Libraries

A Bookish Haven for Americans in Paris

Little known to tourists, the American Library in Paris has existed since books were first sent to WW1 doughboys. Here the LA Times gives us perspective on both the history of the library and its current operations. Here's the library's website.

Like every library in the world, it is challenged by changing reading habits. “I’ve understood all along — every library understands this — that if all you’re doing is warehousing books and being a lending library, you’re going to die,” director Charles Trueheart, a former foreign correspondent from the Washington Post says. “You’ve got to offer people all kinds of other stuff, now that they may be going for books in another way. ... And our programming is not just authors, but it’s art appreciation, music, fashion, education, politics, current events.”

The library also contracts with U.S. universities to provide services to American exchange students and compiles study material for French students seeking accreditation as English teachers. Indeed, for all its appeal to Americans in Paris, the library has plenty of French members and supporters.

“There are a lot of French people who are very serious about keeping up their English, and they come to events in English at the library,” says author Diane Johnson, who has lived off and on in Paris for decades and chairs the library’s Writers Council, composed of such colleagues as Julian Barnes and Adam Gopnik.

With Modern Makeovers, America's Libraries Are Branching Out

NPR piece discussing some of the changes and strategies being implemented in libraries.

Library logistics: How millions of new books make it to the shelves

The library system orders books, CDs and movies daily, timing them to hit the shelves on the same day as they would in bookstores. Items also are ordered when there are at least twice as many requests from the public as copies available.This year, the library is to spend $7.4 million on materials.

It’s a precision-timed logistics that few library patrons notice, unless something goes wrong.

“We say that nobody talks about technical services until something isn’t there,” said Laura Simonds, manager of the operations center at 101 S. Stygler Rd. in Gahanna. “If we’re doing our job really well, the book is always there.”

Full story (Piece includes video)

For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging

More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state.

Which state funds their libraries better? Vermont or Kansas? Read the NPR piece to find out.

Nothing to read? Airport libraries to the rescue

It's appropriate that a book celebrating the 75th anniversary of Nashville International Airport includes a page -- and a charming photo -- documenting the library branch that opened on-site in 1962.

Staffed by a librarian who received an extra $4 in her paycheck to cover airport parking, the Nashville Public Library reading room was the first time a public library was ever established in a municipal airport.

Full story -- USA Today

A library card may get you more than you think

NBC News ran a story Saturday evening titled -- A library card may get you more than you think

Several LISNEWS articles have covered this type of story recently but I think it is useful for librarians to know and see pieces that provide national coverage.

You can view the story here.

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Just as e-books have begun working their way into libraries, librarians are grappling with how to embrace digital music. At the Iowa City Public Library, an unusual licensing arrangement with local artists is having some success.

Full story

A Summer Reading Program and Its Discontents

Via Gawker a librarian who is sick to death of the same kid always having read the greatest number of books at the summer reading program.

Nine-year old Tyler Weaver calls himself “the king of the reading club” at Hudson Falls Public Library. But now it seems Hudson Falls (NY) Public Library Director Marie Gandron wants to end his five-year reign and have him dethroned. Tyler won the six-week-long “Dig into Reading” event by completing 63 books from June 24 to Aug. 3, averaging more than 10 a week.

He has consistently been the top reader since kindergarten, devouring a total of 373 books over the five contests, according to his mother, Katie.

“It feels great,” said Tyler, an intermediate scholar student at Hudson Falls School. “I think that was actually a record-breaking streak.”

Everyone is so proud of him. Everybody, it seems, but Gandron, who was surprised to learn Katie (his mom) notified a Post-Star reporter about her son being a longtime winner. During a phone call Tuesday to Gandron, the library director said Tyler “hogs” the contest every year and he should “step aside.” “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said.

Gandron further told the reporter she planned to change the rules of the contest so that instead of giving prizes to the children who read the most books, she would draw names out of a hat and declare winners that way. She said she can’t now because Katie has come forward to the newspaper.

Gandron said she has an “attitude” about the contest because several years ago a little girl came in claiming she had read more than 200 books. Her mother backed her up, but it was discovered the girl was lying.

Beyond Books: Libraries Lend Fishing Poles, Pans And People

What's the point of a library in the digital age? It's a question that makes librarians bristle. They are quick to remind you that they are not just repositories for printed books and DVDs. Regular patrons know this, but public libraries want to reach beyond the faithful. To that end, many librarians are finding creative ways to get people through the doors despite their limited resources.

Full piece on NPR

Netflix Recommendations and Library Book Recommendations

This article made me think. What can we learn from Netflix about the changes in their business from physical DVD distribution to streaming media distribution? This is a pretty good metaphor for the transition libraries are facing.
So this article made me think about the following questions...

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