"The DC Public Library now offers library cardholders access to more than 2 million songs to download on their MP3 players. Library users can keep the music they download. The files never expire."
Earlier this year, MAKE Magazine’s Phillip Torrone wrote a provocative article asking “Is it time to rebuild and retool libraries and make ‘techshops’?” In other words, should libraries join some of the other new community centers that are being created (such as General Assembly which we covered yesterday) and become “hackerspaces” or “makerspaces”?
“Yes!”, says librarian Lauren Smedley, who is in the process of creating what might just be the first maker-space within a U.S. public library. The Fayetteville Free Library where Smedley works is building a Fab Lab — short for fabrication laboratory — that will provide free public access to machines and software for manufacturing and making things.
—Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet Project, quoted in What do Americans want from their libraries? Here’s our chance to find out
For years researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project have been tracking changes in our information ecosystem. Now they’ll be looking at the habits and expectations of library users—and nonusers. [next libraries]
How to participate in our new study:
There are two ways to get involved in the Pew Internet Project’s research on American libraries.
- For the first phase of the study, which will begin in the next few months, Rainie will need to identify people who use ebook readers and tablets in libraries. Participants will be asked about their reading habits, how they use their ereaders with library materials, and what the experience is like for them. If you know of ebook-reading patrons who would be willing to participate, contact Rainie at lrainie [at] pewinternet [dot] org.
- For the second phase of the study, which will happen in mid- to late 2012, the Pew Internet Project will be surveying both librarians and community members about library services. Rainie wants to hear from a diverse set of librarians about services they’re now offering, services they’re contemplating, and services they may be seeing less demand for. If you’re a librarian who would like to participate, contact Rainie at lrainie [at] pewinternet [dot] org.
Over at Swiss Army Librarian: Calculating the Value of a Community’s Library Use
Last Friday was the Digital Public Library of America’s first plenary meeting, and there’s been a lot of news and discussion surrounding the event. Whether you missed the livestream or want to read some commentaries discussing the DPLA, we’ve got you covered:
And finally, a few more thoughts from around the web:
While the event in question was not actually a musical, it did have them in abundance. As NYPL’s blog explains:
… it was not really a musical but an editathon — a chance to edit Wikipedia with a group of people in an inspiring location. Though its focus was improving articles on musical theatre, anyone interested in the performing arts was welcome. […]
All during the day, curious people wandered in, wanting to see research happen right in front of their eyes as it is transformed into articles. Some stayed for quite a while: One couple sat and talked with an experienced Wikipedian for at least ninety minutes. At one point, a person walked in and said he didn’t know about the editathon. He revealed that he is an experienced Wikipedia editor and comes every Saturday to do research on his own.
I was thrilled at some of the comments made during the day:
- “I’ve not been here since 1976!”
- “I’ve passed this building every day on my way to work, but this was the first time I came in!”
- “I research here all the time, but I didn’t know you have this stuff!”