Public Libraries

The last refuge - The library

Gary Price was kind enough to pass along a Nice Irish Times Story on all the great things happening at the Blanchardstown Library. I don\'t think I\'ve seen such praise for a library before.

\"Children\'s librarian handing out carnations? Surely some mistake: librarians are scary creatures in hand-knitted cardigans who say shush a lot and turn children who haven\'t paid their library fines into mice. They\'re not flower-wielding, skate-pants-wearing women in their 20s.\"

Late Library DVDs Get Court Play

Bob Cox passed along this one on the dwindling dvd collection at North Babylon Public Library.
Ninety-four of the library\'s DVDs were systematically checked out by three patrons in September and October, never to be returned.
The director has gone to court is asking for a court order to get the DVDs back and have the fines paid.
Taking patrons to court is rare, they say, but not unheard of. Nationwide there have been cases of patrons being sued and even arrested for failing to return overdue materials.

Black History Month Showdown at D.C.\'s M.L.K. Library

From the Washington Times:

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will mount an exhibit of art works by local black artists and devote an entire division to black history, art and culture starting Monday.

Librarians are still upset that the tradition of using the entire library to celebrate National Black History Month, which begins today, was not followed this year. \"We are trying to make the best of what we have, but it is not what we really wanted,\" said Alice Robinson, head of the library\'s black studies division, who has worked at the library for 31 years . . .

[Librarians] said [the exhibit coordinator] informed them that the library\'s policy is not to give special consideration to race in scheduling exhibits, sparking a tense situation between the executive staff and black librarians . . .


UK Public Libraries\' Greatest Hits

From The Times:

The popularity of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton is waning as they have slipped from the list of authors who are clocking up more than one million library loans a year.
Nationwide library figures published today show that Catherine Cookson, the doyenne of traditional romance, has maintained her position as the most borrowed author for the 19th year running. She achieved more than three million loans, with The Thursday Friend, her story of a longstanding friendship threatened by jealousy, topping the adult fiction list.

A decade ago, Dahl, author of irreverent children’s books, and Blyton, whose prolific output included Noddy and the Famous Five, were in sixth and seventh places respectively on the top 12 list . . .

More. Still more on the report from the London Evening Standard.

Ireland\'s 2nd Oldest Public Library Expands

From The Sligo Champion:

As the second oldest public library service in the country, Sligo County Library has had a long history of development and service delivery to the people of Sligo. Currently, Sligo County Library service is embarking on an impressive project of library development, which will include new branch libraries, additional services, extended opening hours and computerisation which aims to marry the best in library traditions with modern technology . . .

For the past fifty years, Sligo City branch has operated from its Stephen Street premises. At one time a church, the 150-year-old building has served the library well, but now faces retirement, due to increased user numbers and the expansion in the levels of services being delivered . . .


Scots Weigh In On Public Library Hours

From The Scotsman:

Restrictive opening times of Edinburgh’s public libraries have been slated in a comprehensive survey.
Current rules which see most libraries closed in the evenings and only open for Saturday mornings at the weekends mean thousands of workers don’t have enough opportunity to use them, residents believe.

A majority of library users in the Capital who took part in a questionnaire are now calling for all-day opening on Saturday and restricted Sunday opening to take more account of the pace of modern life . . .

But council members and officials have warned any increase in opening hours would mean stretching already constrained budgets . . .


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 . . .


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.

Full Story

\"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 . . .


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 . . .



Subscribe to Public Libraries