Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Multimedia Tools Help Museums, Libraries Support 21st Century Skills

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) revamped the webpage for its Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative. Museums and libraries visiting the page will now be able to access practitioner videos, a PowerPoint presentation, an updated resource list, and a toolkit that will help them organize 21st-century skills workshops in their communities. These new resources join IMLS’s 2009 report and self-assessment tool already in wide use.

The 21st Century Skills initiative is intended to assist museums and libraries as they leverage their resources to help individuals of all ages acquire such critical skills as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, and collaboration. Combining strengths in traditional and digital learning, libraries and museums are well-positioned to build the skills Americans need today.

The Making the Learning Connection Community Workshop Toolkit is based on a series of community workshops conducted by IMLS between June 2010 and May 2011. This toolkit is designed to assist museum and library leaders in planning and executing 21st-century skills workshops in their own communities. It outlines the planning process, provides timelines, sample exercises and agendas, and brief descriptions of the 2010-11 IMLS workshops. Museum and library staff can also use a new 21st Century Skills PowerPoint and an extended bibliography in their presentations and planning.

Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services

Friday, April 13, 2012

ALA State of America's Libraries Report 2012

Libraries continue to transform lives, despite the challenges they faced in 2011. Patron demand for ebooks increased just as publishers decided to limit sales to libraries or increase the price dramatically. Budget cuts continued as the national economy struggles toward recovery from the Great Recession. The American Library Association continued to play a leading role in the battle for privacy and intellectual freedom. Read the Top Ten List of 2011's most challenged books.

These are just some of the highlights of the ALA 2012 report on the State of America's Libraries

Click here for the Zmag version

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Building Digital Communities - IMLS Resource to Help Communities Bridge the Digital Divide

There are still 100 million Americans who do not have a broadband connection to the Internet. This sobering statistic has profound implications for economic success, educational achievement, and civic life. Communities face difficult challenges in their efforts to provide digital opportunity for all their residents.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), together with the University of Washington and the International City/County Management Association, has consulted with hundreds of community members and experts over the past 18 months to identify action steps and a framework for building digital communities.

With the release of Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action and its companion primer Building Digital Communities: Getting Started, communities have a new resource to help set a vision for the future. These resources raise awareness about the access and adoption that are essential to digital communities and identify goals related to availability, affordability, design for inclusion, public access, relevance, digital literacy, and consumer safety. They also provide strategic areas where communities may wish to focus their digital inclusion efforts, such areas as economic and workforce development, education, and civic engagement, as well as concrete sample strategies for organizations and individuals to use in achieving a community’s goals.

For more information visit the IMLS website: http://www.imls.gov/building_digital_communities_new_resource_to_help_communities_bridge_the_digital_divide.aspx

Monday, April 2, 2012

South Carolina State Library Publishes Report on Social Media

The South Carolina State Library has recently published a report titled, Social Media, Libraries, and Web 2.0: How American Libraries are Using New Tools for Public Relations and to Attract New Users. The report provides quantitative and qualitative data gathered from library staff members in the U.S. to determine how libraries are employing a variety of Web 2.0 and social networking tools to promote library programs and services.

This is the fourth survey conducted November, 2011, by the South Carolina State Library, coordinated by the agency’s communications director, Dr. Curtis R. Rogers. According to Rogers, “The data gathered by this survey provides a wealth of information about how libraries of all types are using social media to promote library services and events. It was difficult to filter all of the comments because so many library staff members had so much to say about their successes with social media. It was also interesting to see that some libraries are still not employing these free tools especially in such tough economic times.”

To access the full report, visit http://tinyurl.com/779caf6

South Carolina State Library - State Library Publishes Fourth Annual Report on Social Media