State Libraries

Margolis Heads from the Bay State to the Empire State

New York State will soon have a new Librarian, a rather well-known one who's crossed the Massachusetts border...Bernie Margolis.

Margolis begins his new job after 11 years as president of the Boston Public Library, the nation's oldest. He was ousted in June after a political dust-up with Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Margolis defied the mayor's order to filter Internet content on the library's public computers after concerns were raised that patrons, including teenagers, could view pornographic sites. The two men also fought over library funding, how much to focus on technology improvements and expansions at branch libraries.

"Conflicts between library directors and mayors in Boston go back to 1878," he said. "History repeats itself every 20 years or so. Unfortunately, my timing was bad."

The denouement of their long-running battles came when Margolis likened Menino to a dictator and denounced the mayor's "anti-intellectual bent." More from the Albany Times-Union.

Hildreth Wants To Put a School Inside the San Diego Library

California State Librarian Susan Hildreth likes the idea of putting a school inside a new downtown San Diego central library, which may bode well for the city's effort to keep a $20 million state grant.

But downtown San Diego parents aren't sure they need a high school, as is being proposed in a new plan to save the $185 million library project that has fallen short of its fundraising goal.

Hildreth will be leaving her position as the CA State Librarian to become Director of the Seattle Public Library. She will assume her new post early next year.

"Little Old Librarians" will Get Dewey Deprivation Heart Attack says FL Sen. R. Storms

Florida Sen. Ronda Storms [R-Valrico] railed against the book-cataloging system during a budget hearing on state library aid, calling the Dewey Decimal System “anachronistic,” costly and just plain frustrating.
More at Librarian.

Ask Here PA is the Fastest Growing Digital Ref Service in the Country

With 125,000 users in fewer than two years, an online chat called "Ask Here PA" is the fastest-growing digital reference service in the country, state officials said today.

"In less than two years, the program is on target to compete for that coveted title -- most used virtual reference program in the nation," said Mary Clare Zales, Pennsylvania's state librarian and deputy secretary for libraries.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review has the story.

Family Reading Night Coming Up

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging families in Illinois to spend time together reading on the evening of Thursday, November 20th to celebrate the Secretary of State's annual Family Reading Night.

"This special event is a night when parents and children are encouraged to turn off the television, computers, video games and other forms of entertainment and spend time reading together," White said. "Studies have shown that reading together makes families stronger, creates a positive learning environment, and helps children develop a love for reading that can last a lifetime." QC Online.

A New State Librarian Up in Alaska

Alaska Department of Education Commissioner Larry Ledoux announced Thursday he has appointed Linda Thibodeau to be state librarian and director of the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums. She replaces Kay Shelton, who retired.

The division operates the Alaska State Library and Historical Collections , the Alaska State Archives, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka.

It appears the State Librarian is not appointed (or unappointed) by the Governor.

Suspicious package that evacuated High School Library found to contain a book

The bomb squad has determined that a suspicious package discovered at the Chico High School library contained a book.
The school was placed under a lockdown at 12:36 p.m., followed by the evacuation of all students beginning at 1:50 p.m. The investigation was being centered around the school's library where staff had discovered the package.

(No, this isn't from The Onion)

FL Supreme Court Begins Construction to Stop Damage

What substance does not mix well with books?

Water, and unfortunately, plenty of it has been seeping into the library of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee for the last few years.

Now, safety fences are being built around the Florida Supreme Court Building as work begins to stop water seepage into the basement that destroyed more than 11,000 library books. By 2006, the water intrusion forced the library to discard 11,646 library books worth about $37,000 that had suffered enough damage that they no longer were usable. Court staff had to clear out areas of the basement, install dehumidifiers, and use water vacuum cleaners whenever there was a heavy rain.

Wonder if Katherine Harris was affected by the humidity there during her tenure as Secretary of State?

Job Posting: Alaska State Library - Outreach Librarian

Application and full listing available at http://notes4.state.ak.us/wa/PostApps.nsf/0/3148EC2E16FE3E51892574AD006107DE?OpenDocument.

- Are you PASSIONATE about libraries?
- Have you ever told someone you barely know that they ought to use a proprietary database or other library resource?
- Would you like to design and implement a distance education program?
- Are you a self-starter who thrives in a collegial atmosphere?
- If you answered "yes" to more than one question, then apply to be the Alaska State Library's newly designated Outreach Librarian!

Help raise awareness of core library services to state employees. Help us get our program of distance instruction and web tutorials from dreams to reality. Meet people from around the state and from every region of planet Earth.

What does an Outreach Librarian do?

Generally speaking:

- Promotes awareness of State Library services to state agency employees through direct contacts by mail, phone and physical visits,
- Coordinates and supports library educational and other outreach activities for State employees and others, and
- Provides reference and bibliographic services to selected state agencies and to the public. As part of reference, the successful candidate will spend between 8-10 hours a week on our public reference desk. -- Read More

Montana Library delays digital switch

The Montana State Library is going to slow down its transition to a digital library, but it still aims to phase out the type of walk-in access it now has, the library commission was told Wednesday.

The library says its mission can best be met with a digital library, and only a few ancillary walk-in services used by very few people - such as access to print newspapers - will be lost. Detractors say the library is moving too fast and isn't ready for the switch.

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