Transformative Ideas for Public Libraries

Articles

E-Books and Libraries - What's Available for Free
An article from Public Libraries Online

A suggested approach for the Digital Public Library of America
PLA blog post by Nate Hill

Conferences

2011 LITA National Forum: Rivers of Data, Currents of Change
Now in its 14th year, the LITA National Forum is a 3-day educational event featuring preconferences, keynote, concurrent, and poster sessions that explore leading-edge technologies and their applications in all types of libraries.

General Resources

Checking out the future: Perspectives from the library community on information technology and 21st-century libraries (PDF, 728k, 24 pages)
Explores how many library professionals are recognizing the need to evolve during the digital revolution and are driving adaptations designed to ensure that libraries remain an integral part of our society’s commitment to education, equity, and access to information.

E-Books: Resources for You and Your Patrons
Resources on e-books (articles, books, wiki)

Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® (ECRR)
This is a parent education initiative. It stresses early literacy begins with the primary adults in a child's life. The ECRR toolkit empowers public libraries to assume an essential role in supporting early literacy within a community.

Digitizing Hidden Collections in Public Libraries (PDF 500k, 10 pages
Libraries no longer need to prove that they should be digitizing their materials; they just need to find ways to do it. This paper offers an overview of digitization challenges facing small and medium-sized libraries, presents options for large-scale digitization projects, and suggests ways to share newly created digital collections.

Financial Literacy: Resources for You and Your Patrons

Gaming in Libraries
A list of resources.

The Importance of a Whole Library Approach to Public Library Young Adult Services: A YALSA Issue Paper
It is crucial that the all library staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to serve the young adult population with respect and first-rate services. When all public libraries are fully staffed only with those that value young adults, not only does the library thrive, but the community, of which adolescents are a part, thrives as well.

Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries (PDF 1.2Mb, 8 pages)
Libraries serve a unique and important role in providing free access to all types of information and telecommunications services. This is especially true for people without Internet services at home or at work. The demand for such services has increased significantly with ever-growing need for access to digital and online information – including e-government, continuing education and employment opportunities. In fact, research from the Young Adult Library Services Association and the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggests this need will only continue to grow since young adults make up one of the most dedicated groups of library users and demand more and typically faster access to information.1

Special Services in Special Times: Responding to Changed Information Needs During and After Community-Based Disasters
In disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, pandemics, or terrorist attacks, which can affect a whole community and not just a single institution, librarians may be called upon to provide new and modified information services to users whose information needs have suddenly changed, at the same time that access to information resources has dramatically diminished.

There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations (PDF, 848k, 18 pages)
takes a look at how the adoption of mobile technology alters the traditional relationships between libraries and their users. The policy brief, authored by OITP consultant Timothy Vollmer, explores the challenges to reader privacy, issues of access to information in the digital age (including content ownership and licensing), digital rights management, and accessibility. Despite these challenges, Vollmer said libraries are embracing the growing capabilities of mobile technology and providing new, innovative services that extend the way libraries serve their existing patrons.

Think Accessible Before You Buy: Questions to Ask to Ensure that the Electronic Resources Your Library Plans to Purchase are Accessible
Often, library staff may have to make purchasing decisions regarding electronic databases and resources, software for public use, or a new web site design or layout. Libraries share a great responsibility and may be legally required to ensure that anyone-especially patrons and staff with disabilities- can effectively use these electronic services. Unfortunately, these technical standards can be a real challenge to translate and understand for those of us without a technical background, or who are not former computer programmers or web page coders. Therefore, in an effort to break down the technical language barrier, the following checklists and guidelines are intended to help libraries “think accessible” as they consider purchasing electronic resources and web services.

U.S. Public Libraries & E-Government Services (PDF 313k, 2 pages)
Libraries in the United States always have had an important role in ensuring free and open access to the world’s knowledge, including information documenting the work of our democracy and resources for connecting with government agencies at all levels. In the wake of the E-Government Act of 2002 and other state, local and federal government initiatives, the roles of public libraries as an online access point, a place for assistance learning to navigate computer and Internet resources, and a trusted source of information have become more vital in communities nationwide.

z687: Creating the Future of Tech Services
Welcome to z687: Creating the Future of Tech Services, the online collection of white papers and think-pieces by ALCTS members for their peers in library technical services.

Tools

The American Dream Starts @your library
For more than a century, public libraries have been a cornerstone of the American Dream, providing equal access to information of all kinds. Libraries are among the first American institutions immigrants turn to for help in learning how to read, write and speak English. The libraries participating in the American Dream Starts @ your library can be found in all kinds of communities - from large cities and rural towns across the country. In 2010, 75 public libraries in 24 states have been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) to receive $5,000 grants as part of “The American Dream Starts @ your library®” literacy initiative. This initiative is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.