Public Libraries

Immigrants transforming D.C. area public libraries

From the Washington Post:

Immigrants and their children are making an already bustling system busier than ever. As the economic downturn and the Internet lure new patrons to libraries across the country, systems in the Washington suburbs are setting their own records in lending and a newer area of growth -- visits.

The newcomers, simply by virtue of their needs, are quickly turning these libraries into community centers that function as job centers, English-language schools, keys to the mysteries of a new culture and even babysitters. And the libraries are carrying out this new mission even as they serve their traditional base of educated, English-speaking, often-affluent patrons . . .

Complete article.

Job Seekers Driving Net Use In Libraries

Someone writes \"Here\'s An Interesting Take on why libraries are busier now than ever. The recession has given the program a surprising boost - and provided a glimpse at how libraries are changing.

Job seekers account for the \"biggest increase in traffic as people come for jobs online,\" according to Julie Underwood, the libraries\' development coordinator.

Accessible library is \'best-kept secret\'

Charles Davis writes \"Linda Stetson found a bullet while walking from her car to Georgia\'s main library for
the blind and disabled.
Stetson, the library\'s director, wasn\'t surprised. A maintenance worker found a handful of bullets
embedded in the ceiling of the Atlanta building while trying to find the source of a constant water leak.
And in the musty and paint-peeling warehouse
where the Georgia Library for Accessible Services
stores its cassette books, the windows have bullet
Full story at

\"God knows what goes on here after dark,\" said
Stetson. In the winter, when it darkens early, \"my
husband calls me and tells me to get out.\"

The library on Murphy Avenue in southwest Atlanta,
next to abandoned warehouses and a web of train
tracks, is a glaring symbol of the state\'s
indifference. It\'s an agency that\'s fallen through the
bureaucratic cracks. \"

A Futuristic Library

GVDeane sent over
This Look at the \"Millennium Library\", a new public library in Cerritos, CA. They say The idea—to create an e-learning experience for kids and adults—went beyond just providing Internet access to patrons through library kiosks. \"We wanted to create a library everyone would enjoy as a gathering place for the community for a shared learning experience,\" said Fred Ying, MIS manager for city of Cerritos.

Take A look

Ready With Answers Around the Clock

This NYTimes Story, sent in by Jen Young, says increasingly, librarians, fearing irrelevancy in the age of Google, are chasing their patrons in cyberspace, and around the clock. And many people are responding. They highlight some neat new services.

Activists Target WA Libraries

James Nimmo passed along a bit more info on the WA story. \"FindLaw
has an AP story that says A proposed ballot initiative - which has not yet qualified for the Nov. 5 ballot - would close seven of nine county-run libraries. It may be the first effort in the country to abolish a library system by popular vote, according to the American Library Association.

Three-hundred miles from the high-tech, high-paying jobs of the Seattle area, Stevens County\'s 40,000 residents include loggers, farmers and backwoods survivalists who make do with a median household income of $33,387 a year. A magnesium plant that was the county\'s largest private employer closed last year.


Home schoolers hit hard by library cuts

Natalie Hansen Takes A Look at the home schoolers, and how they are affected by increased fees and charges, and other cuts at libraries.

\"Anyone who depends on the public library, especially home-school families, are going to be greatly affected because they don\'t have anywhere else they can obtain the resources they need for educational purposes,\" she said. \"A lot of the things from the home-schoolers\' curriculum are found here at the library.\"

Custom toys beckon disabled kids has this on The Palm Harbor Library and how they offer dolls and puzzles designed for those with special needs.The Palm Harbor Library recently purchased about 60 of these toys and is making them available for circulation. Parents with children who are disabled can use their library cards to check out these toys, just like books.

Librarians, not books, get bucks

Bob Young, over at The Seattle Times says Seattle Public Library spends so much on salaries and so little on books that City Librarian Deborah Jacobs was left with little choice when forced to trim library spending by 4 percent. Seattle\'s 23 public libraries will close after tomorrow for a week, and again on Dec. 17 for another week, shaving library spending through unpaid wages for those two weeks.

Seattle Public Library pays beginning librarians $46,500 — about one-third more than Denver and Boston. In five years, beginning librarians in Seattle will see their salaries climb to $56,472 under their union contract. In addition, they\'ll get annual cost-of-living increases.

Sell the Public Libraries

This One from Lew Rockwell is, no doubt, worth a read.
Llewellyn says many public libraries have been a disgrace for decades, and, like most public institutions, they are architectural monstrosities. \"They have terrible hours, which they blame on underfunding. Their selection is often severely limited, vacillating between being out of date and carrying only the latest, tackiest bestsellers. Others have gradually purged all books that offer ideas the ruling regime rejects.\"


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