Documents, presentation materials, and other resources from AALL 2012 Boston are available online. Hosted by Legal Informatics Blogs viewers can access blog posts and the conference program. Also from AALL 2012, it’s not often that the Digests/Key Numbers are championed and we are lucky to have had University of Colorado Boulder Professors present their paper: The Case for Curation: The Relevance of Digest and Citator Results in Westlaw and Lexis. Adding to the fun, check-out the archived twitter hash-tag feed.
On July 10, 2012, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ-07) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill-05) introduced H. Res. 727, the Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Resolution of 2012. The resolution would require the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make certain reports publicly available in a searchable database. Visit AALL’s Legislative Action Center to find out more and learn how you can support H. Res. 727.
Big box stores are a little frightening. Like casinos, there are no visible clocks and few windows, so you never know quite where you are or how long you’ve been wandering the aisles until your cart rings up at a whopping $300.
Patrons of the new McAllen Public Library, built in a former Walmart in McAllen, Texas, may find themselves lost amid a football field of books but won’t spend a dime for hours wiled away in search of a good read. The library recently won the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Awards for its innovative use of space. Check out the other award winners and ogle with envy some of the hippest new library spaces around: Ida.org.
Not everybody loves the library. After all, if you were banished there like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club for a day of detention with high school hoodlums you wouldn’t deign to acknowledge, why would you elect to spend time there? There are plenty of libraries that are great architectural spaces, but there are still plenty of dismal old-school, popcorn-ceiling structures better suited for funeral homes than for cozy reading spaces.
Thankfully, for those who have an aversion to libraries, they never need enter one to take full advantage of our offerings. With the availability of e-books and online databases, we can reach out to the agoraphobics with voracious reading appetites and the octo-moms who can’t seem to find childcare. The challenge is how best to promote our services to potential patrons who don’t visit our physical spaces. A recent Pew Research Center study shows that 48% of the people who own an e-book reading device didn’t know that their library had e-books available for download. The study also notes that library card holders who own e-readers prefer to buy their e-books. These patrons are typically getting recommendations from bookstores and websites rather than their libraries which likely explains their purchasing patterns.
How can we drive traffic to our sites when we’re not able to advertise our offerings the way for-profit entities do? The Austrian town of Klagenfurt has figured out an ingenious way to bring knowledge and an awareness of e-books to its inhabitants. Through an initiative called Project Ingeborg, stickers equipped with QR codes and NFC chips are posted throughout the town. The stickers direct your smartphone to a website where you can download free e-books. Scan the sticker next to the police station, and you are directed to download a short story called The Murderer.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if our city and library could collaborate on a similar project? The library is already a government entity, so it seems a natural fit. We could promote our libraries outside of our space which is essential to expanding our patron base.