Public Libraries

What is a library?

While watching dozens of teenagers decked out in parrot masks and Bugs Bunny costumes dancing, jumping, and spinning on rolling chairs across the frame, anyone is likely to wonder: This was allowed in a library? And upon entering the space where the clip was filmed, many people do ask: Thisis a library? Aside from a few small shelves of test-prep materials, this 3,000-square-foot room holds no books.

http://theweek.com/article/index/266208/what-is-a-library

The Future of Libraries Has Little to Do with Books

In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,” focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world, digital fluency.”

http://magazine.good.is/articles/public-libraries-reimagined

Trouble often shatters hush of local libraries - Toledo Blade

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2015/01/04/Trouble-often-shatters-hush-of-local-libraries.html
A review of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s security reports from 2012 through the end of last year detailed nearly 1,000 incidents a year, including criminal activity, theft, vandalism, disturbances, and sexual misconduct inside the county’s public libraries.

Tis the Season

Happy, uh Holidays? Story via <a href="http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/12/05/boston-woman-on-mission-to-get-menorah-at-public-library/">CBS Boston</a>.

Rent a Car @ Your Library

Are you a card carrying member? Then you can do more than just borrow books at three branches of the Brooklyn Public Library, you can borrow a car.

As a BPL member, you can join Zipcar now and get $25 in free driving.

We bow to the inventors of this whole sharing thing. The library. They got it way before the rest of us. Borrow it. Use it. Return it. Then it’s someone else’s turn. Genius.

You don’t need that book collecting dust on the shelf. So you let someone else use it. You don’t need a car in Brooklyn all the time, so why pay for it all time? With Zipcar, you share cars with the folks in your neighborhood. You reserve it when you need it and put it back when you’re done.

It’s easy. Just join, reserve, unlock and drive! (Gas & insurance are included)

Raising Chickens & Speed Dating @ Your Library

As the new director at the Sitka AK library, Robb Farmer has lots of new ideas.

KCAW reports:

Farmer spent the last nine years at the Faulkner University Law Library in Alabama. He’s a lawyer himself, but says he enjoyed legal research more than the actual practice of law, and he found a way to stay in the library full-time.

But he was looking at the American Library Association job listings recently, and saw an unusual submission. Allowed only five keywords to help guide applicants, someone had posted…

“Best, Library, Director, Job, Ever”

Farmer had never seen or heard of Sitka. He checked out the listing. Of course, Sitka is spectacular. Those keywords, though, spoke volumes.

“It showed they had a sense of humor. When working in law schools and academia, sometimes they appreciate a sense of humor, but sometimes they don’t.”

Hennepin County Library launches website, and worry, for some teen patrons

Hennepin County Library launches website, and worry, for some teen patrons
http://m.startribune.com/lifestyle/blogs/277953501.html
“We’ve had hundreds of comments,” said Turner, division manager for system services, “and have not heard any concerns from our library staff, nor patrons.” Library staffers have been able to preview the site for the past two weeks, she said, noting that it is “far more image-intensive, less tab-based and more like Pinterest.”

How to Make Libraries More Exciting

THE central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.”

That, happily, is now changing. On September 11th Philadelphia announced it had secured a $25m grant from the William Penn foundation to update its old libraries. Yet libraries in general are struggling. Americans tell pollsters they love them, but fewer use them. In June the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, published data showing that library visitor numbers have declined in recent years. Polling published on September 10th by the Pew Research Center, a think tank, revealed that more people say they are going to the library less than going more, with a sharp gap among the young.

More from The Economist.

Something is Rotten at the Queens (NYC) Library

From From the New York Times: As federal and city officials continue their investigation into spending at the Queens Public Library, the library’s board of trustees has placed its embattled leader, Thomas W. Galante, on paid administrative leave.

At a special meeting on Thursday, the board, besides voting to place Mr. Galante on leave, also moved to give Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, full access to the library’s financial records, including its entire $127 million annual budget.

Mr. Stringer has been pressing to allow his auditors to review not just the 85 percent of the library’s budget that comes from city coffers, but also the balance of the money that is provided by federal grants and private donations.

“There was no excuse for the library’s earlier decision not to cooperate with the audit,” Melinda R. Katz, the Queens borough president who has been pushing for months to overhaul the library’s operations, said in a statement issued on Friday.

Darby Library Possibly Closing

The oldest public library in the United States, Darby Free Library outside Philadelphia, is in danger of closing. The library was founded in southeast Pennsylvania in 1743.

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