More innovative library services

Technological innovation always leads to innovative library services. Libraries quickly embraced personal computers, for example. Probably any library in the country will help patrons learn to use a computer for the first time. Or help them learn sophisticated software. Libraries still find new ways to use computers and peripherals to add new services. More recently, the public has become addicted to mobile phones. So, of course, libraries use them, and help patrons use them, too. Here is the latest in an occasional series of posts about innovative library services. … Continue reading

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 ┬áhad 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

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

22 ways to use the library

Do you know what’s going on at the library? Even if you’re a regular library user, you may may be missing something interesting. Libraries represent a kind of “third space,” which is neither home nor work. Unlike many others, they are not a business. They don’t carry with them the expectation that you will pay for something. Of course, libraries offer numerous services you can use. You’re paying for public library services with tax dollars. You’re paying for academic library services if you are part of a college/university community. For most purposes, then, you never have to dig out cash … 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