Author Jorge Luis Borges once wrote, "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." Librarian historian Wayne Wiegand's new book, "Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library," explores the library's importance as a civil and social space. We'll discuss his book and why libraries are still flourishing in the Internet age.
And at the same time, libraries are dealing with rising crime rates, including an uptick in stabbings, shootings, drug use, narcotics sales and even prostitution. On a humid Florida afternoon in 2014, a homeless man crept up behind someone making a copy at the Sarasota County Public Library’s main branch and stabbed him in the back. The victim staggered to the circulation desk, leaving a trail of blood down the stairs. Several months later, at another Sarasota County branch, police caught a homeless couple cooking meth on library grounds.
"The role of public libraries in communities across the state continues to expand as needs increase," explains Kendall Wiggin, State Librarian, Connecticut State Library. "The dialogue helped focused on how to leverage the assets of our state's public libraries to build more knowledgeable, healthy and sustainable communities across the state, and how to improve the sustainability of public libraries in Connecticut. The report that is being released today outlines these discussions along with the steps we will be taking moving forward."
Visiting each of the Toronto Public Library System’s 100 branches sounds like a daunting task, and this literary scavenger hunt aims to navigate you through each one.
The program makes great sense in urban communities, which thrive on publicly connected spaces and resources. Other cities have similar services—the Berkeley Public Library, for instance, created a Tool Lending Library stocked with weed eaters, hedge trimmers, demolition hammers, and electric plumbing snakes.
Reddit users discussed the idea in the Today I Learned community. They noted some of the non-book items they can check out at their own local libraries.
But even if a deal is struck or funding released, Drury said the cutbacks could continue at the library if that state funding is reduced.
"Depending on what the budget number is we may have to make these reductions permanent instead of reinstating them," Drury added.
Penny Talbert, executive director of the Ephrata Public Library, also in Lancaster County, said state funding for programs like hers has decreased heavily in recent years.
KUER's VideoWest/RadioWest's intro to the video Ties the Room Together. "Josh Hanagarne is a writer and a librarian in Salt Lake City who's written beautifully about his experiences with Tourette syndrome. We had him on RadioWest to talk about his 2013 book The World's Strongest Librarian. We want to thank Josh for letting us tag along and pry into his life."
Here's a photo of Josh holding an "In My Book, you're quite a character" card in the beautiful SLCPL .
Good news: the NYPL's Rose Reading Room will reopen in 2016. That will be nearly two years after it closed its doors when a foot-wide piece of plaster (one of the rosettes) fell from the ceiling, but still ahead of the previously scheduled reopening date in 2017.
It appears that the way that Kentucky libraries set their tax rates will stand, despite protest from people who say they've been doing it illegally for decades.
The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a decision Friday that it will not hear arguments in the 2012 lawsuit objecting to the way Campbell and Kenton county libraries set their tax rates.