For around $1,000 a library can purchase a bike repair station. This is a great way to build rapport with both the cycling community, and the neighborhood at large. Some recent examples of public libraries that have installed bicycle repair stations are; Albany Public Library, King County Libraries (Washington), and the District of Columbia Public Library.
Image credit to Nick Normal.
The astonishing rate of library closures in the UK was recently brought to light through a BBC investigation. One of the strategies employed by the educators, librarians, and activists fighting to save public libraries in the UK, involves working to prove that libraries are both needful and effective. Actually, this is something that most librarians will be tasked with at some point in their career. At any rate, recently three scholars, Marianne Bamkin, Sally Maynard, and Anne Goulding discovered one of the best ways to evaluate the effectiveness of children’s mobile libraries.
Photo credit to quisnovus
Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Children from in-need families can access these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app and read as many as they like without incurring any costs. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps. Learn more here.
Image of Paseo Cayala, Guatemala
New Urbanism, or “living urbanism“, is a planning philosophy that strives to incorporate land use to create communities that foster the most desirable characteristics of human habitation (e.g. neighborliness, environmental sustainability, historic preservation, civic participation, etc.). Much urban design that styles itself as “newly urban” is crudely done, but when done correctly the design fosters a place and setting that is distinctly comfortable and human. Public (and academic) libraries in towns and urban communities that are interested in being a part of change, should consider new urbanist principles when designing or re-modeling physical spaces. For more information about new urbanism, the lecture by Andrés Duany at the Chicago Humanities Festival is a great start (see below).
Image credit to flickr.com/photos/christineghfranck/14490337445
Image credit to flickr.com/photos/endymion120/5431739711/
Houben’s most quoted line on libraries is that they are the “cathedrals of the 21st century.” I ask her what she means by that and she says, “I think that they’re the most important public building nowadays, for everybody.” In fact, she has arrived in New York from the Netherlands just in time to be a pivotal figure in a culture war, an unwinnable argument about what these crucial institutions are, who they’re for, and how they should best deploy their resources. Read the rest.
Image credit to flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/
Carter G. Woodson is rightly known as the father of African-American history, but the debt owed to Woodson by both American society, and historians of American culture, goes well beyond his scholarly contributions. Now, one of the few libraries named after Woodson and a facility that houses one of the largest collections of Afro-American history and literature is in serious danger. Libraries serve as not only sources of community, connection and learning, but also as social repositories of memory. Without a memory both people and societies are lost – they have no identity. A threat to our collective memory, is a threat to our individual dignity.
Almost every librarian, at some point in their career, will spend time “on reference.” Michael Dirda gives a great review of a new title by Jack Lynch: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia. The book will be available on February 28.
Photo credit to https://www.flickr.com/photos/40668062@N00/
From The Tennessean. “Nashville Public Library’s Southeast branch is one of several branches that provides special opportunities for home schoolers. The Bellevue, Donelson, Main and Southeast branches have recognized a growing trend among families using library facilities during the day. Libraries are more than a book/technology resource; they are a true place for community members to gather, share and grow.” Read the rest here.
Public Library in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Photo credit to https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/
From the March 2016 issue of The Atlantic. “There are three areas where libraries function as vibrant centers of America’s towns: technology, education, and community.” Read the rest here.