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
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
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
“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
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).
“We can learn a great deal about what may happen in the future by looking systematically at what is actually happening now,” wrote Edward Cornish, one of the founders of the World Future Society. We study change so we can prepare for the many futures that might happen. We start seeing what’s coming next. We … Continue reading Our Futures in Times of Change
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
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
“Expand your vision. Drop, for a moment, the restraints on your thinking imposed by budgets and other resource caps. Think boldly. Coalesce around a strong idea; then work backwards and figure out the steps to get there. In the midst of rapidly shifting demographics and at a time when we cannot remain static, what active … Continue reading Serving the Patrons of the Future
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
Those questions and more were examined by two panels of library experts mulling over what libraries might look like in our lifetimes and beyond in a November 11 program sponsored by Future Tense, a partnership of Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, and Slate Magazine. All agreed on one point: Libraries are in the … Continue reading Will Libraries Outlive Books?
Ruth Baleiko, the Miller Hull Partnership Odegaard Undergraduate Library, University of Washington, Seattle “Digital downloads, ebooks, personal content, and live programming compete for space with books, periodicals, microfilm, audio, and video in today’s libraries. The library of the future will be shaped in ways that support and enhance navigation and exchange of these new forms … Continue reading The Future, Today