Ohio libraries open gift shops to help fund operations

DollarsBorrowing a common pool of resources is the way of the library. From books, to CD’s, to computers and Internet usage, libraries offer services to their communities free of charge. These services are then funded by the government, and by extension tax revenue. Unfortunately, the funding libraries have received in recent years hasn’t always been enough. In the midst of economic crunch times, the library systems in each state and the services they offer are often seen as societal extras; they’re nice to have when we can, but not necessary. Unfortunately, tough times are exactly when libraries are most relevant, as community access to learning materials, the Internet, and more may be limited for more and more families due to financial burden. [Read more…]

Court ruling against Kentucky library funding would be disastrous

Gavel BooksIt’s not often that libraries find themselves on the receiving end of a major lawsuit, but that’s exactly what’s going on right now in Kentucky.  Many library systems across the state are now being rolled into a lawsuit that could potentially strip them of millions of dollars, and result in cuts to services and employment across the board. [Read more…]

Libraries are hosting themed events for the holidays

Book GiftThe community hub that libraries provide is valuable at all times throughout the year, but holidays provide the context for some truly magical settings.  This is especially true around Christmas, and the library system in Rockingham County, North Carolina, is planning some literal holiday magic for its patrons. [Read more…]

New York Public Library offers free wireless mobile hotspots

LaptopNew York City understands the importance of internet access in our current day and age.  Even New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has proposed several measures in recent years to help bring access to those in the city who might not have it yet.  In many cases, city officials have found, cost is still a barrier that keeps some of its residents from getting online via their own broadband subscriptions. [Read more…]

MIT appoints new director of libraries

StudyingThe league of schools within which MIT, Stanford, and others like them exist is an exclusive one to be sure. It represents the upper echelon of traditional academia. Part of the challenge of maintaining this image means hiring nothing but the best staff and faculty to ensure that the institution continues to move forward and upward. This past Friday, MIT took that step in appointing a new director of its massive library system. [Read more…]

New library in San Diego gets a new director

ApprovedSan Diego, as many other cities, is looking to bring its library system into the 21st century.  Of course, that’s no easy task when the very definition of the technological cutting edge – in the library world and in every other sector – changes from day to day.  Rapid advancements in both the needs of community users and the services that libraries can provide have driven rapid turnover within the past decade. [Read more…]

Detroit gets its first Little Free Library

Book GiftEver heard of a Little Free Library?  If not, you’ve probably seen one as you’ve driven or walked around. They are probably the world’s smallest libraries.  In fact, there are over 20,000 of them worldwide now, with a high concentration of them located in the US. These “little free libraries” function as the name implies; they’re basically oversized mailboxes – though usually decorated or built out of nice wood – that have a couple of shelves for books on them. [Read more…]

Community funding can really help libraries in need

DollarsWith the economic roller coaster of the past decade still very much in focus, state budgets are often cutting costs wherever they can.  Unfortunately some lawmakers deem libraries as “non-essential” parts of government services.  This can mean a severe shortfall in the amount of funding received versus the amount needed. [Read more…]