Archive for the ‘Public libraries’ Category

Libraries of many kinds have for years been collecting, preserving and in turn offering, in digital form, content provided by people and organizations with whom they have a connection.  This post features two libraries that are connecting with local musicians to record their work which can then be streamed from the libraries’ websites.  Both the Santa Cruz Public Library and the Iowa City Public Library  have launched online streaming that enables their card holders to access the work of local musicians, free of charge.

Santa Cruz’s collection is called SoundSwell, which as a name is a great combination of concepts!  Iowa City’s Local Music Project may not have the same catchy name as Santa Cruz, but the initiative is equally “sound”.  (OK, enough with the puns!)

Projects such as these are excellent examples of how libraries have a valuable role to play in community development in the digital age.  By collecting, curating and offering access to locally relevant content (all very traditional activities for libraries), using accessible digital tools, these and other libraries are supporting artistic, cultural and economic activity right where they live.  Congratulations!

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Photo credit: bridgeandtunnelclub.com

The Seattle Public Library is running an online voters guide and checking facts on a range of issues in the Washington State and Federal elections.  Hurray for them.  Their site is called the Living Voters Guide.  It covers some hot-button issues including same gender marriage, legalization of marijuana and charter schools.

A recent blog on the Seattle Times website had a headline calling this a risky experiment, but valuable  and describes how it works and some of the issues that have arisen for the librarians supporting this resource.  I disagree with the headline and the characterization of this as being risky.  This is exactly what our profession should be doing, particularly because we can assess, evaluate and curate information sources so well.


BTW, as you can see I have taken an extended break from blogging here.  I’m now focusing on getting back into it on a more regular basis.

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