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Why are library blogs a good idea?

geralt / PixabayI frequently recommend blogs to people running non-profits, especially libraries. This post from Ned Potter talks about why this is a good idea:

  • Blogging platforms come mobile-ready — this is mostly true, but only if you pick the right theme and don’t add plug-ins or a lot of extras that aren’t mobile-friendly
  • Google loves blogs — blog posts gets indexed by search engines fast
  • Blogs are easy to use — there is a small learning curve, but they’re mostly easy to use
  • Blogs are free — which is technically correct, but not really

Blogs are an easy way to build a website, or to add to an existing website. And they are relatively inexpensive.

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SOURCE: Why have an institutional blog? — Ned Potter

IMAGE SOURCE: geralt / Pixabay

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Libraries as shelters

Bonnybbx / PixabayFor those of us who have worked in libraries, the concept that a library location can (and does) serve as a shelter in times of emergency is… well, commonplace. I’ve seen the aftermath of people using libraries as storm shelters. I’ve seen libraries provide after-event services including places to recharge your cell phones and to get in out of the heat, as well as where you can go sign up for government services and aid.

Libraries as shelters, for me, isn’t a concept, it’s reality. So, coming across this articles dated 2013 from the New York Times, talking about this reality as if it were somehow a groundbreaking idea was an interesting experience. “To some extent, churches, libraries, schools and malls already serve as emergency centers…” the article reads, with an explanation that they can be built better, “With disaster in mind, they could be designed in the future with electrical systems out of harm’s way and set up with backup generators and solar panels, even kitchens and wireless mesh networks.”

It’s an interesting read, regardless of whether you already knew that libraries serve as shelters… or not.

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SOURCE: Next Time, Libraries Could Be Our Shelters From the Storm – NYTimes.com

IMAGE SOURCE: Bonnybbx / Pixabay

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The Most Powerful Authors in Hollywood

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Have you ever wondered who the biggest authors in Hollywood are? According to Hollywood Reporter, these authors are the most influential… because they’ve brought in money and created great content.

#1 J.K. Rowling
#2 Stephen King
#3 George R.R. Martin#4 EL James (this one surprised me)

Check out the article for the complete list.

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SOURCE: Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors – The Hollywood Reporter

IMAGE SOURCE: jarmoluk / Pixabay

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The Spirit of Service: An interview with Sandra Ríos Balderrama

OpenClips / Pixabay

A belated congratulations to Sandra Ríos Balderrama for being presented with REFORMA’s first Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award. REFORMA is the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

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NOTES:

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PLA Now Accepting Nominations for Nine Service Awards and Grants

PLA Now Accepting Nominations for Nine Service Awards and Grants » Public Libraries Online (SUGGESTED READING)

DEADLINE: December 1, 2014. More info:

The awards include:

  • Allie Beth Martin Award, honoring a public librarian who has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor.
  • Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award, promoting the development of a circulating audio music/video collection in a public library.
  • Charlie Robinson Award, honoring a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor.
  • DEMCO New Leaders Travel Grant, enhancing the professional development of new public librarians by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities.
  • EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Library Service Award, honoring a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less that demonstrates excellence of service to its community.
  • Gordon M. Conable Award, honoring a public library staff member, library trustee or public library that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights. Sponsored by Library Systems & Services LLC.
  • John Iliff Award, honoring a library worker, librarian or library that has used technology as a tool to improve services. Sponsored by Innovative.
  • Romance Writers of America Library Grant, providing a public library the opportunity to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming.
  • Upstart Innovation Award, recognizing a public library’s innovative and creative service program to the community.

 Image source: OpenClips / Pixabay

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A new way of looking at public library engagement in America

WokinghamLibraries / PixabayFrom Pew Internet Research:

A new way of looking at public library engagement in America

We recently released our latest report, a typology of public library engagement in America. Using the data behind our previous report on how people value libraries in their communities, this typology divides Americans into nine groups that reflect different patterns of public library engagement along a general spectrum of high, medium, low, and non-engagement.

[snip]

Image source: WokinghamLibraries / Pixabay

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44% of adults have used a library website

Think that library websites have a small audience? Think again! Pew reports: “Library websites are catching on. 44% of those ages 16 and older have ever used a library website, up from 39% in 2012, and 30% used one in the past 12 months. Website users tend to be higher income and well educated.”

In addition, from the full report: “61% of those ages 16 and older have a library card.”

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Kids and literacy are high priorities for library service

WokinghamLibraries / Pixabay

Pew reports: “The public’s highest priorities for libraries center on kids and literacy. 85% of Americans say libraries “should definitely” coordinate more closely with local schools. And 82% believe libraries should provide free literacy programs to young children, which may include traditional reading, writing and comprehension as well as technology and new media literacies.”

From the full report: “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.”

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Books and media still the most important library service

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Pew reports: “Access to books, media, and quiet, safe reading places top the list of favorite library services. 80% of Americans say no-cost access to books and media is the most important service libraries provide, followed by librarian assistance (76%), having a quiet and safe place to read (75%) and research resources (72%).”

From the full report: “95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.”

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Do we need more coffee shops in libraries?

eliasfalla / Pixabay

This article in Forbes makes the argument that libraries need to change their business models and would benefit from copying (and partnering with) Starbucks: “Why There Should Be A Starbucks In Every Local Library.” The writer asserts that one reason that Starbucks is a better model is not just the coffee, but the less restrictive environment.

Do you have a coffee shop or even vending machines in your library?

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Source: “Why There Should Be A Starbucks In Every Local Library

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