Dawn La Valle speaks at her session, “Which World? Using Far Fetched Scenarios to Map out the Future of Libraries” on January 29 at the 2023 LibLearnX Conference in New Orleans.

Thinking Ahead

January 29, 2023

These hypothetical questions may seem more sci-fi than reality, but they’re the kind of futuristic scenarios that Dawn La Valle says libraries should think about and prepare for. “The decisions we make today inform our future tomorrow,” said La Valle, director of the division of library development for Connecticut State Library (CSL) and a Certified … Continue reading Thinking Ahead

Tiny but Mighty

September 3, 2019

Meridian Library District’s (MLD) Tiny Library—a brick-red, 320-square-foot repurposed shipping container—stands out. As families cross the parking lot to the YMCA and spot the new building, we’ve heard kids ask “Can we go today?” and adults remark “This is so neat!” The Tiny Library was born out of the desire partner with other community organizations … Continue reading Tiny but Mighty

Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Future Strategies

September 4, 2018

In Six Issues Facing Libraries Today: Critical Perspectives, John M. Budd calls these issues persistent and thorny—and they are. The first topic addressed is information: what it is and what it is not. Budd explores the criteria used to evaluate statements and suggests further avenues for considering the theory of information. Next is information literacy, an … Continue reading Future Strategies

Imagining A Fine-Free Future

February 11, 2018

Gretchen Caserotti, director of Meridian (Ida.) Library District, began by asking the standing-room-only crowd why libraries charge fines. Answers ranged from“It’s a revenue stream for the city” to “It’s a tool to teach responsibility to younger patrons.” She said there is little research to support these, according to “Removing Barriers to Access,” a Colorado State Library … Continue reading Imagining A Fine-Free Future

A Welcome Place

February 10, 2018

“Libraries carve out a special place for refugees in our community,” said Joseph Wismann-Horther, integration partnership supervisor for Colorado Refugee Services Program. He said there has been a mischaracterization of refugees in the US in the media and by elected officials since the 2016 election. Libraries can help combat these falsehoods, he noted. Wismann-Horther began … Continue reading A Welcome Place

The Library of Things pull-out poster, illustrated by Brian Mead.

The Library of Things

June 1, 2017

As the sharing economy continues to swell, nontraditional collections become more pervasive, community-specific, and imaginative. Here are some of our favorite unusual items circulating at libraries in North America (click to expand).

The Expo Centre Sharjah, site of the SIBF/ALA Library Conference

The View from Sharjah 2016

November 15, 2016

The conference offered participants the chance to learn from international experts from the MENA region as well as from the US. In response to 2015 attendee feedback, the 2016 conference offered more interactivity and focus on specific topics, including in-depth facilitated discussion sections addressing how to build stronger library associations in the MENA region; the … Continue reading The View from Sharjah 2016

images of the future

Big Ideas Come Together

November 3, 2016

The American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries’ work around futuring and foresight has helped reinforce the importance of looking outside our immediate context to help better understand and prepare for our futures. Two recent AtlanticLIVE events showed promising glimpses into the future: What’s Next and the Future of Work Summit. Interconnectedness was … Continue reading Big Ideas Come Together

Trend thinking in libraries

Trend Thinking in Libraries

March 1, 2016

These changes, as subtle or significant as they may be, represent libraries’ continuing alignment with new trends and user needs. Whether it’s emerging adulthood, the unplugged and maker movements, or the growing influence of fast casual restaurants, libraries are taking advantage of trends in the larger environment and putting them to work in their spaces, … Continue reading Trend Thinking in Libraries