LIS Trends

An Important New Tool for Public Libraries Helps Them Tell Their “Story”

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As society becomes increasingly technological, Libraries, particularly public libraries, are finding it more challenging to explain their relevance to their communities. Many people think that with the pervasiveness of the Internet and the wealth of information available on it, as well as the rise in e-reader ownership and other digital technologies, that libraries will no longer be needed within the next few years. With this prevailing attitude among the public, library staff are feeling compelled to prove their continued relevance not only to increase or maintain their funding, but also to keep their communities involved in their mission of open access to information, education, charity, advocacy, etc. Some libraries are finding very unique ways to get this message across. One such library is the California State Library.

The California State Library, located in Sacramento, California, is a central reference and research library for the Governor’s office, legislature, state employees, and the general public. On November 3, 2012 at the Annual California Library Association Conference held in San Jose, California, the library presented an exciting new tool that could help public libraries around the country illustrate their relevance in the digital age. The tool, which they titled “The Emerging Story of California Public Libraries,” is a document, or “story map,” that libraries can use to tell their story of why they are important; what the changing role of librarians are, how libraries are adapting to digital technologies, and the many services libraries provide that are still very useful and necessary today, even in a technological landscape (“Sierra Sun Times”).

Though the story map that the California State Library is intended for use in California public libraries, a tool such as this could easily be adapted for any library in the country, maybe even abroad. The important thing is that libraries share their story with their communities and give them a chance to grow with them as they have to continue to adapt to a world that is becoming more digital.

Sources:

“California State Library announces The Emerging Story of California Public Libraries.” Sierra Sun Times. 09 Nov. 2012. Web. Last Accessed 12 Nov. 2012. <http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/mariposa-daily-news-2012/140-november/6841-california-state-library-announces-the-emerging-story-of-california-public-libraries>.

 

“The Emerging Story of California Public Libraries.” California State Library, 02 Nov. 2012. Web. Last Accessed 12 Nov 2012. <http://www.library.ca.gov/lds/docs/CAPublicLibraryStoryMap.pdf>.

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Written by JenniferMillen

November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

School Librarians and Budget Cuts

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A current trend in education budgets are the large cuts that have caused schools to lay off one of their most precious commodities: School Librarians. In a 2011 New York Times article, Frederick Santos sheds light on schools, from Oregon to New York City, that have been forced to pick between full- time teachers who work with children all day and the support staff which include their librarians. “In New York…school officials said they had little choice but to eliminate librarians, having already reduced administrative staff, frozen wages, shed extracurricular activities and trimmed spending on supplies.” (Santos, 2011).  Some might think this is just another frivolous job lost in today’s economy. I mean they still have teachers right? Of course teachers are the most essential part of our schools, and they do pretty amazing things to educate America’s students, but according to a new study done by the RSL Research group out of Colorado, school librarians are the key to more successful students. The Education Law Center hired these researchers to examine the 2010-11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in Reading and Writing for students in grades 3-11, and track outcomes for students based on five school library factors: staffing, collections, digital resources and technology infrastructure, library access, and funding. (Education Law Center, 2012) Here are the results from the Education Law Center’s Press Release:

• Students who have access to a full-time, certified librarian scored higher on the PSSA Reading Test than those students who do not have such access.       This finding is true for all students, regardless of their socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and/or disability status.

• For several student groups that tend to experience achievement gaps—economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, Black, and those with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)—Reading and Writing results are markedly better when those students attend a school with a librarian and library support staff, according to the research. In fact, they benefit more proportionally than the general student population.

The press release goes on to express interest in research that is happening in other states,  and how the positive results are an indication that getting rid of school librarians is indeed no way to help our students progress. In fact, in these times of budget cuts and layoffs it is essential that education not be the hardest hit. Schools with more resources for their students, including an on staff librarian,  are essential for our future. The Education Law Center is just one of many state organizations trying to save our public education system, and saving our school librarians is a very good way to do that. I encourage you to find out how school librarians are being affected in your state, and what you can do to help save them if their jobs are in danger.

Resources

Education Law Center. (2012). New PA study shows full-time school librarian boosts student achievement [press release]. Retrieved from http://www.elc-pa.org/schoollibraryresearch_alert.html

Santos, F. (2011, June 24). In lean times, schools squeeze out librarians. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/nyregion/schools-eliminating-librarians-as-budgets-shrink.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

Written by liskris

November 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Washington Library Responds to Complaint about Child Borrowing Yaoi Manga

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Many manga fans know that yaoi manga is also known as “boy love” manga.  It tends to be aimed at female fans and feature homoerotic or homoromantic relationships between two male characters.  A Washington state resident complained to his local library in the King County Library System after his 10-year-old niece brought home Vol. 2 of Hero Heel, a yaoi series.  Travis De Nevers looked through the books that his niece brought home from the library and noticed that one of them had a “parental advisory sticker” on it.  After looking through the book, De Nevers was shocked at what he considered to be explicit sexual content depicting men having “violent sex”.  He wrote a letter to complain to the library asking them to reconsider their check-out policies.

In response, the library explained that they keep with their mission to “provide free, open and equal access to ideas and information, KCLS develops its collection to reflect the diversity of the patrons we serve.”  At the King County Library System manga is categorized as non-fiction and all non-fiction in that system is shelved together (children through adult).  This shelving is not unique to this library system.

I heard about this issue on two librarian related mailing lists where I am a member.  And, while part of the ethical code of librarians is to uphold intellectual freedom, we must also remember that we help the public make determinations about the information that we present to them.  Part of the way that we do this is by separating our collection based on suggested reading levels.  By shelving all the non-fiction books together, this library system, and others like it, may be doing their patrons a disservice.  No patron should be denied access to information based on his or her age, but he or she should not be forced into reading from a collection that he or she is not ready for.

source:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-10-16/washington-library-responds-to-complaint-about-child-borrowing-yaoi-manga

Written by tigerkat1979

October 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

New Directions for Academic Video Game Collections: Strategies for Acquiring, Supporting, and Managing Online Materials

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http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0099133312000183/1-s2.0-S0099133312000183-main.pdf?_tid=f31aa9e4-19d4-11e2-8c1b-00000aacb360&acdnat=1350641497_a2596757a60b15f2fa35e343c25510bb

This article looks at the evolution of gaming and how that affects libraries, in particular, their collections.  Many university libraries have begun offering a more extensive collection of gaming options for their students to reflect the changing academic options that have begun to delve much deeper into gaming than before.  As the focus on gaming expands, libraries work to expand their collection to help with the development and research of gaming and to showcase the various gaming platforms available.

This article looks at what research has previously been done on gaming and how updates have been made to various libraries to begin to include gaming in a much larger way than ever before.  The various gaming platforms are reviewed and discussed, and one library that successful has developed a 5-year plan gives some insight and overview into what they did to begin the implementation plan of updating their gaming collection.  There is also a brief overview of the different kinds of gaming out there and where the authors think they will be going in the next few years.

Gaming, in particular online gaming and massive multiplayer online games have been growing steadily for the past few years.  I like to see how various libraries are working to expand their collections to include things that are obviously a phenomenon that continues to grow.  I also liked how the article talked about other types of gaming that are gaining ground – independent and artistic games, serious gaming, research gaming and other formats.  It’s important to the evolution of not just gaming but also of libraries and collections and what changes need to be made to incorporate the updates into the library culture.  It’ll be very interesting to see what the next few years bring to the gaming culture as well as how that affects the library culture and subsequent collections.

Written by mantha1126

October 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Cost of Online Journals/ “Walking Away from The American Chemical Society”

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Have you ever wondered how much books, journals, or other materials cost at  your public or academic libraries? If you have ever worked in a library or are preparing for a future in librarianship, you probably have. The answer is, plainly, a huge amount. Libraries all across the country have to shell out a large quantity of money to keep their resources relevant and helpful to their patronage. Many librarians will tell you that pricing models over the years have increased. What can librarians do that have smaller budgets and are unable to afford these resources? Here is a great example of how it is done:

Jenica Rogers, the Director of Libraries at State University of New York at Potsdam says that balancing budgets and spending them well makes her feel successful. She and other faculty members discussed the pricing model of one particular online journal from the American Chemical Society, and found that their pricing model was unsustainable. (Nearly 10% of her budget for one department’s journals) The ACS has a tiered pricing system with an unaffordable base price for libraries that have smaller funds to allocate.  She says, “We [also] learned that their base price and pricing model, when applied to much larger institutions, did not produce the same unsustainable pricing – I cannot provide numbers, as they are marked SUNY Confidential, but I can easily say that what our ARL peers pay for ACS in support of their doctoral programs is, in my estimation, in no way fair or reflective of the usage, FTE, or budgets of those institutions as compared to the pricing offered my institution for my usage, FTE, and budgets. It seems to me that the tiered increases may be fair and be reflective, but the problem lies with the base price underlying their pricing model. That base price is unsustainable for small institutions.”

This may seem like a small dispute between a journal provider and a Library Director, but the ACS hand out accreditation to college science programs across the country, and their journal had been a part of SUNY’s collections for a considerable amount of time.  Fortunately for Jenica, her Collection Development Coordinator did some research and presented options to their Chemistry faculty. Here were their options:

A) The ACS Core+ Package at the new standardized price, ACS Legacy Archive, 2-3 selected titles outside the Core+, and ILL fill-in as needed beyond the 250 tokens offered. Based on our use stats, this would maintain a comfortable level of access to ACS content, but was going to save us virtually no money over our ACS full package, as we would have to pay the ACS full list prices for the selected titles, plus the $41 per article copyright clearance fee for ILLs beyond the initial free articles.
B) A Wiley 2012 STM package, which offered many chemistry titles. This was about 40% of what we would have spent on ACS content, based on our Wiley print subscriptions and other existing Wiley contracts.
C) A Royal Society of Chemistry Gold Package, and the RSC archive. This was about 54% of what we were projected to spend on ACS content. (Rogers, 2012)

The chemistry faculty (some ACS members) were able to agree on a piecemeal solution from these alternatives that were presented. (It is also noted that they were also shocked by the pricing of the journals so they were not put out by the decision process)

According to her blog this is happening all across the country. Institutions have to find alternatives to the ever-increasing price models of academic journals. What will the future of our academic library’s journal content be like? Will journal providers such as the American Chemical Society make it possible for institutions with smaller resources to obtain their works? Or will Library Directors such as Jenica have to create different options for their faculty or staff? With the ever-growing concerns of pricing models and the “digital divide”   hopefully there will be recognition from journal providers that there is a need for fairness in access to educational content.

Resources

Rogers, J. (2012, September 12). Walking Away from the American Chemical Society. Retrieved from http://www.attemptingelegance.com/?p=1765

Written by liskris

October 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Libraries and the Demographic Shift

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 http://www.ala.org/news/ppr?id=11565

The demographic shift has gained more attention over the years.  This conference deals with providing attendees with information on how to prepare for this shift and sounds like a fascinating place to be.  Numerous programs were offered to give ideas on how to deal with various parts of the shift and the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) hosted the event.

We live in an ever-changing world.  Libraries have become the focal point for many new to communities and as we have more and more individuals coming to cities that may not speak the same language, libraries need to be ready to assist these patrons in any way they can.  The JCLC brought in well-known faces to people from around the world – the keynote speaker was Sonia Manzano, Maria on Sesame Street.  It was mentioned that many of the conference attendees thanked her for assisting them in learning English – this is something that libraries and librarians need to consider more and more.  Something so simple as a children’s show has become a worldwide phenomenon because it can be used in a variety of ways to help individuals of all ages to progress. 

I really like the closing note given by Jamal Joseph – “libraries empower the communities that they serve”.  I think this is such a true statement and one that librarians need to think of as we progress.  Communities are ever-changing and libraries need to keep up with that change, offering a variety of services that can help.  This can be as simple as books in multiple languages to something more interactive, like ESL classes or tutoring hours or something similar.  This can help each individual grow and give people a common ground while also helping the community grow.

This article also made me think of other situations.  My brother recently moved to San Francisco to attend college.  Two of his roommates are from China and had never been in the states.  What did the three of them do?  They visited the library of their university.  This college knows that many students come from around the world and has made their library equipped to assist with that.  I’d love it if all libraries looked at their communities and considered what they could do to offer programs and activities to a more diverse audience and how that could benefit their community.

Written by mantha1126

October 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Libraries That Engage The Community

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As the relevance of libraries in a digital age continues to be questioned by a public that sees them as no more than a depository of books, there are some public libraries that are finding unique and innovative ways to keep themselves engaged in their communities.

One such library that is taking a different approach to bringing their communities together is the Oak Park Public Library in Oak Park, IL. The program known as the “Idea Box,” is an interactive space located at the library’s main entrance that features a variety of ongoing exhibits that range from art-focused activities to technology and science-related exhibits. For example, one past exhibit, titled “Leaving Czechoslovakia,” featured Czech art, video and live traditional music. Though the exhibit was not promoted, it still generated a lot of interest for both library visitors and people passing by. What differentiates the Idea Box from being a simple gallery is that everything in it has to be interactive and engage the entire community, not just a particular age group or demographic. As stated in the article, “Live Art & Community Participation in the Oak Park Library Idea Box,” Monica Harris, Customer Service Manager who manages the Idea Box says about the program:  “You’ve got small kids in here, you’ve got senior citizens in here, you’ve got teenagers in here, and everybody is kind of doing their own thing and looking at each other’s work…Everyone can really approach this on their own level and make it work for them(“Library As Incubator Project”).”

Is this the future of library programming? How could more libraries follow the Oak Park Public Library’s example in creating a space for interactive exhibits that engage the community to participate in? Though not all libraries have the space for something as expansive as the Idea Box, Harris did note that programs like these don’t need to be in a large, glass-enclosed room; even something as small as a small art exhibit in the corner or giving patrons a chance to interact with a working artist/performer could work(“Library As Incubator Project”). What matters is that libraries find exciting, unique and participatory ways of getting the community to come together, and it will be interesting to see how programs like the Idea Box could influence other libraries to develop similar projects to engage themselves with their communities.

Source:

“Live Art & Community Participation in the Oak Park Public Library Idea Box.” The Library As Incubator Project. (25 Jun. 2012). Web. Last Accessed 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/?p=5025>.

Written by JenniferMillen

October 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized