Friday, April 24, 2009

Gates Foundation and OCLC Will Develop Community-Based Awareness Campaign to Increase Support for Libraries

News releases - ****

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 14 April 2009

Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $5 million grant to the OCLC library cooperative to develop a public information campaign that will help public library leaders heighten awareness of the needs of local libraries and increase support for the services they provide during these challenging times.

OCLC will pilot the campaign in select areas of Georgia and Iowa starting this summer as well as a limited number of other communities which will be selected later this spring. Later in the year, OCLC will make available community awareness campaign materials and other guides to assist library leaders throughout the country in their efforts to strengthen support for local libraries.

Full article here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Americans turn to libraries for personal finance help in tough economic times

American Library Association News, February 24, 2009

CHICAGO - The efforts libraries make to help patrons obtain accurate financial information will be highlighted on CNN Money, Saturday, Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ALA President Jim Rettig will appear in the story. A longer Web video version of the story as well as a CNN Web article will be posted following the broadcast.

Libraries report that they are providing accurate financial information to consumers all over the country. For example, “Smart Investing @ your library” smart investing at your library link has given away more than $1.7 million to help fund libraries’ efforts to provide library patrons with effective, unbiased financial education resources and empower library patrons to make smart financial decisions for both long-term investing and day-to-day money matters. FINRA Investor Education Foundation sponsors the initiative, which is administered by The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association.

New York Public Library is an example of a library holding such programs as “Mutual Funds for Beginners” and “Understanding the Foreclosure” and offering resume writing and real estate classes, career counseling sessions and lectures from guest speakers on how to create and implement business plans.

ALA’s Public Information Office has helped place this and many other stories about the surge in library visits during tough economic times. Other stories have been run recently include NBC Nightly News, Washington Post, Parade Magazine, The New York Times blog Freakonomics, CBS Evening News on Dec. 31 and Feb. 2, CNN as it appeared on Los Angeles’s KCAL-TV and an op-ed in the Huffington Post.

The ALA Public Information Office also has developed tools to help librarians publicize the surge in visits in their communities. Press releases, talking points and an FAQ can be found
Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Article from Sydney Morning Herald

A low-cost escape from recession? Book me in

Peter Vincent, April 18, 2009, Sydney Morning Herald

MARK TWAIN once said books were for people who wished they were somewhere else - and the global downturn is proving him right. As the recession bites and retail spending flags - dropping 2 per cent in February - it seems we are turning to books as an alternative to costlier ways of entertaining ourselves.
New book sales remain strong (largely thanks to Stephenie Meyer, the author of the blockbuster Twilight series). Between January and last month, they were up 7 per cent on the first quarter of last year, Nielsen BookScan Australia says.

Malcolm Neill, the chief executive of the Australian Booksellers Association, said books are "relatively immune" during a short downturn, although sales did tail off in a sustained downturn.

"Our experience of the last couple of recessions is that it takes a while for expenditure on books to be severely affected. There is an initial insulation, so that when people are tightening their belts books get whacked less," Mr Neill said.

While sales of new books eventually fell away, not so second-hand books, said Bob Gould, the owner of the cavernous Gould's Book Arcade in Newtown, who has sold pre-loved books for 40 years.

His shop has experienced a 10 per cent jump in business since February, but Mr Gould does not expect trade to go backwards. "Second hand books are counter-cyclical and always have been," he said.

"People have to read - and they read in bed or in the bath; they want a book. Second-hand books are very resilient."

Paul Berkelouw, the co-owner of the Berkelouw chain, which sells new and second-hand titles in Paddington, Leichhardt and Berrima, said his sales were up about 10 per cent for the last quarter.

Sales of low-priced new books (sets of six paperbacks for $20) were also doing well at his wholesale store in World Square.

"Expensive books about art and architecture are not doing well; people are looking for escapist stuff at the moment," Mr Berkelouw said.

Libraries are also noticing an increase in custom.

North Sydney Council's Stanton Library has had a 14 per cent jump in visitors in the past year and a parallel increase in new memberships and loans.

The number of visitors to the City of Sydney's seven libraries in the first three months of this year (94,325) was up 12 per cent on the first quarter of last year, although a council spokesman said this was partly due to a membership promotion and free Wi-Fi internet connection.
Full article here

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Librarians in Popular Culture

This was put together for the national library week in the US - but I thought it might be of interest

Pop references to Librarians

I can think of other examples - even some not mentioned in the comments:

What about the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Kramer have a crush on the same librarian - Jerry knows Kramer got to her first when she starts wearing a black velvet scrunchie...or the 3 "The Librarian" movies (yes - there are now there of them The Librarian, The Librarian II and the Librarian III)
The Librarian movie information

Other references/articles to Librarians in popular culture:

Wikipedia - librarians in popular culture
Article on Librarians in films
Further discussion

Monday, April 20, 2009

Downloadable audio, video, eBooks & music

Below are the links to Libraries that implemented OverDrive and are providing downloadable audio, video, eBooks and music to their patrons:

* Brisbane/Yarra Plenty
* ACT Library & Information Service
* Auckland City Libraries
* Logan City Council Libraries
* Gold Coast City
* Sutherland Shire Libraries
* Randwick City Library Service

The OverDrive digital collection offers a great selection of popular front-list audio titles in superb digital stereo sound quality with great navigation. The Audio collection contains over 10,000 high-quality titles. The collection also contains over 50,000 eBooks as well as music and video. The approach includes integration with their libraries ILS.

Please have a look and give me your thoughts....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Friends of Libraries Australia national public library awards for 2008

I am delighted to let you know that Blue Mountains have received a Highly Commended in these awards.

See below:

Friends of Libraries Australia national public library awards for 2008

Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA) received a record number of entries in 2008 for its two annual awards. The awards recognise and encourage innovation and excellence in public library programs and services for children and young people (the Peter McInnes Award) and for older adults ( the Eric Flynn Award). Each award winner receives $1000 and a framed certificate.

The winner of the FOLA 2008 Peter McInnes Award for Library Services for Children and Young People is the Hurstville City Library, NSW, for its Dragon Tales Mandarin Storytime pilot lapsit program in Mandarin for 0-3 year olds. The judging panel for the award observed that
This pilot project, a part winner in the 2008 NSW Cultural Awards, was a lapsit storytime program in Mandarin for parents, grandparents and carers using story, rhyme and song to prepare children for preschool and to encourage meaningful interaction. Information on child development, preliteracy and numeracy and simple craft skills were also presented in Mandarin to develop an understanding of Australian culture and educational practices. It was innovative in that the Library joined with the St George Migrant Resource Centre and used a community resource to meet unusual circumstances and create a sense of community. It was well planned and specific in targeting an isolated group of preschool children, their parents and grandparents with measurable and positive results. After a review, the Hurstville City Library has complemented the pilot program to reach more children, and identified a need to provide a preschool session and school holiday program for school aged children. The Hurstville initiative could be replicable by other public libraries, using a similar methodology.

Receiving high commendations, in a particularly strong field of entries, were
• Friends of Wingecarribee Library Inc, NSW, for its support of the Wingecarribee Library’s Bilby Book Club for 0-5 year olds, a well thought out program using innovative incentives to encourage lifelong reading habits in very young children.
Blue Mountains City Libraries, NSW, for its Books 4 Babies scheme. This goes a step beyond other ‘books for babies’ programs, and involves a community partnership between the Friends of Blue Mountain Libraries, the library service, the local hospital and the Megalong Book Company.
• Fairfield Library Service, NSW, for its exemplary broad and strategic approach to programs supporting children and young people, especially those promoting literacy and numeracy for the City of Fairfield’s culturally and linguistically diverse families.
• Macquarie Regional Library, Dubbo NSW, for using a strategic targeted approach to identifying major market segments, and responding to the needs of preschool to Year 12, and Indigenous groups in partnership with a range of community agencies.
• Ipswich Library and Information Service, Qld, for its best practice strategic approach to collaboration with its Friends of the Library group and a wide range of local networks and agencies in promoting literacy and reading development in children and young people.

For more information please see the FOLA website:

FOLA Website here for full press release

Monday, April 6, 2009

2009 Caval Visiting Scholar


Melbourne, 30 March 2009 - Internationally recognised US Web 2.0 commentator, writer and library academic, Dr Michael Stephens, has been appointed the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar.

In a world first for CAVAL and its project partners CityLibraries Townsville and Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dr Stephens' research project will seek to measure the value and effect of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian libraries.

"The intent of this study is to understand the impact on library staff and institutional culture and makeup after a Learning 2.0 program", Dr Stephens says.

"The critical questions for libraries looking forward are to what extent has Learning 2.0 impacted institutional culture and staff confidence, and to what degree has it improved the ability of library staff to use emerging technologies?"

Dr Stephens notes that "More than 500 libraries in 15 countries have implemented Learning 2.0 programs in 2 years but we know very little about their effectiveness."

"Nearly 10% of these Learning 2.0 programs are Australian, ranging from large State and University libraries through to public and special libraries and a small school library in New South Wales."

First developed by the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County under a Creative Commons license in 2006, Learning 2.0 is an online learning program that encourages library staff to explore and learn about emerging Web 2.0 technologies. Web 2.0, also called the Read/Write Web or Social Computing, enables users of all ages and walks of life to create, change and publish their own Web content. Blogs and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are common examples.

Working with a co-researcher from CityLibraries Townsville, Dr Stephens'
research aims to develop a world first model for what he terms "an exemplary Learning 2.0 program for Australian libraries."

For Dr Stephens' acclaimed Tame the Web blog,
click here

For more information about the original Learning 2.0 program, click here

CAVAL is an Australian not-for-profit company established in 1978 to support leading libraries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. CAVAL is owned jointly by 11 Australian universities and provides a range of specialised services to the library sector including storage and digital preservation, training and consulting.

For more information on CAVAL:
click here