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Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2nd library director candidate presents vision for future

Bradley J. Allen gives his thoughts on the future of libraries to those gathered Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at the Lawrence Public Library. Allen is the second of three candidates for the position of library director to interview for the job and address the public.

Bradley J. Allen gives his thoughts on the future of libraries to those gathered Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at the Lawrence Public Library. Allen is the second of three candidates for the position of library director to interview for the job and address the public.

February 21, 2012

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The role of the Lawrence Public Library ought to grow to include areas for budding filmmakers, aspiring recording artists and a host of other creative types, a finalist for the library’s director position told a Lawrence audience Tuesday.

Brad Allen, the second of three candidates to interview for the library’s top position, said he envisions the library of the future to still have plenty of books but also to have room for things like “content creation stations” and “fab labs.”

“I believe these are the type of things that people in Lawrence are excited about,” said Allen, a Topeka native who previously worked for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library before taking a management position in the Everett, Wash., library system. “I see Lawrence as a community that likes to create things, and I think the library ought to be there to help.”

Allen said he would want to explore creating specific areas in the library that would allow users to record and film audio and video projects at the library while also having access to the computer technology to edit and finish the pieces.

“Maybe we could have a film festival of projects created at the library,” Allen said. “I really do think the library could be a repository for all sorts of locally produced work.” Allen, who currently is a branch manager and program coordinator for the Everett Public Library, also envisions adding a 3-D printer that would allow people to produce actual plastic models of objects they have designed.

Allen was in Lawrence on Tuesday to interview for the Lawrence Public Library director position, which became open after longtime director Bruce Flanders retired and then took a job with an area library in October. Allen gave a public presentation to a crowd of about 30 people at the library on the future of libraries.

Among the challenges Allen sees for libraries in the future:

• Striking the right balance between being an archive for important local documents while still creating an environment where users can “browse and discover delightful things.”

• Working with publishing companies to ensure libraries have the opportunity to buy eBooks and other digital content, which has been more difficult for libraries to obtain than traditional books.

Allen grew up in Topeka and received his undergraduate degree from Kansas University in 1997. He also has a master’s of library and information science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a masters of Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Comments

Reuben Turner 2 years, 10 months ago

WELL I BE.... SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF TALK TO ME, BUT WHAT DO I KNOW!!

Scott Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

Great ideas, sold............ Wish he would add on consolidating all the old school libraries in town, (think schools, churches, universities too) into more digital.

LadyJ 2 years, 10 months ago

"The role of the Lawrence Public Library ought to grow to include areas for budding filmmakers, aspiring recording artists and a host of other creative types" He does realize he is apply for director of the library, not the Arts Center. I think those services should fall in the Arts area, not the library.

LadyJ 2 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like someone got up on the wrong side of the computer this morning.

overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

Funny, I go to the library regularly and find lines waiting to check out books. The reshelf carts are always full. I frequently have to put a hold on books that are checked out. So just exactly who are the 'no ones' that read all these books???

overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

I know its way too late, but from what this candidate says, it makes MUCH more sense to build a new library next to the Lawrence Arts Center...or in the lot of ugly buildings on the north east corner...and put a multistory hotel where the library is now. It would create a 'hotel' zone very favorable to convention planning, etc.

Bob Forer 2 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I really like your idea. And I am sure we could build a library a lot cheaper than 18 million without the parking garage. Sell the library to the developers, let em tear down the library, and build a hotel. (with a huge parking garage on their dime).

overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

Big picture planning has never been a strength in Lawrence. I had to laugh at Dolph's editorial of a few days ago when he tried to tell us to appreciate the 'great works' of our local developer/land barons. Never have their developments been built on the long view or for the improvement of the whole city as opposed to their cadre of Alvamar golf buddies.

The problem with big picture planning and problem solving is that it is often cheaper and more efficient in the long run. That means that there just isn't as much skimming of the budgets to line the pockets of those who rule our fine little town.

Bob Forer 2 years, 9 months ago

You're right about the lack of big picture planning in Lawrence with one exception--Kasold Drive. When we moved here in 1970 we thought it was rather odd to have a four lane divided roadway which appeared at the time to serve only the upscale homes in the initial and recently built Alvamar development.

It ended up as a much used major thoroughfare. Perhaps Bob Billings did have a little vision. At time it was built it appeared to be a boondoggle for the wealthy, which is was, but now it serves all of Lawrence.

brink75 2 years, 10 months ago

So we are all in agreement then? Anything library related is a huge waste of time and tax money.

chocolateplease 2 years, 10 months ago

His ideas sound expensive, as well as narrowly targeted to the arts community. Since when are toddlers, stay-at-home parents, middle-aged library patrons, retirees, and busy students going to start making movies and recordings at the library? Honestly, I think that programs centering around literacy, books, and community make more sense. The library is already very strong, and with a better facility and staffing needs met, they can amplify their current strengths to give us just what we need.

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

Anything LIBRARY is well called for. Don't use me, or many other people, in your "we are all in agreement". Just because you don't read books and use the library, doesn't mean many other people use the library a lot, including young people.

The Sycophant is just as bad, building a "hotel" where the library used to be.

Who are these people? Can they read?

overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

you missed the part about building a new library next to the Arts Center to allow for interaction between two compatible community assets.

Kyle Chandler 2 years, 10 months ago

And out come all the Fox News Fans to chime in on what is really a pittance compared to what their state/federal representatives spend on other useless conservative garbage. Im just waiting for someone to say something along the lines of 'Bama's fault' or some other drivel.

Plus, everyone voted this in, so really only the whiny minority is here. I guess if your kids are stupid/uneducated/iphone twits then they're easier to handle, is that it.? Or is Bill O Reilly gettn ya all revved up.?

If you dont go to the library or never have, get off this thread. You probably have a tax refund check to cash anyways.

eighthstreettaproom 2 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence as a whole would benefit from Mr. Allen's return!

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