NPR Asks Do We Really Need Libraries?

"Public libraries are arguably more important today than ever before," Marx says. "Their mission is still the same — to provide free access to information to all people. The way people access information has changed, but they still need the information to succeed, and libraries are providing that."

Or as Andrew Carnegie said many years ago: "A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert."

From Do We Really Need Libraries? : NPR History Dept. : NPR


Improbable Libraries

Via the LA Times a review of a book on the current state of affairs in libraries and a few observations from the British son of two librarians, author Alex Johnson.

In our technology-obsessed world, libraries provide tranquil sanctuaries for zoning out with physical books. Regardless of the ultimate fate of the printed book, reports of the imminent death of the library as a physical entity seem to have been greatly exaggerated.

Libraries have a long history of overcoming geographic, economic and political challenges to bring the written word to an audience," writes Alex Johnson, a journalist at the U.K. newspaper the Independent, in the introduction to his fascinating new book, Improbable Libraries.


Anti-Porn Activist Campaigns Against Niles Library Trustee

From the Chicago Tribune: Anti-pornography activist Megan Fox created a 2:30 video urging Niles IL residents to vote against incumbent trustee Linda Ryan.

In the video, which was posted on Fox's YouTube channel on March 11, she accuses Ryan of voting to allow child pornography on library computers. On Nov. 19, the library board voted to add content filters on adult computers that would block all nudity and pornography. At the time, viewing pornography was already against library policy.

During the meeting, Ryan was one of the trustees who voted against the filtering policy, arguing that it went too far, getting in the way of patrons' ability to access information. Fox used the clips from the meeting to suggest that Ryan would be fine with child pornography. In the video, she also insisted that American Library Association's policy were putting children in danger.

New York City's libraries badly in need of repairs: report

After years of being shortchanged by the city, some of New York’s libraries look like something out of a Gothic novel — with spooky abandoned spaces, leaky ceilings and chilly rooms, a new report found.

From New York City's libraries badly in need of repairs: report - NY Daily News


Public Libraries and Hispanics | Pew Research

When it comes to public libraries, immigrant Hispanics pose both a challenge and an opportunity to the library community. On the one hand, this group, which makes up half of the adult U.S. Hispanic population, is less likely than other Americans to have ever visited a U.S. public library and is much less likely to say that they see it as “very easy” to do so. At the same time, Hispanic immigrants who have made their way to a public library stand out as the most appreciative of what libraries have to offer, from free books to research resources to the fact that libraries tend to offer a quiet, safe space.

From Public Libraries and Hispanics | Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project


Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project

The importance of this is astronomical for the people as a whole and for the revival of the country's library community, in particular. Since its inception four years ago, the Future Library Network of public and municipal libraries in Greece has prospered and advanced all manner of learning, creativity, technological understanding and innovation. It currently consists of 140 Public and Municipal Libraries, with 7,354 individual members and has renovated 8 children's libraries in Central Macedonia and established 9 Media Labs across the country. It's hosted over 9,800 events in more than 100 Greek cities which have drawn in over 300,000 participants. It's also organized training programs for "future librarians" and has distributed approximately 50,000 books and all matter of technological equipment to over 120 libraries nationwide. Its yearly Summer Campaign has so far hosted 8,402 activities and events for 200,000 children aimed at promoting Reading & Creativity.

From Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project | Sara Lee Bentley


Not As Cool As *Real* Librarians, But... references 11 of the coolest pop culture librarians in this piece.

“Richard Tyler, consider this your passport to the wonderful and quite unpredictable world of books.” Have truer words about a library card ever been spoken? The Pagemaster’s librarian Mr. Dewey, whose mystic, alternate form is the Keeper of the Books and Guardian of the Written World, is eccentric to say the least, but he knows just how magical of a place a library can be. Plus, hes nice enough to bend the rules and let you check out as many books as you want… just this once, of course.

Tammy 2, Parks and Recreation

She might be criminally insane, but I’ll be damned if Tammy Swanson, the oversexed Deputy Director of Library Services from Parks and Recreation, isn’t the most hilarious librarian in the history of librarians. A master seductress and queen manipulator, she is certainly the kind of librarian that would liven up your book club.

In Praise of Libraries | The Rotarian

“The library is especially valuable to people as they grow older,” she says. “You cannot overstate this. Maybe you’re sitting at home, all alone. Maybe you don’t get that many visitors anymore. So you come here. When you go to the library, you see children, families, people of all age groups. It makes you feel that you are part of a community.” She pauses.

“In the library, you get to feel that you are part of something bigger than yourself. It’s life.”

From In Praise of Libraries | The Rotarian


Students turn food trucks into mobile libraries

Three enterprising Arizona State University students capitalize on the food truck craze by devising a plan to convert old trucks into modern-day bookmobiles for low-income schools and communities lacking basic library resources. They hatched the idea as part of their Changemaking in Education course co-taught by ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Teach For America.

From Students turn food trucks into mobile libraries | ASU News

Halifax councillor proposes finding a new name for libraries

“It really is a new era for libraries in terms of their significance around economic development, our strategy of supporting immigration and newcomers, supporting small business and entrepreneurs,” said Coun. Jennifer Watts.

Coun. Tim Outhit said the libraries are now so much more than book repositories, it’s possible the term “library” should be retired.

From Check this out: Halifax councillor proposes finding a new name for libraries | Metro



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