Free Online Space Planning Tools for Libraries (and other spaces)

Blog posts on the topic:

Additional suggestions from fellow law librarians:

1) Sketchup: Sketchup is suitable for libraries but definitely targets the home renovation crowd. The free version was sufficient for our planning. I found useful for:

  • Planning, visualizing, and revising our floor space during the brainstorming phase
  • Using the 3d model to preview my ideas to my directors
  • Using the 3d model to show the building architect our intent – this was quite fun, actually, the architect did not expect us to have all the details
  • And, finally, comparing the 3d model with the actual space during the build-out phase – the model helped the contractors see how the shelves would be installed and prevents them from putting thermostats, electrical conduits, and light-switches in “bad places”

2) MS Paint: I scanned in an existing floor plan as a starting point. Then, I altered it in MS Paint (in Windows: Start button -> Accessories folder -> Paint).

3) MS Publisher: I used Microsoft Publisher, which was already on our computers, to draw boxes for layouts of our new space and for new shelve layouts (trying to implement LC classification for our books).

4) MS Excel: While not exactly free, it has useful drawing, borders and scalable grid features. I’ve used it for years to do library floor plans, shelf layouts, and even kitchen and bath remodels.

5) Google Sketchup: Was the easiest I found to use. Take a map or something that has your floor plan to scale, scan it in to the the computer, then trace over it in Google Sketchup. Make sure to do the floor plan to scale, and then you can search other people’s objects and find a model of pretty much any mass produced furniture. Then you click and drag that model onto your floor plan and arrange as you like.

6) Gliffy: Library floor plan created using Gliffy, a web-based diagram and flowchart software. I found it relatively simple to use, but in case you wanted more information, here are some reviews about it:

Thank you to fellow law-lib listserv contributors!

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the Comments or email us at oregonlegalresearch@yahoo.com.

Guide to Image Collections with Millions of Free, Hi-Res Images

iLibrarian post: A Guide to Little-Known Image Collections with Millions of Free, Hi-Res Images

…. There have been several new image collections that have opened up to the public just within the past year that not many people are aware of yet, but they offer access to thousands, or in some cases millions of outstanding photographs that can be downloaded for free….” [Link to full post.]

This is quite a treasure trove. Use of images will vary. For example:

“available for free download for non-commercial use”

“The images may be used for commercial or personal purposes, with an acknowledgement of the original source (Wellcome Library, London).”

“free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose.”

“These are for personal, non-commercial use only.”

“Each image specifies its license,many of which are remixable and have no copyright associated with them at all.”

“Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted while a few photos are known to have copyright restrictions are so noted. Credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.

Job: Library Safety and Security Manager (and other “Black Belt Librarians”)

Multnomah County has a job posting for a Library Safety and Security Manager.

If you think this is an easy job, or that libraries are places only for dull dogs, think again (and read Black Belt Librarians).

From the job posting (after the closing date of 4/11/14, start from their main website for other jobs with Multnomah County Library):

…. The Library Safety & Security Manager will be responsible for physical, personal and materials security throughout the Multnomah County Library system. Using your considerable experience, you will conduct security assessments, investigate security incidents, analyze security problems and make recommendations for long range solutions which provide the highest degree of security against intrusion and other security breaches, as well as solutions which protect us against materials loss and damage, personal assault, or other potential security violations.

You will supervise the development and implementation of systemwide security policies and procedures, including the application of the Behavioral Rules Governing the Use of Multnomah County Library. You will manage the enforcement of those rules and the exclusion process including training and coaching library staff. Serves as the Director’s designee for exclusion appeals; responds to appeals in timely manner, consulting with Central and Neighborhood Library management as needed. You will also work with the library’s Executive Management Team, other managers, and staff to implement security and safety programs and promote security awareness throughout the system.

As a partner with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, you will oversee the work of the Facilities Security Officers assigned to library branches. You’ll provide library specific coaching, training, and evaluation as needed, while monitoring coverage and shift fulfillment at our various locations. You will also liaise with local law enforcement personnel throughout the county as well as develop relationships with community groups, neighborhood associations, professional associations, and other key stakeholders….” [Link to job posting at Multnomah County.]

Improvements to the Oregon Legal Research Blog: Tags and Comments

News from Oregon Legal Research Central:

1) We now have a Tag Cloud at the blog (right side, scroll down). Let me know if it works for you or if there is another way you like to find subject-specific blog posts, which leads to the second change ….

2) We’ve also changed the Comment functionality so people can Comment without having to log in. Yay! I hadn’t realized that logging in was necessary and once I found out I went to our fab-host, Justia, to fix the problem. They did so promptly!  (And thank you also to our reader who emailed us directly when she realized the log-in/privacy problem – and the disincentive to Commenting it presented.)

68 Essential eBook Resources: If You Think Managing an eBook Program is Easy, Think Again

Buying that eBook from Amazon is Easy. Downloading that eBook from your public library is Easy. What is Not Easy is being on the other side and managing  eBook programs.

Negotiating and managing eBook licenses, testing software, reviewing RFPs, troubleshooting eBook services for users, finding an eBook vendor for the books your patrons or customers want, etc., etc., etc.  can be a full-time job.

See NSR, “68 essential resources for eBooks in libraries,” by [law librarian] Ellyssa Kroski, to learn a little about what you need to know to be a good eBook program manager.