Advertising In Libraries? Maybe…

I’ve been hearing about public libraries selling advertising space as a source of funding for a couple of years now. I keep thinking that I should be opposed to this idea on principle – and I’m fascinated to discover that I’m not.

I think this article does a fine and concise job of summarizing the issue:

Advertising in Libraries? Considering the Consequences (posted on Non-Profit Quarterly, February 27, 2013)

Selling advertising space in libraries has the potential to be a substantial source of funding. Librarians are well aware of the dangers this type of arrangement poses; any library wishing to go this route will make sure to include language in any such contacts that explicitly deny advertisers the right to have any say in operational or policy decisions.
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My Beautiful Library!

Kirk Hall at KCPL Central
Kirk Hall at the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Library

I have to take a moment to brag – Rebecca Joines Schinsky, associate editor and community manager at one of my all-time favorite bibliophile blogs Book Riot, has named the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Library the most beautiful public library in America! w00t!

America’s Most Beautiful Public Library (posted February 25, 2013)

How much do I love that I get to come to work here everyday?

Author Terry Deary On Libraries

I imagine that by now everyone in Library Land – and in Book-Lover Land more generally – has seen this news story:

Horrible Histories Author Terry Deary On Libraries: ‘No Longer Relevant’ (posted on the Huffington Post on February 14, 2013)

Such attitudes toward libraries make me sad and angry. Of course, I’m highly biased on this subject, but it’s more than that. It’s the way his whole argument perpetuates misinformation, encourages overwhelmingly selfish principles, and his understanding of how communities and social systems actually work is frighteningly simplistic.

Not only does he completely ignore the massive pile of evidence that libraries are an incredibly effective venue for reader discovery and a leading driver of book sales, I’m personally disgusted by his unmitigated self-interest.

And he’s absolutely, 100% wrong about the “concept behind libraries”.

Never forget – the intent of public libraries is to provide all citizens with access to information in service of maintaining an informed democracy. The purpose of libraries is to enable self-improvement and drive social progress. This is true throughout modern Western culture.

He considers his paycheck more important than civic duty and the communal good, and I think that’s pathetic.

Actually, now that I think of it – people holding their paychecks as more important than civic duty and the communal good is the source of most of our current social ills…

The Virtues of Anthropomorphization

Chimpanzee from Disneynature
Chimpanzee from Disneynature

Recently, I was perusing Cracked, just randomly clicking through the linked articles at the bottom of the page, wasting time as is my wont, and I came across this:

5 Mind-Blowing Ways Animals Display Human Emotions

This reminded me of a movie review that one of my coworkers wrote last year for the Disneynature documentary Chimpanzee.

Both of these articles illustrate a near-universal attitude toward the subject of animal and human behavior and emotions: Namely, the assumption that human and animal behaviors are essentially different.

Both of these articles make me want to ask:

Just where do you think human behavior and emotions come from?
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Library Marketing

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about library marketing. Here at the Kansas City Public Library, we have 10 branches that serve highly diverse communities in neighborhoods throughout the city. One of the challenges for our Digital Branch is to figure out the most effective ways to market our online services.

So it’s timely that Library Journal posted this: The Results Are In and They Aren’t Good | Library Marketing by Nancy Dowd (posted on February 5, 2013)

Last week, I ran across this website: Librarian Design Share

What I particularly appreciate about the Librarian Design Share site is the opportunity to see how different libraries establish and express their own unique personalities. To my way of thinking, library marketing and the library’s personality are inextricably intertwined.
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