Shutting down libraries? Why?




Library users love their libraries. Shutting down libraries seems unthinkable. To library users, anyway. But it’s happening. More than 300 libraries have shut down in the UK over the past six years. One major library shutdown recently happened in Oregon. Some people think there should be even more library closures. They’re the ones who don’t use libraries and have no idea what they’re for. Actually, one librarian thinks a few library closures here and there might be good for libraries in the long run. The reasons he gives show what libraries and librarians ought to be doing to prevent any … Continue reading






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






What do you know about your librarian, really?




Librarians have a different reputation than they used to. Is it any better? Let’s see. Do you remember, in It’s a Wonderful Life, what would have become of George Bailey’s wife if he had never existed? Clarence the angel shows him she would never have married. She would have become an old maid. A librarian. What about The Music Man? When we first meet Marian the Librarian, she has no friends. And why should she? She’s full of book learning. She considers herself superior to townspeople who don’t come to the library. And she’s not very nice to people who … Continue reading