Web Fact Check for Library Science: Public Libraries

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Web Fact Check #1

https://dpi.wi.gov/pld/boards-directors

Upon conducting a Web search dedicated to supporting volunteers who serve as public library trustees, one particular webpage seemed rather intriguing. The public library in the state of Wisconsin provides a number of materials, tools, and resources for their trustees. Some of the tools and resources support continuing education and training opportunities for public library trustees. In accordance with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Library Development, a training manual for trustees offers comprehensive training to increase recruitment of more individuals who will volunteer their time as public library trustees. Findings from the webpage also revealed that board directors and staff must support public library trustees. As a result, trustees will develop a relationship based on understanding and mutual trust, both of which helps the library achieve its goals. 

Due to the role and responsibilities of public library trustees, it is important for public libraries to allocate energy, time, resources, and tools to public library trustees. Today, support for public library trustees are aligned with technological advancements within our technologically driven society, particularly in education. The advent of technology has increased the public’s use of social media platforms and texting. The Wisconsin public library is equipping trustees with the tools needed to navigate such platforms and utilize technology to reach the public. One of the newest communication approaches adopted and implemented by the Wisconsin public library is the use of blogs. Trustees are also encouraged to follow the Wisconsin public library’s blog as a way in which to better understand what is going on and what community members think. As the library keeps pace with technological innovations, the public library trustees will have the opportunity to build and strengthen their relationships with members of the community. 

Web Fact Check #2

Seattle Public Library (https://www.spl.org)

Seattle Public Library encourages users to visit since one of the first things on the library’s webpage is an option to get a library card. The webpage also provides information for upcoming author events that allow the public to join authors for readings followed by a discussion. This library also offers opportunities for users to reserve a computer or a room. The page offers photos of the other of various public libraries located throughout Seattle, Washington. Seattle Public Library appears to promote some of the interactive resources and services they provide to the general public. For example, users have the option to explore the fun and games section, which focuses on gaming opportunities, library lounge, make and build projects, and story time. As a user, I found it intriguing that children and adolescents have the opportunity to visit the library to partake in creative activities such as electrical circuits, robots, and making a mobile app. Pictures are also provided as a graphical representation of some of the interactive activities offered to children and teens at Seattle Public Library. 

The library is also committed to learning regardless of age since it provides resources for children, teens, college students, adults, and seniors. Free assistance with homework and college preparedness assistance from highly trained tutors are offered. Seattle Public Library is focused on lifelong learning and provides free classes in technology, English, and other topics for adult learners. The webpage also allocates a section to featured events that encourages users to come to visit and partake in the event of their interest. There is also an option to place a hold on any available book, which is very useful. For instance, if a user wanted a particular book but was stuck at work and afraid that the library would not have the book when they got off of work, the user can put a hold on the book and pick it up at their convenience. 

Web Fact Check #3

New York Public Library (https://www.nypl.org)

Upon searching the web for the New York Public Library, a profound picture pertaining to gay liberation was at the library’s webpage. Thereafter, information about what was happening proceeded the pictorial, some of which including author discussions about black feminism and exhibitions, Modern HERstory conversations with Jamia Wilson and Blair Imani, and a Martin Luther King Jr exhibition. One key feature to maximize the number of visitors is the ‘plan your visit’ feature toward the bottom of the library’s homepage. There’s a visitor guide alongside things to do such as research program and events, exhibitions, guided tours, visitor film, a bread café, a shop for readers and writers.

New York Public Library provides a number of educational programs to aid in the success of New Yorkers. The webpage has the educational programs organized and subdivided into sections for adults, parents, and caregivers, educators, kids, and teens, all of which were accompanied by pictures that inspire New Yorkers to seek such programs. I particularly found career and employment rather useful for adult learning. Career and employment generally entail classes to help develop or critique resumes and cover letters, job search workshops, conflict management in the workplace, and how to have a successful interview. The atmosphere created at New York Public Library is also crucial for educators who tend to have more privileges than other New Yorkers. For example, the educator card allows educators the ability to borrow an utmost of 100 items at any one given time for up to a 60 day period. Educators are also no given late penalties and fines for books and audiobooks. New York Public Library also offers schools the chance to visit the library. If a class is doing a project on the Civil Rights Movement, the librarians at New York Public Library will help students find books and other resources that support’s the current curriculum. 

Web Fact Check #4

http://ideas.demco.com/blog/maker-boot-camp-kids-and-technology/

One particular public library, Seminole Community Library, created an innovation lab known as iLab in 2014. As a collaborative environment conducive for learning, iLab allots the public regardless of age to socialize and share ideas. Since its establishment, iLab within Seminole’s public library has provided outreach opportunities that focus on technology and other innovation. Donny Klotz, an expert specializing in drones, conducted a workshop at the library. The workshop highlighted different types of drones as well as legal and safety issues readily associated with their use. The workshop ended with the assembly and flight demonstration of one of the most popular drones known as the Phantom 2 Vision.

From July to August, this library provides a total of five workshops free of charge to the community. The workshop series was coined ‘Maker Boot Camp’ and included workshops that focused on building a synthesizer from littleBits, fun with circuitry, an introduction to robotics, virtual reality and 360o imagery as well 3-D designs and printing. The Maker Boot Camper was further expanded as the library organized outreach with local schools throughout the community and various homeschool organizations. iLab’s outreach has helped develop and maintain a partnership with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) outreach program.

The Robotics workshop served as another outreach-based activity offered. Following the workshop that introduced the community to the field of robotics, participants created and interacted with robots. The skills learned in these workshops are useful life skills that help improve creativity, problem-solving skills as well as interpersonal and communication skills through active collaboration with others. This sparks the interest of children and adolescents, which may transition into a career in robotics or other technology-driven fields of study. 

Web Fact Check #5

https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2018/05/01/library-systems-report-2018/

https://librarytechnology.org

Marshall Breeding is recognized for his development of Library Technology Guides as well as an online directory of libraries (libraries.org). Library Technology Guides and an online directory of libraries are of use to the public libraries today. Library Technology Guides provides an array of information highlighting the various technology products and services readily used by libraries. Databases and repositories are provided to help libraries consider and determine new systems. Library Technology Guides allots professionals within the discipline to remain up-to-date with some of the newest, most innovative technology trends and developments.

The advent of Library Technology Guides and online library directories has altered the nature and the scope of traditional brick and mortar libraries. Today, public libraries can essentially offer users an array of options by which to access pertinent resources. In today’s technologically driven society, traditional services offered at libraries fail to meet the needs and demands of public libraries. As a result, public libraries are seeking technologies and other innovative platforms that aim to enhance user engagement within the community. 

As technology continued to advance, the Library Technology Guides and libraries.org created by Breeding has presented a number of unique challenges for public libraries. Interesting findings from a survey revealed that library automation and integrated library systems are less capable of effectively managing print resources. This is rather problematic; however, brick and mortar public libraries face the daunting task of having a sufficient amount of space to accommodate print resources. Overall, public libraries regardless of size must adopt technologies that aim to improve their areas of weakness to ensure efficient use of its system.

Web Fact Check #6

https://www.amanet.org/training/live-online-seminars.aspx

American Management Association is an online management resource committed to providing the ultimate learning experience to any laptop or desktop. I earnestly believe that American Management Association is useful because real-world advice is provided by experts in the field. American Management Associated also focuses on providing real-time feedback, which is of significance in our technologically driven society that expects immediate responses. Online management resources such as those offered by the American Management Association is cost-effective and eliminates the heightened costs readily associated with flight, hotel, and other travel expenses. 

After browsing the website, I learned that American Management Association offers a wide array of online seminars as well as supplemental pre-learning and post-learning materials. Some of the seminars focus on accounting and finance, analytical skills, business enhancement skills, business analysis and quality, business excellence for women, business writing, communication skills, human resource management, and leadership amongst a number of other concepts. In management, I believe leadership skills are of extreme importance. American Management Association’s leadership-based resources teach prospective and current leaders how to communicate and connect with others. This concept creates an environment that fosters and sustains good synergy between team members. Leaders must also inspire, encourage, and motivate organizational members to be confident in their abilities and skills, all of which helps employees reach new heights on both a personal and professional level. This is useful since effective leaders are correlated with significantly high levels of productivity and organizational success. 

Web Fact Check #7

https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/319770/

Although public libraries are readily recognized as a powerhouse that stores a wide array of information and knowledge in the form of books, CDs, movies, magazines, and other resources, libraries around the world are also known for some bizarre things. A library in Kansas offered a hog-butchering demonstration, can you say weird. The library also provided the public with fly fishing and blacksmithing demonstrations. Since I never had the opportunity to see any of those workshop demonstrations offered at libraries I attended, those demonstrations are deemed rather odd to me. From my perspective, I believe the provision of demonstrations for blacksmithing, hog-butchering, and fly fishing is the public library’s way of providing the community with workshops and demonstrations that are of interest to the local community. Although blacksmithing, fly fishing, and hog-butchering demonstrations are not for me, it makes sense for a public library located in the rural region of Kansas to offer such demonstrations. 

As a way of attracting more people to the library, libraries across the nation are becoming more creative. Libraries are hiring indie rock bands and other bands to play at the library. One library in the state of Michigan has hosted comedy shows. I find the comedy shows and rock bands a peculiar strategy since libraries are generally known to provide a quiet environment conducive for reading and learning. I guess if you have to go to the library avoid going on more noisy days when bands are playing. In an effort to attract more and more people on a continuous basis, public libraries throughout the world must have a vested interest in various hobbies and what the community likes to do in their pastime. So, whether it involves demonstrations in blacksmithing, hog-butchering, or fly fishing or rock bands and comedy shows, librarians should employ tactics and activities that libraries are not traditionally known to do.