Public Libraries

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.”

Introducing the Library Nurse

Daniel Lopez is not a librarian, but one of the nation's first library nurses. He checks the feet of diabetics, takes blood pressure, gives out condoms and intervenes in medical emergencies.

Lopez is Pima County's novel answer to a common issue in public libraries across the country - a growing number of patrons living without shelter, health insurance, medical care or computer access. They come to the library looking not only for resources, but also for safety and protection from the elements. The shaky economy and high unemployment have further fueled the need.

Union slaps Queens Library with lawsuit for Board of Trustees meeting minutes

Members of the union representing Queens Library workers are suing the library officials for refusing to give them copies of minutes from Board of Trustees meetings.

John Hyslop, president of Local 1321, said the legal battle started out with a simple request made in January.

“I did not think the library’s administration would be so adamant about not sharing them,” said Hyslop. “The refusal to share the minutes baffles me, even after they learned of their obligation to provide them.”

Read more

Teenagers, eReaders Still Visit the Library

From Mashable, a report on library use by young people.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center published Tuesday, 16-29 year olds are reading more often, largely because of the mass amounts of e-content that is available to them on mobile devices. They’re not just reading short blips of content, either — people under 30 are reading more long-form content on their smartphones and tablets, but also continuing to visit their local libraries.

Eight in 10 Americans ages 16-29 read a book this past year, and more than six out of 10 used their local public library. Of the people who read this past year, 75 percent read a print book while 19% read an ebook, and 11% listened to an audiobook. Forty six percent used the library for research, 38 percent borrowed books (print books, audiobooks, or ebooks), and 23 percent borrowed newspapers, magazines, or journals.
High schoolers, especially, report borrowing books from libraries.

Ohio Library Snapshot Day

The Star Beacon reports that Henderson Memorial Public Library is taking part in Ohio's Snapshot Day today. The Ohio Library Council is leading the project to try to capture a day in the life of libraries across the 17th largest state so as to highlight the importance of libraries. The sole commenter as of posting time to LISNews derided the effort and called it just another hidden plea for funding while libraries should be embracing austerity measures which is odd as Henderson Memorial Public Library is privately owned and offers service to the public due to a small state subsidy.

On Loving Her Alaskan Library

From the Anchorage Daily News, by Elise Patkotak:

There are great differences between the library of my past and the libraries of the present and future. Some of those differences are simply mindboggling. For instance, in my day a library card meant I could go to a room with a stack of books, choose which I wanted to read and have the books stamped by a nice lady at the desk. Then I got to walk out of the building with my arms full of treasure. Now, a library card means you can sit in the comfort of your own home and download e-books that you can keep for about three weeks before they "return" to the library shelf. How cool is that?

Equally important, perhaps, in a time when we are more and more isolating ourselves from our family and friends through use of electronic media, the library remains a place of vibrant community where ideas can be accessed and shared, discussions held and knowledge gained whether you are rich or poor. It is the ultimate democratizing institution available to everyone in this country.

Today's reality is that if you can't afford a computer, you are at a distinct disadvantage in a very competitive world. Go to the library and find free computer access to anyone with a library card. And that card is also, as always, free. In a world where having information at your fingertips is more critical than ever to succeeding, the library is the one place anyone can go to level the playing field.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/10/09/2655538/libraries-arent-relics-theyre.html#storylink=cpy

More on Changes to the the New York Public Library Main Reading Room

A letter to the Editor from the director of the Harvard U. Library, Robert Darnton via The New York Review of Books on the anticipated changes to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library. LISNews reported on the story this past spring.

"Polemics rarely lead to happy endings. They usually produce hard feelings and a hardening of positions, rather than mutual understanding and mutually acceptable results. The loud debate about the Central Library Plan (CLP) of the New York Public Library may, however, be an exception to this rule—not that it has come to an end, but it has reached a turning point, which should satisfy both sides.

Critics of the CLP were especially incensed about its provision to remove books from the seven levels of stacks under the Rose Main Reading Room and ship them to offsite storage in order to make room for a circulating library to be installed on the lower floors. They petitioned, they provoked a debate—some of it conducted in these pages [Letters, NYR, July 12—and they were heard.

After studying the problem further, a committee of the library’s trustees has made the following recommendations, which were accepted by the full board on September 19:

• Another level of stacks under Bryant Park will be developed, creating room for onsite storage of another 1.5 million books.

• Books shipped to ReCAP, the offsite storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey, from the onsite collection will mostly be works that are already digitized and available online. -- Read More

Snapshot Day @ Your Library

Is your library having Snapshot Day? Here's some info from ALA on the phenomenon, started in New Jersey three years ago.

Snapshot Day Primer
Snapshot Day in various states
Ohio's Snapshot Day, held this week.

Have you found it to be useful in determining the relative success of your library and its programs? Suggestions for others?

Stop the Whitewash!! Artist Decries Removal of Her Mural at San Francisco Branch Library

An artist who helped paint the community-created Victor Jara mural on Bernal Heights Branch Library today asserted her rights to 90-day notice prior to destruction of the mural so that she may have an opportunity to remove it. Story from Indy Media.

Nora Roman, whose name is listed on the mural as one of the artists, sent a letter to the City Librarian Luis Herrera and other San Francisco officials asserting her rights under the California Art Preservation Act (CAPA).

CAPA provisions include a requirement that the owner of a work of art that is to be destroyed must give 90 days notice to the artist so that he or she may remove the work. No such notice had been given to Ms. Roman as of yesterday, October 2, the date the City Librarian announced that the mural would be painted out in two days, October 4. He spoke in the Bernal Heights Branch, during one of 11 previously-scheduled meetings citywide to discuss with the public the library’s open hours for the next five years.

Peter Warfield, Executive Director of Library Users Association, said it appeared that the library had made no effort to locate Ms. Roman, to offer her, as one of the artists, an opportunity to remove the mural. “Even though Nora Roman’s name is on the side of the mural as one of the artists, the library did not bother to let her know what it planned for the mural – namely complete destruction followed by replacement with something that leaves out any reference to the most important elements of the existing mural,” he said.

Mr. Warfield said the planned replacement gives an unexplained “financial fee” of $16,800 to the Friends of SFPL, where no such fee was involved in an original refreshment plan previously approved by the Library Commission in 2009.

What Are You Doing About DVD Thefts in Public Libraries?

My library has experienced an extremely high rate of DVD thefts in the past 6 months and are looking into solutions to the problem. Some of the thefts, we beleive, are drug related.

Have public libraries experienced a spike in DVD thefts this year?

What are some of the reasons for this?

What are public libraries doing about the situation? What solutions are they looking into? What have they tried?

We also experience a high rate of periodical thefts as well.

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