Librarians who are following the developments about the library crisis in the UK will want to check out Ian Anstice’s website Public Libraries News. He lists several options that libraries there can take along with pro and con possibilities.
Librarians will want to keep an eye out for LearntoMod. It allows students to learn how to code while playing Minecraft. Be sure to take a look at their site.
Jennifer Dewey’s article, The Price of Patronage found in the November/December 2014 edition of American Libraries Magazine is well worth taking a look at. The piece is a case study of what happened in New Zealand when fees were used to increase library revenue.
Dewey cites two cities, Wellington and Hamilton, as examples. Dewey moved to New Zealand in 2012 and found these practices to be a culture shock. In Wellington charges for borrowing videos were $4NZ ($3.31 US) for each video, $1NZ ($0.83 US) per CD rental, and $5NZ ($4.13 US) for a bestseller. Wellington also charges for internet use.
Another city, Hamilton, “raised fees in July 2012 for overdue materials, placing holds, and membership for non-Hamilton residents.” The policy was anticipated to raise $205,000 for the city. However, revenue decreased by $45,000. Foot traffic saw an 8% decline.
One set of advantages to this was that wait-lists for materials were shorter and materials were found to be in better physical condition.
On the other hand Dewey points out that this means that the materials were not circulating (i,e, they were shelf sitters) and were not being used by the community.
What’s the lesson to be learned here?
Dewey puts it best. “Libraries worldwide require funding solutions, but increasing fees is not viable. Libraries need users as much as users need libraries. Let’s not give people reason to turn away.”
(Photo by Georgia Wells for the Wall Street Journal)
Librarians should take note of Georgia Wells’s piece on the Wall Street Journal website entitled “At San Quentin, Learning Web Coding Without the Internet.”
I wonder if libraries would consider launching a partnership with non-profits and tech instructors to teach librarians and patrons how to code. This could be of benefit to the community that the library serves.
(Photo taken from Library Journal website)
Congratulations are in order for one of my former University of Maryland MLS professors, Dr. Paul Jaeger, who earned the 2014 excellence in teaching award from the Library Journal/Association for Library and Information Science Education.
John Berry’s article covering Dr. Jaeger is a must read.
Jaeger’s enthusiasm for the profession is fantastic. Here is what he says at the end of Berry’s article. “I love to teach. I really feel strongly about the things I work at. I get to do research in and teach about things that matter. I don’t do research that doesn’t have practical use. The nexus of what we do is really about rights and justice, about access, preservation, education, literacy, employment help, unity building, inclusion, helping with social services. All these things are acts of promoting life and justice in your community.”