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 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






How to take expensive online courses free at the library




Do you want to take online courses? And know they’re legit? Some companies offer thousands of courses. You can take as many as you want, if you want to pay $20-30 a month for a subscription. A bit out of your budget? Maybe you can get around it the same way you can get around other information expenses. Go to the library. … Continue reading






Surprising place to get healthy: at the library




As the Affordable Care Act’s flaws become more apparent and politicians bicker over how, or whether, to fix it, where can we look for real leadership on health? At the library! The library’s role in health shouldn’t be surprising. Libraries have long dedicated themselves to educating the public about many critical issues. They have long provided the poor with services they can get nowhere else. They have long sought innovative ways to expand their influence. Here are four  health initiatives I have recently learned about. … 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