The Pitch: KCPL’s new Wikipedian in Residence gives us the tools to edit our own stories

The Pitch: KCPL’s new Wikipedian in Residence gives us the tools to edit our own stories. “In June 2021, the Kansas City Public Library announced a new staff position that reimagines the ‘traditional’ librarian role with a digital twist: the Wikipedian in Residence. Miranda Pratt, who graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2019, is filling the post for the inaugural year-long tenure.”

American Libraries Magazine: New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity

American Libraries Magazine: New PLA Survey Highlights Role of Libraries in Digital Equity. “Survey data, captured for the first time, shows that more than half of public libraries report circulating technology (for example, hotspots, laptops, and tablets) for patron use offsite. A similar percentage provided streaming public programs, such as storytimes and author events, in the previous 12 months, as well as diverse digital content, resources, and training. With public Wi-Fi now ubiquitous, many libraries also offered 24/7 internet access by leaving on or extending their Wi-Fi signal so that visitors can log on to the web in and outside of buildings.”

Mashable: How to download free ebooks and digital audiobooks from public libraries

Mashable: How to download free ebooks and digital audiobooks from public libraries. “Among the 2,500 library systems the Public Library Association surveyed over the last week of March, 74 percent have expanded their online ebook and audio streaming services. Part of that, some libraries told Mashable, is due to the increase in demand since states issued shelter-in-place orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, the number and diversity of digital offerings vary from metropolitan to rural libraries and remain limited relative to physical materials — but more on that later. The best thing you can do now is put your name on the waiting list (I know, I know) for all the free ebooks and digital audiobooks you want. Good news: We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about digital lending so you can get the darn thing done already.”

American Library Association: Public libraries launch, expand services during COVID-19 pandemic

American Library Association: Public libraries launch, expand services during COVID-19 pandemic. “As public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways. Those are among the chief findings the Public Library Association (PLA) announced today in the broadest survey of public libraries’ response to the pandemic to date, with 2,545 unique responses nationwide. Most respondents (98%) reported their buildings were closed to the public but, in many cases, staff continued to expand access to digital resources, launch virtual programs and coordinate services with local government agencies.”

American Libraries: How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic

American Libraries: How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic. “On April 9, the Public Library Association (PLA) announced the release of the broadest survey to date—with 2,545 unique responses nationwide, representing 28% of all US public libraries—on how public libraries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that as public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways.”

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever

Mashable: In the internet era, public libraries are more vital than ever. “Back in 2018, Forbes sent Twitter into fury with a now-retracted column. Its big idea: Amazon should replace libraries because it has ‘provided something better.’ The Kindles, Netflixes and Starbucks of the world have rendered libraries obsolete, the author suggested; monetizing libraries would not only save taxpayer money but also bolster Amazon’s stockholder value. Librarians and activists are fighting hard against this idea. In fact, they’re making the case for why libraries are even more important in a world redefined by companies like Amazon.”

Wired: Shh! No Hacking the Census in the Library

Wired: Shh! No Hacking the Census in the Library. “The 2020 United States Census will be the first to request a majority of Americans to respond online. The benefits are obvious. A digitized census is more efficient than the 230-year-old paper method, streamlining the processing of individual data for a population that has increased nearly a hundredfold since 1790, to 330 million. But connecting the country’s biggest and most important questionnaire to the internet also creates vulnerabilities to hacks. And what could be the most popular census survey station is also an underfunded and maliciously targeted American institution: the public library (and its computers).”

Ghana News Agency: Ghana Library Authority to digitize public libraries

Ghana News Agency: Ghana Library Authority to digitize public libraries. “Mr Hayford Siaw, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Library Authority (GLA), will soon be digitizing all libraries the country to boost patronage. This, he said would see an increase in the number of e-libraries and the hosting of digital libraries to enhance accessibility and easy usage.”

Internet Archive: 27 Public Libraries and the Internet Archive Launch “Community Webs” for Local History Web Archiving

Internet Archive: 27 Public Libraries and the Internet Archive Launch “Community Webs” for Local History Web Archiving. “With generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as well as the Kahle/Austin Foundation and the Archive-It service, the Internet Archive and 27 public library partners representing 17 different states have launched a new program: Community Webs: Empowering Public Libraries to Create Community History Web Archives. The program will provide education, applied training, cohort network development, and web archiving services for a group of public librarians to develop expertise in web archiving for the purpose of local memory collecting…. The program will result in dozens of terabytes of public library administered local history web archives, a range of open educational resources in the form of online courses, videos, and guides, and a nationwide network of public librarians with expertise in local history web archiving and the advocacy tools to build […]

Arizona State University: ASU partners with public libraries to advance citizen science

Arizona State University: ASU partners with public libraries to advance citizen science. “Arizona State University aims to position public libraries as key facilitators of citizen science, a collaborative process between scientists and the general public to spur the collection of data. Through a new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), researchers from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU Library will develop field-tested, replicable resource toolkits for public libraries to provide to everyday people contributing to real research, from right where they are.”

LOC Acquires Archive of Library Photos, Will Digitize and Put Online

This is nice and meta: The Library of Congress has acquired a collection of pictures of public libraries and will digitize it and put it online. “From 1994 to 2015, Dawson photographed 526 of the 16,536 public libraries in 48 states and the District of Columbia, often traveling more than 11,000 miles at a time on summer “road trips” with his son Walker Dawson. The images provide documentation of the wide range of architecture of public libraries in America, from those on small-town streets, in shopping malls, on Indian reservations, in national parks and in large cities. The photographs show the role of public libraries, not only as a source for information and knowledge but also as a public commons.”