Urban economists have put forward the idea that cities that are culturally interesting tend to attract “the creative class” and, as a result, end up being economically successful. Yet it is still unclear how economic and cultural dynamics mutually influence each other. By contrast, that has been extensively studied in the case of individuals. Over decades, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu showed that people’s success and their positions in society mainly depend on how much they can spend (their economic capital) and what their interests are (their cultural capital). For the first time, we adapt Bourdieu’s framework to the city context. We operationalize a neighborhood’s cultural capital in terms of the cultural interests that pictures geo-referenced in the neighborhood tend to express. This is made possible by the mining of what users of the photo-sharing site of Flickr have posted in the cities of London and New York over 5 years. In so doing, we are able to show that economic capital alone does not explain urban development. The combination of cultural capital and economic capital, instead, is more indicative of neighborhood growth in terms of house prices and improvements of socio-economic conditions. Culture pays, but only up to a point as it comes with one of the most vexing urban challenges: that of gentrification.
Source: Nick Field & Rosie Tran, Public Library Quarterly, Latest Articles, Published online: January 11, 2018
From the abstract:
Libraries worldwide have had to re-think their purpose and adapt to changing community needs and expectations. They are no longer simply repositories for old books. Rather, they are vital components of a community’s social and economic infrastructure that connects communities and fosters creativity and innovation. This paper explores the changing role of libraries—and public value organizations more broadly—in creating positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes for individuals and communities.
Source: Matthew Goldman, Public Library Quarterly, Latest Articles, Published online: April 10, 2018
From the abstract:
Public libraries have seen a decline in public funding, relying on a mixture of external types of funding to keep services running. With state and local governments continuing to face financial pressures, some libraries have explored alternative ways to maximize funding, by forming library districts. This report aimed at exploring library districts in three states, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon, which have similar funding structures. The report found more stable and predictable funding patterns in library districts versus their counterparts and provides evidence that is a strong alternative for public libraries seeking a change in the way they obtain funds.
Source: Jeffrey Meyer, Journal Public Library Quarterly, Volume 37, Issue 1, 2018
From the abstract:
This analysis identifies relationships between library usage, poverty, and median household income in Iowa. Quantitative analysis identifies two distinctive correlations within this data set. First, there is a negative correlation between library usage and poverty, associating higher library usage with lower poverty. Second, there is a subtle positive correlation between library usage and median household income, associating higher library usage with higher median household income. Library usage data is derived from the Iowa Library Services’ Iowa Public Library Statistics (July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014). Poverty and median household income data is derived from the United States Census Bureau.
American schools—particularly those serving black and Latino students—have seen a precipitous drop in their school librarians since the Great Recession.
The nation’s public school districts have lost 20 percent of their librarians and media specialists since 2000, from more than 54,000 to less than 44,000 in 2015, according to an Education Week Research Center analysis of federal data. Many districts lost librarians even as student populations grew by 7 percent nationwide. For example, over the past decade in Denver public schools, student enrollment increased by 25 percent, but the number of librarians decreased by 60 percent. ….
…. The evidence is building that the loss of school librarians could put schools at a disadvantage academically. For example, two studies of national and Colorado-specific data suggested that losing a school librarian was associated with lower 4th grade reading scores while gaining one was associated with higher scores. A meta-analysis of 34 statewide studies also suggested that schools with high-quality library programs had higher reading test scores and, for high schools, graduation rates. ….
School Librarian, Where Art Thou?
Source: Keith Curry Lance, School Library Journal, March 16, 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….
IG audit says Chicago library staffing ‘not aligned with community needs’
Source: Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, May 2, 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.
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
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.
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.
….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…..