Libraries and Technology coming together

“Technology is not overtaking the library, it is joining it…

There is no doubt that technology has had a lasting impact on libraries. Once thought to be going the way of traditional bookstores, libraries have rebounded and are thriving in a technology fueled world. With the help of innovation, re-imagination and vision, libraries are embracing new technologies while creating dynamic community centers filled with life. They are no longer a house of dusty books and card files; they are centers of creativity, research and collaboration…and they are free.

Technology has changed the expectations of library patrons; people today expect to be able to find and access information from wherever they are. This is why so many…Read more

Libraries Are Not Just For The Best Sellers: Reference Librarians

Check out this blog post that explains why libraries are not just for the best sellers and the importance of reference librarians in our libraries.

“Get away from the top 10 best sellers and find something new…

One recent Saturday morning I woke up and our toilet didn’t work. My first instinct was to get The Mr. to come fix it, but he works nights and had just gotten home so I wanted to let him sleep. I loaded my kids into the car and we walked into our local Lowe’s store. The first associate I asked for help didn’t know what I needed, but he walked me to the plumbing counter where I proceeded to ask for “the thingy in the toilet behind the thingy.” And yes, I really did say thingy twice. After he asked me a few questions he knew exactly what I needed and we got the part. I even somewhat successfully replaced it myself when I got home, although that is not the point of this story, the customer service at Lowe’s is.

Not too long ago a man came into my library wearing slacks, a button up shirt and a tie. He signed up to use a computer, which sits right next to the Reference Desk where I sit. After a few minutes working he started asking me some questions. It turns out that he was recently laid off and he was trying to apply for jobs. So we began talking resumes. He asked if he needed…Read mor

Libraries are Adapting

Do we still need libraries? Our world is being taken over by technology, does that mean that they will be lost? In fact, no! Libraries are adapting.

“Are E-readers taking over the library?…

Once upon a time, a library was just about the only place that someone could go to get a book or go to read for free. Librarians knew their turf inside and out. Card catalogs were an essential part of stock organization. After this became outdated, the Dewey Decimal System reigned supreme. Libraries all over the country thrived as one of the main providers of free books and education.

Then came the advent of the internet, and that changed everything. Before long, books were available on different sites on the web, and many companies and organizations strove to catalog and digitize as many books as they legally could. It was only a matter of time until Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders swept the scene. Along with them came the ebook and the ability…Read more

Saving Our Public Libraries in a Paperless World

Just because our lives are becoming more and more focused on technology, does not mean that our libraries are becoming less important.

Check out this article “Saving Our Public Libraries in a Paperless World”

“Just because we can go paperless does not mean that we should…

With all the emphasis lately on paperless, ebooks, the Internet, and so on, it may seem that the humble community library that we all grew up with is under attack. But there’s plenty of evidence that the library is changing with the times and has as big a role in our society as ever—and it’s getting some staunch defenders. We wanted to do our part.

Faced with tight budgets and cutbacks, local and state governments have been cutting library budgets, even as the economy is improving. Some detractors are even saying…Read more 

We Can Not Lose Our Libraries

Libraries are a vital resource for many people. Not everyone has access to internet, books, quiet study spaces, etc at home. The library allows everyone free access to all of these; we can not lose our libraries.

“If we are not careful we could lose much more than just a library building…

Public libraries in America are under attack. If we’re not careful, we could lose one of our nation’s most valuable learning and community resources.

In an American Library Association (ALA) survey of 7,260 public libraries on public usage and funding for the budget year 2011-2012, 57% of participating libraries reported that their funding was flat or decreased. Twenty-three states cut funding for public libraries – the third year in a row that 40% of states did so.

No doubt one reason for this erosion of financial support for public libraries is that we live in…Read more

Libraries Are a Social Place

Libraries are not just places where you can check out books, do research on computers, or get information from a librarians- libraries are a social place. Forget the stigma of the shushing librarian and think about who you could meet at the library. Libraries are a meeting place and a place for community.

“As librarians, we know the value of our community services, and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued, and occasionally under fire. When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever.

David Morris wrote a stirring piece last May in which he argues for the value that public libraries bring to their communities.[1] More than just books and banks of computers, libraries are still places where individuals gather to explore, interact, and imagine. We decided to take a look at some of the specific ways in which libraries add value to our communities and serve as cultural centers for our patrons. We separated library services into five very broad…Read more

Take Your Child to the Library

Libraries are great for children, and it is not just because this a place where they can learn to read.

Read more and see why you should take your child to the library!

“I learned to print my name almost before I could read it — for the sole purpose of getting my own library card. I was so young I had to stand on tiptoe to see over the check-out desk and hand the librarian my application. When the librarian, in turn, handed me a library card with my own name typed on it — not my mother’s — I was ecstatic. I literally wore out the card in a few months, off and running toward becoming a lifelong reader.

Recognizing the role the library played in my becoming a book lover (and a career children’s editor), I herded my kids into the library as soon as they could toddle. Libraries had changed a lot, of course, but — just as I did — my kids quickly felt at home there. The children’s librarian came to know them, helped them select books, and, even better, encouraged them to also choose their own books. Libraries have played such an essential role in our family that I’m almost gobsmacked when…Read more

Don’t forget about the library

Google and the internet can not teach us everything we need to know.

Also, what if this so sacred internet access is not available to you? The library is the great equalizer and source of education in our communities. Don’t forget about the library!

“Libraries are at risk because we have forgotten how essential they are. In the era of Google and Amazon, those with means can access information with greater ease and speed than ever before. As a consequence, in cities and towns across the world the same debate rages each year when budget time rolls around: What’s the purpose of a library in a digital age? Put more harshly, why should we spend tax dollars, in tough economic times, on a library when our readers can instantly get so much of what they need and want from the Internet? As the bulk of funding for police, fire departments, and schools – all necessary services – has become the responsibility of state and local governments, municipal leaders have been forced to ask a question that library supporters aren’t prepared to answer: are libraries necessary?

We keep having this debate because we have a very simplistic and skewed idea of why libraries matter. For most of us, libraries are good for one thing: getting information.

But most information today can be readily accessed in digital form, through computers or smartphones. How many times recently have you had a debate with a friend, only to resolve the dispute within seconds…Read more

Come one, come all!

Your public library is one of the most helpful and well loved institutions in your city. Libraries bring people together. They represent the diverse community and can promote equality. Everyone is welcomed and can be helped by their local library.

Come one, come all!

“The public library has features that make it different from any other institution. It is public, in the true democratic sense of the word, and it is free. The value of being free cannot be overestimated. You cannot hang out in the local coffee shop for free. You cannot hang out in the diner for free. You cannot hang out at the senior citizens center for free if you are not a senior. Yes, you can pass the time in the park or along the banks of the river, but not in December, especially not in Chicago. But you can hang out in a library no matter who you are, no matter what your income, no matter how you are dressed, no matter what your interest. The library’s philosophy is simple: Come one, come all.

The wide array of things that libraries offer means that they reach all levels of society. They make society better than it would be if left to its own devices. Libraries are a subtle, almost cunning, bulwark against the racial and socioeconomic segregation that society naturally gravitates toward, even when it does not do so out of malice. People congregate in libraries in a way that…Read more

Libraries Aren’t Going Anywhere

Librarians are aware that technology is booming; they know because of our tech crazed world the library must adapt. Libraries still hold relevance in today’s society. Libraries are increasing the amount of digital media, learning about different new electronics (so they can help people with their tech problems), and using social media to their advantage.

Libraries aren’t going anywhere.

“It’s no secret that digital technology ranging from e-books to social media is forcing public libraries to innovate and adapt, and patrons are beginning to rethink what defines a library. For instance, a 2012 survey from Pew Research found that while many patrons still want to use libraries for borrowing books, they’re also increasingly thinking of them as community spaces that enable access to technology and digital literacy for residents.

Two libraries that are adapting to 21st century technologies are the Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) and the Lewis and Clark Library in Montana. Former and current Big Reads grantees respectively, these two libraries are using technology in… Read more