Public Libraries

Right versus right: Should public librarian turn police informant?

"It was almost closing time when Karen received the telephone call at her reference desk in the community library. A young man was looking for information on state laws concerning rape."

"Because it would take her some time to identify references, she took the name and phone number of the caller with a promise to call him back with the information in a half hour."

"As she replaced the phone in its cradle, a gentleman approached her displaying a badge and disclosing that he was a detective with local law enforcement. He could not help overhearing Karen's conversation and stated that he needed her cooperation. He has been investigating a series of rapes in the area, and the young man on the phone may very well be a suspect."

"The detective insisted that Karen give him the caller's name and phone number." (from The Saratogian)

Library Recognized by National Park Service

Lee Hadden sent over a Washington Post Article on The Thomas Balch Library [Leesburg, Virginia] which has been named to the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.The Leesburg history and genealogy library received the designation in
recognition of its resources available for researchers tracking secret escape
routes used by slaves before the Civil War. The park service also recognizes
sites used by slaves as hiding places en route north to freedom.

According to the library, it is only one of seven sites or facilities in
Virginia to gain such recognition. The application was completed by library
staff and members of the black history committee of the Friends of the Thomas
Balch Library.

Fed-up New York City bans cell phones at performances

Carrie sent in Good News From NYC where the City Council approved legislation Wednesday that bans the use of cell phones at all public performances.
The ban, believed to be the first of its kind anywhere, includes cell phone use at concerts, movies, plays, lectures, dance performances, museums, libraries and galleries. Talking on a cell phone, dialing, listening or even having one ring during a performance constitutes a violation - and a $50 fine.

Library Gives Families Time, Place to Bond

\"Cindy Carnes leans over the computer screen at the Lakeland Public Library, guiding her daughter, Emily, through a reading program.\"

\"Nearby, Chris Cabrera cradles her 7-week-old son, Jacob, in her arms as daughter Sydney listens to a story.\"

\"For each of these Lakeland families, and for hundreds of others in Polk County, public libraries are more than simply a place to read or learn -- they\'re a great place to spend some quiet time together.\" (from The Ledger)

Home-schoolers on the move

The Herald Bulletin has a Story that looks at home-schooling.
They say it is the fastest growing segment of education -- growing from 7,251 students in 1997 to more than 20,000 students last year. But the students are rarely at home.
They say libraries often are a meeting place for the home-schoolers because they take the place of school libraries.

""Home-schoolers come in and ask us things the same as a school librarian would get," Campbell said. "We've got thousands of resources for them. We have many more volumes of books than a school library would. Their choices are a lot more diversified."

Municipal libraries are urged to offer coffee and cakes

Charles Davis noticed This One that says Public libraries are being urged to copy bookshops by introducing comfortable sofas and serving coffee and cakes to transform a
visit into a social experience.
Traditionally, libraries have enjoyed
enormous support. More people visit libraries
than attend football matches or the cinema,
according to official statistics. \"But user
numbers are starting to go down, with young
people in particular losing the library habit
once they leave school,\" a Culture
Department source said.

A Look Around The New Salt Lake Library

Ender sent along a bunch of pictures, and a couple stories on the new public library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This One covers a bit of the history of Utah libraries, while Another Story focuses on the new library, and Another interviews the architect behind the new building.

Click below to see a large collection of pictures.

You never know what you might find in a library book

A Fun Little Story from The Commercial News in Illinois on the lost and found bin at The Danville Public Library.
Years ago, when it had a curbside book drop along Vermilion Street, the head librarian found a live duck.

There haven\'t been any ducks lately, but quite a few family snapshots, letters and other things have been left behind by library patrons.

They have found jewelry, tax forms and other documents, eyeglasses, keys, key chains, toys, notebooks and of course someone had used a raw bacon strip as a book mark.

\"Way back when I was the children\'s librarian, someone left a (candy) sucker in a book,\" Nolan said. \"It was not wrapped. It was pretty glued to the inside of the book.\"

Library Exploring Selling Naming Rights

Gary Price sent over This Story From California where the Padres and Petco Park, Lemon Grove officials are exploring naming rights to pay the city\'s $1.7 million share of a new library.
They suggest Lemon Pledge Public Library, Minute Maid, while Gary suggested the Olive Garden Public Library or
the Red Lobster Public.

Library use rises as services are scaled back

\"As California faces the biggest financial crisis in its history, public libraries across the state are scaling back hours, laying off staff and, in some cases, stopping book purchases.\"

\"At the same time, library use has accelerated in recent months as the economic downturn drags on. In hard times, librarians say, people turn to libraries to job-hunt, use the Internet, spend the day if they are unemployed, or borrow books, CDs and DVDs that they can no longer afford to buy at stores or online.\"

``We\'re confronting difficult choices right now,\'\' said Karen Rollin Duffy, the librarian at the Santa Clara City Library. ``At a time when we\'re asked to hold the line or make cuts, we actually really need to hire additional staff. Our circulation is increasing. Circulation in December 2002 was 20 percent higher than in December 2001. People are not spending as much money on going out, and they are using the library as a source of recreation.\'\' (from Mercury News)


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