Public Libraries

SUV Crashes into Library in New Jersey

Why is it always the library? Fortunately it was closed and undergoing renovation at the time.

Video from ABC News about vehicle crashing into Hawthorne, NJ Library.

New Library in Baghdad

A post on an IREX “global libraries” blog from 2011 sums up the many of the problems with Egypt’s public libraries of recent years — a few giant, pretty institutions with decent funding — such as Biblioteca Alexandrina, the al-Ma3di library — that are largely cold and inaccessible (and in affluent areas), rather than a larger number of community libraries.

In Egypt, occasionally non-governmental organizations have stepped forward to create neighborhood libraries. Last year, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) launched an initiative to establish five public libraries in under-served neighborhoods. While they don’t look as pretty as the Biblioteca Alexandrina, they get inside neighborhoods and bring books to people.

Read more about it at: http://arablit.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/design-for-baghdads-new-mega-library/

The ABC of It: Exhibit on Childrens Books at the NYPL

The great green room and the purple crayon are here; so are the wild things and the poky puppy, Charlotte’s web and Alice’s wonderland, the very hungry caterpillar and the stinky cheese man. It is a reunion of creatures, characters and creations, gathered from memories of childhood and parenthood, and celebrated in “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter,” a remarkably rich new exhibition at the New York Public Library.

Story and slide show from the New York Times.

Ray Bradbury's Books to Go to Waukegan Library

From the Daily Herald:

Author Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and spent the rest of his life on the West Coast, but his fondness for Waukegan IL never dissipated.

After his death, in June of last year, library officials learned Bradbury had bequeathed his personal book collection to the County Street facility. It's no small gift.

"Every room had a bookshelf overflowing," said Rena Morrow, the library's marketing, programming, and exhibits manager. The collection contains some books that could be valuable, such as first editions of noted works or autographed books, Morrow said.

The library also stands to receive copies of books Bradbury wrote, including some in foreign languages. The collection's value is being appraised.

The library may receive some of Bradbury's personal belongings, too.
"We'd like to get one of his typewriters," library Executive Director Richard Lee said. "He had four."

Dance @ Your Library

for your Monday entertainment... Britain's Cascade Dance Company at the Tunbridge Wells Library in "Big Dance Library Project", recorded in the summer of 2012.

Miscommunication or Mismanagement? (Part 2 of The Urbana Free Library Saga)

In the interviews that [Library Director Deb] Lissak gave Friday afternoon, the words “misunderstanding,” “miscommunication,” and “communication errors” were used repeatedly. Whose misunderstanding? Whose miscommunication? Whose communication errors?

http://smilepolitely.com/culture/miscommunication_or_mismanagement/

Urbana Free Library Aggressive Weeding Draws Criticism

The Urbana (IL) Free Library is facing scrutiny after the director, Deb Lissak made a "made a unilateral decision to weed books in the print collection by date alone," ignoring established criteria and without the knowledge of the Adult Services Director, Anne Phillips. Anecdotal reports indicate that the adult non-fiction collection has been weeded 50-75% and that the titles have been shipped to Better World Books

According to Mary Ellen Farrell, Board of Trustees President, a “conscious effort” was made “to find the most efficient way to get [the library] up to par as far as RFID tagging and … for the most usable [and] efficient things that … our library needs to have here as a core collection, and to identify things that are easily accessed, either from other libraries … or online.”

At least three staff members reported to Phillips that they were instructed to "[weed] as quickly as possible, even at the level of going through a range in 30 minutes of 2,000 titles.” That’s less than one second per book.

The details of this story are at Smile Politely.

Mysterious Head Found at Long Island Library

There’s been a bizarre finding on Long Island’s East End, behind the East Hampton Public Library. A black-painted terra cotta head with a woman’s bust partially showing has been found, and nobody appears to have a clue on who may have placed it there, why it was placed there or who the woman depicted in the statue is.

Texas county to open "library without books"

Bexar County, Texas, is set to launch a huge project they're calling "BiblioTech".

... the BiblioTech library will have 100 e-readers for loan, and an initial selection of 10,000 digital titles. The library itself will have a host of computer stations where patrons can study, use the Internet, and learn computer skills.

Meanwhile, readers at home can check out e-books without leaving the couch. It's estimated that the library's services will reach about 1.7 million people in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio. The BiblioTech project is designed to supplement the existing city library system.

We've heard of "virtual" libraries before, but what I find interesting about this is the emphasis on e-readers for loan, not just computer terminals or digital holdings. However, I have to wonder how 100 e-readers are meant to serve a population of 1.7 million. I assume that's just a starting point, but I'm fascinated to see how this model develops and what it will mean for other public libraries and managing digital readership.

Edited to add - "Anonymous" in the comments below is absolutely right to call me out on using "without books" when I meant "paperless." --Amy

 

At Brooklyn Library’s New Center, Books Are Secondary

The four-month-old Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons replaced the branch’s media section, providing a wood-paneled center with space for 70 laptop users, a 36-seat classroom and 7 meeting rooms, including a digital studio with green screen, microphone and video equipment.

It quickly became popular with freelance writers and other creative minds, but its uses have been quite varied, like as a safe space for immigrants to learn about the naturalization process and for parents to hold meetings about charter schools. And yes, even as a warm environment for a wedding.

“This is a sanctuary. It’s beautiful,”

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