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European Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Permission

September 11, 2014 Leave a comment

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According to IT World, an EU court has ruled that European libraries may digitize books and make them available at electronic reading points without obtaining permission first from the copyright holder. 

The EU Copyright Directive has an option specifically for publically accessible libraries that allows them this right to digitize books. 

"The right of libraries to communicate, by dedicated terminals, the works they hold in their collections would risk being rendered largely meaningless, or indeed ineffective, if they did not have an ancillary right to digitize the works in question," the court said.

However, this right does not extend to allowing users to print out the books or save them to a device.  This sort of copying is not allowed for in the exception. 

Fascinating stuff!

Young Americans and Public Libraries – A PewResearch Study

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

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PewResearch released the results of their latest study today that looked at how people aged 16-30 use libraries and books compared to those over 30.  Many people believe that Millennials are not using libraries in the same way, that young children are turning away from them, and that reading too is falling off.

Here are some of the major findings.  You can head to their website to read more.

  • Millennials use lots of technology but also say at a higher rate than those over 30 that not all of the important information is available online.
  • 43% of Millennials have read a book on a daily basis, a rate similar to older adults.
  • Millennials are just as likely as their elders to have used a library in the last year and even more likely to have used a library website.

Benefits of Books for Kids

September 8, 2014 Leave a comment

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A lot of librarians can talk positively about the importance of the Summer Reading Program at our libraries.  We talk about the “summer slide” and how public libraries fill a gap particularly for children at risk. 

I’m not sure all libraries though have a way to talk about why reading is important for children beyond just knowing that it is.  An article in PsychCentral written by a Children’s Therapist gives some great and more broad reasons that children need books:

1. Improves kids’ ability to manage potentially stressful life events

2. Increases feelings of recognition and management

3. Enhances relationships

4. Calms and strengthens the mind

5. Improves self-confidence

And honestly, these are the same benefits that adults will find if they start reading more.  I love having deeper reasons like this to talk about with people who think that reading is dead, that we just need connectivity to the Internet and all human knowledge is there.  Books are different, and these reasons are part of our story about why that is.

CNN10 – Better By Design

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Looking for some new ideas or a glimpse of the future?  Well, the new CNN10 is sure to inspire you.  These design ideas are specifically about public spaces and so have a lot of ideas that could inspire change in your library.

There are ideas for new office designs that increase collaboration and creativity.  Perhaps we can’t afford a swirling single-surface desk that defines the entire space, but we can incorporate these new private/shared spaces in our work areas.

Playgrounds that kids build themselves can inspire libraries to make room in their buildings for interactive play areas, perhaps even on a large scale like this.

Pop-up living rooms can be a new model for outdoor public spaces that libraries can offer. 

Even more ideas can be gleaned from less obvious connections.  Hospitals that set patients at ease can speak to the need for libraries to do the same.  Hint: huge public service desks are not designed to make our patrons comfortable. 

Pew Research Center – 7 Surprises About Libraries

June 30, 2014 Leave a comment

The Pew Research Center offers a list of seven surprises about libraries that they discovered in their recent studies. 

1. People aged 65 and over are LESS LIKELY to visit a library than younger people.

2. The 10% of Americans who have never used a library still think libraries are good for their communities.

3. Only 4% of Americans are e-book only readers.

4.  Readers of both digital and print formats prefer different formats in different situations.

5.  Library users are MORE LIKELY to be book buyers and prefer to buy books than to borrow them.

6.  There is a majority of people interested in personalized recommendations from their library, despite its impact on privacy.

7.  There is no real consensus among Americans on how to handle the changing mix of print and digital collections.

For more data on each of these check out the Pew Research Center site.

Reset the Net

June 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Today, June 5th, is the anniversary of Edward Snowden’s release of information.  To honor that, there is a call for people to fight back for privacy.  As a librarian, whether you agree with what Snowden did or now, privacy is something we can all celebrate.

Reset the Net calls for people to try just one new tool that increases your privacy.  Again, for librarians, this may be just the inspiration you need to start learning about privacy tools that you can then show your patrons.  Libraries are about privacy.  We stood for it even when it was vastly unpopular and when our patrons wanted their data shared in more robust ways.  We used to look backwards standing in the way of open access to data, now though we are leaders in privacy.  Let’s keep that up and teach ourselves about a new type of privacy, one that our patrons need to learn about themselves.

 

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Going to the Library Gives You the Same Boost as Getting a Raise!

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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A study commissioned by the UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport has found that a visit to the library gives people the same boost as getting a $2282 raise.  The study looked specifically at overall wellbeing and showed a significant association between frequent library use and reported wellbeing. 

While I am here to trumpet the library aspect, a similar correlation was found with dancing, swimming and going to plays.  I’d also make sure to remind everyone that this is an association and not causation.  Further studies will need to be done to see how much causation exists (if any).

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