Monday, March 23, 2009

March 19th- new library presentation

On March 19th about a dozen members of the community came to a second presentation about plans for a new library. We were again honored to have Assemblyman Mo Denis attend the meeting and tell us why public libraries are so important to him.

Our next meeting will be March 26th at 5:00 p.m. in the Community Center, Sierra Room, you can also catch the meeting live on Charter Cable Channel 10. We will be discussing technology for a new library, a short video entitled Your Public Library: Keeping Your Community Connected will be shown and presentations on state of the art technology in public libraries will be shown.

Karen Hofmann from KEMH LLC will do a presentation on RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification), and other technologies to increase efficiency. KEMH LLC puts the puzzle pieces together of how business processes merge with technologies. KEMH LLC helps organizations to define a strategy and plan to achieve goals.

In addition these technologies will be introduced:
  • Automated materials handling
  • Enhanced Wi Fi access
  • Security
  • New formats for delivery of library materials

In addition to that the library had its first meeting with the Kathy Page of Page + Moris who will be helping the community determine the size and the amenities for the new library.

Ms. Page was principal consultant at Kathryn Page Associates, a library planning firm, from 1997 through 2004, during which time she prepared over 100 library facility planning projects. These projects include library space and service needs assessments, interior space planning, building programs, architectural plan reviews and related services. In January 2005, Ms. Page started the firm Page + Moris, with Beverly Moris, CCIDC, to provide an expanded scope of services to the library community, including library facility planning, interior design and furniture selection and specification.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New computers and online poll in the Nevada Appeal

Dave Frank wrote a great article about the new computers at the library. The library has added computers in quantity by over 50% and in quality to what we had before they can't even be compared- better speed, increased time limits- Office applications, brand new, etc, etc.... Good technology is critical to public libraries and as we discuss expanding the library investing in technology is essential to a 21st Century Library.

On another note the Nevada Appeal ran an online poll that at first glance seems a bit disheartening- when they asked How often do you go to the library? the results for the 181 people who voted are:
Rarely 34.25% (62)
Never 34.25% (62)
Monthly 13.26%(24)
Once a week 12.15%(22)
Three or more times a week 6.08%(11)

So when you do the math 65.74% of those who participated in the one-day poll use the library. This is a consistent statistic to the percentage of community members who hold ( and use) library cards. Also there is quite a bit of distance between the choices of rarely and monthly. When you consider the cost of the public library on a per-capita basis is about $27.00 per person- close to what one best seller would cost someone, the Return on Investment (ROI) seems pretty good, and even when you do it by the use statistic (65%) represented in this snapshot poll its only $41.00 per one best seller and one DVD...believe me our users take out much more than that...users average nearly twelve items per person, per year.

The one comment to the poll was:
Time to stop being a traditional library, and evolve into a multi-layered "knowledge center." Your grandfather's library cannot survive in such a fast-changing world

Hopefully to those that said they never check us out, they might look again because even though our building is caught in the early 70's our public access computing technology is now 21st century.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Interested community leaders invited to learn about new library plans

March 4, 2009
The Carson City Library and its support organizations (Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation) invited interested community members to hear about plans to build a new library and the progress made to date.
A library video entitled A Place for Everyone was shown also a very motivating and encouraging talk was presented by Assemblyman Mo Denis.

Assemblyman Denis is an avid library user and a former library trustee for the Las Vegas Clark County Library District. A true advocate for libraries he spoke about the importance of libraries in his life-both to him and his family, how much richer we all are for their availability and how the seven new libraries built in Las Vegas during his time as a Library Trustee were wonderful additions to their communities, he ended his talk with this:

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl, One was an optimistic soul;
But the other took the gloomy view, "I shall drown," he cried, "and so will you."
So with a last despairing cry, He closed his eyes and said, "Good-bye."
But the other frog, with a merry grin Said, "I can't get out, but I won't give in!
I'll swim around till my strength is spent.
For having tried, I'll die content."
Bravely he swam until it would seem His struggles began to churn the cream.
On the top of the butter at last he stopped And out of the bowl he happily hopped.
What is the moral?
It's easily found.
If you can't get out -- keep swimming around!

Following Assemblyman Denis I gave the group information on the library- succinctly the Carson City Library has had no expansion in 27 years- even though it serves four times as many people as when the 900 N. Roop Street location was built in 1971- currently nearly 300,000 people use the library every year and it has recently become a hot spot for kids of all ages in our community.
I provided information about the year and a half discussion with the community about the library and its services- this dialogue has resulted in interest in pursuing a new downtown centrally located library.

Attendees were asked if they are interested in being part of groups that will continue the discussion on library services, technology, collection, possible sites, funding, architectural style, and green building (LEED) ideas.

Three brand new libraries are potential models:

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Rockville, Maryland

Milpitas, California

All of these libraries provide some best practices for planning for a new library in Carson City.

Another meeting just like this on will be held on March 19 @ 5:30 at the library anyone interested in learning more is invited to attend, call me at (775) 887-2244 ext. 1007 or e-mail at