Remodeling on a Budget

April 12, 2010

A review of recent plans and completed projects at a variety of California libraries instills a sense of excitement about the possibilities inherent in taking a low-cost approach to the remodeling of libraries. Interviews with sources involved with recent projects throughout the state reveal much of the thinking that has guided successful fiscally frugal remodeling … Continue reading Remodeling on a Budget

Everyday Existence

April 11, 2010

A confession: I am a library freak.  I believe deeply in the importance of libraries and think of librarians as some of the most amazing, committed, brilliant, and radical professionals I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet and work with. I believe that the future of the organization I founded, StoryCorps, will be tightly entwined … Continue reading Everyday Existence

A Circulation Renovation Cuts Expenses

April 8, 2010

With public funding becoming less available throughout the country, libraries are looking for ways to trim their current and future budgets. One library is using popular new technology to reduce staff costs, one of the biggest items in any library’s budget: The St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana, recently renovated the circulation … Continue reading A Circulation Renovation Cuts Expenses

Grow Your Own Librarian

April 6, 2010

In 2004, in response to the difficulties of recruiting professionals to work in public libraries in the state, the Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) embarked on an innovative program to improve public library services and “grow their own” librarians. Their solution was to create an intensive Librarianship Institute that not only immerses participants in the principles … Continue reading Grow Your Own Librarian

Librarians, Self-Preservation, and Construction Budgets

April 2, 2010

Money, money, money! Of course, money is a subject that occupies many of a librarian’s waking thoughts and occasional nightmares. However, money issues on a construction project can become so numerous and so stress-producing that you may feel tempted to sign up for the Foreign Legion or flee to Timbuktu. If you’re embarking on your … Continue reading Librarians, Self-Preservation, and Construction Budgets

Al Gore

Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore on the Environment and the Eternal Role of Libraries

March 31, 2010

Nobel Prize and Oscar winner, former vice president and, in his own words, the man who “used to be the next president of the United States,” Al Gore delivered the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture January 16 at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston. His message: The environmental threat facing the planet as a … Continue reading Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore on the Environment and the Eternal Role of Libraries

Invest in Yourself

March 22, 2010

Crazy times, right? Whether you are new to libraries or you’ve been around for a while, you would probably agree that our world has been spinning in a lot of different directions lately. With budget cuts, layoffs, reductions in hours, and new technology around every corner, no one has the time or money to devote … Continue reading Invest in Yourself

A Library Grows in Newburg

March 22, 2010

In August 2009, a decades-old dream came true for the people of Louisville, Kentucky’s Newburg neighborhood. It came in the form of a new library, a branch of the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) system. Not surprising to many of the more than 20,000 residents in this traditionally underserved area, the Newburg branch has become … Continue reading A Library Grows in Newburg

Fiscal Crisis Management

March 17, 2010

A bad economy has resulted in a painful paradox for libraries: Government, institutional, and philanthropic funding for libraries has been severely cut across the country, while use is at record highs. Providing more service with fewer dollars is difficult and stressful for trustees, staff, and customers as they adjust to reduced expectations and services. Tough … Continue reading Fiscal Crisis Management

Designing Space for Children and Teens

March 14, 2010

Envisioning a new youth services space is a joint effort on the part of the architects, design professionals, staff, board, and community. It requires an examination of the mission and roles of the library and how the library utilizes space to satisfy the needs of the community and, in particular, the needs of families and … Continue reading Designing Space for Children and Teens