Oh, the interest is definitely there but what a little added “juice” can do to propel a project! Two benefactors donated the money to Westport (CT) Library for really “interesting” projects and so the library purchased two completely programmable robots to the tune of $8,000 apiece. The object is to teach coding with as many variables and levels as is needed depending on the age group. This has created a buzz that no hardcopy reference tome has ever generated. The number of calls from around the world after a Wall Street Journal article was published is probably worth its weight in advertising gold. Westport’s Maker Space program was already well established and these additions are only the newest wrinkle. Read.
So you thought you only had to worry about the NSA or those cyber criminals who only want to take over your financial life via credit card number theft? Well, now it looks like your innocent ebook reading could cause you some privacy damage. Adobe openly admitted that it has been logging data from those ebook downloads by people using the Adobe Digital Editions service. The fact that information like IP address and reading activity isn’t exactly James Bond dangerous is really not the point. The point is that Adobe says they need to log this information in order to make the DRM usable in order to sync data. There seems to be some discord as to the level this privacy issue needs to be violated. It has been suggested that in the hard-copy, physical library world, a patron expects certain privacy privileges that just may not exist in the digital arena. Read this LJ article.
We would like to offer our congratulations to the 2014 WNYLRC Excellence Award Winners! They were presented their awards on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at WNYLRC’s 48th Annual Meeting of the Membership at Lockport Canalside. This year’s winners are:
Excellence in Library Service: Christine Stockslader—Lancaster Middle School. Christine stood out from an impressive group of nominees, all of whom take the extra step to put their patrons first. She has turned her school library into a creative center where students wish to be and she reaches out to teachers, authors and, importantly, elected officials. Her responsibilities do not stop for summer recess—she allows students to take books home for the summer and even, on appointed days, opens the school library so that students can refresh their stock. She is not mere “building specific”—she actively reaches out to the next year’s incoming students so they can make a smooth transition to the wonderful world that’s in store for them. Judging from her colleagues enthusiastic support of her nomination, the Awards Committee knew they were making the right choice.
Outstanding Library Advocate: Elaine Panty—Trustee, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Years before her position as a Trustee on the library’s board, Elaine was advocating, lobbying, working for and, generally being indispensable to the Riverside Library. We can be assured that the County Legislature stays tuned when Elaine is pursuing them for aid for libraries and pursue she will. As her parents told her as a youth “give back to your community but focus; don’t spread yourself too thin” and give back she has. BECPL has been the lucky recipient of her tireless efforts for decades and so have we all in turn.
Outstanding Library or Library Program Award: Stress Relief Days—University at Buffalo Libraries. One of the possible guidelines for inclusion in this award is the “creation of a new or enhanced service model that can be emulated by other libraries…” and Stress Relief Days has done just that. What started as a brainchild at the University at Buffalo is now being implemented by other institutions because of the beauty of “word of mouth” or the speed of Twitter: exam week is no longer the complete agony and angst-ridden event we dread. Puppies, yoga, food, knitting, the gamut of distractions is employed to lower the tension for those students who “need a hug” with fur—or without. The staff of these libraries actively—and willingly—participate in a yeoman’s job of coordination to bring a smorgasbord of choices to students who enthusiastically endorse the efforts. Top of the list? Puppies. Therapy puppies, it seems, are the key to mental bliss—and maybe a better exam grade!
The evening’s festivities included a boat ride on the Erie Canal and an enlightening talk by David Kinyon, Director of the Town of Lockport IDA and leading expert on the restoration of the Flight of Five locks.
Great information, good food and laughs with old and new friends—that’s what a WNYLRC annual meeting is all about!
Maker spaces are popping up in libraries (and many other types of spaces) all over the country. For libraries, they are a way of solidifying the library’s continuing usefulness in the community and an inspired use of space once filled by print material. However, nothing is static in the library world so the visionaries are already conjuring the Maker spaces of the future and how the communities they create actually fulfill the function of the library–free informational flow. James Mitchell shares his optimism and glimpse into the future in LJ.
While libraries in this country struggle to find a niche right this minute and to prepare for the future–meaning, maybe five years from now–in Norway, the vision is much longer and may not look like what we anticipate. Author Margaret Atwood has been the first to sign on to Future Library in Oslo where trees have been planted and will be cut down 100 years from now and the manuscripts from the selected authors will be printed on said trees and read. Yes, printed books will probably be obsolete by then but the Norwegians have thought it all out and a printing press will also be sequestered with the manuscripts. Ambitious? Nutty? Yes, certainly, but oh so provocative. Read.