Hi. Sometimes getting people on board with a new idea is just as easy as plowing forward with a positive attitude and hoping that people will either sign on and share your excitement, or at least watch cautiously and be willing to be convinced. Two examples from today
- ALA Council is going to have an online “face book” to help people familiarize themselves with their appointed and elected Council reps. Big props to Leslie Burger for this one, but I helped a little.
- The Roxbury Free Library in Roxbury Vermont now has a URL and a mini web page. Big props to Susan D’Amico for being willing to learn about domain shopping and I helped with a little hosting while they plan their next step. What a nice little achievement to take to town meeting, don’t you think?
In both these cases, someone in a position of authority basically had to make a decision, flip a switch, say “yea” or “nay” to a new idea, decide to do something different. With some some help from people with good information (me in these cases, and others) whole new things spring up, new combinations of information, new methods of delivery. How neat is that?
TechnoBiblio asks a question that I’ve also wondered: what’s a good PAC to patron ratio? However, he doesn’t just sort of idly ponder the question, he goes and looks it up and sees what some states are recommending. Our DoL minimum standards for public libraries are online here (pdf, please note the gopher_root in the URL). The minimum standards include these line items: “Has a computer for [staff] access to the Vermont Automated Libraries System (VALS).” and “Offers some free public access to VALS and the Internet.” I can tell you exactly what the libraries near me have, and what populations they serve.
- Kimball Library, Randolph – serves 6,000 people, five PACs, high speed, wifi
- Tunbridge Library, Tunbridge – serves 1300 people, two PACs +1, dial-up
- Baxter Library, Sharon – serves 1400 people, +1, dial-up
- Roxbury Library, Roxbury – serves 576, 1 PAC, dial-up
- Ainsworth Library, Williamstown – serves 3200 people, 1 PAC +1, high speed
- Calef Library, Washington – serves 1000 people, 1 PAC + 1, high speed, wifi
There are 190 public libraries (pdf) in Vermont. Thirty-two serve populations over 5,000. Between all the libraries, they owned 1,122 computers at the end of 2004, according to their 2005 Biennial Roundup (pdf). Out of these 781 were available to the public as of 2005 (pdf). My “+1” indicator above means that there is a staff computer in the library frequently used by the public; I’m not sure if this is reflected in these stats. 159 of these 781 computers had public Internet access, 130 had high-speed access. This access to computers and fast internet is not distributed evenly. The last library I worked at had eleven of these public computers with high speed access and I’m sure the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington has this many as well.
According to the DoLs Biennial Report Supplment, the 32 libraries that serve over 5,000 people, have 341 public PCs. Also according to this report, these 32 libraries get 60% of all visits to Vermont public libraries. Contrast this to the 40 libraries in Vermont who serve populations of under 1000. They have 50 public PCs total among all of them. Eleven of these libraries offer high-speed access. Many of the libraries did not report their statistics so there is some skewing, but seven of the libraries who serve less than 1000 people have no Internet access at all, and 14 have dial-up.
The total operating income for all public libraries in the state of Vermont is $16,524,383 of which $10,914,150 is spent on salaries and benefits.
My Mom sent me a link to this book fountain photo on Flickr and I figured I’d spend some more time looking around at various tags: book, library [with this book chopper, and this inter-tidal loan] and librarian where I found these BibliotecÃ¡ria figurines. There are 449 groups that contain the word library and 39 with the word librarian. Keep in mind that many of these photos are published under a Creative Commons license which means that they can be used by you or your library for many different purposes. Check the rights information underneath the “Additional Information” heading in the lower left.
Leslie Burger, incoming ALA President has a blog. I would love to know what Michael Gorman has to say about this, or as Caveat Lector calls him M-châ€“l G-rm-n which always makes me smile. Leslie has already gotten going, meeting with some of the blogger types at Midwinter to solicit opinions about using and implementing “new” technology at ALA to help the organization. Her latest post The LIE, BQE and ALA talks about building on the idea of social networking to make ALA more relevant and useful to an incoming group of librarians, a group that may be wondering what ALA can do for them. Many people, myself included, chimed in with suggestions, and I’d encourage you to do the same.
The library that I worked in for two years as an outreach librarian turns 120 this week and got a nice write-up in the newspaper with lots of good library history. [thanks steven]