The Evolving Public Library

S. R. Ranganathan was a noted Indian librarian and mathematician.  We in the library field know and love him for his Five Laws of Library Science–one of the most important of which is…

The library is a growing organism.  

In celebration of Ranganthan’s Fifth Law of Library Science, we present to you a selection of articles and news items related to the exciting, ever-changing, world of public libraries.

Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries: NPR’s ongoing series exploring the history of public libraries, and how current trends, technology, and world events have been shaping the way libraries fulfill their mission in the context of the present day. Latest update, August 13, 2013

Irondequoit High School students envision library as ‘a center of civic and cultural engagement’: From the local newspaper in Irondequote, NY comes an article about how local high school students hope to make their town’s new public library an essential part of their lives. August 11, 2013

Maximizing space at our libraries through innovation, shared collections: From the Bangor Daily News, an article about libraries in our own state continue to strengthen collaborative partnerships in order to lower costs while at the same time improving services to the public. August 11, 2013 

‘Books On Bikes’ Helps Seattle Librarians Pedal To The Masses: You’ve heard of Bookmobiles? Seattle Public Library is now sending out librarians on bikes to deliver books and other materials to residents! August 11, 2013

3-D printing: Public libraries’ latest step into the digital world: From a Los Angeles Times blog, an article about how some libraries are investing in 3-D printers as a service to the public. August 9, 2013

The digital age is forcing libraries to change. Here’s what that looks like: From the Washington Post’s blog The Switch comes an article about how some public libraries are creating “digital commons” as they evolve to meet public demand. August 7, 2013

Public libraries and ‘big six’ publishers fight over e-books: From the Los Angeles Times, a news article about why it’s not so easy to just borrow that hot new bestseller in eBook form from your public library. August 6, 2013

From libraries to laundromats: Ingenious community partnerships promote literacy: Libraries do indeed change lives. From EdSource comes an article about a successful public library partnership project in California designed to help children who are struggling to read. August 5, 2013

Amazon vs. your public library: An article from Forbes touches upon some of the complex economics issued involved in libraries offering eBooks for borrowing. July 22, 2013