Category Archives: Libraries & Museums

Chicago Public Library Staffing Audit

Source: City of Chicago, Office of Inspector General (OIG), May 2018

From the press release:
The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an audit evaluating the design and implementation of the Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) staffing plan, which allocates positions among CPL’s 80 library locations. The objectives of the audit were to determine whether CPL’s staffing plan followed industry guidance and was an effective and efficient tool for allocating human resources among CPL libraries.

While CPL’s staffing plan improves upon its previous uniform staffing approach, OIG determined that due to deficiencies in its design and implementation, the plan is not sufficient to align library branch staffing with community needs.

Referring to staffing industry guidance from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the American Library Association (ALA), OIG identified several flaws in the design of CPL’s staffing plan. We also found deficiencies in how CPL implemented the plan, such as not collecting and using all relevant data, and not consistently assigning staff to libraries at the prescribed levels.

These flaws in the design and implementation of CPL’s staffing plan may contribute to inefficient use of CPL’s human resources. Some staff reported performing tasks that fell outside their job descriptions and for which they were overqualified. For example, Clerks and Librarians reported regularly engaging in sorting and shelving, tasks normally done by Library Pages. In another instance, a Clerk at a library serving a largely Hispanic community told OIG that her status as the only bilingual staff member made it a practical necessity for her to perform tasks outside her job description on a regular basis. One branch manager told us that “many positions perform many roles,” which in some cases results in personnel spending time on activities that could be done more cost-effectively by employees holding other titles….

Related:
IG audit says Chicago library staffing ‘not aligned with community needs’
Source: Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, May 2, 2018

A Seattle Library Employee Was Stuck With a Needle. Should Branches Make Changes to Deal With the Opioid Epidemic?

Source: Erica C. Barnett, Seattle Magazine, March 8, 2018

The Seattle Public Library system and the King County Public Library system already take very different approaches to drug use and needle disposal in public restrooms.

Related:
Once It Was Overdue Books. Now Librarians Fight Overdoses.
Source: Annie Correal, New York Times, February 28, 2018

….The opioid epidemic is reshaping life in America, including at the local public library, where librarians are considering whether to carry naloxone to battle overdoses. At a time when the public is debating arming teachers, it is another example of an unlikely group being enlisted to fight a national crisis…..

Brockton Public Library making changes to cope with opioid crisis
Source: Jason Law, Boston 25 News, March 1, 2018

Public libraries are getting creative when it comes to dealing with the opioid crisis. The library director in Brockton says he’s taken steps to keep addicts out of his library. The bathrooms inside the Brockton Public Library will now be locked at all times. To get in, you need a key, which is kept by the reference desk…..

Librarians Learn How To Save Those Overdosing On Opioids
Source: CBS New York, March 1, 2018

….Librarians and other staff members are being trained on how to revive someone who’s overdosing. Matt Pfisterer is the director of the Middletown-Thrall Library in Middletown and he knows exactly where to find and how to use their Narcan kits…..

Lawmaker wants to bring anti-overdose medication to Michigan libraries
Source: Noah Fromson, WZZM13, February 18, 2018

A Michigan Senate bill would bring the fight the opioid crisis in public libraries.

Library system cuts hours, reduces purchases so county can spend more on opioid crisis
Source: Rick Lee, York Daily Record, February 7, 2018

York County’s free public library system is downsizing — trimming hours, employee schedules and the purchase of new releases — because of a $300,000 budget cut. That cut came in December when county commissioners diverted more resources to combat the heroin and opioid crisis that has gripped the city, county, state and nation…..

How The Everett Public Library Is ‘Not Turning A Blind Eye’ To The Opioid Crisis
Source: Jennifer Wing, KNKX, February 10, 2018

…..The two libraries that make up the Everett Public Library System have been quietly dealing with people who are addicted to heroin using these safe, public spaces to shoot up.  The Everett Library System is accepting this as the new normal.  But, at the same time, it is playing a larger role in getting people the help that they need…..

Opioid Crisis: Libraries, Resources, Context and Data
Source: WebJunction, August 17, 2017

State of America’s Libraries Report 2018

Source: American Library Association, April 2018

From the summary:
The State of America’s Libraries report, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 8 – 14, outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries. The report affirms the invaluable role libraries and library workers play within their communities by leading efforts to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.During this time of rapid social change, libraries of all types are providing welcoming spaces to an increasingly diverse population; working with the community to offer social service support and health resources, career and small business development assistance; and combating fake news by providing tools to assess and evaluate news sources.

Related:
Flipbook Version
Press Release
Executive Summary
Academic Libraries
School Libraries
Public Libraries
Issues & Trends
National Issues & Trends
Resources
Contributors

The Academic Law Library in the Age of Affiliations: A Case Study of the University of New Hampshire Law Library

Source: Nicholas Mignanelli, Law Library Journal, Vol. 109, No. 2, 2017

From the abstract:
Difficult financial times have forced law schools to look for ways to restructure. One promising opportunity, especially for independent law schools, is affiliating with another law school or a university. How does this change impact the law library? This study of the University of New Hampshire Law Library seeks to provide a partial answer.

From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018

Source: OCLC and the American Library Association, March 2018

….This summary includes key findings from the 2018 research and highlights notable comparisons to 2008 results. The analysis shows that libraries remain valued institutions that most voters have a positive association with and find useful. There continues to be stalwart support for library funding in many communities as evidenced by the fact that the majority of local library ballot measures in recent years have passed. This new national voter data, however, indicates a softening in committed support for libraries over the past decade. Libraries and library advocates should take action to address this downward trend…..

Related:

Infographic

Libraries Respond to #MeToo Movement

Source: Julia Eisenstein, American Library Association, March 9, 2018

Libraries have long been in the forefront when it comes to responding to social justice issues. The current focus on the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are no exception. ….

…. The University of Minnesota (U of M) Libraries runs a regular blog titled A Matter of Facts. Kimberly Clarke and Karen Carmody-McIntosh wrote the February 7 post Me Too: Hashtag and Social Movement. In it contains links to resources regarding the origin of the #MeToo movement Helpful books, ebooks, databases, journal articles are available only to U of M faculty and students, but the Newspaper, Magazine articles and websites are available for anyone to view.

Many academic libraries are creating LibGuides on sexual harassment providing links to resources for both scholars who are researching sexual harassment and survivors of sexual harassment. Examples include Tulane University’s Howard Tilton Memorial Library guide on Sexual Violence Prevention Resources, the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign guide on Sexual Harassment, and New York’s Adelphi University guide on Sexual Harassment Resources. ….

Related:
Harassment Resources

Libraries Are a Space Where Everyone Belongs

Source: Sue Halpern, The Nation, March 19-26, 2018

No wonder the Trump administration is gunning for them.

Among the disappeared in Donald Trump’s fiscal-year 2018 budget was something most of us didn’t notice at first: the dissolution of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Take that away and virtually all federal support for public libraries disappears. While the institute doesn’t represent a massive amount of money—by one accounting, its $230 million was 0.006 percent of the federal budget in 2016—it has been crucial for sustaining libraries, especially those in struggling urban neighborhoods and rural areas…..

Holding Pattern

Source: Lisa Peet, Library Journal, February 16, 2018

LJ’s 2018 Budget Survey shows overall budgets continuing to increase slightly, but federal funding disputes and new tax laws raise concern Last year, LJ’s budget survey showed libraries nationwide staying above water throughout 2016. In 2017 that trend continued, with libraries of all sizes reporting an overall average increase in funding for operating, materials, and personnel budgets. The trend seems to be leveling out, however. While total operating budgets rose modestly, concerns over a contentious federal budget that originally sought to eliminate federal library funding, as well as new tax laws, leave libraries unsure of what the future may hold.

An initial look at LJ’s 2018 Budgets and Funding survey of U.S. public libraries reveals a 2.8% increase in 2017’s total operating budgets, representing continued improvement since the lows of 2008—although down from last year’s gain of 3.4%. Overall, 77% of the 329 responding libraries reported an increase in total operating budgets from 2016 to 2017. In terms of individual locations, this is an improvement over previous years; 70% reported upticks in 2016, and 74% in 2015. …..

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.