Libraries

Let's not defend ourselves into a corner, okay?

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  • Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:28
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This blew up all over twitter a few months ago and one of my favourite public intellectuals (Cory Doctorow) helped chop this guy down in what, at first, seems like a very satisfying manner, but, underneath all that,  my contrarian worry-wart makes me start to ask questions about how the library-world responds to this kind of criticism. Register to read more...

AskAway Virtual Reference

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  • Last Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 20:15
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askaway.org-thumb

From 2006 to 2009, I worked as the Coordinator of the AskAway Public Library virtual reference service for the public libraries of British Columbia and the Yukon. More than 40 public libraries  participate. The service was a live, web-chat information service that offered immediate, interactive, and knowledgeable help on-line to anyone who had a question.

 

 

Screencast: Starting Now to Imagine the Library in 100 years

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  • Last Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 20:15
  • Written by Phil
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Are We Irrelevant Yet?

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  • Last Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 20:15
  • Written by Phil
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A screencast of the slides from my BCLC 2013 presentation is now up: Are we Irrelevant Yet? Facing up to the Hardest Thing.

It's not a "live" screencast, as the voice recorder I used at BCLC 2013, errrr, ummm, ran out of batteries :-/  but this recording will give you an idea of the session, at any rate.

Libraries for the past or for the future

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  • Last Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 20:15
  • Written by Phil
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We visited several libraries along the way during Cycling for Libraries. At many of these stops, the library staff greeted us and graciously provided some refreshments and often a tour of their library (not to mention use of the bathrooms). There were a few interesting themes that emerged for me during these visits. Some of the libraries that left an impression on me. 

 

Barcode reader and PIN pad for library entry

At Greve Bibliotek in Greve, just outside of Copenhagen, this suburban public library branch had a gaming corner ( See photos) with game consoles and big screen for group gaming. It also had a quiet reading lounge in the back of the quiet stacks where they piped in classical music to dissuade the groups of teens who had been gathering there and disrupting the use of the library by others. It was a curious juxtaposition and the librarian acknowledged that they were struggling to balance between welcoming teens and curbing disruptive behaviour. The balancing act of welcoming all users is certainly something I can recognize in our libraries, too. In general it is a bright, welcoming space with modern furniture and colour coded stacks to help those for whom classification is a bit of a mystery.

 Two days later, in the pleasant town of Præstø we stopped to see their "open" library. It's a very nice looking branch of the Vordingborg Municipal library system and the crazy thing is, patrons let themselves in. You use your barcode and pin to get in (see photo)! There are self serve check-in and check-out , lots of public inet computers, and open doors that lead to a very nice lawn out back. A separate desk for "citizen" services staffed for some hours each week. Oh, and, there are surveillance cameras.   

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