Public Libraries

Libraries vs. police in a suit sparked by porn

Jen Yong points to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where they are reporting on an interesting story.
The King County Library System sued the Kent Police Department, after they say a detective violated constitutional protections against illegal search by seizing the two computers when he didn\'t have a search warrant.

\"The library isn\'t defending pornography or child pornography here,\" said Paul Kundtz, the attorney representing the libraries. \"We want to tell the Police Department that it must follow the law -- and more importantly, \'Don\'t do this again.\'\"

What If We All Thought This Way

steven bell writes \"The August 10, 2002 Philadelphia Inquirer Reported that David Bennett, the digital services manager at the Bucks County Free Library (seen \"Signs\" - yes, it\'s the same Bucks County), was arrested and charged with stealing more than $200,000 from the library\'s coffers since 1999. Among other transgressions, including kickbacks from friends hired to do automation work for the library and about $70,000 spent on electronic gadgets, he spent more than $9,000 of the library\'s money at a convention in Las Vegas - including a $325 tab for a Vegas enterprise called \"Cover Girls.\" Up to this point we\'ve probably all heard of this sort of thing before. What caught my eye was Bennett\'s rationale for his crimes. He told investigators that he felt entitled to the stolen money \"because the library did not pay him enough for his work.\" If we all felt that way every library budget in the land would be pilfered on a regular basis. Maybe someone will want to bring this story to Mitch Freedman\'s attention for his campaign to improve librarian\'s pay. I can see it now, Mitch telling his audience, \"we\'re getting paid so poorly that librarians have to steal from their library systems just to afford Las Vegas call girls.\" \"

A Librarian Shouldn\'t Have to Be a Babysitter

Gary Price passed along This Washington Advice Column [Link fixed now] Parents have the right to rear their children as they wish -- as long as they keep them safe -- but they don\'t have the right to run the public library.

Say no to pushy parents, but say it pleasantly, as in: \"I\'m so sorry we can\'t accept your little one. The program is designed for older children and we\'re not allowed to make exceptions anymore.\"

UT Libraries Are Struggling To Stay Modern

The Salt Lake City Tribune says A two-year, $200,000 State Library Needs Assessment released this week shows many of Utah\'s public libraries are struggling to meet demand in pre-computer, pre-baby boom, sometimes pre-telephone buildings. Did they really need to spend $200,000 to tell anyone that?

\"Libraries are really challenged,\" she says. \"In many cases, the building is the constraining factor. The wiring is old or out-of-date. In some cases, you have asbestos problems. It\'s not always a straight-forward issue that can be fixed.\"

UT State libraries face \'bookkeeping\' woes

This Story, with a wonderful headline, says due to lack of space and funding in UT, libraries are having to discard classic book collections to make room for current materials and access to electronic information. It could eventually boil down to whether they want to have a copy on hand of Homer\'s \"Odyssey\" or their Internet access.

\"Our core collection is a resource that, once lost, the state will never get back. Those books are either no longer available or are very expensive,\" Weber County Library Director Lynnda Wangsgard said. \"But those core works tie us together as communities and as a nation and to lose them would be a tragedy.\"

Proposal may limit bulk book buying

This One Says The Friends of the Marathon County [WI] Public Library wants to restrict businesses that buy books in bulk at the group\'s semiannual used book sale, but used book dealers say the proposal is unfair.
They say when businesses come in and buy books in bulk, they\'re taking away from the service provided to community members: the retired people, those with a limited income, home-schoolers, and the average Joe.

Better late than never?

Stories like this always amuse me. Better late than never is on a copy of \"Miss Abby Fitch-Martin\", returned to the Gere Public Library, 13,668 days past its due date. In this case, the due-date card stamped Feb. 17, 1965, was still in the back pocket. But the card listing the borrower has long disappeared. Someone owes them $3,400.

Local libraries resist role as day care centers

One From Boston on how parents are trying to turn public libraries into makeshift day-care centers - and how librarians are dealing with the problem.
They say The problem is one shared by librarians nationwide. For example, in Bristol, Conn., the problem became so severe that the library posted a policy requiring all children age 8 and younger to be accompanied by an adult - and for police to be called if a child is left for more than 15 minutes after the library closes.

Leaders stand by keeping libraries

Good News from Cincinnati where a handful of Tristate political leaders want the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to close the book on the possibility of shutting down five of its branches.

Commissioner Todd Portune, Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken and a handful of other elected officials Friday signed a declaration saying the library should not close five branches to help resolve a $4.3 million budget deficit.

Libraries thrive in the Internet Age

Paul Coleman writes \"A reporter surveys the unexpected good news of library vitality (and ALA\'s PR office earns its keep!).

Full Story from the The Christian Science Monitor.\"

They say rather than lead to the demise of libraries, the World Wide Web may have turned out to be a their saving grace. The Internet is fueling an increase in library use which, in turn, has led to a library-construction and renovation boom.

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