A single tax dollar invested in the Cody, Meeteetse, and Powell (Wyo.) libraries returned $4.28 in materials borrowed, program attendance, device training, public computer logins, and meeting rooms booked during the last fiscal year. According to a recent report from the Park County Library System, the county budget of $1,705,894 yielded more than $7 million in services, if they were purchased at retail price. Over the course of the fiscal year (July 2018–June 2019) books, movies, digital downloads, music CDs, and periodicals checked out totaled nearly 84% of the value for services. Programs, classes, and volunteer hours accounted for more than 6% of the total.
Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, Sept. 19
Tim Wise writes: “Yes, science, technology, engineering, and math will all be vital to helping us solve the looming (and quite present) ecological crisis, to say nothing of repairing critical infrastructure, becoming energy independent, and addressing any number of health-related emergencies around the globe. But without an equal commitment to comprehensive civics education—an examination of subjects that touch on the relationships between people, government, the economy, and media—all the technical know-how in the world will be for naught. For this reason, I would suggest a renewed focus on MESH education, which stands for media literacy, ethics, sociology, and history.”
Medium, Sept. 17
The Washington Monument reopened September 19 after three years of restoration work, and the Library of Congress takes a photographic look at its long history from conception through construction to completion. In 1856, when funding shortages interrupted construction, the monument stood only 156 feet tall out of a projected 500 feet. During the Civil War, the site was used for the grazing and slaughtering of government cattle, earning it the nickname Beef Depot Monument. Congress passed a joint resolution on July 5, 1876, to complete the monument, and the capstone was finally placed in December 1884.
Library of Congress: Picture This, Sept. 19
From researching to remixing, library users need your guidance on a wide range of copyright topics. The way to move beyond “yes, you can” or “no, you can’t” is to become a copyright coach. In Coaching Copyright, published by ALA Editions, librarian and attorney Kevin L. Smith teams up with information literacy expert Erin L. Ellis to offer a framework for coaching copyright, empowering users to take a practical approach to specific situations. Complete with in-depth case studies, this collection provides valuable information rooted in pragmatic techniques.
ALA Editions, Sept. 19
The Public Library Association announced that registration and housing are officially open for the PLA 2020 Conference, which will take place February 25–29 in Nashville, Tennessee. Offered biennially, the PLA Conference is the premier event for public library professionals, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, Friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world. The PLA 2020 schedule is packed with extraordinary educational content, inspiring speakers, and memorable entertainment. Single-day and full-conference packages are available.
PLA, Sept. 18
Carrie Smith writes: “Libraries support countless book clubs, both formal and informal. With increasing digital engagement, digital lending models for ebooks and audiobooks offer opportunities for book clubs to expand, and online platforms can bring together community members who couldn’t otherwise participate. These three companies offer resources and products to help libraries engage readers with digital book clubs.”
American Libraries, Sept./Oct.
The Mansfield-area YMCA held a ribbon cutting on September 17 to introduce a new service being offered at the facility with the help of the Mansfield–Richland County (Ohio) Public Library. Members who use the facility will now be able to borrow books and movies from the library’s collection—through a specialized vending machine, the only one of its kind in the Mansfield area. Library Director Chris May says the library was looking for new ways to connect with the community, especially those who are hard to reach or don’t visit libraries often.
WMFD-TV, Mansfield, Ohio, Sept. 17
Andrew Heinzman writes: “When you shop for a new laptop, it can be a fun yet oddly stressful experience. If you choose the wrong one, you’re stuck with it for a while. And nobody likes a slow, unreliable laptop. You don’t have to settle, though. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a laptop that’s right for you. You just have to know what to look for, so you can find the perfect laptop to satisfy your requirements. Some items to consider are the operating system, size and portability, internal specifications, display quality, ports and drives, and battery life.”
Review Geek, Sept. 17
A 36-year-old man who set himself on fire September 17 at the downtown Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library has died, police said. Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said David Franklin Smith died at 6:20 p.m. after he was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals Burn Unit in Iowa City. The preliminary investigation indicates that the man intentionally lit the fire. Smith was in an atrium in the library when he started the fire. Library workers helped put the fire out with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived.
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Sept. 18
Michael Kimmelman writes: “Against a phalanx of mostly dreary new apartment towers, the Hunters Point Community branch of the Queens Public Library by Steven Holl Architects is a diva parading along the East River. Compact, at 22,000 square feet and 82 feet high, the library is among the finest and most uplifting public buildings New York has produced so far this century. It also cost something north of $40 million and took forever to complete before its upcoming opening on September 24. So it raises the question: Why can’t New York City build more things like this, faster and cheaper?”
New York Times, Sept. 18
What do you do when your library wants to expand its space for young learners but doesn’t have the money for a new building? You think small. Meridian (Idaho) Library District created the Tiny Library from a converted shipping container—and, with help from its partners, has seen indelible benefits in the community. The library is now developing a toolkit so that others can replicate its success. Meridian’s Communications and Marketing Specialist Macey Snelson explains how it all came about.
American Libraries Spotlight, Sept./Oct.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 ALCTS preservation awards. The division presents three preservation awards through its Preservation and Reformatting Section to honor individuals whose work represents the finest achievements in research, collaboration, creative work, leadership, and service in preservation or to support a new preservation staff member’s participation in preservation activities at the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations and supporting materials is December 1.
ALCTS, Sept. 18