Last week five libraries in Colorado, Michigan, New York, and Tennessee were announced as recipients of the prestigious 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. No doubt, a few glasses were raised in the library (non-alcoholic!) and in the communities they serve to celebrate this special recognition.
As budget cuts continue to reduce staff levels and resources, creating the type of ground-breaking programs and services that receive national recognition would seem harder than ever to pull off. But library staff nationwide pull rabbits out of their hats on a daily basis, and we tip our hats to all.
Each year, the research team for the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study conducts interviews with library staff in at least two states to provide the qualitative component of the study. For the current 2009-2010 study, interviews took place with staff in Arizona and Tennessee. This included the Nashville Public Library, one of the 2010 National Medal honorees.
The IMLS announcement highlighted some of the unique outreach and public programming initiatives that demonstrated the Library’s role as a “…partner capable of bringing significant change and good to its beloved community. “ Our research team observed this same responsiveness in its technology access and training.
In 2009, Nashville Public Library began implementing its own laptop labs in a way that brings together several trends within public library technology, and three distinct mobile labs were created to address these areas: job search, staff training, and teaching. The mobile lab supports the ever increasing needs in all categories, including computer class offerings:
Nashville Public Library Computer Classes
|*Projection based on July 2009-February 2010 data|
Mobile computer labs are becoming a more common fixture in the public library landscape. They address space limitations, and also greatly expand outreach to the community. Read the 2009-2010 Reports from the Field to find out more about Nashville’s mobile lab, and many more important trends from Tennessee and Arizona libraries.