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To the Editor:
Like innumerable writers and researchers over the years, I have experienced the joy (many times) of entering the New York Public Library with a near-hopeless citation in hand only to find the very material I was looking for in just minutes. It is a euphoric moment to which many writers can attest, and it has enriched the quality and content of books beyond counting.
That which gets put off to tomorrow rarely gets done, yet the library administration, under its new plan, would move a huge chunk of its research collection off site, ostensibly available some other day, when a researcher makes a request. The splendor of the library is not only the vastness of its collection but also the immediacy of it.
If there remain any wonders of the world, the New York Public Library is one of them. Please don’t change it.
New York, April 16, 2012
The writer is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin.
To the Editor:
There’s a comfort level in keeping the status quo, yet the 21st century offers us so many new ways of doing research. Without looking at possibilities for the future, we deny ourselves those opportunities. -- Read More
Wednesday, for the first time in more than 25 years, they came to the Anchorage AK Public Library, where amnesty was granted to people with unreturned books. All day, a steady trickle of people arrived to unburden themselves; the sheepish, the guilty and the shamed, into the sun-dappled lobby of the Z.J. Loussac Public Library to make their confessions.
"Once upon a time, in the year of Our Lord 1996, I believe, my wife's sister checked these out," Kirk Dungan told me. He slid a copy of "Traditional Buildings of Britain," "At Home in Scotland," and a curious tome with medieval-looking illustrations titled "Love and Marriage," across the counter Wednesday morning.
You could almost smell the satisfaction. His wife's sister used his wife's card, he said.
The books were from a time when his wife's sister was thinking of moving to Scotland. She wound up in Long Island. And all these years, the books nagged his wife. What if she applied for a job and there was some kind of electronic search and the books popped up? What then? What did it say about a person to have unreturned books in their past? The debt, money-wise, might be small, but karma-wise, it wasn't pretty.
"I'm just happy to be doing it," he said.
$1 million donation will transform Orlando Library into digital playground
A $1 million donation in the memory of Orlando civic leader Dorothy Lumley Melrose will transform the Orlando Public Library into one of the most avant-garde in the nation, officials said before the Monday evening announcement.
"My mother did a lot of things in this community, but she had the greatest passion and talked the most about the library," said Kendrick Melrose, 72, a former Boone High School graduate who left Orlando to earn his fortune as CEO of Toro, makers of turf and landscape maintenance equipment.
The New York Public Library is engaged in a public-relations blitz to address criticism from scholars and writers who object to the library’s plan to reimagine its Fifth Avenue flagship building at an estimated cost of $300 million says a report from The New York Times.
In the past few weeks the library’s president, Anthony W. Marx, has written articles for The Huffington Post and Inside Higher Ed, appeared on radio and television and assembled an advisory panel that includes people skeptical of the plan.
Here's what Mr. Marx wrote on the NYPL website about 'reimagining the library.'
The library’s efforts are the sort of salesmanship that traditionally accompanies any new ambitious undertaking. But they are also an acknowledgment that the plan, which includes the sale of two prominent Manhattan branches, is a dramatic reshaping that has, at the very least, upset library traditionalists.
The Atlanta Constitution-Journal has a discussion about when did people last visit the library?
Read more about it at: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/04/12/413-libraries-address-dwindling-funds/
New York Public Library's plan to take books off shelves worries scholars
But now, 101 years after the library was first dedicated, up to 3m of those precious books are to be removed from the central library and shipped to two off-site storage facilities, prompting a chorus of complaints from authors and scholars who say that the institution is threatening its own claim to be "one of the world's pre-eminent public resources for the study of human thought".
Washington library wins suit; it can filter porn
A rural Eastern Washington library system may continue to filter the Internet to block porn and gambling sites, a federal court judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Edward Shea of the Eastern Washington Federal District Court ruled that the North Central Regional Library (NCRL) is not violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by filtering some adult Internet content on library computers.
The lawsuit was brought by the ACLU of Seattle which argued that the library’s filtering was overly broad and illegally censored material based on content.
D.C. library official quits, is rehired as consultant
The D.C. Public Library system’s chief business officer quietly resigned from his $164,500-a-year job last summer, but quickly won a no-bid contract that pays him the same amount of money for many of the same responsibilities — including helping to manage the library contracts office.
Although to many users nationwide, the idea of paying overdue fees is as integral to the fabric of the public library system as Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet, Topsfield and many of the other communities north of Boston are part of a fast-growing trend in which libraries no longer charge for late materials.
Are Privatized Public Libraries So Bad?
And, of course, there is a less tangible problem with library privatization: it makes many people very uncomfortable, even if they can't quite explain why. According to Patricia Tumulty, of the American Library Assocation, it comes down to questions of access. "With privatization, the public loses some direct control," she says. "You’re having the chief operating officer answerable to a third party rather than answerable directly to the public or the county commission."
But the question that resonates — not just for libraries, but for so many cities grappling with privatizing public services to cut costs — is one of community control. When a city lets a private company run the show, who controls the resource, and how much say do we get?