Library Links: Comparing libraries

I find that what I want to read about in the realm of library links always tends to depend on what I’ve been thinking about recently. Yes, I might be interested in how technology and librarians interact, but I might set an article covering that aside when I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about the differences between libraries. I don’t just mean between the different systems in which I have worked, but between academic and public libraries, or between urban and rural libraries. So here’s a list of links I’ve been reading lately that focuses on this topic:

  • Comparing Reference Service in Academic and Public Libraries” – The authors of a research article summarize their findings on the Hiring Librarians blog. I was happy to see that my own instincts are proving right. According to survey results, “the main conclusion is that the differences between academic and public libraries are not as pronounced as people may have previously thought.” Definitely an interesting read.
  • Public Library Engagement in Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities” – This summary of the Pew Internet and American Life Project offers statistics about different populations and their library use. It’s definitely eye-opening to see and understand how libraries are used in America.
  • Why Do We Weed: Book Deselection in Academic Libraries” – I’m catching up on my blog posts that I had bookmarked but never got to read while finishing up my degree. Now that weeding is part of my job, this post caught my eye. It was interesting to see curriculum as a focus, since that’s not a requirement for public libraries. However, I’ve found myself wondering about local high schools and how our collection might better support their learning since I’m sure their one librarian is overtaxed with trying to support all their needs at once. Weeding might warrant its own post, but I would offer a couple interesting links – “The Weeding War” and “Unpopular books flying off branch libraries’ shelves” – for coverage of the controversy public libraries have recently faced when doing the necessary job of weeding the collection.

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