Category Archives: Libraries & Museums

The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life

Source: David Beard, The Atlantic, January 28, 2018

As local news outlets disappear in America, some libraries are gaining new relevance. ….

…. To be clear, libraries are no silver bullet to everything that ails local news. Sullivan’s New Hampshire weekly won’t break investigations like The Washington Post. Libraries, with most of their funding dependent on local officials, aren’t a natural source for government-accountability stories. But library-backed efforts can help restore the foundation and appetite for local news—the love of community, curiosity about it, confidence to participate in it. Various types of community building are happening across the nation. In some cities, libraries are partnering with established news sources, teaming up in Dallas to train high schoolers in news gathering or hosting a satellite studio in Boston for the public radio station WGBH. In San Antonio, the main library offers space to an independent video news site that trains students and runs a C-SPAN-style operation in America’s seventh-biggest city. (That site was the only video outlet covering a mayoral debate last year in which the incumbent mayor’s comments on poverty became a national story—and may have contributed to her electoral defeat.) …. 

Waking Up to Advocacy in a New Political Reality for Libraries

Source: Paul T. Jaeger, Erin Zerhusen, Ursula Gorham, Renee F. Hill, Natalie Greene Taylor, The Library Quarterly, Volume 87, Issue 4, October 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The engagement of the US federal government with libraries has been disjointed. Financial support for libraries has been controversial and inconsistent, and many policy decisions have directly affected library operations and activities, particularly those of public libraries. Libraries’ experiences with the federal government offer many lessons about the broad ideological attitude toward—and constraints on—library support before the 2016 election. These lessons have import for all public-sphere institutions as they navigate the even more complicated current environment. This article argues that the best hope for library funding and support is to concentrate efforts at the local and state levels, coordinating efforts and sharing ideas and resources across locations and types of institutions. A national advocacy strategy coordinated across the states will maximize advocacy efforts where we may have a greater chance of success.

Libraries Under Capitalism: The Enclosure of the Literary Commons

Source: Gus Bagakis, Truthout, January 3, 2018

….Increased budget cuts are leading to the end of our literary commons. How can advocates help public libraries survive and promote real democratic values and critical thinking? First, by understanding the fate of public libraries in the context of the history of capitalism. Second, by organizing and acting to protect public libraries as locations of community connection and potential action, the bane of the disempowering, oligopolistic capitalist system……

Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2016; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2016: First Look (Provisional Data)

Source: Scott Ginder, et. al., National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Publication #: NCES 2018002, December 2017

From the abstract:
This provisional First Look report includes fully edited and imputed data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) spring 2017 data collection, which included four survey components: Enrollment for fall 2016; Finance for fiscal year 2016; data on employees in postsecondary education for Fall 2016; and data for Academic Libraries for fiscal year 2016.

For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America

Source: University of Maryland Libraries, 2017

Labor unions were created by workers to protect their rights. Less recognized is labor’s role in advancing civil liberties, social justice, and economic equality for all Americans.

The labor movement has always supported the quest for economic justice, including demands for an eight-hour workday and a living wage. From the beginning of the 20th century, organized labor has championed religious freedom and the evolving demands of the environmental movement. By the end of the century, the labor movement consistently promoted international human rights.

In contrast, people of color, women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community faced exclusion, segregation, and discrimination by unions. These groups created their own organizations, fought for inclusion, and pushed the labor movement to broaden its central principles of liberty, justice, and equality. In the 21st century, organized labor has become an advocate for the rights of all these communities, including anti-discrimination and civil rights legislation, marriage equality, and protections for undocumented workers.

This exhibit explores the American labor movement’s contributions to social progress using documents, images, videos, and artifacts from the Labor History Collections within the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland Libraries.

Public libraries can (literally) serve as a shelter from the storm

Source: Grace Morris, The Conversation, August 30, 2017

U.S. public libraries often transform into shelters during emergencies.

After Superstorm Sandy, for example, the Princeton Public Library in New Jersey and Connecticut’s New Canaan Library gave the public somewhere to charge devices, contact loved ones or even just watch movies. Other New Jersey libraries went further: The Roxbury Public Library opened early and closed late. South Orange’s library became its primary evacuation center.

Libraries don’t just pitch in following natural disasters. In August 2014, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library became a safe space amid the unrest that followed the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb. After local schools started the school year two weeks behind schedule, leaving students in the lurch, the library even hosted informal classes for hundreds of students….

Saving Lives in the Stacks How libraries are handling the opioid crisis

Source: Anne Ford, American Libraries, June 21, 2017

…..What Simon didn’t say—but what librarians far and wide know—is that the McPherson Square branch is just one of many American libraries struggling with opioid-related issues such as discarded, contaminated needles; drug use in the library itself; and even on-site overdoses and fatalities. Libraries from California to Colorado, Pennsylvania to Missouri, are finding themselves on the front lines of a battle they never anticipated fighting. Of course, opiate use isn’t limited to libraries. Neither is anyone claiming that the problem is more severe in libraries than it is anywhere else. Still, the fact that libraries are open to all, offer relative anonymity, and generally allow patrons to stay as long as they like make them uniquely vulnerable to those seeking a place to use drugs…..

The opioid epidemic is so bad that librarians are learning how to treat overdoses
Source: Darran Simon, CNN, June 24, 2017

…..Long viewed as guardians of safe spaces for children, library staff members like Kowalski have begun taking on the role of first responder in drug overdoses. In at least three major cities — Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco — library employees now know, or are set to learn, how to use the drug naloxone, usually known by its brand name Narcan, to help reverse overdoses.

Their training tracks with the disastrous national rise in opioid use and an apparent uptick of overdoses in libraries, which often serve as daytime havens for homeless people and hubs of services in impoverished communities.

In the past two years, libraries in Denver, San Francisco, suburban Chicago and Reading, Pennsylvania have become the site of fatal overdoses…..
Related:
Librarians In Philadelphia Train To Thwart Drug Overdoses
NPR, Weekend Edition, June 3, 2017

The McPherson Branch of the Free Public Library sees almost daily heroin overdoses. NPR’s Scott Simon talks to Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer and librarian Chera Kowolski about the response.

For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job
Source: Mike Newall, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 1, 2017

I visited the century-old library that sits atop Needle Park in Kensington because I’d heard its staff was the first in the city to learn how to administer the lifesaving overdose antidote Narcan.

They have been using the spray so often that they can tell the type of overdose simply by the sound coming from the lavatory: Heroin victims slide sluggishly into unconsciousness, the librarians have found, while victims of deadly fentanyl collapse instantly, with a thud that resonates through the entire building, which is called the McPherson Square Branch….

Salt Lake County librarians trained to respond to drug overdoses
Source: Deseret News, June 29, 2017

Salt Lake County Library Services, partnering with the Salt Lake County Health Department, has trained librarians on how to administer Narcan and has distributed naloxone kits to their branches….

Denver Public Library staff equipped with opioid overdose antidote
Source: KDVR, March 17, 2017

Staff at Denver Public Library’s central library are now carrying narcan, an opioid overdose antidote, in response to an increase in people overdosing at the library. …. Fewell said since the library started tracking the incidents in February, staff have counted six overdoses. ….

How much do librarians make? 2017 librarian salary ranges

Source: LibGig, 2017

…..How to determine librarian salary potential
Figuring out library salary ranges involves three steps:
1. Identify potential sources of credible and current salary information.
2. Figure out what job titles those sources are likely to use for the position you’re interested in, and whether what they’re calling, for instance, “data management” is actually what you’d call “records management”.
3. Assess the professional attributes you have and lack that will influence which end of the salary range you’ll likely fall within……

IMLS Funding Reports by State 2011-2016

Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), 2017

From the press release:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released reports with detailed views of IMLS funding for the past six years (FY 2011 through FY 2016) for every state across the nation and the District of Columbia. It is the first time the agency has compiled information across the agency’s museum and library programs by state in this manner. The documents will serve as a one-stop information source with data that are publicly available but are currently distributed across multiple datasets or databases.

The IMLS funding report for each state includes total dollars and counts of IMLS grants and awards, as well as amounts of grantee matches or state government maintenance of effort levels. It lists museums and libraries receiving IMLS awards and grants, and provides descriptions of the library Grants to States program projects. It also includes information about geographic distribution of grants across the state. With charts, tables, and maps, the reports help the reader to find valuable information easily and make state-by-state comparisons.