Information Today, Inc. Corporate Site KMWorld CRM Media Streaming Media Faulkner Speech Technology Unisphere/DBTA
PRIVACY/COOKIES POLICY
Other ITI Websites
American Library Directory Boardwalk Empire Database Trends and Applications DestinationCRM Faulkner Information Services Fulltext Sources Online InfoToday Europe KMWorld Literary Market Place Plexus Publishing Smart Customer Service Speech Technology Streaming Media Streaming Media Europe Streaming Media Producer Unisphere Research



News & Events > NewsBreaks
Back Index Forward
Twitter RSS Feed
 



Taking the Temperature of a Profession: Libraries in 2023
by
Posted On January 17, 2023
There has been much talk of the existence of a new normal since the pandemic began, because libraries have had to pivot and adjust in many different ways. We aren’t sure how things will look as the world continues to emerge from COVID’s grip; from conversations I’ve had, I’d say there’s a new normal in some ways, but a back-to-normal situation is more common. Libraries are still dealing with issues of funding, providing adequate digital access, and the public trying to tell them what they can and can’t offer their patrons. I wanted to take the temperature of a variety of types of libraries across the U.S. and Canada to see what library workers are looking forward to, what challenges they expect to face, and what other predictions they have for 2023. I reached out to institutions in all 50 states and all of the Canadian provinces, and these are the responses I received. I hope you draw some inspiration and a sense of camaraderie from their answers.

—Brandi Scardilli, editor


DELRAY BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY

Delray Beach, Florida

delraylibrary.org

Delray Beach Public Library logoWHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Libraries have become the first stop for hands-on information and training in 3D printing, virtual reality, makerspaces, music studios, computer training, software, books, and locating jobs—“Preparing people for the future.” Sadly, the money that is needed to support these initiatives is not available, as local and state government continue to [decrease] budgets.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

More isolated spaces and more Wi-Fi coverage areas for virtual meetings.

—Daniel Gilliam, ITS manager


THE LAW SOCIETY OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND LIBRARY

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

lawsocietypei.ca/law-library

The Law Society of Prince Edward Island Library logoWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

Every day contains interesting research questions, and the idea of meeting again in person for the 2023 Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) Conference in Hamilton, Ontario, is something all CALL members are looking forward to.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Meeting ever-increasing budgetary demands.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

Fulfilling more and more interlibrary loans and increased networking via our Canadian CALL-L listserv and our Courthouse and Law Society Libraries Special Interest Group.

—Pam Borden, library manager


LEWES PUBLIC LIBRARY

Lewes, Delaware

lewes.lib.de.us

Lewes Public Library logoWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

FY2022 was a “rebuilding” year. We continued to refine services and resources in response to the pandemic. In FY2023, I’m looking forward to taking a step back and creating criteria to measure the value of our programs, resources, and services so that we can really drill down and focus our energy on those things that have the greatest impact on our community.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Our library faces the same challenge every year—adequate funding. Delaware is a low-tax state, which is why people migrate here from New Jersey, D.C., New York, etc. The result of those low taxes is a lack of fully funded social infrastructure. The Lewes Public Library (LPL) is an independent nonprofit, receiving approximately half of our annual operating funds from our state and county governments. The deficit, approximately $450,000, has to be raised via fundraisers, grants, fines, fees, etc. We receive no direct financial support from our local municipality. Advocating for support or increased support will be my main focus.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

Library life has changed. LPL is a solidly 21st-century library. No shushing. Lots of activity. We have a designated “quiet room” in the back of our building for people who need, or want, that type of experience. I anticipate LPL finding its sweet spot in terms of in-person, virtual, and hybrid programming. Virtual programs have taken our programs worldwide. We have a regular participant in one of our foreign language groups who connects all the way from Cairo. We have regular, weekly participants for our adult lunch storytime from the West Coast. I’m excited by the prospect of connecting with underserved populations through virtual programs, digital resources, and the availability of Chromebooks and hotspots for checkout. All of these resources make reaching populations with transportation issues, those suffering from homelessness, homebound seniors, and/or those experiencing general social isolation much more manageable. We’re excited to partner with organizations already serving those populations and introduce them to all we have to offer. In turn, those professionals can help their constituents connect with the library and the resources that are most meaningful/helpful for them.

—Lea Rosell, library director


NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW LIBRARY

Concord, New Hampshire

courts.nh.gov/resources/nh-law-library

New Hampshire Law LibraryWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

It might be easier to say, “What aren’t we excited about?” We have a lot going on. We have a project to digitize and conserve New Hampshire Supreme Court case files going back to 1849; we are creating a website to make those files accessible; we’re building a temperature-controlled archive room in the library to hold those fragile files and other rare documents in the collection; we’re building partnerships with public libraries and providing those libraries with legal research materials (including Westlaw) and legal reference training as part of our access to justice outreach; and we’re building up our collection of research LibGuides. We’re pretty busy.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Staffing is a problem. We have a tiny staff and lots of stuff going on. Managing collection development and deciding between print and online is an ongoing issue. Lack of awareness about the Law Library is an issue that we need to address better than we have in the past.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

Busy, overwhelming, and lots of fun.

—Mary S. Searles, law librarian


NORTHERN LIGHTS COLLEGE LIBRARY

Fort St. John, British Columbia

nlc.bc.ca/Services/Library

Northern Lights College Library logoWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

It’s just business as usual—resources, assistance, collection, library orientations, etc. We are a very small community college with only one librarian and five staff servicing eight campuses and sites, so we are extremely busy.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

The only thing I am hopeful for, but is a challenge, is getting my budget back up to pre-COVID levels, as the cost of resources continues to increase.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

At this point, everything will remain similar to 2022.

—Dawna Turcotte, regional librarian


RICHLAND LIBRARY

The Midlands region of South Carolina

richlandlibrary.com

Richland LibraryWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

I am excited about furthering the library’s mission of helping customers learn, create, and share by enhancing the quality of life for our entire community. Richland Library just completed a refresh of the Strategic Plan for the next 3 years (2022–2025), with the intent of having impactful outcomes on those we serve. Goals include increasing community collaboration and problem-solving capacity, which will help advance our community and empower residents to advocate for shared needs and fully participate in civic life; having our programs and services anticipate the changing and diverse needs of our customers, which will enhance the customer experience by evaluating our programs, digital offerings, and facilities for accessibility and inclusivity; and engaging our team in strengthening and clarifying pipelines to leadership and growth opportunities for all staff, increasing diversity in leadership and creating growth opportunities within all staff roles. 2023 will see Richland Library continuing on this strategic pathway for our organization.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Richland Library faces challenges that many libraries and organizations continue to face while navigating a global pandemic and now in recovery from isolation. Richland Library continues to strive to re-engage with our community, ensure our buildings are safe and welcoming, and make sure that residents have the resources and tools needed to enhance their quality of life. We are taking a holistic approach to this process, with an EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) lens to ensure that we are inclusive and provide increased accessibility to resources, as we are seeing, increasingly, opposition from individuals and groups seeking to restrict the right to read, as books are being challenged in public and school libraries. Richland Library is committed not only to building a diverse collection, but also to making it freely accessible to all people.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

For 2023, as we continue to welcome back customers, I see Richland Library focusing on providing quality programming and resources that are inclusive and accessible to community needs. I also see using my role as director of library experience, branches to support staff in leaning into taking care of themselves and helping them develop strategies for work-life balance to combat burnout—taking a humanistic approach to address their needs as we continue to support the unique needs of the diverse communities we serve.

—Dee Robinson, director of library experience, branches


TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY ALBERT B. ALKEK LIBRARY

San Marcos, Texas

library.txst.edu/alkek

Texas State University Albert B. Alkek Library logoWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

I’m excited for developing and implementing a micro-credentialing program to help students learn key skills related to new technology and different fabrication processes.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Marketing and student reach seems to be something that we continue to struggle with. We are exploring different avenues to try to reach a broader/wider audience from across the entire university.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

It will be busier. We are constantly growing our userbase and have not reached any type of plateau yet. New technologies and spaces are in development, so I see a lot more learning ahead.

—Noah Brock, makerspace coordinator


UTAH STATE LIBRARY

Salt Lake City, Utah

library.utah.gov

Utah State LibraryWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

Working with libraries and various stakeholders around the state on digital equity initiatives and projects that support Utah’s digital equity plan utilizing funds the state will be receiving through the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Supporting library staff’s mental and emotional health during these challenging times is something we want to make sure and be mindful of. Libraries serve their communities and are on the front lines, which can often be a very overwhelming and demanding place to be. Making sure we support staff and their mental, emotional, and physical well-being is important as we move into 2023.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

Libraries in 2023 will continue to do what they have always done, which is be a trusted and vital community resource assuring access to information for all, supporting literacy, and promoting lifelong learning.

—Chaundra Johnson, state librarian/director, State Library Division


WINNIPEG PUBLIC LIBRARY

Winnipeg, Manitoba

wpl.winnipeg.ca/library

wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/makersinresidence/introduction.stm

tdsummerreadingclub.ca/about_the_club

guides.wpl.winnipeg.ca/earlyliteracy

Winnipeg Public Library logoWHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DOING AT YOUR LIBRARY IN 2023?

In early 2023, Winnipeg Public Library (WPL) will host its first-ever Makers-in-Residence (MiR) out of the ideaMILL located in downtown Winnipeg’s Millennium Library. The MiR program connects library visitors with Winnipeg-based professional makers who are passionate about their craft, hands-on DIY hobby, and/or skills in visual, technology, or media arts. During their terms, the MiRs will offer weekly drop-in sessions to mentor and offer their expertise to other makers. Each MiR will also conduct three workshops for the public showcasing their craft, including one school mentorship workshop, and produce a final collaborative art piece, defined by the maker’s particular skill set and vision. This work will be showcased in-person and through digital displays at Millennium Library at the end of the term.

In summer 2023, WPL will once again take part in TD Summer Reading Club, Canada’s largest bilingual summer reading program. The program encourages children of all ages to keep up with reading over the summer by providing free bilingual reading kits that include an activity notebook, stickers, and a calendar to track reading. Participants can explore recommended reads and track their reading for a chance to win great prizes.

WPL will continue to build its early literacy programming, offering more evening and weekend sessions to keep up with demand. The Sensory Storytime program that focuses on providing an input-sensitive environment that is supportive of neurodiversity will also be expanded so it is accessible to more families.

WPL also plans to offer bilingual (Indigenous languages/English) family storytime programs in addition to its Indigenous Language Learning classes for children and families.

WHAT CHALLENGES MIGHT YOUR LIBRARY FACE IN 2023?

Keeping up with training new staff. Over the course of 2022, a large number of new staff have been brought on board. WPL will continue to focus on offering comprehensive training to ensure staff have the information and tools they need to succeed in the delivery of library programs and services.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT LIFE AT YOUR LIBRARY WILL BE LIKE IN 2023?

2022 has been a year of rebuilding and renewal after many community partnerships, library programs, and services were paused or adjusted over the course of the pandemic. Next year will provide an opportunity for WPL to fully resume programs and services.

—Adam Campbell, communications officer, City of Winnipeg


Brandi Scardilli is the editor of NewsBreaks and Information Today.

Email Brandi Scardilli

Related Articles

9/1/2022A Day in the Life of Five Librarians, Part 9
10/20/2020Broadband's Pandemic Failure: How We Got Here and Why the Federal Government Must Fix It
11/3/2020What Info Pros Are Grateful For
3/2/2021Beyond Coping: Libraries Stepping Up to Meet Community Needs During the Pandemic
4/27/2021The Next Normal: The Post-Pandemic Future of Library Services
5/18/2021Avoiding a Public Health Hunger Games: The Role for Libraries
7/27/2021Saving Libraries: Itís a Critical Time for Funding Legislation
10/19/2021Librarians and Professional Labeling: What's in a Name?
8/30/2022Libraries Should Not Lend Streaming Sticks


Comments Add A Comment

              Back to top