What’s a library without books? Some bookless libraries




I read about a library without books sometime in the late 1990s, I don’t remember what college or university in New York  had no room in its library for a computer lab. So it opened one in another nearby building it owned and called it a branch library. Why? Because it was staffed with librarians. In principle, it’s not the presence of a book collection that defines a library. A library simply requires librarians. In recent years, however, libraries have experimented with bookless libraries based on digital technology. That is, they have books, just not printed books. How is that … 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






4 library tips for busy college students




Writing papers and preparing for other assignments can take a lot of time. You can probably think of all kinds of other things you’d rather do with your time. Worse than time spent researching and writing papers is time wasted researching and writing papers. Here’s how to put your time to productive use: … Continue reading






5 more unusual and unexpected library services




All public and academic libraries offer the same basic services. Many offer unexpected services. In some cases, they are the library’s response to unique local needs. In others, one library has seen how it can address a common need, and other libraries may start something similar. At least some of today’s more recent basic services started out as one library’s experiment. I reported on 3 unusual and unexpected library services a while ago. Here are 5 more. … Continue reading






Academic libraries and how they differ from public libraries




In a sense, a library is a library. Public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, and special libraries exist to connect people with the information they need. Once upon a time, that information was all printed, except for libraries that owned manuscript collections. The explosion of new formats—sound recordings, film and video recordings, and all manner of electronic media—has affected every kind of library. Still, there are important differences between public and academic libraries. The following two lists by no means adequately describe either public or academic libraries, but they serve to show the contrast. … Continue reading