Public Libraries

Sit-in protest at doomed library

News From The UK where protestors have made a "last stand" in a final effort to save a Norwich library from closure this weekend.

More than 70 people yesterday staged a peaceful sit-in at Lazar House Library in Sprowston Road just three days before the building is permanently closed.

"This is like our last stand, showing people we really are upset the library is being closed, Lots of people are really upset about this and we're just hoping we can get the library turned over to its friends."

GEICO magazine article about libraries

Betsy Vera writes "(Note: I couldn't find the article online, so I typed the article on my blog.)

Melanie Kellar's "Money Wise" column in the Spring 2003 issue of GEICO Direct magazine is about public libraries. Malcolm Forbes once described the library as a place of "endless, incredible loot," and if you haven't been in one lately, you might be surprised at all that's offered.

Of course, you can find and borrow books, but depending on your locale, you can find books-on-tape, newspapers, magazines, video-tapes, music CDs, DVDs, and more--most for free with your library card. [More]

Chain giant trumps public library in NYC

A report on the sad state of affairs in one New York neighborhood from today\'s New York Times:

Where Barnes & Noble is well-lighted and clean, the books invitingly displayed, most branch libraries are dim, cluttered and understocked. Just ask Don Bailey, a Texan who moved to the Upper West Side 11 years ago. Being a devoted reader, he immediately checked out his local library, the St. Agnes branch. It was, to put it mildly, a turnoff. \"There\'s something about New York libraries,\" Mr. Bailey mused. \"You don\'t have a good ambience.\"

No wonder, if money has anything to do with it. Barnes & Noble at 82nd Street grossed an estimated $10.3 million last year, eight times the average budget for one of the city\'s 85 branch libraries. And those budgets are being cut by the city for the second year in a row.

Complete article (registration required)

Librarians fend off grumbles over porn collection

Michael Nellis writes "It looks as if those pro-filtering arguments about how libraries do not stack porn are going to go out the window. Here's a story at about libraries that are collecting pornography -- and I mean real pornography such as Playboy; not just perceived porn like Catcher In The Rye. Just a brief note, really.


Reunion at the local library

Helen Freeman writes "This incident happened at my library. I can tell you that all of the staff have been moved by this, and a feeling that our work is truly vital has been reaffirmed.
Mom, is that really you? for the full story."

Read 'em and Weep

The Cover Story at The Washington City Paper takes a look at The MLK Library, in D.C.
They look at the past, present and future of "of its right angles, the perfection of its proportions, and the logic of its transparent design."
Since 1972, the MLK Library has chased away patrons with a panoply of natural and man-made disasters. Electrical explosions. Chemical fumes. Heat waves. Cold fronts. The occasional fire. It's now in danger of being torn down.

Thanks to Robin from In My Book for this one.

The History of the Library

Bob Cox points us to, The History of the Library.
It's a great look back at the long history of libraries.

"The name for the repository eventually became the library. Whether private or public, the library has been founded, built, destroyed and rebuilt. The library, often championed, has been a survivor throughout its long history and serves as a testament to the thirst for knowledge.

2003 Kingsolver Award - Pelican Rapids, MN

Robin from over at passed along Word That Friends of the Pelican Rapids Public Library in Pelican Rapids, MN is the winner of the 2003 Kingsolver Award -- a prize of $10,000 for books provided by author Barbara Kingsolver through HarperCollins Publishing. The award is granted yearly to a Friends of the Libraries organization by Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA).

Facing Tough Times, A Rural Public Library Looks To Online Commerce

"When the going gets tough, the tough turn to shopping."

"That's the attitude of the Woodland Public Library, which has opened an Internet shopping mall to help offset budget cuts related to the statewide recession."

"The venture, called Shop for the Library features more than 200 merchants, including popular sites such as, ebay, and expedia. Every purchase initiated through the Shop for the Library website generates a commission for the Woodland Public Library."

"We have a clear choice in this economy - cut back or fight back," says library director Marie Bryan. "We're fighting. We got a grant to cover the costs of setting up Shop for the Library, and now all proceeds we raise will go to support services to the public." (from Hoovers)

Library opened romantic chapter for couple

The Grand Rapids Press has a romantic story of a coupel who met at Grand Rapids Public Library, back in 1960. After nearly two years of being closed for renovations, the main library downtown is scheduled to reopen Monday.

"Those of us who have been in this community for generations can hardly walk through that door again and not know we're walking through with all the generations before," he said. "There's a wonderful feeling of history."


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