Public Libraries

Wonderful Us

janet clark writes \"In case you missed this (as I did) when the book was first published: Public libraries, ladybugs, pad Thai, and the clothesline are among \'Seven Wonders\' written about by John C. Ryan in _Seven wonders: everyday things for a healthier planet_, Sierra Club, c1999, 1-57805-038-3. \"Nobody ever built a library to save an endangered species, but that\'s one of things libraries do best,\" says Ryan in his essay in praise of public libraries. The essay includes several useful (citable) statistics and provides another angle on the value of libraries.


You can find out about the book at northwestwatch.org, though the public library essay doesn\'t seem to be there.
\"

\"The Architecture of Democracy\"

The Boston Globe\'s review of the Boston Public Library\'s new branch in Allston:

The paucity of books is an index of the way libraries are changing. They are, increasingly, community centers. Art galleries, children\'s storytelling areas, gardens, and meeting rooms become as important as book stacks. The meeting rooms are venues for the kind of healthy community activism that influenced the design of the Allston library in the first place. And of course, libraries now are centers for other kinds of information, with free computer work stations. I still think they should have a lot more books. But as a building, Allston is a triumph of what you might call the architecture of democracy.

More on Minneapolis Public Library

Bob Cox sent along This Story from Citypages.com on the big mess at the Minneapolis Public Library. This is a lengthy article with interviews from both sides. They ran a story on this back in May too.

\"When I signed up to work at the library, I didn\'t sign up to work in a porn-shop-type atmosphere,\" explains Will, who\'s 46. \"The line was crossed. And I wasn\'t going to take it anymore.\"

The library of the 21st century?

England and Wales have just adopted national standards for libraries, which call for improvements such as longer opening hours, free or cheap Internet access and convenient locations. The Guardian reports that this has led to a battle between modernists and traditionalists \"for the soul of the library\". Tower Hamlets in London has closed 5 of its 12 branch libraries in order to open 7 new hi-tech \"idea stores\", located in shopping centers and open supermarket hours. Several other cities are looking at a similar move, but there are concerns about the closures of branch libraries. The story is an interesting look at the future of public libraries and the changes that lie ahead.

Online Library Auction

Someone passed along This Story from the great city of Columbus, OH.
The Bexley Library has taken to auctioning books on the web to help raise money.
They\'ve been doing it for 2 years and have raised $1,800 by selling about 100 books online. The library\'s biggest items: two pamphlets and a signed letter from Booker T. Washington that went for $500.

\"They knew that they had some gems they were getting,\" said Sandy Lemkin, a reference librarian at Bexley Library. \"It\'s a wider audience that you can appeal to. When you\'re on eBay, you have wonderful exposure.\"

Look Around The Public Library

A bunch of unrelated, but interesting stories, most sent in by Bob Cox.

The Post-Intelligencer has a Story on the King County library system, which is The third busiest in U.S. They say the only way to get a study table at King County\'s main library on a Sunday is to race in the door when it opens at 1 p.m.

San Antonio\'s public library fines are the highest at 20 cents a day.
\"We give people three weeks to return a book, a week to return a video or a CD,\" Graham said. \"After that, they are stealing from the taxpayers. We\'re just providing incentive for people to bring the material back.\"

Charlotte.com Story on that woman who had 900 books after she was arrested for stealing from the library.
This is a lesson,\" said Jim McKee, director of the Caldwell County library. \"Most of our policies have been geared toward honest people.\" -- Read More

Tolerance? In a library?

There\'s a follow up Editorial (by a man who looks quite a bit like Santa) on that \"Christian Fiction\" section in Florida. Santa makes an interesting point when he points out labeling a group of books by subject is just as much help to those who don\'t want to read them as to those who do.


\"If Citrus folks ever get their underwear in a bunch the way some people from the Christian right in Spring Hill did a few years back over a gay-pride display in a local library, the current Christian Fiction display will be a fine tool for pointing out to them that the sword of diversity cuts both ways and that a library that encourages multiple points of view is a good thing.\"

A Moving Experience @ Your Library

I think we rean a story Like This One long ago.
Schoolchildren formed a chain three blocks long and passed book after book from the Thornville, OH old library to its new one yesterday morning. The 310 students hand-delivered about 800 books to the new library.


Next time I move into a new apartment I want to move this way! Any volunteers?

Christian books raise eyebrows

Florida\'s Lakes Region Library set up a display of
books titled \"Christian Fiction\" sitting near the check-out
desk with about 100 books. A patron raised a ruckos,
so they changed the name of the display to
\"Inspirational Fiction\". They even talk about how The
Library of Congress classifies \"Christian fiction\" books,
but, there is not an equivalent category for Buddhist
fiction or other types of religious fiction. She plans to file
a complaint in U.S. District Court against the county.
Full Story

\"We try to provide a broad diversity of viewpoints
and many types of subject matter,\" Rogers said. \"That
does not mean the library endorses those ideas. We
are a neutral provider of information, so you can come
in and select what you choose.\"

Library audit finds 12% of books lost

Bob Cox says Dallas News is running A Story that says 12 percent of its books are gone, and the library system has no collection agency for pursuing nearly $3.5 million in fines for overdue and lost materials.

Is there such thing as an acceptable loss rate?

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