Five Million and Counting

In 2013, 5.2 million people were diagnosed with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, as many as 13.8 million people may be affected. As these numbers increase, libraries are faced with the challenge of providing resources to both those with the disease and their caregivers. "Five Million and Counting: Serving Patrons with Alzheimer’s and Dementia," a panel discussion held Thursday afternoon, March 13, at PLA 2014, examined the issue and provided resources and advice.

Simon Sinek Opens with Big Ideas

The Big Ideas series, a new morning lecture program debuting at PLA 2014, kicked off on Thursday, March 13, with a talk by writer and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek. The author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Leaders Eat Last and a popular presenter on TEDx, Sinek drew from history, current events, science, anthropology, and business to detail how successful leaders and positive leadership are made.

Talk and Tunes at PLA 2014 Opening Day

The Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis was packed Wednesday, March 12, for the first day of the 2014 Public Library Association National Conference.

Pew Charts the Motivations of Library Lovers and Distant Admirers

In a new report issued March 13, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project has explored the motivations behind the relationships that American adults have with their public libraries. “Rather than describe the basic library usage of various groups, as we’ve done in the past,” Kathryn Zickuhr, the report, titled “From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers—and Beyond,” examines what traits go along with different levels of engagement with libraries and the library habits and views people have in common.

SXSW Days Two, Three, and Four

For those that have never been to SXSW Interactive, the first thing to know is that it is massive! There are over 15 conference locations, 500 sessions, and 30,000 attendees. And that doesn’t take into account the unofficial events, the lounges, and the parties. Basically, it’s a conference on steroids. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and easy to find a connection, new idea, or free drink around every corner. What is hard is trying to boil my experiences and interactions down into a few blog posts, but I will try.

SXSW Day Two: Conversing in Lo-Fi

Sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to look inside other people’s boxes. So I participated in a session titled “Library Machines: A Lo-Fi Design Conversation,” with presenters Jeff Goldenson, a designer in Harvard Library’s Innovation Lab, and Sidsel Bech-Petersen of Aarhus Public Library in Denmark. A library machine is “a mechanically or electronically operated device for performing library functions. It may be an experience, instrument, application, or efficiency.”

Hands-on Fun at SXSW 2014















Drumbot and interactive two-way art wall.















Maker Meetup at SXSW

On the eve of SXSW, a group of librarians and I attended a maker meetup hosted by the Austin Mini Maker Faire at the Thinkery, an Austin children’s museum. Adults of all ages engaged in crafts, water exhibits, shadow art, and oversized Lite Brite–like designs before listening to a brief address by Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media (Make Magazine). Dougherty reminded the audience that “making isn’t just about technology,“ and whatever your hobbies are, “once you start doing something, you meet other people also doing those things.”

SXSW Day One

Librarians from all over the country have landed in Austin, Texas, for SXSW Interactive, a five-day conference of tech professionals and venture capitalists, startups and entrepreneurs, gamers and makers, and everything in between. For the past few years, a group of library, archives, and museum professionals have coordinated to present sessions, advocate for libraries, and learn about trends that are happening in technology-related fields. The group goes by #sxswLAM (libraries, archives, museums) and you can learn more about all of their own and related activities on their website.

DCL Ebook Report for March 2014

Dear Librarians,

Here is the DCL Ebook Report for March 2014 from Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries. Click here.

This month I pose the following challenges:


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