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The importance of amplifying the presence of joint-use libraries online & sharpening the skillset of a future librarian

The Joint-use library

Joint-use or Combined libraries, though rare, exist. These quasi facilities are the counter stones of supporting multiple communities with limited resources. Creating a presence online not only notifies the community of their existence, but allows communication, digital sharing, and networking with the world at the stroke of a character key.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

For the next six weeks, I will analyze the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San JosΓ©, California (USA). This library serves as the city’s main branch, the public university library, and a public library with a unique partnership between San JosΓ© State University and the City of San JosΓ©.

According to the facility’s website, the specifications include:

* It has 9 floors totaling 475,000 square feet

* Houses 1.5 million volumes

* Seats over 3,500 patrons

* Receives 2 million visitors a year

* Offers 300 public access computers and 40 group study rooms

* Displays 35 award-winning public works of art”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Quick Facts

Additionally, the library’s special collections include:

* The California Room

* SJSU Special Collections and Archives

* The Beethoven Center

* The Steinbeck Center

* Africana, Asian American, Chicano, & Native American Studies Center”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Quick Facts

Why this Library

One distinguishing factor for why I chose this library is its unyielding dedication to the community in diversifying programs for the inclusiveness of all ethnicities within the community. The facility separates login parameters for general patrons and enrolled students, as well as host two blogs- the San JosΓ© State University library blog and the San JosΓ© public library blog. The public library’s blog particularly is updated daily with relevant content. Posting TBR (to be read) lists, monthly wrap-ups, awareness month observations, and quarantine recipe tips, the blog is receptive to the needs of patrons and receptive to feedback. While blogs, in general, are a robust platform, other platforms and their user demographics should retain consideration to reach the desired target audience in this ever-changing digital age.

Improving Employability Skills

As a library science student at Ashford University, the analysis presented here will allow practicing communicating with library users and fellow professionals over the next few weeks. After all, navigating social media is a growing demand within the industry.  

Of the categories of public, private, academic (school), or special, configurations of combined libraries are endless. Are you familiar with any joint-use libraries within your community?

About Author

Book Blogger
Future Librarian

(4) Comments

  1. Ellon Ruschell says:

    I’m not sure if it β€œcounts” as a joint library the way you defined it here but in Baltimore county, students can use their school id number to checkout books both in the school library and the public library. Also, you can get any book in a Maryland library through ILL regardless of what county has it.

    1. Hello Ellon,

      Thank you for your comment. According to the American Library Association, “Joint-use libraries are those where two separate library service providers use the same building to serve distinct clienteles”. In this sense, I believe the strategic partnership of the Baltimore county between the higher learning institutions is captured under this umbrella as a cooperative library. This sharing of resources maximizes the facilities’ reach, meets the demands of multiple communities, and simply makes economical sense!

      I am curious to know how widespread is the knowledge of these services and the outreach plan for marketing operations (I.E. uses of social media).

      -Kat

  2. Bridgzette Jackson says:

    Hi, hello.
    Not sure if we have a library like that here in Memphis,TN, but this was wonderful read.

    1. Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback.
      After a little research, I was not able to find a joint-use library in your city. Although that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There is not a directory for these facilities, yet. Should I find one, I will be sure to post it here!

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