal, which was to upgrade broandband speeds for 45 libraries in this mostly rural state. Of the 101 libraries upgraded so far, the average speed moved from 2.9 Mbps to 21.4 Mbps.
Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have established new videoconferencing capabilities in several, if not all, libraries in their states. The Maine State Library is deploying its statewide network to provide legal information clinics through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The clinics are offered in real time, allowing patrons at multiple locations, and especially in rural locations, to attend and ask questions directly of the presenting attorney.