Sunday, December 30, 2007

Generation Y biggest user of libraries

Excerpts from a Dec. 30, 2007 Reuter's article:

Of the 53 percent of U.S. adults who said they visited a library in 2007, the biggest users were young adults aged 18 to 30 in the tech-loving group known as Generation Y, the survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said.

"These findings turn our thinking about libraries upside down," said Leigh Estabrook, a professor emerita at the University of Illinois and co-author of a report on the survey results.

"Internet use seems to create an information hunger and it is information-savvy young people who are most likely to visit libraries," she said."

"We were surprised by these findings, particularly in relation to Generation Y," said Lee Rainie, co-author of the study and director of the Pew project. In 1996 a survey by the Benton Foundation found young adults saw libraries becoming less relevant in the future.

"Scroll forward 10 years and their younger brothers and sisters are now the most avid library users," Rainie said.

The survey of 2,796 Americans was conducted by telephone from late June through early September and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. It was funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, an agency that offers federal support for U.S. libraries and museums.

Reporting by Julie Vorman; Editing by Bill Trott
Reuters December 30, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who needs libraries in the digital age?

Biblioteca Alexandrina
"Some have questioned the need for physical libraries in the age of digital information. But all the evidence we have gathered in studies of the library’s facility needs has led us to conclude that the library, as a place, will be even more highly valued in the future than it is today.

Our new and expanded libraries will do much more than store books. They will provide an environment in which people and ideas in all formats can come together. This environment will foster intellectual exploration and the pursuit of knowledge.

We are social creatures and we crave human interaction. Our libraries will be the social and intellectual anchors of our community, essential gathering places that will never be replaced by Internet chat rooms, web sites or other “virtual” environments."

Source: Allen County Public Library

See also: Library Journal article, "Library Buildings 2007: Going, Going, Green"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Renewing Professional Librarianship by Dr. Bill Crowley

Publication date: March 30, 2008.
"Can professional librarianship exist, let alone thrive, in the 21st century? Does accreditation protect the profession, or reduce it to a minor component of information science? The prognosis is not good, claims cultural pragmatist Bill Crowley, with worse to follow unless library studies and information studies are viewed as separate cognate areas. While an information-centric definition may be appropriate for corporate information specialists, he notes that academic, public, and school librarians are already suffering the effects of devaluation. The remedy is to embrace a concept called lifecycle librarianship, the ability to meet crucial public needs "from the lapsit to the nursing home," by honing the library's time honored role as a vital resource for reading and lifelong learning; and he concludes with a series of recommendations for library associations, library and information education educators, and practitioners and a challenge for the reader to do something with them!"

More info. at: Greenwood Publishing Group