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New Pew Report on Young Americans & Libraries

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The Pew Research Center recently released a new report titled “Younger Americans and Public Libraries: How those under 30 engage with libraries and think about libraries’ role in their lived and communities.” This report surveys younger Americans ages 16-29, which they found were three different generations, according to reading habits, library usage patterns, and attitudes about libraries. The youngest of the three generations is comprised of high schoolers (ages 16-17), the next generation is college-aged (18-24), and the third generation is 25-29. Library usage among these groups together is significantly higher than those of older generations with 50% reporting having used a library of bookmobile and 36% reporting having used a library website (this is up from 28% in 2012) within the previous 12 months.

Small-town libraries struggling to keep up with technology

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A yellowing copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” has a much longer life span than the computer used to look up its location in the library.

For decades, American libraries served as a hub of timeless classics and new releases. But as technology has developed, so has the library's role.

Books still dominate the shelves in libraries throughout the country, but patrons are seeking more than stories. In rural communities, 70.3 percent of libraries reported they are the only place that provides free Internet and computer access to their residents, according to a 2012 report from the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.

MA libraries are participating in an e-book pilot program

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Several local libraries are part of a new state pilot program designed to explore different platforms and models for electronic book lending in response to growing demand for the service.

Fifty-one libraries statewide are participating in the six-month pilot project.

"This is a direct response to our member libraries throughout Massachusetts who have made it clear that eContent is a statewide imperative," Gregory Pronevitz, executive director of the Mass. Library System said in a press release. "This project is our first step aimed at fixing that problem for our entire state and the wide range of libraries we serve."

Libraries strained by budget cuts

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When librarian Devan Green first read the policy on proper behavior at the Pontiac Public Library, she couldn’t believe some rules didn’t go without saying.

The rules prohibited everything from offensive body odor to panhandling – extreme policies written in response to day-to-day problems at the library.

The rules stem from poverty — the Pontiac Public Library is within walking distance from several homeless shelters and halfway houses, and has become a hangout of last resort for the poor and the unemployed.

The Lumberjack's Boxcar Library

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The problem of getting books into the hands of readers has been solved in many ways over the centuries.  Of course, one of my favorites is the bookmobile.  A classic, and staple of rural life in the 20th Century.  But in 1919, there was something else in the works to get books into the hands of the lumbermen in the employ of the Anaconda Copper Mining Co.  The Anaconda company is one of those "too big to fail" sorts in the history of Montana-- it's name was apt.  But that's not to say this wasn't a great idea.

Weatherford Public Library’s PEACH of a project

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Preserving and expanding access to culture and history is the focus of a grant the Weatherford Public Library is hoping to extend.

The PEACH program is an effort by the Parker County Library Association, in conjunction with local history groups, museums and other parties, to digitize and make available online historical documents, maps and photos related to Parker County history at the website www.mypcla.com.

Public Library Thanks Voters for Passage of Issue One

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The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County extends a thank you to the voters of Hamilton County for the overwhelming passage of Issue One, the renewal of the levy which allows the Library to keep providing first-rate, Five-Star services to the cardholders of Hamilton County.

More than 80% of Hamilton County voters approved Issue One, signaling their clear support of the Library’s mission to be the first choice for information, anticipate and meeting changing needs, assure equitable access to Library resources, and be a dynamic force in the community. Funds from this levy are the only local source of funding and make up one-third of the Library’s annual budget. The levy is not an increase in taxes.

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