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A letter to the Editor from the director of the Harvard U. Library, Robert Darnton via The New York Review of Books on the anticipated changes to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library. LISNews reported on the story this past spring.
"Polemics rarely lead to happy endings. They usually produce hard feelings and a hardening of positions, rather than mutual understanding and mutually acceptable results. The loud debate about the Central Library Plan (CLP) of the New York Public Library may, however, be an exception to this rule—not that it has come to an end, but it has reached a turning point, which should satisfy both sides.
Critics of the CLP were especially incensed about its provision to remove books from the seven levels of stacks under the Rose Main Reading Room and ship them to offsite storage in order to make room for a circulating library to be installed on the lower floors. They petitioned, they provoked a debate—some of it conducted in these pages [Letters, NYR, July 12—and they were heard.
After studying the problem further, a committee of the library’s trustees has made the following recommendations, which were accepted by the full board on September 19:
• Another level of stacks under Bryant Park will be developed, creating room for onsite storage of another 1.5 million books.
• Books shipped to ReCAP, the offsite storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey, from the onsite collection will mostly be works that are already digitized and available online. -- Read More
Is your library having Snapshot Day? Here's some info from ALA on the phenomenon, started in New Jersey three years ago.
Have you found it to be useful in determining the relative success of your library and its programs? Suggestions for others?
An artist who helped paint the community-created Victor Jara mural on Bernal Heights Branch Library today asserted her rights to 90-day notice prior to destruction of the mural so that she may have an opportunity to remove it. Story from Indy Media.
Nora Roman, whose name is listed on the mural as one of the artists, sent a letter to the City Librarian Luis Herrera and other San Francisco officials asserting her rights under the California Art Preservation Act (CAPA).
CAPA provisions include a requirement that the owner of a work of art that is to be destroyed must give 90 days notice to the artist so that he or she may remove the work. No such notice had been given to Ms. Roman as of yesterday, October 2, the date the City Librarian announced that the mural would be painted out in two days, October 4. He spoke in the Bernal Heights Branch, during one of 11 previously-scheduled meetings citywide to discuss with the public the library’s open hours for the next five years.
Peter Warfield, Executive Director of Library Users Association, said it appeared that the library had made no effort to locate Ms. Roman, to offer her, as one of the artists, an opportunity to remove the mural. “Even though Nora Roman’s name is on the side of the mural as one of the artists, the library did not bother to let her know what it planned for the mural – namely complete destruction followed by replacement with something that leaves out any reference to the most important elements of the existing mural,” he said.
Mr. Warfield said the planned replacement gives an unexplained “financial fee” of $16,800 to the Friends of SFPL, where no such fee was involved in an original refreshment plan previously approved by the Library Commission in 2009.
"People can borrow, take home, bring back or keep," says Guanlao, 60, a former Filipino tax accountant, ice-cream salesman and government employee known by all as Nanie. "Or they can share and pass on to another. But basically they should just take, take!" Guanlao reckons books "have lives, and have to lead them. They have work to do. And the act of giving a book …it makes you complete. It makes your life meaningful and abundant."
From Colossal: I can’t remember the last time I saw the actual use of a rubber date stamp, most libraries exchanged them for fancy barcodes and other digital systems a decade ago.
But Italian artist Federico Pietrella who lives and works in Berlin has a fantastic use for them in his paintings made from thousands of densely stamped ink dates. In his enormous ink artworks Pietrella always stamps the current date, thus each of his pieces contains a clear timeline of the days he worked on it, often spanning two months. You can see much more on his website and watch a brief interview with artist courtesy of Deutsche Welle. (via visual news)
Author muses on why we spend money on library buildings. Ends with conclusion about "library as place".
"The truth is, I don’t know why brick-and-mortar libraries still serve a purpose. I could have checked out the e-book version, but instead, sitting somewhere in the mid-800s of nonfiction, I have found a perfect location, just light enough to read but shielded from passerby. Turning the thick, dinner-stained pages of Ramona the Pest, the dust jacket crinkles and within a single chapter I am eight again.This is my third place; my place between work and home where I belong. And sitting here is why I continue to fight for public libraries. "
A new Kentucky license plate gives drivers the opportunity to show their support for libraries. Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives Commissioner Wayne Onkst recently presented the “Support Kentucky’s Libraries” license plate to Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear.
“Kentucky’s public libraries welcomed more than 20 million visitors last year who checked out more than 30 million books and other items,” said Beshear. “It’s clear that Kentuckians love their public libraries, and now they have another way to show their support.”
The new plate is available at any county clerk’s office with a $25 application fee. At the time of issuance, an optional $10 can be paid to fund library science scholarships.
Speaking at a private gathering of publishers organized by the Association of American Publishers, Sullivan was explaining why earlier this week the ALA sent a strongly worded open letter to publishers about the need to figure out way for publishers to sell libraries e-books for “equitable use at a reasonable price.”
Publishers in the room, however, were not so conciliatory.
An executive from Perseus Book Group who did not identify herself said, “our executives are confused as to what is a library?” She cited concerns that the free and wide availability of e-books to library patrons could undercut publisher business.
But the most pointed questioning came from Wiley’s director of digital business development Peter Balis.
“When will the ALA start proposing to us some best practices on what models you think will work from your digital solutions working group? You put a lot on us and it’s created a lot of chaos and clearly it’s [e-book library lending] broken. We have twelve different models,” he said. “You have to come back to us with more than just ‘equitable access at a fair price.’”
As the question was being posed, many heads in the publisher-heavy audience were nodding in ascent.