Public Libraries

A Paean to the Public Library

Deborah Walker writes \"Haroon Siddiqui spoke a week ago on November 21, 2002 at a breakfast seminar sponsored by the Canadian Urban Institute on \"Knowledge Centres for the 21st Century: How Big City Libraries are Helping to Advance the Urban Agenda\"This editorial in today\'s Toronto Star captures the content of his speech.

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Going out of the private meeting room business

SomeOne submitted This One from FL where

The Tarpon Springs
Library wants to stop letting private groups use its
community room after a group it banned threatened to sue.

\"We\'re going out of the private meeting room business,\"
City Attorney John Hubbard said.

City officials say scheduling the room is just too much
trouble. If the City Commission agrees, all groups that
regularly use the room will have about a year to find
another place to meet. After Sept. 30, the library will
keep the room to itself.

A love letter to Toronto libraries

From the Toronto Star:

Public libraries are among Toronto\'s hidden treasures. Yet they rarely feature in the raging urban renewal debate on how best to raise billions of dollars to bury the Gardiner, fix the waterfront, expand the island airport, or save the schools from the Harris-Eves Tories.

Perhaps we don\'t much talk about libraries because they ain\'t broke. We should.

Libraries are one of our most essential public spaces where citizens converge regardless of age, income, language, ethnicity, religion or political ideology. The Toronto library\'s 98 branches — many housed in some of the most architecturally exquisite buildings — add to the social cohesion and vitality of each of their neighbourhoods. So do the public libraries in the suburbs, from Mississauga to Markham to Ajax and beyond.

Complete article.

Public library refuses to allow racist group to hold meeting

Another day, another racist group to hold meeting at a public library story. This One, from Baltimore, where the Baltimore County Public Library system refused a white supremacist group's request to hold a recruitment meeting at one of its branches next month. They say it would pose a threat to the safety of staff, patrons and property.

This year, give thanks for public libraries

Here's A Nice One on letter-writing campaign organized by the Florida Library Association. Library users and supporters are urged to write Governor Bush to urge his support for providing state funds for libraries. Good Stuff!

Self-service library debuts in Singapore

From the Straights Times:

When Sengkang Community Library opens on Dec 1 at the Compass Point Shopping Centre, it will have no service counters. Users will also have a hard job trying to spot a librarian, because just one will be holding the fort at this self-service library, which is meant to serve about 61,000 residents . . .

The only other full-time employee will be a security guard. But volunteers will help run the place. Clients who need help navigating the 1,800 sq m facility with its 120,000 books, magazines and newspapers must pick up the phone and call a \'cybrarian\' based at the Tampines library . . .

Complete article.

Making a library feel like home

From Inside Toronto:

Architect Bruce Stratton says he took into account the local community\'s ideas and suggestions when creating initial floor plans for Runnymede Library\'s expansion, which were revealed at a public consultation meeting last week.

Stratton\'s goal is to provide a highly functional library, but at the same time one that\'s comfortable. Reiterating an earlier comment by Anne Bailey, Toronto Public Library\'s south region director at the meeting Thursday evening, he said a \"home away from home captures the feeling of what I\'d like to obtain.\"

Area residents have shared their feelings and offered their input since the first public meeting in September. They would like to see the library\'s front entrance maintained while keeping the integrity of the building. Access is a priority - for everyone. Right now the library is a little claustrophobic.

Complete article.

Another Woman jailed for overdue library book

A Woman In Indiana learned the hard way that it's important to return library books on time.
She checked out "Danforth's Obstetrics & Gynecology" from the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library on Feb. 5, 2001. She returned the book. But because she did not pay her late fee or get a receipt _ nor show up in court _ a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Prosecutors later dismissed the theft charge after King obtained a statement from the library showing that that she had returned the book and paid a $16.30 late fee.

Public libraries \'underappreciated\'

Here\'s One from The Washington Times that expands on the chronic problems in the D.C. public library system noted first in This One
Library officials said there is little they can do to maintain the same level of service as their costs increase and their annual budgets decrease. Recently, the library system\'s $26 million budget was cut by $587,000; a cut of $2 million had been planned.

\"The residents out there that use the libraries are disgusted,\" Mr. Mendelson said. \"It is good that we haven\'t cut the library funding as drastically as we have other programs, but the other side is that we haven\'t increased funding either. These libraries get surprisingly good use and little attention.\"

West Virginia librarians fight for their libraries

Steve Fesenmaier writes \"
Forget Shhhh!
West Virginia Libraries to Make Some Noise

West Virginia Children need books. West Virginia Children need to read. West Virginia Children who read succeed…and that’s why West Virginia Libraries are making some noise. As a part of National Children’s Book Week, November 18 – 24, library advocates from around the state will gather in Charleston on Monday, November 18
for a rally to be held on the Capitol steps from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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