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This chapter presents results of a survey conducted over the summer of 2009 to 1485 libraries that serve populations of 25,000–100,000 in the United States about Internet…
This chapter presents results of a survey conducted over the summer of 2009 to 1485 libraries that serve populations of 25,000–100,000 in the United States about Internet connected public access computers and e-government. The methodology used was a mixed-methods questionnaire using 33 closed ended and three qualitative questions. The main finding was that public library staff do not have enough training in e-government and government documents to help patrons with their questions on these topics. Another aspect of the survey was to find out whether public libraries plan, fund, and allocate monies for computer hardware and software in their budgets.
The limitation of the research was the size of the libraries and the results can only be generalized to this group of libraries. There could be a bias by size of library and the way the questions were worded. The practical implications of the research indicate that future librarians in library and information science programs are unaware of the need to take either government information or e-government courses. Recent emerging roles for the public library includes being the freely available place to access e-government information in lieu of the actual federal, state, or local agencies.
This chapter provides in-depth case studies of two large urban public libraries in the United States and how communities and libraries respond to reductions mandated by…
This chapter provides in-depth case studies of two large urban public libraries in the United States and how communities and libraries respond to reductions mandated by their funding agencies. Boston Public Library (BPL) and Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) are both in communities that faced, and are still facing, recessionary budget pressures that began in 2007. Each community and library system has responded in different ways. In the recent past, in both Boston and Los Angeles, the Mayors and City Councils have supported libraries that have come to define the great cultural heritage and heart of these cities in the past. In 2010, however, both cities faced unheard of budget pressures. In Boston, there was a budget shortfall of $3.6 million. In Los Angeles, the budget shortfall began in 2007 due to huge increases in pension payments to city workers, particularly in the police and fire departments (City of Los Angeles Web site, 2011). In Boston, the community was told there could be branch closures. In Los Angeles, the budget shortfall created severe personnel, material, and service cuts. How each library and their leaders responded to those challenges differed. The level of support that their communities provided and the manner in which it was provided also differed. The two cases describe what can happen when budget crises occur and how libraries and their communities deal, or do not deal with them. The cases also reflect how the two library systems serve metropolitan areas with very distinct characteristics.
The purpose of this paper is to present ways for managers to attain the phenomenological attitude. Achieving effective communication in organizations like libraries and…
The purpose of this paper is to present ways for managers to attain the phenomenological attitude. Achieving effective communication in organizations like libraries and information agencies is a difficult challenge. The business literature offers some suggestions, but those fall short. Application of phenomenological methods by managers can help meet the challenge and bring people together around the intended messages.
Of utmost importance to effective communication is transcending what can be called the “natural attitude” in favor of the “phenomenological attitude”. This requires recognition by managers of the unique relationship of self and other, plus the realization that action is intentional (meaning that being conscious means being conscious of something). This paper presents ways for managers to attain the phenomenological attitude.
Phenomenological methods of communicating have the potential to engage and involve everyone in the organization by enabling all to comprehend fully the nature of what is communicated and what is to be accomplished.
Phenomenology is seldom applied to organizational communication; this paper demonstrates that it presented the wherewithal to help managers improve the effectiveness of libraries and information agencies.
This multiple case study investigates the impact of technology on organizational change in public libraries. Over the past 12–15 years, public access computers (PACs) have…
This multiple case study investigates the impact of technology on organizational change in public libraries. Over the past 12–15 years, public access computers (PACs) have been introduced into public libraries. Once these PACs were connected to the Internet, they attracted patrons who had not previously used public library services. The main themes around which this study was organized relate to the implementation of technology with facilities and services, city government, and people. The main research questions were following: (1) How has public library culture changed since the introduction of computers for patron use? (2) What adjustments were necessary to deal with the influx of computers and other technology in public libraries? (3) Have PACs changed the way the libraries are organized and how they are staffed? The findings of the study included how technology influenced changes in staffing in the public libraries. Each of the libraries has undergone a culture shift due to the introduction of technology. One of the shifts is the change of the reference desk from general reference to the addition of a help desk with reference responsibilities. Another concern of the directors was constantly funding the upgrades necessary for software and hardware that technology requires. As not all of the directors have supportive city government, this can be problematic. Finally, the facilities where the public libraries were housed had undergone changes either through renovations or through new buildings to accommodate technology and the infrastructure needed to support it.
As a new editor faced with a short deadline, it was gratifying to receive a large number of outstanding submissions in the past 6 months. This volume focuses on topics that push the edge in our increasingly electronically driven world. Not only is the field of library and information science awash in changes wrought by rapidly evolving technologies but so are almost all sectors that touch our daily lives. From e-banking to movies delivered through Wii and to smart phones with webcams and GPS applications, we face complexities that can paralyze us or make us embrace the digital environment. As our information environment becomes enriched, so do the challenges of keeping current as individuals and as librarians and information scientists. The most troublesome quandary is how we can learn from these early days of becoming digital to plan and accept changes in our work, our learning environments, and our personal and family lives. Just as industrialization changed the world a century ago, the digital explosion is causing another radical shift in our world.
The field of librarianship has undergone traumatic shifts (mostly downward) due to the global financial meltdown that began in the fall of 2008. While libraries were not mentioned in the motion picture, Inside Job (Marrs & Ferguson, 2010), they were, and still are, deeply affected by the worst recession since the Great Depression. Worse yet is that current dialogues and negotiations about declining library budgets show promise of continuing well into 2012. Permanent reductions to budget support for libraries by all levels of government in the United States have resulted in library closures, loss of staff, reduced material purchases, deferred maintenance, and fewer or altered services in all types of libraries. Library associations experienced similar strains with the Canadian Library Association facing a budget crunch and the American Library Association giving staff a week's unpaid furlough in 2010. Five library systems in Illinois sought government approval to consolidate into one system and some consortia/networks merged or, like Nylink (NY), simply closed their doors.
Peter A. Gisolfi, AIA, ASLA, LEED AP, is senior partner of Peter Gisolfi Associates, a firm of architects and landscape architects in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, and New Haven, CT. He is professor and chairman of the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York and is the author of the book, Finding the Place of Architecture in the Landscape.