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With North Carolina mired in economic crisis, UNC-Chapel Hill's Wilson Library, home to some of the state's oldest records and rarest books, is stuck in state-mandated paralysis.
A year ago, the state fire marshal's office came close to shutting the 80-year-old building down after finding a slew of fire-code violations. Regulators eventually backed off, instead imposing significant restrictions on how the university can use more than half of the building. One key concern: There aren't enough exits.
Until a sprinkler system is installed and two new exterior stairwells are added, at least 60 percent of the 300,000-square-foot library's usable space is essentially off limits for any use other than storage.
Improvements are estimated to cost $12 million. And there's the problem. The state is slashing funding to universities, and the project isn't at the top of the campus construction priority list.
"It's looking pretty bleak," said Sarah Michalak, the university librarian. "They just feel Wilson is one of the most unsafe buildings on campus. And we don't have the money."
Thursday, people in Morgan County TN cleaned up after a scary storm Wednesday left a librarian at the Abner Ross Community Center Library wondering if she'd be alive to see another day.
The Argus Observer reports on talks that are currently underway between the city and the newly-formed Ontario Oregon Public Library Board regarding how much, if anything, the city should charge the library for use of the facility, but county officials have also made their voices heard on the issue.
“Our taxpayers stepped up to solve a problem and demonstrated a community mindshare to financially support library services,” a letter submitted to the city by Judge Dan Joyce and commissioners Louis M. Wettstein and Jim Nakano stated. “These services deserve as much funding as possible from the voter-approved tax base.”
After a four-year hiatus, Madison WI is planning to rebuild its main library.
More than 50 people came to the city's Library Board meeting Thursday to hear from representatives of T. Wall Properties and the Fiore Cos., both of which are vying to rebuild the city's downtown library, 201 W. Mifflin St.
Though only a fraction of attendees spoke on the two plans, most seemed to favor the Fiore Companies plan, which would use an adjacent property already owned by the company on West Washington Avenue to create a six-story, stand-alone library that is part of an "integrated block" with other nearby buildings.
The plan put forth by T. Wall Properties, which was the impetus for restarting talks on rebuilding Central Library after four years, would use the current location on West Mifflin Street to create a nine-story, mixed-use development with the library located on three floors between first-floor retail and top-floor office space.
Though the T. Wall library would have a separate entrance for the library and the potential for first-floor space in the form of a library store, attendees who spoke out said the importance of the building's civic use should demand a strong street-level presence. Madison.com.
A flood caused by a New Year's Day storm destroyed thousands of books at the library in Estacada, OR on Friday.
"Everything on bottom shelves is gone," said library director Katinka Bryk.
The town is in Clackamas County, where the rains were heavy and Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a state of emergency.
More from the Seattle PI.
Sounds like someone disapproves of this law library...
WORCESTER (MA)— As the state has slashed social services and laid off employees to deal with a severe fiscal crisis, the trial court system has been spending about $700 a day to heat an otherwise vacant 163-year-old courthouse to keep the dwindling number of patrons of a small law library warm in the winter.
To get to the public law library in the deserted old Superior Courthouse, a visitor must pass through a metal detector manned by a security guard.
Once inside the overstuffed library, tucked in a remote corner of the cavernous 19th-century building, the first thing many who enter the warren of small rooms notice is a blast of hot air from the antiquated heating system.
Since September 2007, taxpayers have shelled out more than $124,000 on heating oil to warm the little-used repository of books, documents and computer terminals in the library, the last remaining occupant of the crumbling edifice at 2 Main Street. More from the Worcester Telegram.
The Penticton (BC) Public Library has served the community for almost a century and in these changing times, it needs to grow.
Established in 1909 with a stock of 500 books, its collection now totals about 120,000 including DVDs and audio books.“People like their books,” says chief librarian Larry Little. “People like their public libraries. Libraries are the one democratic institution that is freely available for everybody. We have 17,000 people registered.”
BC Local News reports: “The real key for us is building for the future,” said Little, and plans have been in the works for a long time. “Ten years ago, the library approached city council about expansions to this facility. At that time the museum was included. We had a meeting here in November 1998 to show council just how desperate the library and museum were for space,” said Little.
From that, council agreed to put money towards development of a concept plan, the first draft of which was completed in November 2003.
“Where we are at right now in 2008, we’re asking council for funds to do detailed planning — about $125,000 for the library and museum complex.” “This will be the fourth year we’re asking,” said Little. “This is an old building and the infrastructure is in need of revitalization.”
Here's some Alaska library news that does NOT mention Governor Sarah Palin.
KENAI, AK — Almost anyone who’s ever picked up and changed their address knows that once the refrigerator and the hide-a-bed are in the moving van, the next items challenging the musculoskeletal features of the human body are the heavy boxes of books.
That same truth applies when answering why plans for the new public library expansion in Kenai do not include a basement. More from Newsminer.
What is it about libraries that attracts crashing cars?
A stolen car crashed into the south wall of the Al McCandless Library in Indio early today, police said.
Indio police responded at 12:51 a.m. to an alarm going off at the Riverside County library at 200 Civic Center Mall, said Ben Guitron of the Indio Police Department.
``We discovered there was a dark blue Honda Civic, which was incidentally also a reported stolen vehicle from two days prior,'' Guitron said. ``It had crashed into the south wall of the library.''
The Honda was still running, and Indio firefighters turned off the car, Guitron said. The perp got away after downing several bookcases.
Bizjournals: The City of St. Louis Municipal Library District board is looking for a new architect and has increased by 40 percent the estimated cost of the historic renovation project at 1301 Olive Street.
Financing is still in the development stage. Construction will cost $45 million, and $25 million will go toward interest, architectural fees, professional fees, reserves and contingencies. The 17-branch library system, which is funded by tax revenue, will seek a mixture of tax-exempt bonds, state and federal historic tax credits and grants, and New Markets Tax Credits. The system’s private foundation also will seek funding from individuals and corporations.
“We do face the challenge that this is a new competitor for private philanthropy in St. Louis, but I think when people are aware of what it is, civic pride will take over,” said Tom Schlafly, an attorney with Husch Blackwell Sanders, who is on the library board and co-chair of its foundation.
A very very big challenge, will it be met? Any LISNewsers from St. Louis and if so, what are your thoughts?