April 23, 2014

Successful Gigabit Campaign Brings Blazing Internet Service to Kansas City Libraries

Google-Fiber-1

Google’s entry into the Internet provider business in Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO, is moving ahead, thanks to a last-minute rally by community groups earlier this month that will enable about 89 percent of both cities to access the service – including many public libraries and schools.

Academic eBooks and the User Experience

With the increased availability of books in electronic format and libraries’ move from the just-in-case to the just-in-time delivery model and from a storage facility to a collaboration center, it’s no wonder academic libraries have been shifting toward purchasing eBooks over paper copies. Like the transition from print to electronic serials, this transition comes with […]

Patrons Expect More Mobile Services | Handheld Librarian Conference

Lee Rainie

There are now more mobile phone subscriptions than there are people in the United States, and U.S. citizens—particularly young people—have rising expectations for mobile services offered by both commercial businesses and public institutions, according to “The State of Mobile Connectivity,” a keynote address by Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, at the 7th Handheld Librarian online conference on Wednesday. Citing data from a Pew study released earlier this year, Rainie noted that 17 percent of U.S. consumers now use a mobile phone or smartphone as their primary or exclusive point of access to the internet. For young people, minority groups, and households earning less than $50,000 per year, the rate is significantly higher.

Patron Preferences Shift Toward Streaming

Print

Library DVD borrowing has fallen sharply during the past year, and library users are rapidly migrating toward streaming services for both music and movies, according to the July 2012 edition of LJ’s Patron Profiles, which examines trends in Media Consumption and Library Use. DVDs are the top format for films loaned by libraries, and 27 percent of respondents said that libraries remain their primary source for movies—down from 36 percent in the first Patron Profiles survey, conducted less than a year ago. “A strong indicator of the changing media landscape is the rise of streaming and disc-by-mail services—both currently dominated by Netflix,” the report states.

Library Websites Adapt to Smartphone Growth

The Canton Public Library's Site Automatically Optimizes For Mobile Devices

Using cell phones to explore websites that are not optimized for mobile devices can be a frustrating experience. Libraries should consider this more than an aesthetic issue, since mobile devices are the primary Internet access point for a growing number of their users. Almost 90 percent of U.S. adults now own a cell phone of some kind, and 55 percent of them use their phones to go online, according to a June report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Seventeen percent of respondents said they do “most” of their online browsing on their phone.

National Federation of the Blind Honors Axis 360

Axis 360 by Baker & Taylor

The National Federation of the Blind has honored Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 digital media platform with the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have “made outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.”

Westport Library Unveils New Maker Space

WestportMakerSpaceLogo

Connecticut’s Westport Public Library (WPL) officially launched its new Maker Space with a press conference this week. Contained within a large, open metal structure modeled after early airplane hangars, the new section of the library’s great hall features cutting edge tech gadgets such as a MakerBot 3D printer, and will host presentations and participatory workshops on topics ranging from robotics, to intellectual property rights for inventors, to arts and crafts. “It’s a national trend that you’re going to see sweeping the country, and you’re seeing here in one of the very first places ever,” said WPL director Maxine Bleiweis.

Cleveland Public Library Gives Patrons Access to Latest in Tech

CPL1

The Cleveland Public Library is working to make its main branch a destination for residents living, working, and visiting downtown, and TechCentral, the $1 million technology center that opened on June 14 featuring 90 desktop workstations, loanable iPads, Kindles, and other devices, cloud-computing services, a 70-inch “interactive tech wall,” and more, is a big first step.