Public Libraries

Cincinnati Area Library Use at Record Levels

From the Cincinnati Post:

People in Greater Cincinnati are using the library in unprecedented numbers. They checked out a record 13.8 million items from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County last year, up 3.6 percent from 2000, which also was a new high.

A third of those were something besides traditional books - videos, CDs, DVDs, or books on tape.

That doesn\'t count the 28 million hits on the Hamilton County library\'s Web site or research done on the library\'s 201 computer terminals, a number that will triple this year . . .

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Collection letter sent to a 9-year-old

Bob Cox points out, A nine year old got a letter from a collection agency saying her account had been turned over to it and she was expected to pay the fine immediately. Her mother refused to pay the fine or to let her daughter pay it with her own money.

She said she is outraged that the Bethel Park library would sic a collection agency on a child and she believes the fine - based on Bethel Park\'s $2-per-day late fee on audio visual material - is excessive. She said she told library officials the only way she would pay the fine was if she got to keep the CD, an offer they refused.

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\"People think that taking library books and not returning them is no big deal. But libraries are paid for with taxpayer money. They belong to the taxpayers,\" said Marilyn Jenkins, director of the Allegheny County Library Association.

Shifting Patron Demographics at Delhi\'s Oldest Library

From the Delhi Newsline:

Delhi\'s oldest library, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s library commonly known as Hardayal Library, recently inaugurated an entire section for Indian freedom fighters . . .

On the occasion, the library exhibited some of its oldest and rarest books. However, what came to light was its declining popularity with both corporators and bureaucrats . . .

The white-and-yellow domed Victorian building is known to house over 1.7 lakh books in Hindi, English, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. This collection is formed by, among other things, 8,000 rare books and 3,123 Gazettes of India and Delhi gazettes and 386 manuscripts belonging to Mughal Emperor Humayun and five volumes of Sir Walter Raleigh’s travelogues.

But the library’s impressive wealth of books has been unable to draw the attention of corporators sitting in Town Hall right next door . . .

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Redrawn Political Boundaries Redefine Patron Population

From the Montreal Gazette:

When Gayle Stein wanted to borrow a book from the CÙte St. Luc library, she used to have to get her mother, who lived there, to do it for her. But since the island of Montreal became one big city on Jan. 1, Stein and hundreds of others have become full-fledged members of the Cavendish Blvd. institution, borrowing books, videos and tapes that used to be reserved only for CÙte St. Luc residents.

\"For us the merger is very good with respect to the services because we don\'t have any,\" said Stein, of Hampstead . . .

Montrealers have been flocking to suburban libraries since Jan. 1, thrilling some library-lovers, but worrying politicians who fear the quality of service at some libraries will diminish as they try to serve more people . . .

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Police arrest men for library sex

Colleen writes \"Eeeww gross.
In London, Ontario (just outside of Toronto) police arrested two men for having sex in the library\'s washroom, located in the children\'s section.
Good lord, get a hotel! Full Icky Story \"

NC Library May Add KKK Tape to Collection

From the Raleigh, NC News & Observer:

The city library may add a videotape produced by the Ku Klux Klan to its collection if the tape doesn\'t violate copyright law. Klan members also mailed the tape to libraries in High Point, Winston-Salem and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, saying it was a protest against the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Skip Alston, the president of the state NAACP and a Guilford County commissioner, said adding the tape to any collection would insult blacks . . .

\"It\'s our whole mission to provide free and equal access to information,\" Library Director Sandy Neerman said. The city\'s policy on library materials says that items shouldn\'t be banned just because they might be unpopular or controversial.

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Libraries focus on new technology

MSNBC is running This One on how high tech new public libraries are.

They say now that we all have coffee, there is a new emphasis on upgrading technology at the nation’s 16,000 public libraries.

“Computers have always been one of the most popular things at the library,” says Liz Lancaster, director of Howard County Central Library in Columbia, Md. “Everyone was afraid when the Internet was introduced that people would stop coming to the library, but that hasn’t happened.”

The top ten reasons why the Internet still will not replace the public library

The top ten reasons why the Internet still will not replace the public library by Andy Barnett says don’t plan on closing your doors anytime soon. He gives ten reasons why the public library is here to stay.

The business of the Internet is entertainment, Increasingly, quality content will cost, and Text on paper has some widely ignored advantages are just a few.

Library finds friends in volunteers

Here\'s A Nice Little Story on all the nice things \"Friends\" do for libraries.

\"Libraries are so important to a community,\" Brown said. \"They give people a chance to read so many more books than they\'d be able to buy.\"

Another Love Letter to Public Libraries

From the Washington Post:

Kids adore libraries. Where else can you find endless shelves filled with stories about curious monkeys, giant peaches, beanstalks and hungry caterpillars? The plastic library card and the responsibility of returning books on time is a rite of passage, one of many marking our entrance into the adult world.

Most adults, on the other hand, tend to favor the crisp, sanitized environs of chain book retailers, where one can flip through the latest John Grisham bestseller or fresh copies of Oprah-worthy selections while nursing coffee and biscotti.

I used to be among those latte-drinking, magazine-flipping masses, snubbing my modest neighborhood library until just a few months ago. Visions of musty stacks, an archaic Dewey Decimal System and intimidating librarians kept me from going, even though it\'s just half a block from my apartment . . .

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