Walking Paper

A library design consultancy and blog by Aaron Schmidt

Category / Library Futures

14 Oct 13

Focus on People, Not Tools

Librarianship has lost its focus – our professional concern for people has been eclipsed by a pre­occupation with collections and technology. This is understandable. Historically, libraries have been centered on bringing the world to our members through our collections. This problem of access was important to help solve, meeting a vital societal need. Likewise, our …

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30 May 13

YOUmedia Name-dropped by Chance the Rapper

I recently downloaded the second mixtape – Acid Rap – from Chicago’s up and coming Chance the Rapper. Listening to the track “Acid Rain,” a line made my ears perk up: “And I’m still Mr. YOUmedia.” Whaaa? Rap Genius confirms: And I’m still Mr. YOUmedia. Sure enough, Chicago Public’s YOUmedia was one of the places …

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22 Oct 12

Please Take This Summer Reading Program Survey

I’m working with PLA on a project exploring the future of summer reading programs. As part of our research we created a summer reading programs survey. Getting a lot of responses will help make the project a success so if you’re not the expert about your library’s summer reading program I hope you’ll pass on …

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5 Jun 12

Dabble: Organizing One-off Classes

Dabble is a community marketplace for people to discover, teach & host unique and affordable one-time classes. Did we mention that all classes are held in-person and cost just 20 bucks? Their explanatory video is a bit long, but you’ll get the drift quickly. Are any libraries taking as user-generated of an approach to their …

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23 Mar 12

Pima County Public Library Hires Public Health Nurse

She’s met latchkey kids and answered teens’ questions about sex – and took advantage of the opportunity to talk to them about diabetes and high blood pressure. She helped a victim of domestic violence find safe shelter and get medical attention. She encourages library visitors to use the hand sanitizer that’s always available to reduce …

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15 Mar 12

Luv and War at 30,000 Feet

The way we beat our competitors is by delighting and surprising our customers. We win with outstanding customer service. We win by appreciating our fellow workers. Southwest Airlines – now the biggest domestic carrier in the United States – is the only major airline that has never declared bankruptcy. It has lofty customer service and …

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24 Feb 12

Phone Booth Guerilla “Libraries”

Have you seen this project by the fictional Department of Urban Betterment? It is a pretty neat repurposing some (largely) outmoded infrastructure to something else: an honors system book swap. I know the word “library” has a few uses but I’m also a bit sad that we haven’t elevated it beyond the common “pile of …

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19 Feb 12

Skokie Stories

Like LibraryYou, here’s a great example of a library collecting content from their community. The Skokie Public Library also does a nice job highlighting what their patrons are making in the library. I’m a big fan. [Thanks to Toby for telling me about Skokie Stories.]

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9 Feb 12

LibraryYou – Sharing Local Knowledge

Take a look at Escondido Public Library’s LibraryYOU. It’s a great project about gathering local expertise and connecting library users. Yes! I wonder if they’ll put these videos into their catalog search results. Thanks Donna!

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