Public Libraries

Libraries across W.Va. prepare for potential cuts

Library administrators across the state are holding emergency meetings and hoping for the best after the Supreme Court ruled last week that a law forcing the Kanawha County Board of Education to fund its public library is unconstitutional.

"I think we're all making plans for the worst-case scenario because right now, that's the fiscally responsible thing to do," said Pam Coyle, director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley Public Library.

West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy

West Virginia could have saved almost $8 million had the scope of the purchase been scaled to the requirements of the state's libraries, schools and state police, the report states. Smaller, less expensive routers could have been used in the state's 172 libraries, resulting in a savings of $2.8 million; in state police facilities, for a savings of $1 million to $1.4 million; and in 368 schools with enrollments of less than 500, for a savings of $3.68 million.

Seed Library Opens in La Crosse, WI Library

The La Crosse Public Library in La Crosse, WI has just launched an heirloom seed library that will allow people to check out garden seeds to plant, grow, harvest and return to the library. "We are going to catalog them by genus and species eventually and have a catalog in a public area but that will be the second step.

The "Free To All" Film Project

Check out this cool film project Free To All:

Inside the Public Library is a multi-platform documentary project that brings together library stories from all across America. Whether historic or contemporary, humorous or heartbreaking, these individual dramas shed light on how public libraries have shaped our society. The project's centerpiece is a feature-length film chronicling a year inside San Francisco Public, a very unquiet library. Shorter films bring alive other extraordinary chapters of the public library story - from the puritans and robber barons who launched it, through the immigrants, suffragettes and civil rights activists who transformed it, to the millions of Americans whose lives are changed at the public library today.

Filming at the San Francisco Public Library in progress...(trailer)

Libraries Have Had Their Day

Horrible Histories author Terry Deary has said libraries have had their day. Deary referred to libraries as being a Victorian idea that does not fit in contemporary times.

(h/t Public Libraries News)

Bedbugs found in book bindings close library

Southwestern Michigan officials say bedbugs found in book bindings prompted them to close a Kalamazoo Public Library branch.

Cedar Rapids Has High Hopes for its New Library Opening in August

From the Gazette:

The new library — 11 percent larger than its flooded predecessor but seemingly much bigger, with a roof garden plaza, three walk-and-read treadmills, three fireplaces and a cafe with drive-up window — still will have plenty of printed books even as the rush from print books to electronic books is moving nearly as fast as workers can put on the finishing touches so the new library can open in August.

And no, the e-book revolution doesn’t mean that the city’s new library will be a modern-day dinosaur, an anachronistic testament to tunnel vision in a relentless world of change, assures Bob Pasicznyuk, the Cedar Rapids library’s director.

Walk-and-read treadmills, love it!!

NY Times Architecture Critic Doubts NYPL Redesign Plan Will Pay Off

Front page of the NY Times today (below the fold) and home page of the NY Times website features a story by the architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, suggesting that the New York Public Library's plan to remove the stacks from the central building and design a massive new circulating library in that space is a plan that doesn't make sense.

San Francisco library solves digital age puppy poop problem

San Francisco Animal Care & Control has been relying on public contributions and occasional Chronicle donations of old newspapers to line animal cages and catch waste from puppies who don't know how to take their business outside yet. But Thursday, an animal control van parked at the San Francisco Public Library was loaded with two 32-gallon recycling bins full of old newspapers from the library as part of a new program to ensure that the shelter has a consistent stream of paper.

"This most likely will take care of 100 percent of our newspaper needs," said animal care supervisor Eric Zuercher.

Libraries: Good Value, Lousy Marketing According to Pew Research Study

Results of a recent Pew Research Study are reported in Publishers Weekly.

The singular most important finding in the latest Pew study, Library Services in the Digital Age, is that libraries—in the opinion of most Americans—aren’t just about books. 80% of U.S. residents say that lending books is a “very important” service, but they rate the help they get from reference librarians as equally important. And nearly the same number, 77%, reported that free access to technology and the Internet is also very important. This triumvirate—books, help, and technology—runs through the entire report.

Could the library brand—historically bound to book borrowing—be undergoing a transformation? In the last major study of users, OCLC’s Perception of Libraries, 2010, patrons were asked to associate the first thing that came to mind when they thought of libraries. And for 75% of the respondents, the answer was books. While Pew didn’t play the same association game, it seems that Pew’s users have a more nuanced take on the library’s role.

The Pew study is based on landline and cell phone interviews conducted in English and Spanish, with a nationally representative sample of 2,252 people ages 16 and older. It could be that the study tapped into a younger demographic who make greater use of library technology. Or perhaps the recession, which has forced millions to rediscover libraries, was a catalyst for users to take fuller advantage of what the library offers.

Copy of the results of this latest study here. According to the authors "Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place."


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