Public Libraries

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.\"

Johns Hopkins U. trades Baltimore new building for old library land

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.


Canadian library strike enters week 2


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.\"


Budget cuts may limit bookmobile service in Mass.

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.



Subscribe to Public Libraries