September 2018 Library Tech Newsbytes

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library Tech Newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. We've been stepping up our game on Twitter (@TS4Libs) recently, so you may have seen one of these already, but never fear! Find some fresh library tech newsbytes below. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

The U.S. Senate Passes Bills to Slightly Increase Funding for Libraries in Fiscal Year 2019

District Dispatch reports that in late August the full Senate approved an appropriations package that includes libraries. It is called the Labor-HHS appropriations bill. The package includes a $2 million funding increase for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with level funding for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as well as level funding for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The full amount of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill is $179 billion. The Senate voted overwhelmingly 85-7 for passage. The full House, according to ALA sources, is likely to put off final consideration of these bills until after the November election and move to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open past the elections.

A UK Family Stops a Mass Library Closure

Also in library advocacy news, The Guardian reports that a young girl and her family who took on Northamptonshire County Council in the U.K. over its plans to close 21 of its 36 libraries. Their appeal to the British high court was successful after a judge ruled that the cash-strapped council would have to revisit its plans. The court ruled that operating a comprehensive and efficient library service is required by law. I have no idea if that legal theory will work in the U.S., but it's certainly worth a try.

Actors Tom Arnold and Alec Baldwin and Author J. Courtney Sullivan Come to the Rescue of Rural Iowa Libraries

The Des Moines Register ran another great library rescue story. When the story of the situation at Linden and Bagley Iowa libraries got out on social media, hundreds of people across the county, including Hollywood celebrities and best-selling author, J. Courtney Sullivan, joined in to help. It all started earlier this summer when Tammy Deal, a local volunteer, was at a book signing event in Stillwater, Minnesota. Tammy asked Sullivan to sign her copy of Saints for All Occasions to the Linden Public Library. They got to talking about the library needs and made a plan.

The Atlas of New Librarianship Becomes a Free Download

Librarianship author David Lankes and MIT Press have made The Atlas of New Librarianship available online for free under a Creative Commons license. Lankes says that since 2011 the Atlas of New Librarianship (PDF) has been used as a textbook and has generated numerous conversations and arguments around the world.

I downloaded the book and read through it, but I found it a bit oblique. I think it makes the case that new librarianship is based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning. The new mission for librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. Modern libraries must now mainly provide physical interfaces and guidance to digital information.

TechSoup for Libraries special contributor and soon-to-graduate MLS student Megan Keene says: "His general thesis does seem to be the general direction of the profession — it is much more about knowledge and information management and how to help folks navigate info effectively versus just books. Public libraries are much more of a community hub with events and lifelong learning activities besides the traditional functions."

Beach Libraries Are Popping Up Worldwide

Here's a last gasp of summer. What, pray tell, is a beach library? It's exactly what it sounds like: shelves of free books sitting on the sand and available to anyone who craves some escape reading. Coastal Living reported that It started about five years ago when Albena Resort in Bulgaria put up shelves and stocked them with 6,000 books in 15 languages. See photos of a bunch of them around the world courtesy of AJC.com, the Georgia news site. My thanks to the great @ILoveLibraries Twitter feed for this fun item.

Do you have a fun library tech newsbyte? Tell us about it in the comments section below.