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By Allan Turner
Houston Chronicle – 31 August 2009

There’ll be no carhops on roller skates. And if you’re hankering for a burger and fries, forget it. But if it’s food for the mind you crave — books, music or movies — staffers at some of the Houston Public Library’s most congested branches will be happy to deliver your order right to your car.

The library’s new curbside service, HPL To Go, is being tested at the Looscan Neighborhood Library and the McGovern-Stella Link Library. If trials go well, the service will be extended to other “parking challenged” branches.

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by Steve Hansen
BiblioFuture – 9 September 2009

A small district in Adams County, Colo., is changing the face of public libraries. Introducing AnythinkTM, a new style of library that celebrates imagination, play and interactivity. Studies have shown that people who have had transformative experiences at their local library are more willing to support them at the polls. The Anythink model was designed to help libraries remain relevant by offering more than just books to their customers. They offer innovative programming, technology, and the highest level of customer service so that everyone who walks into an Anythink feels welcome.

Eliminating overdue fines and switching from Dewey Decimal Classification to a word-based system were just some of the changes on the road to Anythink. The next step in this revolution is the Sept. 12 launch of the district`s new brand, which represents the new library philosophy.

by Sadanand Bansode, N.B. Dahibhate, and Kishore Ingale. ”
Library Philosophy and Practice – March 2009

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has had a profound impact on library and information science. Advances in ICTs have allowed traditional LIS methods to be replaced by the newer, faster, and more accurate ways of transmitting information. Library automation, database development, networking of libraries, Internet and intranet applications in LIS, consortium-based benefits, and so on, have benefited librarians and library users for a number of years, making the work of libraries easier and more user-based. Web 2.0 applications are carrying these trends further. Blogs, for example, are now widely used in libraries (Davison-Turley, 2005). Blogs are more powerful with the help of tools like RSS.

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A paper presented by Judith Pearce, Director Web Services Branch; Warwick Cathro, Assistant Director General, Information Technology Division; and Tony Boston, Director Digital Services Project at VALA 2000 – 10th VALA Biennial Conference and Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria, 16 – 18 February, 2000

In this paper we discuss the role of the OPAC as a hybrid library service and of the catalogue server as a provider element in a hybrid information environment. We identify developments required in the search and retrieval capabilities of the catalogue server to operate effectively in such an environment. We look under the hybrid library bonnet at the functions and metadata needed for management of online and physical collections. Lastly, we look at the architecture needing to be supported by library systems for storage and delivery of digital collections in a hybrid information environment.

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by John Carlo Bertot, Charles R. McClure, Carla B. Wright, Elise Jensen, and Susan Thomas
for The American Library Association and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This report presents findings from the 2007-2008 National Survey of Public Library Computer and Internet Access survey administered in the fall of 2007 to public libraries across the United States.

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by Charles R. McClure, Paul T. Jaeger, and John Carlo Bertot
First Monday – 3 December 2007

While virtually all public libraries provide free Internet access to patrons, libraries seem to be reaching a plateau in their ability to meet demands for Internet access.

Based on the findings of Public Libraries and the Internet surveys, the average number of public access workstations and the average connection speeds of Internet access in public libraries have stayed the same or slightly decreased in recent years. Further, more than half of libraries do not have sufficient connection speeds to meet patron demand, while staff, space, cost, and technical/telecommunications infrastructure issues prevent a great number of libraries from increasing the number of workstations or the connection speed in the library. Moreover, the U.S. federal telecommunications and broadband policies require revision and updating.

 These findings raise serious questions about the ability of public libraries to continue to meet patron needs for Internet access. As a result of early public library commitment to ensuring public Internet access, patrons rely heavily on public libraries to meet their Internet needs. However, as demands for library computers and connection speeds continue to grow, there may be a drop in the quality of Internet services that public libraries are able to provide their patrons. It would also challenge the fundamental role of the contemporary public library in the community, as libraries have become so inextricably linked to the provision of Internet access. In addition, the survey data identify a range of implications regarding the policy environment in which public libraries offer their public access Internet services.

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by John Carlo Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger, Lesley A. Langa and Charles R. McClure
First Monday – 4 September 2007

 This article presents findings from the 2006 Public Libraries and the Internet study and other research that demonstrate the impact of public Internet access in public libraries on the communities and individuals that the libraries serve. This article focuses on the importance of public library Internet access in times of emergencies and for a range of electronic government (e–government) services at the individual and community–wide levels. Public access computing and Internet access in public libraries function as a first choice, first refuge, and last resort in a range of emergency and e–government circumstances, allowing individuals to engage successfully in essential e–government services such as registering for Medicare or other benefits and filing tax information. With this key centrality as agents of government services, public libraries increasingly play significant roles in times of emergencies, like the aftermath of a hurricane, in which communities rely on the public library Internet access to request aid, try to find missing family and friends, file Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and insurance claims, and begin rebuilding their lives. This article also discusses the need to revise government policy related to the role of public libraries in their support of e–government as public libraries increasingly serve as agents of e–government.

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by Melissa L. Rethlefsen
netConnect – 15 July 2009

With the launch of ALA Connect in April 2009 (connect.ala.org), social networking sites have regained prominence in the library community. Unlike Facebook and MySpace, which are primarily used for library marketing and personal communication, the new breed of social networking site is designed to make professional life easier and more collaborative. ALA Connect is a prime example of this new direction in social networking.

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by Alison Circle
Bubble Room (blog) – 4 August 2009

I keep top of mind everyday this comment from my own husband: who uses the library anymore? I  remember it because it is so easy to be lulled into a presumption that everyone understands the value and relevance of a library. Look at all the people who come in our doors everyday. But here is someone pretty close to the library action, who doesn’t see the value.

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By Melissa L. Rethlefsen
netConnect – 15 July 2009

Faced with budget challenges that make the current system unsustainable, the Milwaukee Public Library has begun a series of community meetings asking for input on “Rethinking Libraries for the 21st Century.”

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