Public Libraries

Boston Public Library ends home book deliveries

Planning to save more than $285,000 in a new era of city belt-tightening, the Boston Public Library quietly cut its 32-year-old mobile services unit last week, ending an unglamorous but beloved program that brought books to elderly shut-ins and residents of assisted-living facilities across the city.

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''Nobody wants to take away services,'' said library spokeswoman Catherine Zannino. ''Especially from people who have mobility problems, but it's just the reality we have to face.''

Some fear 'weed' will harm read

"A war of words is brewing on Vashon Island between those who think there are too many on the shelves of the King County Library branch, and those who want more."

"As part of the system's Welcoming Library Project, one-fourth of branch collections are being taken off the shelves and put into storage."

"You know these books: The worn, the outdated and the duplicates. Old magazines."

"Moving them out will make room for better displays of new and notable books, fresh pages." (from The Seattle Times

Pontiac library not ready to check out

Gary Price pointed
the way to Pontiac library not ready to check out,
which takes a look at the state's most underfunded and under-
utilized big-city library, and it's retiring director, credited with
keeping the Pontiac Library afloat -- and even making it better --
during the challenging 11 years he's run the place. .

The library ranks dead last in per-capita operating revenue and
full-time staff, and it circulates fewer materials per person than any
library of its size in Michigan according to Library of Michigan
statistics.

Dunedin Drops Library Meeting Rules To End Suit

Susan Dillinger points us to This Story that says to settle a lawsuit,
Dunedin, Florida, no longer will try to bar groups from expressing
religious
or political views during meetings held in the community rooms at
Dunedin Public Library.
In January, Orlando-based Liberty Counsel asked a U.S.
District Court judge in Tampa to bar the city from enforcing the
restrictions on what can be discussed at the municipal library.

Library Board agrees on $115,000 salary for director

A follow up on This One, The Star Tribune Says The new Minneapolis Library Director Kit Hadley will be paid $115,000 annually under a contract approved last week by the Library Board. She started work this week. Her contract limits her to a salary of no more than $130,000 during its five-year life.
It also provides Hadley up to $7,500 annually for travel, parking and educational expenses, plus a library-paid downtown parking spot. She will start with 25 vacation days and 11 holidays.
Until recently Kit was the commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and has no background in library management.
Meanwhile... The new Minneapolis library, proposed as a civic centerpiece, could be postponed or even canceled as city leaders look for budget-slicing options.

Creating life long readers

A Nice One From The Orange Bulletin says a public library is more than its building. It is a reflection of a community's commitment to ideas. The staff and members of the public who tend a library shape its collection and arrange its cultural events in accordance with the mandate of the community.
The story takes a look at many of the things most people don't know about libraries.

"I like to think we are fostering life-long readers," Meryl Farber, Director of the Orange Public Library, says "It's a team effort here."

DC Libraries Begin Cutting Hours

"The District's public libraries are now asking visitors to come less often."

"Starting Monday, all public libraries will be begin cutting their hours. The cuts come as the city struggles to close its budget gap."

"Library branches will now be open five days a week, instead of six. Twenty-one of the 27 libraries will also reduce their hours by about four hours per week." (from Yahoo News)

All city library branches will close on March 13

"The Denver Public Library will close the entire system for one day in March for a giant staff meeting."

"City Librarian Rick Ashton will gather 503 employees at an off-site location on March 13 to talk about issues ranging from the budget crisis to customer service and employee motivation training."

"Customers can still drop off books at the 22 branch libraries or use online services. But none of the buildings will be open that day." (from The Denver Post)

Librarians offer reference chat

"The Seattle Public Library, faced with an ongoing decline in its walk-in reference business, has installed an online "chat" service its patrons can use to get real-time help from library staff using computers at home, school or work."

"The service, called Live Help, was created as part of a three-way partnership among the library system, the University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries and the King County Law Library. Its launch was paid for with a $30,000 grant awarded through the1996 federal Library Services and Technology Act, which funds special projects in libraries." (from Federal Computer Weekly)

ACCESS the NYPL

Eugene sends word about the new access cards from the New York Public Library. From the 'about' page:"The New York Public Library Research Libraries are expanding the functionality of the online catalog, CATNYP, through the introduction of the ACCESS card and new software modules. The ACCESS card allows researchers to request and use materials from the Research Libraries’ closed stacks. The collections, as always, will be available free of charge, for use on site only."

"ACCESS cards and the CATNYP circulation system provide the Library with tools to improve collection security. An overriding principle of our Research Libraries is that materials in their collections should be cared for and made accessible in perpetuity. The ACCESS card and the circulation system will ensure greater accountability when researchers use library materials."

"With the data from the Research Libraries circulation system, the Library will be able to manage and develop its collections more efficiently and in order to meet current and future research needs. Over the past several decades, the Research Libraries’ collections have grown rapidly in size and complexity, and we need to take advantage of the latest technology to track and manage the 40 million items in them. All major research libraries, including the Library of Congress, Harvard's Widener Library, and the British Library, already have similar systems in place."

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