What We've Bookmarked: Little Free Libraries, Supporting Journalists, Shelving Robots, and More!

Bookmarked book

This is the beginning of a recurring series in which we'll share articles, blog posts, and other resources that have piqued the TechSoup for Libraries team's interest. Most of what we share will be related to library technology, but we'll occasionally include some other stories that we think are of interest to the TechSoup for Libraries community. And because TechSoup is a global organization, we'll also share some stories about libraries overseas. Enjoy!

8 Reasons Libraries Still Matter (Odyssey)

Crosby Kemper, the director of the Kansas City Public Library in Missouri, wrote an excellent post on the many ways libraries are still needed in communities. This is a great one to post on social media because your library is probably doing all of this! And it has some killer quotes, such as this:

"[Libraries] exist purely for the dissemination of knowledge and the strengthening of communities."

Journalists and Librarians: A Common Goal (Public Libraries Online)

Over on Public Libraries Online, I wrote about a new data platform to help journalists and researchers expose organized crime and corruption globally. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) launched Investigative Dashboard Search (also known as ID Search). ID Search contains more than 2 million documents from sources such as company records, court cases, leaks, and more. From the perspective of a formal journalist, I also offered some ideas for how libraries can support local reporters.

Little Free Libraries Are Fruitful and Multiply (Nonprofit Quarterly)

The Little Free Library movement is stronger than ever with 40,000 structures around the world. The nonprofit encourages people to build their own libraries using reclaimed materials, but the website also provides a guide to starting one. The movement is taking off internationally, as well.

"It's truly become a global movement that welcomes everyone to be a part of it," says Margaret Aldrich of the Little Free Library. 

High Tech Shelf Help: Singapore's Library Robot (Library Journal)

Shelving is one of those tasks that everybody has a hand in (literally): pages, library assistants, librarians, volunteers, etc. But what if some of those shelving tasks could be delegated to a single employee, one who was so fast and so accurate with shelving that it was almost as if she was a …

… ROBOT?!

The Singapore National Library Board worked with Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to find a solution for improving productivity in shelf reading. A*STAR couldn't find a commercial solution, so it brought together a group of robotics, wireless communication, antenna design, and visual computing experts to develop something new: a library robot.

Why Libraries Are Everywhere in the Czech Republic (The New York Times)

Did you know that the Czech Republic has one library for every 1,971 citizens? And that it has 10 times as many, relative to population, as the United States (which has one for every 19,583 people)? This article dives into the history of Czech libraries and how they impact the country.

What are you reading online? Show us your links in the comments. 

Image: Daniel Novta / CC BY

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