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This probably isn\'t news to most public librarians, but NY Mag Says New York\'s overcrowded, underfunded libraries have become a war zone.
the last quarter of 2001, attendance at New York\'s public libraries increased about 4 million people, and at the same time, budget woes have forced the NYPL to make serious cutbacks. The result: a sharp rise in angry patrons.
\"This one guy would get hostile if someone didn\'t get up right at the end of their time,\" says Jeff Muñoz, a page. \"Once, he just started pulling this woman\'s hands off the keyboard and screaming, \'It\'s my time! I\'m not going to calm down!\' Security had to drag him out.\"
Ottawa Citizen has This
Story that says When the Ottawa Public Library opened in 1974, it
was hailed as a \'palace of culture.\' Twenty-eight years later, city
leaders dismiss it as \'catacomb-ish\' and \'inadequate.\'
How did love turn to loathing?
\"You either like it or you don\'t,\" he says. \"That\'s anybody\'s
opinion. But, I don\'t feel some of the people are showing due respect
of age -- building or man. Some of the people are being overly
critical. I think he (Rick Chiarelli) just wants a new building and
whatever justifies it.\"
From the Baltimore Sun:
Counter to the trend of city library branch closures, an Enoch Pratt Free Library branch will be built in East Baltimore, compliments of a wealthy neighbor. Johns Hopkins Medicine plans to acquire the neighboring site of the Broadway branch for expansion and, in exchange, build a branch roughly the same size as the existing library by late 2004, Pratt and Hopkins officials said . . .
Library officials estimate that Hopkins would spend $4 million to build the 14,000-square-foot replacement for the Broadway branch, completed in 1970 . . .
Hopkins views the land on which the library sits as a prime spot for a building offering patient, residential and family services, said Terry Todesco, a Hopkins spokeswoman.
About 180 Regina Public Library workers start their second week on strike this morning amidst concerns board members aren\'t getting a complete report on the status of stalled contract talks.
\"I\'m very concerned the library board hasn\'t gotten our message,\" said Canadian Union of Public Employees spokesperson Mike Keith on Monday evening . . .
Workers will continue to picket today, which is National Book Day, and they plan to have a \"read-in\" all day outside the Central Library and all afternoon at the Glen Elm branch.
\"The library is a learning organization and obviously our members love books. We thought as a theme day a read-in will be a good thing.\"
From the Boston Globe:
The bookmobile\'s winding route includes stops at Ethel White\'s house in West Hawley, the New Ashford Town Hall and nearly 100 small towns and tiny libraries in the hills and valleys of Western Massachusetts . . .
Now, officials say state cutbacks could trim the service that provides some of the state\'s smallest libraries with books and tapes to supplement their own tiny collections. In three little mountain towns without libraries of their own - Hawley (population 330), New Ashford (population 250) and Washington (population 540) - it is the public library.
Kathleen de la Peña McCook brings us a link to \"Revolution in the Stacks\", a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article on the 92nd Conference of
German Librarians where much of the discussion surrounded what the responsibility of libraries should be in the 21st century. -- Read More
The National Post today has a great article about the history of the Reading Room in the Brisith Library.
It has spawned more revolutions, incited more passion and created more art than just about any other place in the modern world. And it is a library. No, it is the library. For the past 150 years, the way to access that library was through the Reading Room at the British Museum.
The article lists important historical figures who have used the Room, and gives lusty descriptions of the Room:
The Reading Room closed, but it was not abandoned. It was restored to its 1857 glory, using 25 km of 23.25-carat gold leaf and a couple of tons of paint. It sits in the centre of the British Museum complex, now more an exhibit itself than a place to spawn sedition or love.
The desks are still there and you can use them to consult the 12,000 or so reference books relating to the museum\'s collections. There are also 50 computers that let you access the COMPASS system (which you can also get online), describing the origins and the meaning of thousands of the museum\'s objects. There is even -- gasp -- a children\'s section.
Read the full story.
Because having a regular cat in your library doesn\'t invite enough problems on it\'s own, The Grimes library in IA adopted a cat \"to make the place more homey and to educate people about cats\", this one suffers from allergic skin reactions and looks so much like Gizmo from the movie \"Gremlins\" that the nickname stuck. The library board will decide on May 20 whether Gizmo can stay.
\"He\'s really pretty ugly,\" library Director Pfaff said, laughing. \"One of my employees thinks he looks a little like a rat. He really promotes tolerance. The beauty of him is his attitude.\"
From the Bergen Record:
At first they thought the interruption of service was an April Fool\'s joke.
But eventually, the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) and other library systems in the state realized that the timing was merely a coincidence. The courier service that had been delivering hundreds of thousands of items a year between Bergen libraries alone really had shut down without warning.
For voracious readers and researchers, the loss of the courier service was a real blow . . . Since April 1, BCCLS and many local librarians have been working overtime to help retrieve more than 10,000 library books from the defunct company\'s distribution warehouses.
Someone Passed along This One
That says public libraries in South Africa cannot offer the services people require, and some are under threat of closure. Especially affected are school children.
In 1955, when public libraries came into being, they were joint undertakings between provincial governments and local authorities. In 1994 libraries were made the sole responsibility of provinces. With their obligation removed, cash-strapped local authorities are withdrawing their financial support, says Friends of the Library. This leaves provincial governments with very small budgets to provide for libraries .
The group complains that there is no political will to find money, which means that the situation is likely to get worse.