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Released: January 29, 2013 By Kathryn Zickuhr Our new report takes a close look not only at how Americans are using public libraries, but also what sort of services and programming they think libraries should offer — and what they say they would use in the future.

For this last point, we asked about a range of potential offerings, including online “ask a librarian”-type research service, mobile library apps, library kiosks in the community, and pre-loaded e-readers available for checkout.

The mobile initiative aims to foster an understanding of how digital learning tools can enhance secondary student information literacy experiences.” The Scottsdale Public Library in Arizona’s “Gimme Engine” mobile website “helps customers find a great book to read based on a library staffer’s recommendation and review.

Gimme combines library catalog MARC data, content enrichment service images and descriptions, and library staff book reviews on to create a unique experience.

A breakdown of these ideas’ overall popularity is included below; more information is included in the report, and tables with demographic breakdowns for each item can be found in the appendix.

But we also wanted to include illustrations of some of these more innovative services, to see what they look like on the ground.

The library frequently hosts ‘technology petting zoos’ to teach patrons how to use the CCPL tool, e-readers and e-audiobooks in the downloadable collection.” The Contra Costa County Library in California has a “Snap & Go” project that allows users with mobile phone to access various library services via scanned QR codes.

The service is one of the busiest of its kind in the United States. Every day, except Sundays and holidays, anyone, of any age, from anywhere in the world can reach the library via various methods, including by phone, text message, and online chat.” The Library as Incubator Project “highlights the ways that libraries and artists can work together, and works to strengthen these partnerships.

Additionally, the Skokie media lab has a green screen wall for video projects.” According to the American Library Association, 35% of U. public libraries offer one-on-one technology and/or research help with library staff.

The Arapahoe Library District in Colorado offers Book-a-Librarian help in English, Spanish and Russian.

At a time in which both libraries and arts organizations are often having to do more with less, it makes sense for these two parts of our culture to support each other.

The Library as Incubator Project calls attention to one of the many reasons libraries are important to our communities and our culture, and provides a dynamic online forum for sharing ideas.” (More about Content Creation, Media Labs, and Hackerspaces) Several libraries and schools have programs where children read to dogs, such as the Fairfax Community Library’s “Read To A Dog” Program and the therapy dogs at the Princeton Public Library.

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(The Harriette Person Memorial Library in Mississippi even has Beanie Baby Reading Therapy!

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