National Library Week is this week, and today is National Library Workers Day! National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
To mark the occasion the American Library Association released the State of America's Libraries, 2010 report this week. From the report:
"Since the recession took hold in December 2007, the local library, a traditional source of free access to books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, has become a lifeline, offering technology training and workshops on topics that ranged from résumé-writing to job-interview skills.
The report shows the value of libraries in helping Americans combat the recession. It includes data from a January 2010 Harris Interactive poll that provides compelling evidence that a decade-long trend of increasing library use is continuing-and even accelerating during economic hard times. This national survey indicates that some 219 million Americans feel the public library improves the quality of life in their community. More than 223 million Americans feel that because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.
And with more businesses and government agencies requiring applicants to apply on line, job-seeking resources are among the most critical and most in demand among the technology resources available in U.S. public libraries. Two-thirds of public libraries help patrons complete online job applications; provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent) and civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create résumés and other employment materials.
However, the report also shows that increased library use did not lead to an increase in funding for libraries. Research by the ALA and the Center for Library and Information Innovation at the University of Maryland suggests a "perfect storm" of growing community demand for library services and shrinking resources to meet that demand. While library use soars, a majority of states are reporting cuts in funding to public libraries and to the state library agencies that support them."
The full text of The State of America's Libraries, 2010, is available at http://tinyurl.com/State2010.
OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative, recently released an updated version of their publication "How Libraries Stack Up." Below are a few of the great statistics in the two-page handout, to view the entire document: http://www.oclc.org/reports/stackup/
Marketing, Advocacy & Funding
Fundraising in Tough Times: The Library Journal Directors' Summit held at the Chicago Public Library in November 2009 addressed the ever present issue of fundraising. Experts at the summit agreed that asking for money to fill a gap in public funding generally isn't the right approach. "People don't want to give to turn on the lights," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia Public Library. "They want to give to make a good library a great library." Read more at http://bit.ly/deyqE2
Story Time Solutions is the next MHLS Children's Services Roundtable topic. Two sessions of the Roundtable are being offered:
- May 17, 10:00am - 12:00pm at the Germantown Library OR
- May 21, 10:00am - 12:00pm in the MHLS Auditorium
Join us for a roundtable discussion about making the most of your story time programming. The workshop will cover:
- Easy Ideas for successful story time planning and scheduling
- Simple ways to refresh existing story time programs
- New methods of storytelling for a variety of age groups
Please register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org/
YALSA has revised Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Serving Youth, a set of guidelines last published in 2004. The competencies were streamlined and updated to reflect changes in youth services over the past five years. They are available online at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/competencies and can be downloaded as a PDF. YALSA developed the competencies for individuals and institutions, offering librarians guidelines for providing quality library service in collaboration with teenagers and giving libraries a framework to improve overall service capacities and increase public value to their respective communities. The competencies are divided into seven areas: leadership and professionalism, knowledge of client group, communication, administration, knowledge of materials, access to information and services.
Administration & Management
Top Tech Trends from the 2010 Public Library Association Conference:
1. Electronic Content Distribution and Access Shifts: "Libraries need a new electronic content access and distribution infrastructure." Michael Porter, communications manager, OCLC-WebJunction, contended that libraries are at serious risk of being marginalized if they cannot compete with flashier and more robust digital content distribution outlets, like Amazon, Google, Netflix, and others.
2. Smartphones & Augmented Reality: Monique Sendze, associate director of information technology and virtual services, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO talked about the increasing prevalence of smartphones, cell phones that are connected to the internet, and how they provide opportunities for new and interesting interactions for people with places and things. The use of 2-D Barcodes or QR (quick response) Codes, readable by smartphones, allows for new opportunities to provide more information about library materials, programs and other cool stuff. Learn about 2-D Barcodes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code
3. E-Book Readers: David Lee King, digital services manager, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, KS addressed the elephant in the room, the rising popularity e-book readers, in particular the new iPad from Apple. King stressed the need for library staff to be familiar with devices like the iPad, Sony eReader and the Kindle as an increasing number of patrons will be knocking on our doors asking where the ebooks are for their new shiny e-readers.
4. Change in the Digital Divide: Kate Sheehan, open source coordinator at Bibliomation, addressed "the other half." Those people, served by the library, that don't have access to the "latest and greatest" technology and who rely on the library's computers and internet connection to stay connected in today's world. "Generally speaking, it we're talking about trends, we're not talking about the [other] half of the digital divide," Sheehan noted, "and, to some extent, we have to make some level of peace with that. However, librarians risk heading down a dangerous path if they don't carefully consider the effect their service choices have on patron populations. Moreover, technology proficiency isn't as clear-cut as many might think. Patrons who are quite comfortable using sophisticated software tools in their line of work often still consider themselves "bad at computers" and can be hesitant to engage with online services such as LinkedIn. Libraries are the perfect place to address this apprehension.
The Roe-Jan Library in Hillsdale is seeking a Youth Services Program Coordinator. This is a part-time position requiring 15 hours per week @ $12.00 per hour. Job description: Planning, promoting, implementing and evaluating programs for children and young adults. This includes three regular weekly story hours, summer reading program, developing new programs, working with volunteers and program facilitators, creating displays and publicizing programs. The ideal candidate should be dependable, energetic, multi-task oriented, enthusiastic, and enjoy working creatively and comfortably with young people from 6 months to young adults. Good oral, written communication and computer skills are essential. Familiarity with library operations and circulation applications is desirable but not required. Please send letter of interest and resume to: Roe-Jan Library, P. O. Box 669, Hillsdale, NY 12529
MHLS recommends that the minimum starting salary of a full or part-time librarian with an MLS degree be at least equal to that of a teacher with a master's degree in the same community.
Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: firstname.lastname@example.org. The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.