Public Libraries

Pressure For Public Libraries to Provide Bestsellers

Kevin J. Gallagher posted this on PUBLIB, and has agreed to allow us to reprint it here:

\"I\'ve got to respond to the posting from a colleague in western
Ireland, who relayed yet another address decrying the decline in reading
of classics.
This is the second public library that I have served in as
director. Both communities are small cities, serving a large suburban area. In
both communities the library collections have had extensive holdings of
classic writers, as well as large collections of bestsellers. Both parts of the
collections are used, with the heaviest use coming from the bestsellers.
(There\'s a reason they\'re called \"bestsellers\"...)

Tacoma library sets limit on stuff you can bring in

SeattlePI has a Story on The Tacoma Public Library approving a \"behavior\" rule that would restrict patrons from bringing bedrolls, big boxes or bulky bags into the library.
This is aimed at the homeless who hang around with their only belongings -- stowed in boxes, sacks and large duffel bags.

Report says library cafes should suspend operations

Bob Cox sent on This One from Starnews that says coffee and food sales in Indianapolis library branches have been so sluggish that the concept should be shelved for a year, according to a report being presented tonight to the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Board.

\"I know that across the nation, branches with cafes have been very successful, and some have failed,\" said Grove. \"From what I\'ve seen, it has more to do with location, the number of people coming in and where you put the cafe within the library. If it\'s hidden in the basement, it\'s not going to do very well.\"

Baltimore Closing Splashy Library

Charles Davis noticed This Story on a $200,000-a-year library too small to qualify officially as a branch, that drew thousands of visitors, some vocal critics and only about six book borrowers a day.
Critics complained that the location served mostly tourists at a time when the library was closing neighborhood branches.

NYC librarians speak out against budget cuts

From the New York Daily News:

This is the stark nonfiction message public library officials will deliver to the City Council today: sharply reduced hours, slashed free learning programs and a half-million fewer new books . . .

They\'re trying to stave off or reduce the proposed cuts in the face of a $5 billion city budget deficit that the mayor says will mean a sharp ax for many services, including sanitation and education.

\"We\'re not a frill, we are an essential service, and more than 30,000 children visit our libraries every day,\" said Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library . . .


Bookworms to feel bite

Bob Cox sent on This One from NC where a tight budget means libraries across the state aren\'t getting their May and June state payments that total more than $2 million.

Strapped for cash, the state is withholding $2.1 million in payments statewide, a 15 percent cut of the annual allotment. It compounds earlier reductions of 7 percent, bringing total state cuts this fiscal year to $3.2 million, said Brenda Follmer, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Baltimore torn over ALA\'s Hayden

From the Baltimore Sun:

Carla D. Hayden, director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, has just vaulted into national prominence as the president-elect of the 63,000-member American Library Association. But in Baltimore, she has found a rockier road to acceptance.

Election to the influential post means that Hayden will be regularly testifying before the nation\'s lawmakers, shaping policy on library matters such as Internet access and copyright law.

Yet her nine years here have produced a rare thing: polarized library politics. There is little neutral ground between those who think Hayden is a brilliant visionary and those who say she is dismantling the city\'s system of neighborhood libraries . . .


Library buildings - reflections

Mary Cavanagh writes \"
The City of Ottawa (Canada) needs a new Main Library. A Five Part Series in the local newspaper discusses all of the issues around libraries for the 21st century. From architecture, to latte. Check it out! \"

When Shush Comes to Shove

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.\"

Why love for library turned into loathing

Ottawa Citizen
has This
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.\"


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