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Think Globally and Act Locally: Sharing Practical Experience from Major American Public Libraries’ Services and Survival Strategies, and Adopting for Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Think Globally and Act Locally: Sharing Practical Experience from Major American Public Libraries’ Services and Survival Strategies, and Adopting for Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Think Globally and Act Locally: Sharing Practical Experience from Major American Public Libraries’ Services and Survival Strategies, and Adopting for Development of Public Libraries, as well as Reading Culture in Africa By Garoma Daba, Librarian, African Union Commission, September 19 – 21, Johannesburg, South Africa

2 Introduction –ALL PROTOCOLS ARE OBSERVED; Greetings and best wishes from Mr. Mandala Madonsela, Director of Strategic Policy Planning…(SPPME-RM), who could not be here due to prior commitment My presentation – visits of 23 Librarians (9 from Africa)

3 Objectives: To examine the role and functions of libraries and information specialists in U.S. Society To explore the importance of community- based partnerships and the strategies for promoting sustainability within a library system To learn more about the diversity of library services, and To explore the advancements and impact of digital and online technologies within various types of libraries.

4 Library development – Libraries in U.S. have had Presidential blessings and Congress’s support (If I don’t respect my child, who else will?) From 1 st President (George Washington) great values attached to libraries and their establishment, as GW wrote to his friend James Mchenry wrote on 3 April, 1797: “I have not houses to build, except one, which I must erect for the accommodation and security of my military, civil and private papers, which are voluminous and may be interesting”. This was written after his retirement from office.

5 The Library of Congress (LOC) was established in 1800 to serve Congress’s research information needs, and the public at large. - The LOC’s initial 3000 core collection were burnt in 1814, -US Congress bought 6487 vol. of books Thomas Jefferson (the then US President), - Amazing (Collection size – PI LM, NIE /NKE, NO/D resources,…if he lived today, may be builds stadium-sized library?); TJ seems regretted? “I can’t Live Without Books”

6 US Policy Support LD - US Congress also passed the Presidential Libraries Act of The Act highlights: Establishing a system of privately erected and federally maintained libraries, Once completed, the libraries shall be handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to operate and maintai, So far, 13 Presidential Libraries were built, mostly in the home towns of the presidents, and in their names, The Libraries and Museums operated by he National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), whose details are found at:

7 Also many Presidential Libraries and Museums were built in the name of US presidents, such as Abraham Lincolin, and others, but administered / operated by private foundations, historical societies, or state governments. (see:

8 Development of Public Libraries in U.S.A. 1. New York Public Library (NYPL) – major ones.

9 The first NYPL was established with donation of wealthy, generous and a visionary, one time governor of New York City: Samuel J. Tilden ( ): upon his death donated about $2.4 million to "establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York.". To be world’s great centers of urban culture, NC must have great library.(Don’t Africa have a visionaries?) John Jacob Astor ( ), an immigrant from German donated $400,000 for the establishment of a reference library in New York. Strategy – Inclusiveness matters (Can we find books in Johannesburg Public Library in Amharic or other African Nation’s languages?)

10 The 3rd contributor - James Lenox, who donated in the form of primarily his personal collections, consisting rare books, such as the first Gutenberg Bible,, manuscripts, and Americana. Sooner, however, financial constraint emerged, which in turn necessitated, devising strategy for survival strategy. Hence, by 1892, both the Astor and Lenox libraries were combined, forming a new entity, which is, to be known as The New York Public Library

11 Services Expected / Rendered by PL in U.S.A. Handbook of Library Trustees of the New York State states that: “Libraries provide the “oxygen” for today’s information economy. In cities and towns, rural, suburban and urban, throughout New York State, libraries are equipping people with the tools necessary for life success. With skilled and knowledgeable library staff, a wide array of online resources, traditional print collections, exciting program offerings, and inviting and welcoming public places, libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in public use.

12 (……continued) New York’s public libraries are community gateways to the world’s information resources. Whether in pursuit of an entertaining escape from today’s complexities or a timely solution to a difficult business question, New Yorkers use their local libraries to advance and enhance their personal, educational, and working lives. As essential community resources for lifelong learning, public libraries are indispensable parts of this state’s economic, cultural, educational and social infrastructure. ”

13 Current State/Development/Service Rendered, and Strategies Pursued by the NYPL: NYPL is also known as public palace, Has 90 branches in the city, and Open/serves the general public, regardless of their age, academic and social status, etc. has babies’ and children’s section, resources and services that perfectly fit to their interest. Other important responsibilities: o serving as academic and o research library, catering information sources and services for researchers, writers, etc.

14 NYPL in figures Collection:53 million Population:8.5 Card holder members:3,119,677 (37%) Annual budget:245,337,000.00, composed of: o City of New York:54.41% o NY State and Federal Gov’t:7.97% o Contributions (individuals):12% o Revenues:6.17% o Others17% Staff :4430, composed of: o Employee2536 o Volunteers1894 Computer use3,300,000 Database accessible:339 Programs:43,065, composed o: o Children:17,539 o Young adults:6966 o Adults:12,265 o Outreach5254 Visitors of web site:25,369,015 Electronic resources accessed:4,884,135 Users:17.7 million Because of the availability of free high speed internet services in public libraries, there is no single Internet café in the entire New York City.

15 QUEENS LBRARY – BRANCH OF NYPL Also known as “Flushing Branch Library ”, 4 th largest library in the US, Collection of 7.1 million items Annual budget – million (84% from City of New York, 16% from New York State, Federal Government, and other contributions). Population 2.3 million (47.7% are foreign-born US residents, non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, Asians, black African-American, etc,), Materials in 160 (160 ) languages; Fully occupied by diversified group of users (as if exam period in University life)

16 2011 business activities: Circulation of materials:23,000,000 Visitors of library:14.1 million New users issued with cards:98,111 Active borrowers:889,000 Free programs developed:26,000 attended by 555,000 (with teenagers, handicapped, health….etc) Reference questions answered:11.4 million SP to improve services through innovation: o Commencement of self-services (patrons check-out & check-in kiosks) ; o Mails in different languages; Virtual reference Queens library programs includes: o Copying skills, o Cultural programs; educational programs; partners; government; healthcare; Immigrant; development partners; friends of the Library group;

17 Sheridan Public Library (Rural category): Said to be “small rural library”, but let you judge it; 2011 Statistics o Established :over 100 years o Collection:25,000 o Loaned materials:35,000 o Computers for patrons:20 (Internet/Wifi) o Computer users:25,000 o Library was visited in person:60,000 o Activities/ events/programs:400 o Event attendants8000 o Innovative strategies : hosting various events and programs;

18 Indianapolis Marion County Public Library (IMCPL): Renders high-quality services, Unique –we discovered what is known as Learning Curve set on an “18,000.sq.ft high-tech laboratory, where children, parents, and educators use library- issued laptops to investigate, imagine, and invent together.” Under the slogan HIGH-TECH, HIGH-TECH, HIGH- TECH, The future is now!, the IMPL provides what is said to be: o that is truly unique, inspiring and place of wonder and learning, These exceptional quality services enabled to win ALA special award

19 I-MPL Statistics Population: ________ Budget:45,361,707 Circulation:14.6 million Computer use:955,495(session hours) Registered borrowers/items checked out:542,678 Visitors to the Library:3.9 million Free programs:9916 Reference questions answered:655,552 Visits of the website:9.5 million Community meetings and events:3478 Outreach mobile visits:4659 Over 52,000 children and families read > 1 million books during the Library’s summer reading program; Patrons downloaded: 122,444 e-books in 2011 Library’s collection of free eBooks is : > 35, volunteers worked for 16,187 hours (equivalent of US$337,499)

20 (2011 statistics and others continued) Other services includes – home bound patrons through Library Express (in Africa we don’t have many places to go and read), 12,336 individuals attended 847 free library computers training programs and learnt from using mouse to mastering advanced applications; ( aren’t such trainings indispensible in Africa – where: o computers are owned by only a few citizens, and o many could not afford attending such trainings – though in some places little knowledge of computer applications grants daily breads)

21 Yorba Linda Public Library (Anaheim, California) is about celebrate its centennial year), 80% its population have library membership cards, is serving highly education society (puts pressure), The Library focus on teachers support, aprogram called “Teachers Features”, assignments databases, and makes accessible “beautiful America” database for students to learn about their country; It serves area schools, teachers with specific textbooks, homework help, customized online services, supplement lesson plans, preparation for tests, assignment alerts for pupils, etc. As the service is demand-driven, the staff always remain engaged to fulfill users’ demands.

22 Subscribed and accessible databases includes: o biographies, books/reading, o business information plus A-Z to help the business community o Career related information, o downloading audiobooks/Ebooks, o encyclopedias, reference ebooks, o films on demand, music, o genealogy, health, history/news/investment, o language, legal forms, live homework help, magazines/newspapers, science/technology, test preparation, etc. Serving those living in Orange county, but working elsewhere Activity guides are revised every 3 months, Subscription for unlimited use, downloading the entire database is not allowed; Library members can download up to 3 music per week from the music library

23 2011 Statistics: Total population:65,000 Library members52,202 (80%) Volunteer workers:>400 (16000 hrs. covered) Daily visitors:>1100 Databases accessible: >30 Summer reading:5025 (children, teens and adults joined ), Summer event participants: 21,5470 Registered borrowers: 845,492

24 Contribution of Libraries to Economic and Community Development Because unemployment rose beginning in 2007, Digital literacy skills are critical to current job market – (application submitted online to multi-national corporations to grocery stores). Many people turned to libraries seeking for comprehensive employment and other capacity building related information, since libraries provide users with: o Career information, o Computers and free broadband wireless internet accesses, o Testing resources, skills trainings and certifications, o 0nline application assistances, o The opportunity to use their resources on evenings and week-ends, otherwise hard to get access to valuable information;

25 Adopting to African Circumstances “Thinking globally and acting locally”

26 US Public Libraries Service and Survival Strategies US Public Libraries Service and Survival Strategies Funding: Bold campaign, online and in person, Partnership, volunteers, innovative services, inclusiveness… Resources – Towards online/digital/demand-driven acquisition Users: Babies, children and young adults receive attention

27 US public Libraries Service and Survival Strategies

28 African Union Policy on Libraries Development While there are a number of continental policies, such as: - -African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), we shall work out together. African Union Policy on Libraries Development While there are a number of continental policies, such as: -African leadership in ICT Program (ALICT) -African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), we shall work out together.

29 Thank you


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