Public Libraries

A Look Around Minneapolis

James Nimmo and Bob Cox sent in a bunch of stories from the Minneapolis area.

Shortfall may close 4 Minneapolis libraries says closing four Minneapolis branch libraries for at least the rest of the year could win as the city's Library Board seeks to shave $2 million from the 2003 budget, but, Library declines staff recommendation to close four branches says The Minneapolis Library Board's Finance Committee rejected a plan Wednesday night to shutter four community libraries, opting instead for a mix of one-time cuts.

Who gets the blame for the library fiasco? wants to know how they got so far along before people started adding up the numbers on building a new library. They've already wrecked the old library, and just now noticed the new one would be expensive.
They say the politics are complex. The City Council has little faith in the Library Board's ability to deal with serious fiscal matters. The Library Board suspects that the City Council wants to usurp its political power. The mayor says that he just wants everyone to get along and that he wants the library "because it's our great civic project." But in the next breath he says that the city "has to look at everything" when it comes to budget cutting. Speedy Minneapolis library decision sought.

W.Va. library refused to die

"The town of War may not have many amenities, but it does have an attractive, well-stocked public library."

"Our library is something we're real proud of," said Frances Blankenship, the head librarian since the facility opened in 1976."

"Four years ago, War almost lost its library. On the night of March 22, 1999, three local teenagers high on alcohol and drugs broke into the library and set fire to it."

"Everything was destroyed," Blankenship said." (from The Times Dipatch)

Nowhere to call home

An Story on the homeless, the chronically jobless or just the people with no other place to go who hang out at the Marietta library on Georgia.
The Marietta library is one of the few places in Cobb County where the public and the homeless or near homeless rub shoulders day after day, where subdivision housewives and their children sit a breath away from men who sleep in the woods.
A recent count revealed 331 homeless in Cobb, and a lousy day can draw 20 or more to the Marietta library. The place is a convenient walk from many county services. Local shelters close during the day, so the library becomes an inviting place to linger. After all, it's virtually impossible to loiter in a library.

PA Libraries hours and services may be cut

"The executive director of the York County Library System said library hours and new materials would likely be reduced if funding for libraries proposed in the state budget remains as now written."

"It's a cut that's going to be devastating to library services," Patricia Calvani said."

"According to Glen Miller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association, the state last year provided about $91 million in library funding. But Miller said the "general library subsidy" is where the state's public libraries draw their operating costs." (from AP)

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.

Full Story

''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

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
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."


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