Libraries

ALA (officially) Opposes Closure of Salinas Libraries

The governing body of the American Library Association, of which I am a member, passed a resolution opposing the closure of the Salinas, California library system. While there have been and will continue to be far too many stories about libraries in crisis—cuts in hours, staff, and materials, this is the first time that a community the size of Salinas will have had its library service wiped out completely. Two of the libraries are named for Cesar E. Chavez and John Steinbeck, who not only represent the spirit of Salinas, but whose words and work belong to the world. Most certainly, efforts will be made to restore service in some form, but for a library to most effectively serve its community, there needs to be continuity. When service is restored, there will be a gap: Staff who have served their community long and well will have moved on, and cancelled magazine and newspaper subscriptions will be represented by empty spaces on the shelves. More than personnel, materials and service gaps, there will be a credibility gap. Any community with a library takes that service for granted. Even to those who don’t regularly use the library, or ever use the library, there is the knowledge that there is a library there, just in case. Without drastic, immediate action, Salinas will be without this safety net by June 17, 2005, the last day employees can work. Doors will be locked to the public before that. ALA does not have the authority to keep the doors open in Salinas, but can provide its voice and support to the people who live there. I hope that ALA will be prepared to help, without question or hesitation, should this shameful situation happen elsewhere.

The resolution, which was brought forth by Michael McGrorty, follows. This is ALA at its best.

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Private library in China changes people's reading habits

Xinhua - English Reports from Bejing on the Beijing Science Education Library.

Located in a community compound in west Beijing's Shijingshan District, the Beijing Science Education Library cannot be compared with many public libraries in scale, but it is unique in that it's the first private library in Beijing.

Founder and director of the library Pan Yueyong said public libraries have many disadvantages in terms of management and service.

"Most public libraries do not open in the evenings. And they're far away from people's homes, which is not convenient for people to borrow and return books. But our library is near the neighborhood. We're much smaller in scale compared to public libraries, but we can provide better services," said Pan.

In Britain, 58% of people have a library card. In China, only less than half a percent of the population has library cards. Every 2,000 Americans share a library. In China, the figure is 800,000. Is it that Chinese people do not have a habit of reading in libraries? Pan Yueyong says no. He thinks the main reason is that current public libraries cannot cater for the needs of readers. [bolding added for emphasis]

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BoB Dylan Very Early Home Tape Donated to LIB

search-engines-web.com send along Word On A previously uncirculated tape of a pre-fame Bob Dylan performing folk songs in a Minneapolis apartment has been donated to the Minnesota Historical Society Library. The recordings have been in the possession of Minneapolis resident Cleve Pettersen since 1960.

At the time, Pettersen was a teenager who frequented the coffeehouses in Minneapolis' Dinkytown neighborhood, which brought him into contact with the fledgling Dylan. Dylan later agreed to perform some tunes for posterity after Pettersen purchased a reel-to-reel tape recorder.

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UPI: MIT library considers move to Pittsburgh

Anonymous Patron writes "United Press International says The Burndy Library, located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., was considering Sunday a move to Pittsburgh.
The library, which contains 50,000 rare books, 30,000 secondary titles and assorted other materials, has an agreement with MIT that will expire in August 2007, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday."

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Fast action saves University library contents

Anonymous Patron writes "Yet Another Flooded Library Story! When will they learn, water and paper just don't mix. Most contents of the University of New Mexico's second largest library have been saved from water damage.
Water pipes in the Centennial Science and Engineering Library burst some time in December. The leak was noticed on Christmas Eve.

Library director Johann van Reenan says university employees and a water evacuation company were able to save most of the books, maps and periodicals."

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Civil War Battles and More...New on LOC Website

The AP tells us about the addition of a special collection of Civil War maps to the Library of Congress website.

The documents include diagrams of battles between 1861 and 1865 as well as troop movements and fortifications, and a plan of the port of Vicksburg, Miss., done in 1863, the year Gen. U. S. Grant defeated the Confederate town on July 4. More maps will be added in the spring. Civil war buffs...check them out here .

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Military librarians help readers from warriors to retirees

One from The Associated Press out of South Carolina on "general" libraries found on a military post.
Army officials say there are about 82 Army libraries at installations around the world. In all, there are about 230 libraries in the Army system, which includes academic, technical, legal, medical and military unit libraries.

Air Force officials say their service has 109 libraries worldwide; Navy officials said their branch has 32 general libraries on bases and book collections on some 322 active vessels.

The Navy and Marine Corps also have more than 50 specialized libraries for academic, technical, medical and legal matters, according to Carole Ramkey, head of the Grey Research Center at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.

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Young Pupils - ReDesign Our LIB Cards Contest

The mysterious search-engines-web sent along One From Michigan where Officials of the Public Libraries of Saginaw are looking for fourth- through eighth-graders to use their art talents to create a new look for library cards.

The Saginaw Art Museum is co-sponsoring the contest, which will pay the winner $100.
Hurry, The entry deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 15.

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MI Library Looks at Reducing Hours, Temporary Closure

The St. Clair County Library System (MI) is faced with financial problems and is looking at severely cutting hours or shutting down for four weeks in order to stay open.

The cuts would mean fewer hours for students to research papers, fewer programs for small children and their parents, less computer time for those without Internet access of their own and fewer hours to browse the stacks for books. Any cuts in hours would reduce the hours that library staffers have to work and possibly could lead to layoffs.
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From porn in the library to "Porn is the Library"

Bob writes "While the rest of the country is trying to figure out what to do about pornography the Center for Sex and Culture is busy collecting, cataloging, and in general making sure its available for academics:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/ 12/29/DDG92AHN9T1.DTL
"This is not about titillation; it's about research. In the growing field of human sexuality, erotica is an indicator of people's desires, community standards, aesthetic and artistic expression and the intersection where all those things come together.""

Neither the article or the Center's web site say anything about how access to the collection will work, or whether professional librarians will be brought in to catalog the holdings. The SF Gate article does indicate that the library will be the site of "show and tell". Read the article if you're interested.

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