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3 new libraries, destroyed after Katrina, reopen in a week's time
It was a dizzying week for those who love libraries -- and those who work in them. "We've accomplished the impossible: three libraries in six days. I'm sure this is unprecedented," said Jessica Styons, the branch services manager, after the ribbon-cutting March 22 at the new Robert E. Smith Branch public library in Lakeview.
Working seven days a week for a month, often past midnight, staffers from libraries all over the system shelved books and installed equipment at the Rosa Keller Branch in Broadmoor, which opened March 16; the Norman Mayer Branch in Gentilly, which opened March 20; and finally the Lakeview branch. All were destroyed in the flood after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Hidden Freebies at Your Local Library
April is a great time to head outside with a blanket and a book. Maybe that’s why April is designated as School Library Month and National Library Week falls April 8-14. You already know your library is a great place for free books, DVDs and music, but there may be more freebies for you to check out than you realize.
Is your library in a winter or summer vacation destination? Here's how the librarians in Martha's Vineyard MA have dealt this situation.
While the library landscape has adjusted to the technology age, one of the most important ways that the local institutions serve the public, according to representatives from five of the Island's six libraries, is as a social setting and a center for a wide range of activities. And this is especially true in the winter when Islanders may be isolated and bored.
Beth Kramer, director of the West Tisbury Free Public library said, "Off season was once a quiet time for Island libraries, but we are really busy now — helping people write resumes and search for jobs, helping students with their school projects and providing a safe place to come after school and work on homework, providing material for upcoming trips, working with the public to learn how to use the Internet and computers, and planning our upcoming programs in response to community requests."
Toronto librarians return to work;
after a ten-day walk-out, an agreement has been reached.
Members of CUPE Local 4948 had been on strike since March 19 and libraries were closed during that time. Members voted Thursday night to accept an offer from the city.
CUPE Local 4948 representatives said they were able to fight back all concessions on benefits, noting this is particularly important for the library's many part-time workers.
Video and story here.
A dispatch from the 2012 Public Library Association conference.
By Jessa Crispin
Libraries are in crisis. Right? I mean, that is all we hear. All around the nation, budgets are being slashed, hours shortened, librarians laid off. And on top of that we have e-books... doing something. God dammit, e-books. You are always ruining everything.
What is the future of the library, in a world of the financial crisis, where all inessential services are being slashed in city budgets — inessential services ranging from health care for the poor to libraries to a large chunk of Camden, New Jersey’s police force — in ineffective austerity measures? My infallible editor sent me to the 2012 Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia to find out.
[continues here: http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article03271201.aspx ]
"press two for costumer service"
I'll admit, to me, the idea of a privatized public library has a certain dystopian ring to it, the ultimate public space corrupted for a profit. That image was not much aided by my first (and second and third) call to Library System and Services Inc., the only library privatization company in the United States. LSSI now runs at least 15 library systems in California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. This means it is, effectively, the fifth largest library system in the country.
Time and again, I ran through an automated response system without finding a real person. A week's worth of emails went unanswered. And then, there's the message at one of LSSI's libraries, which directs you press two for "costumer service."
Is this the future of the reference desk, I wondered? Not exactly the library system of my childhood, where each call about books on hold was answered by the same librarian I had known since I started attending kid's corner book readings.
But then, there's the example of Santa Clarita, California. ...More.
It appears that Arts Council England (a non-departmental public body associated with the United Kingdom's Department of Culture, Media, and Sport) has opened a blog seeking to discuss the future of libraries in England. The blog warns that it is only looking at the future while current issues with library services should be brought up with one's local governing authority or put to the forum at Voices for the Library or to The Library Campaign.
From the Boston Globe:
On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines.
But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago.
Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?
But Carlisle is not alone in its decision to stop charging for late returns. Over the past few years, Massachusetts libraries have been increasingly hopping aboard the fine-free bandwagon, including institutions in Dover, Littleton, and Westford.
Read more to find out why...
In the Netherlands, an innovative LibrarySchool welcomes its first students into a university program designed to educate a new wave of public librarians. It’s both an academic program and an incubator of ideas.
Read the full story here: Designing a New Kind of Library Education
The LibrarySchool emerged from a decade of experiments on the future of libraries that explored how we can shape our future, what role libraries play in society, and how collaboration can help keep libraries vital.
Read the full story here: Prototyping Tomorrow's Libraries
New Orleans libraries turn over a new leaf with state-of-the-art buildings
For some New Orleanians, the story of the post-Katrina public library system's resurrection might read like a never-ending tale. While officials managed to reopen five of the 13 storm-damaged locations quickly, many neighborhoods have been forced to rely on makeshift mini-libraries housed in trailers, bookmobiles, elementary schools and abandoned retail spaces, including a former video rental store on North Carrollton Avenue.