News from Egypt

From the IFLA website
Statement from Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt

“Egypt is currently passing through a crisis and I believe that the anger and demands for better living conditions and jobs are fully justified. While some looting and lawless is going on, this by no measure is the behavior of the vast majority of demonstrators. Young demonstrators have been acting responsibly protecting their own public institutions including the library.

The Library of Alexandria continues to be a platform for democracy and has, since its inception opened its doors to all Egyptians to participate in open dialogues about reform in relation to education, economy, journalism, political life, health care system and others. It has held a countless number of conferences and issued many publications in relation to youth participation in reform, job opportunities, women participation, peace and civic life. This is in addition to its offerings of information literacy programs where young people learn all about information technology including usage of social media and searching Internet resources.

I have no doubt that once life returns to its norms, the Library of Alexandria will continue its peaceful dialogue and civic responsibility as an institution of learning. The Library doors are still open with reduced hours as the curfew imposed mandates. Egypt has always emerged from such crisis stronger than before and we are certain it will continue to grow and advance. Our faith in the people of Egypt and our country is boundless.”

Dr. Ismail Serageldin
Director of the Library of Alexandria

Meanwhile the Mubarak Public Library website is unavailable


Librarians are awesome

Tell us something we don’t know, Wil Wheaton. Or, better yet, add your voice to the growing numbers of people advocating for the future of libraries and tell us exactly why you think librarians are awesome.

If you’re a librarian today, you probably don’t hear this very often, but thank you. Thank you for making a difference in people’s lives.

And thankyou, Wil, for speaking up! Read more here.

Library at MONA

The new library at MONA. I literally could not tell whether it was in Dewey or LC.

Actually, obviously this is a work of art in the new art museum. I was lucky enough to visit the venue in its first days of opening. It’s a great building (most of it underground), but I wasn’t too sure about much of the art currently on display in it, aside from the above and a couple of other pieces.

Forming a habit

Habits are formed through exposure and repetition. Good habits, like reading, should start very young according to the Finnish Library Association who made this great ad to celebrate their 100th anniversary in September 2010.

Originally spotted over at Stephen’s lighthouse.

Perceptions of Libraries, 2010 :Context and Community

The U.S. economic boom was replaced by what has been called “The Great Recession” (New York Times, March 2009). In January 2010
when we conducted the most recent study, the U.S. employment rate topped 9.8% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2010). It remains at over 9% in January 2011. The number of Americans who had experienced a negative job impact (lost a job, had to take a job at a lower salary, worked a second job, etc.) during the recession was even larger. Our research shows that the number is double the
unemployment rate, at 20%. A third of American families had at least one family member who experienced a negative job impact during the recession.

While the economy was declining, the online activities of the information consumer were increasing. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Americans were online, up 12% from 2005 (Internet World Stats, September 2010). comScore reported that a quarter of U.S. mobile phones are now smartphones that provide Internet access, a growth of 1,050% from 2005. Many of the online practices of young
information consumers in 2005 were across all ages in 2010. Over 90% of Boomers used e-mail and search engines, and over 50% used a social networking site.

In 2010, 68% of information consumers had a library card. For those Americans economically impacted, that rate was even higher—81%. Information consumers who have experienced a job impact were not just getting library cards at greater rates; they were using the library for more services and more often in 2010. And their perception of library value was significantly different from those not impacted—their perceived value was higher.

Today and beyond
Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community reports the changes and evolutions in the information consumer’s life in the last five years, with particular attention given to the actions, attitudes and perceptions observed in 2005. We know from other research that The Great Recession has reshaped attitudes and practices in many lifestyle areas, and we wanted to better understand the impact on the information consumer’s use of online information and the library. We studied the differences and similarities between information consumers who had experienced a negative job impact in the recession and those who did not. And as the “digital age divide” becomes less distinct, we turned our attention to better understanding if the attitudes of the 2010 information consumer were now ageless or if age differences still played a distinct role in how we perceive and use information — and libraries.