Public Libraries

Why Good Libraries are Important for Education

Neighborhoods with high poverty rates have lower test scores. Education is affected by lack of access to resources. Libraries and their staff (both in schools and out of schools) are part of those resources that can help bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor students. Working-class children hear 10 million words before they enter kindergarten compared to the 30 million that kids with professional parents hear. That initial vocabulary gap is predictive of reading comprehension in high school (Beth Fertig "Why Can't U Teach Me 2 Read?"). The gap is developed in part by lack of access to literary materials, which libraries provide free of charge, and probably continues because of the perpetual inaccessibility of libraries to the inner-city. I'm sure Schaumburg has great test scores that are in part due to its great main library and school libraries. Let's make it a city goal to have good libraries, and our students (and their test scores) will benefit from the plentiful access to educational resources.

Libraries on the radio

This morning Wisconsin Public Radio devoted an hour to discuss the role libraries play in our lives and communities. Guests: --Wayne Wiegand (WEE-ghend), library historian and author of books including Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland. He's a former professor at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison --John Cole, Founding Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress

Librarians Without Borders hosts Prominent Guatemalan Educator and Social Activist

From November 11-29 Librarians Without Borders' hosts their Guatemalan partner, Jorge Chojolán, on a speaking tour in five North American cities: Toronto, London (Ontario), Ottawa, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

Jorge is the founder and director of the Asturias Academy, a progressive K-12 school that offers education for students from low-income and indigenous families. The speaking events will focus on education reform, leadership, libraries, literacy, and indigenous issues and culture in Guatemala.

Since 2009, Librarians Without Borders has worked with Jorge and the Asturias Academy to promote literacy and libraries in Guatemala. Through many hours of fundraising, planning and hard work, Asturias was able to open a community library to students and their families in January 2011.

For detailed information on the events, time, and places, read more here. All these events are free and open to the public.

Those Libraries that Are Able Come to the Aid of Sandy Victims

Some libraries in NYC were lucky. Remarkably, NYPL’s system, incorporating libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, suffered virtually no structural damage, says Angela Montefinise of the NYPL. Queens and Brooklyn have separate systems.

Some stories from:

  • Freeport Long Island
  • Lindenhurst LI
  • Morris Heights Queens library may not be available for voting on Tuesday
  • Far Rockaway Queens branch in shambles
  • Los Angeles' library cards could double as identification, debit cards

    A Los Angeles City Council committee unanimously approved the proposal from Councilman Richard Alarcon. The ID card would include a resident’s photograph, full name, address, date of birth and details on height, weight, and hair and eye color. The card would not be a driver’s license and could not be used as an ID to board a plane. The card could also be a pre-paid debit card that allows residents to build credit.

    Why the Brooklyn Public Library Changed My Life

    "I have been able to make a difference in the lives of others, and in my own life because of the opportunities and programs I found at my local Iibrary. It was definitely one of the most rewarding jobs I could have ever done. It has made me stronger, more skilled and equipped for the working world and more confident in who I am as a person. I can truly say I've discovered a lot about myself because of the summers I've spent in programs at the library. Brooklyn Public Library has forever changed my life."

    Michigan libraries can't ban guns, court of appeals rules

    Though it said the idea of people openly carrying weapons into libraries is “alarming,” libraries can’t ban weapons, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled today.
    In a 2-1 decision, the court said it’s up to the state, not local government units, to regulate matters related to firearms.
    “Certainly, at a time where this country has witnessed tragic and horrific mass shootings in places of public gathering, the presence of weapons in a library where people of all ages — particularly our youth — gather is alarming and an issue of great concern,” Judges Jame Beckering and Henry William Saad said in the majority opinion.
    However, guns are a matter for the state to regulate while complying with the federal constitution, the judges said.

    Rural WASHINGTON library patrons lose bookmobile, replace it with express branch

    "I was concerned that there wasn't going to be any library service," said Kysar, who lives in Yacolt. "I called to see what the plan was, and there wasn't any plan."

    At the same time Kysar was talking to representatives from the library district, other community members began talking to Jeff Carothers, then a mayoral candidate and now mayor, about opening a library branch in the rural community just north of Battle Ground, which reported a population of 1,556 in the 2010 census.

    [That's Washington, NOT Oregon...oops]

    St. Lawrence County NY to eliminate all library funding

    “We’re not going down without a fight," Swafford says. "A gentle fight. Just to say, we’re hearing we’re serving our patrons. We’re doing our best to keep up with technology, which isn’t cheap. We offer so many services that so many services do not and cannot. We’re open two evenings a week when other agencies are closed.”

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