What they say about the library: provocative quotations




When I graduated from library school, I went on a lot of informational interviews. One librarian told me, “Libraries have changed a lot since you were in library school.” When I reminded her that I had graduated only two weeks earlier, she replied, “Like I said, libraries have changed a lot since you were in library school.” Few modern institutions are more ancient than the library, and few are as consistently on the cutting edge of change. So naturally people have talked and written a lot about libraries over the centuries. Cicero, the Roman orator, said, “If you have a … Continue reading






What do Americans think of libraries? Poll results




Do you know all the educational services your library provides? According to a recent Pew Research poll, many American’s don’t. A majority thinks libraries offer acceptable service for their communities’ educational needs; 37% answered “very well” and 39% answered “pretty well. Most people, library users or not, are satisfied for themselves, their families, and their communities. If you are among the people who think libraries do a good job, but don’t know what all they offer, you can be even more satisfied.  … Continue reading






What’s new? Innovative library services revisited




There’s nearly always something new at the library. Librarians are imaginative people. They know offering innovative library services will entice more people in the door. Or let more people use the library without coming in the door. So I offer an occasional series on creative ways librarians find to serve their public. Here are four new ideas. Maybe some library close to you offers similar services.  … Continue reading






Treasure trove: New York Public Library Digital Collection




The New York Public library holds many rare and valuable materials. The new New York Public Library Digital Collection makes them easily available. Before the Internet, if you wanted to use them, provided you knew they existed, you would have had to travel to the library and consult them in person. When the library first began to digitize them and put them online, you could have seen and downloaded a low-resolution images. You would have had to pay for, and wait for, a high-resolution image. Discovery and access were still difficult. Perhaps its description of one of its major collection … Continue reading






Raucous good times at the library




I hope the stereotype of a librarian as a frumpy woman with no friends and a fetish for quiet had a decent burial long ago. Librarians are very creative people who enjoy having fun as much as anyone else. A few years ago, I presented some videos of library book cart drill teams! You might find similar shenanigans at a parade. Some librarian conferences have regular drill team competitions. But what about singing, dancing, running, riding book carts, and even laughing aloud in the library itself? At the reference desk and circulation desk! Even in the stacks!! Librarians do all … Continue reading