Libraries

He Reads A Lot of Books

From the Wall Street Journal, Joe Queenan recalls his lifelong habit of reading.

I started borrowing books from a roving Quaker City bookmobile when I was 7 years old. Things quickly got out of hand. Before I knew it I was borrowing every book about the Romans, every book about the Apaches, every book about the spindly third-string quarterback who comes off the bench in the fourth quarter to bail out his team. I had no way of knowing it at the time, but what started out as a harmless juvenile pastime soon turned into a lifelong personality disorder.

If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find "reality" a bit of a disappointment.

Fifty-five years later, with at least 6,128 books under my belt, I still organize my daily life—such as it is—around reading. As a result, decades go by without my windows getting washed.

Reinventing the bookmobile in Texas with The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library

The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library is a Houston-area bookmobile created by two recent library school graduates, hitting the streets in 2013. It will be a traveling library built from personal libraries and donations, based on a rent/barter/trade system AND a physical resource maintained by professionals that is open to partnerships and collaborations with organizations like schools, libraries, museums, nonprofits, and local artists.

For more information and ways to get involved, check out the Boing Boing Library Lab write-up, the BTPL IndieGoGo campaign, the BPTL's blog, and the BPTL's social channels (@thebptl on Twitter and fb.me/theBPTL on Facebook).

Fort Collins Bike Library rolls into transition

If it sounds similar to the current Bike Library in Old Town, that is on purpose. The two companies would be the next generation of the current Bike Library, and with funding in question after this year, the city is looking at the best course of action moving forward.
As part of an ongoing Bike Library Alternatives Analysis, the city is looking into implementing an automated bike-share system to augment the current Bike Library.

U. of Maryland Library Gangnam Style

Pretty hip place if you asked me...

On Loving Her Alaskan Library

From the Anchorage Daily News, by Elise Patkotak:

There are great differences between the library of my past and the libraries of the present and future. Some of those differences are simply mindboggling. For instance, in my day a library card meant I could go to a room with a stack of books, choose which I wanted to read and have the books stamped by a nice lady at the desk. Then I got to walk out of the building with my arms full of treasure. Now, a library card means you can sit in the comfort of your own home and download e-books that you can keep for about three weeks before they "return" to the library shelf. How cool is that?

Equally important, perhaps, in a time when we are more and more isolating ourselves from our family and friends through use of electronic media, the library remains a place of vibrant community where ideas can be accessed and shared, discussions held and knowledge gained whether you are rich or poor. It is the ultimate democratizing institution available to everyone in this country.

Today's reality is that if you can't afford a computer, you are at a distinct disadvantage in a very competitive world. Go to the library and find free computer access to anyone with a library card. And that card is also, as always, free. In a world where having information at your fingertips is more critical than ever to succeeding, the library is the one place anyone can go to level the playing field.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/10/09/2655538/libraries-arent-relics-theyre.html#storylink=cpy

"If Librarians Were Honest"

The poem by Joe Mills will make every librarian nod in recognition. The essay attached, also written by Joe, highlights his love and belief in libraries. Enjoy the article at the Library as Incubator Project. Read it here.

More on Changes to the the New York Public Library Main Reading Room

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

Snapshot Day @ Your Library

Is your library having Snapshot Day? Here's some info from ALA on the phenomenon, started in New Jersey three years ago.

Snapshot Day Primer
Snapshot Day in various states
Ohio's Snapshot Day, held this week.

Have you found it to be useful in determining the relative success of your library and its programs? Suggestions for others?

Stop the Whitewash!! Artist Decries Removal of Her Mural at San Francisco Branch Library

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.

The library with no rules

"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."

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