gina.persichini's picture

A View From Capitol Hill (Seattle)

I urge the readers of this blog and those thinking about the future of libraries to read Chrystie Hill’s blog piece posted at WebJunction. She asks, “…do libraries currently have enough going for them to stay open? Some of them may. Is there enough there there to sustain this concept of libraries for the public good?”

Chrystie wrote an interesting piece that starts with a look at 7 users in a coffee shop on an average day and moves on to discuss social networks and the role of libraries in the lives of one generation of users.

Anonymous's picture - Folksonomy in Action

I learned about a web site called today from an email to the OSS4Lib (Open Source Software for Libraries - not that LibraryThing is open source) email discussion list. Quite an exciting idea, really. I’ll let the site speak for itself: read the about page. Pay special attention to the “What are tags? (short answer)” and “What are tags? (long answer).”

If you’re not quite keen on what this is all about, is a social cataloging site that does for books what Flickr
does for digital photos.

ann.joslin's picture

SL Futures TT Followup

This is a request to the SL staff members who attended the Futures Think Tank last month. Jan, I’m including you because you are a Steering Committee member, participate in the blog, and attended both northern regional meetings so I’m sure you have some thoughts on this.

One of my initial responses after the Think Tank was that I wished we had resources (primarily staff time) to get started on several new things. My second thought was that we have some outstanding staff, so what can we stop doing or do differently so that staff can do something new?

While the futures process isn’t completed yet, I’m curious what you see on the horizon that would be new for us to take on. My intent is to start a discussion based on our collective reactions to the process so far. It’s also opening up the staffing needs discussion even wider before coming back to the already-identified need for more IT and web staff.

Anonymous's picture

Washington shenanigans

Take a look at Washington’s state-wide library marketing campaign. Lots of information as well as great ideas and pointers to adapt their marketing and awareness campaign to one’s own make-your-library-known bandwagon.

Who’s putting it together?

A statewide committee comprised of library marketing professionals and representatives from all types of libraries is guilding the project. The project is coordinated by the Washington State Library and funded with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

gina.persichini's picture

Serving teens; serving Bart

At a meeting last week, I had another opportunity to hear Stephen Abrams speak. He said two things that really struck me:

1. Kids in high school now are 40%-60% of the parents bringing their kids to the public library in 10 years.

Wow. Are we serving those high school kids now? How many of them? If they aren’t using us now, will be they bring their kids in 10 years? Can we serve these new parents and kids? Can we communicate with them using the comminication methods that prefer?

Anonymous's picture

"peak libraries"

Here's An Interesting LISWiki Article on the "peak libraries" idea.
Peak libraries is a concept named after the (contested) theory of peak oil. According to the peak oil theory, as the world's oil supply becomes depleted, its supply will diminish along a mathematical curve, causing large economic shifts and forcing alternative power supplies to be explored.

Anonymous's picture

Aussie 2010 vision of the Internet

Found this fascinating 170-page report (no, I didn’t read the whole thing, but c’mon!) via BoingBoing on how the Australian government sees the Internet evolving, and the means by which it’s trying to anticipate how much of a bigger splash the Internet of 2010 will make and how it can be met. Sound familiar? The report makes four distinct definitions, or identifying factors, of Internet evolution by 2010:

1. Basic communications: from fixed to mobile telephony
2. Personal managers: same mobile telephony pushes integrated mobile gadgets
3. Lifestyle junkies: new breed of music/video consumers using, surprise, integrated mobile gadgets
4. Communicating machines: nothing new in 2010 but developing said mobile communication.

gina.persichini's picture

Hurricane Katrina - Impact on Libraries

Hurricane Katrina has affected lives in so many ways; libraries are just one part of the picture. Here are some links about how libraries are impacted by the hurricane:

American Libraries online is gathering a list of how libraries are impacted by the Hurricane.

ALA President Michael Gorman has made a statement that can be found on the ALA Website.

Anonymous's picture

Third "Place"

In a recent email exchange at the Idaho State Library, Jan Wall shared the following URL [], which leads to an article discussing the “third place,” that comfortable place that isn’t work and isn’t home, but is the third place where you find yourself seeking a social outlet, or to meet various needs. Starbucks or a library could be an example.

I haven’t been directly involved in the Futures planning work, but I have coded the web site where much of the work has been done, so in the spirit of a carpenter who feels qualified to lean in, hammer in hand, and tell the architect his view on things, I fired off the following email, which I’ve been encouraged to post here in the blog:

Anonymous's picture

Libraries in the Age of Viral Marketing

On a library mailing list today I learned about the newest groundbreaking Google service:

I guess this is an example of viral marketing in action. It’s gotten me to wondering what should stop libraries from using viral marketing themselves? In recent years phenomena such as librarian action figures, librarians in television shows and movies, and the profession’s own marketing efforts have chipped away at the archetypal librarian’s stately hair bun. So, why must our efforts to inform the public of our services be confined to the droll?