Public Libraries

Robo-Librarian choking on a flood of returned books

Bob Cox sent over This Short Piece on a new $2.2 million book sorting machine choking on a flood of returned books after a three-week closure for the move to the new library in Oregon.
The Tech Logic system will process and sort 350 books an hour, doing the work of seven full time staff and reducing damage to books and staff injuries from repeatedly lifting heavy books, library staff say. With saved labor costs estimated at $350,000 a year, the system will pay for itself in less than five years, library staff told the City Council.

Alarm over proposed library closures in Oakland

From the Oakland Tribune:

When Emanuel Robinson, a sixth-grader at West Oakland Community School, needed to write a report on Tefnut, the Egyptian goddess of dew, rains and mist, he headed to his local library on Adeline Street.

But under one controversial plan to trim at least $17 million from this year\'s city budget, Robinson\'s West Oakland library branch and six others throughout the city, including Temescal, Brookfield, Melrose, Elmhurst, Martin Luther King and Lakeview, would be closed. The savings reach $2.1 million when combined with other cuts in service, materials and staff.

Complete article.

Rescuing Run-down Libraries

Gary Deane & Jen Young both sent over A NYTimes Piece in which the author, Joe Rizzo, an architect, talks a bit about how he has built or restored more than 75 libraries since he joined the Hillier Group 24 years ago.
He says his latest project, Carnegie library, in St. Louis, will \"be like walking into a Neiman Marcus for books — and having your own personal shopper.\"

The Library\'s Contribution to Your Community

Here\'s A Great Resource, put together by dmA Planning and Management Services,
for the Southern Ontario Library Services.
The Library\'s Contribution to Your Community:
A Resource Manual for Libraries
to Document their Social and Economic Contribution
to the Local Community. Here\'s the summary:

  • is a manual
    designed for self-use by public libraries

  • identifies 12
    social and 9 economic benefits

  • describes the
    information required to document how the library delivers each of the
    benefits

  • provides tools for
    collecting the information needed

  • outlines a
    communication strategy, which includes constructing the argument and
    preparing for counter-argument, for delivering your message to
    municipal politicians and administrators

  • illustrates how to
    use the manual at a level of involvement comfortable for your library

  • includes an
    extensive bibliography of related publications

  • has been
    distributed to all public libraries in Ontario

  • is available in
    English and French

Love Amid the (Not Quite) Ruins

Jen Young sent over This NYTimes Story on the strengths and weaknesses of The New York public libraries.

\"The world, it\'s long been clear to me, has little interest in books. But these libraries, shabby and often bathroomless though they are, do. I\'m frustrated by anemic collections, by erratic hours. But I admire their spunk, their hard-working librarians and their persistence, chugging along in a city that has plenty of other things on its mind.\"

Voice of Darth Vader shows library the power of words

This Isn\'t The Most Interesting Story, but it\'s probably the funniest picture of James Earl Jones you\'ll ever see!
He read to the children at the Carver Academy and Ogden Elementary, down in TX. Jones\' reading launched \"The Year of the Library,\" a 12-month celebration of the 100th birthday of the San Antonio Public Library.Jones said he developed a love for books when, as a boy, stuttering virtually silenced him for several years.

St. Louis County Library reaches out to Latino residents

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The St. Louis County Library\'s Rock Road branch will launch a new film series tonight with a free showing of \"Harry Potter y la Piedra de Mago.\"

No, it\'s not a Harry Potter prequel or a book your kids forgot to tell you about. Instead, the Spanish-dubbed version of \"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer\'s Stone\" is the first step in the library\'s attempt to better serve the metropolitan area\'s growing Hispanic population . . .

\"The Spanish-speaking population is currently underserved,\" said Eric Button, who managed the Rock Road branch before moving to the Daniel Boone branch in Ellisville on Jan. 1. \"We\'re trying to change that. This hopefully will be just the beginning.\"

Complete article.

Budget crisis not shushing libraries yet

Mark Arend sent along a nice article about small town libraries coping with budget problems.
They say For more than two dozen small libraries in east-central Wisconsin’s, five-county Winnefox Library System, circulation is still growing. That’s because small town populations from Kingston to Omro keep reading, using computers and taking advantage of children’s programs.

\"We would hope the libraries would not take more cuts than their fair share. We realize that everyone will have to feel the pain a little bit. Trouble is our usage is going up and up. Some of our libraries are seeing record use this year,\"

Children abandon libraries as Potter magic falls flat

SomeOne sent in A Sad Story from the UK where they say readers are deserting public libraries, depressed by shabby decor, odd opening hours and the impossibility of getting the book they want.Despite a sharp rise in the number of books being bought and read by children - thanks to the 'Harry Potter effect' - younger readers are staying away from their local branch libraries.

Libraries Call In Cops To Track Down Missing Book

News That the Enfield Public Library in CT is the latest to get the police to go after patrons.
One patron, who checked out more than $400, has left town. For about a year now, the Enfield Public Library has called on the police to solve its cold cases: books, CDs and movies missing for months, even years.

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