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Archive for the ‘Public Libraries’ Category


With the cuts to library staff in Auckland the future of libraries is in the media again. This morning there was a very good discussion on Radio NZ around this.

“Victoria University professor of library and information management Anne Goulding and Laurinda Thomas, a past president of LIANZA and a team leader at Wellington Libraries, join Wallace to discuss the future of public lending libraries.”

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201838012

Laurinda and Anne were very patient with Wallace who seemed surprised that people still like to use libraries. *sigh*

Laurinda has done an excellent job recently in advocating for libraries and if you have missed her TEDX Wellington talk you should take the time to watch.

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One News ran a story on Technology forcing libraries to transform. It features Upper Hutt, and Auckland Council libraries.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 😉

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 Sci-Fi and Squeam is an Australian podcast that “brings the Queer geek listener and friends all the things happening in the geeksverse, from topics in Horror and Sci-Fi, comics and video games and fan culture, to interviews and reviews“.  A couple of weeks ago they included an interview with Dr Matt Finch about his work with libraries around immersive play.

Matt is one of the keynote speakers at VALA14 this week. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the interview…

The idea is to do something beyond interaction with the screen, where you’re actually physically in this location, and you get to determine the outcome of the story in the way that the writer or the designer maybe didn’t predict. Taking down the boundary between the audience and the storyteller and making them work together to find a satisfying conclusion.

…Every neighbourhood has this magic building and its sole job is to give you access to all human knowledge and culture – it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or you’re poor or you’re young or you’re old or where you’re from, that’s what it’s there for. For you to step into whatever world the human race has thought of or described or dreamt of.

…actually the point is that you have these publically funded people who are guides to everything the human race has ever thought of or dreamt up.

Listen to Dr Matt’s dulcet tones (interview starts around 26:50] or read the transcript after the jump.

(more…)

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Here is the winning entry. You should watch it.

 

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The Wellington Library Coalition (of the infamous “Are Libraries worth saving?” debate) surveyed Wellington ward and mayoral candidates on a number of questions regarding Wellington City Libraries.  They’ve released the results for us all to look at. Appendix 3 includes the candidate comments as well as commentary from the Coalition.

Kudos to the Coalition for this work.

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I thought I’d share this post with you. Its from Dick Eastman, an extremely tech-savvy genealogist. 

He responds to an email from someone who is horrified that alot of the books in the FamilySearch Family History Library are being digitised so they can be put online, and the original hard copies aren’t being replaced on their shelves. 

This Library/Research Centre is “Mecca” for someone in my field (along with The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department in Allen County Public Library.)

For those who don’t know, FamilySearch is the genealogical organisation owned and run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Although they have their own reasons to do with their faith for genealogical research, they offer their resources/services worldwide free, to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

In their Granite Mountain vaults, they have millions of microfilms that are being digitised so they can be put online on their free website, and their books and serials in the FamilySearch Family History Centre are also being microfilmed so they can be OCRed. They are said to be running the world’s biggest digitisation project.

Anyway, have a read of this post and see what you think, and how it may relate to us as librarians (or researchers) in the future:

http://bit.ly/OULrqU

As a researcher, I am excited about the possibility of being able to access such richness online. As a librarian, I have subdued mixed feelings about the “destruction of books”, even if it is for the “greater good”. I’m sure they have a preservation process for their most precious titles.

I thought the points discussed were thought provoking and not dissimilar to discussions we’ve all had – you might be interested in his opinions about the digital versus “real” books debates that we are hearing and participating in!

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It must be that time of year again, as libraries battle councils feeling the money crunch.

User-pay income rise needed at the library From the Gisborne Herald

LIBRARY users could be asked to put their hands in their pockets to help maintain the service and could be called on to have their share of library costs increased to 15 or 20 percent.

Some parts that just had me steaming…

“As calls were made at the committee meeting yesterday for the H.B. Williams Memorial Library to increase its revenue, chairman Brian Wilson said he was looking at a scheme that had not been tried anywhere else in the country.”

Ok lets hear it…

“Referring to an article on the library on the front page of The Gisborne Herald Weekender last Saturday, he said the efficiency committee might have to consider holding its meetings with the public excluded to prevent people from undermining it.”

Gosh you wouldn’t want the public to have a say in how their money is spent would you…

“Mr Wilson said he and Graeme Thomson had some ideas for raising more income from the library. A fee of 50 cents to $1 for books could raise a worthwhile sum of money. Children’s books could be excluded.”

We have never seen that before… I will scurry off and see if there is any literature on that topic later today.

“Graeme Thomson said the library could be compared with sports fields, for which clubs had to pay a rental. The library had been described as the living room of the community. Many people would say Rugby Park on a Saturday afternoon was that.”

Not really. The Rugby park is the deck you use on the weekend.

“Both Mr Thomson and Mr Haisman challenged the statement that 5000 people a week visited the library, saying they had never seen it even half full.”

And words start to fail me… That is only 104 people an hour… I know how big Gisborne library is and it would be easy to have that many people in there and it to seem “half full”… 

“Mr Thomson said he believed the library could use volunteers more. He had seen that done in Opotiki when he was young, Librarian Pene Walsh, who joined the meeting said the library already had 40 volunteers and was carrying out a volunteer drive.”

Poor Pene…

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