Call for Comments: What is a Library?

Over at SIVACRACY.NET, Siva Vaidhyanathan invites librarians to join an ongoing dialogue about Google Print that he has been carrying on with Michael Madison of

The topic: What is a library?

Siva posts a longish passage from Madison, then says:

Any librarians want to take Michael up on his questions? Write to me and I will post the responses.

He primes the pump with a couple of initial responses, and the floor is open. (You can reach Siva at sivav at pobox dot com.)


Online library's novel attraction for bookworms

Anonymous Patron writes "The Telegraph Reports The "doors" of Britain's first known online lending library are to open for business next week, bringing reassurance for literary luddites who fear the march of technology could overcome the manuscript.

My Book Your Book, which operates only in cyberspace, will offer thousands of paperback titles to its members, from fiction hits such as Zadie Smith's White Teeth to the GCSE staple To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee."


Library e-books e-rase expense of overdue fines

Anonymous Patron writes to share this story from the "Towson Times" about e-books at Baltimore County Public Library.

". . . (P)atrons cannot get e-books at a library branch or from a library computer. They have to download them on their own computers."

Currently they have 499 titles and each is available for a three-week loan period, afterwhich it becomes inaccessible.

Check out more at:,or BCPL's Web page,


Florida Governor's Mansion to get library add-on

The first expansion of the Governor's Mansion in 20 years is about to happen, after the commission that oversees the structure decided a new library would be a fitting tribute to Gov. Jeb Bush's work promoting literacy.

The Cabinet signed off on the $500,000 project Tuesday. The 550-square-foot addition, scheduled for groundbreaking in January and completion by the end of 2006, will be connected to the west side, or back, of the mansion.
More, from


Public Libraries and Rock Band on This American Life

Jennifer Melinn writes "On the changing image theme, This American Life features a story about a rock band doing a tour of Michigan public libraries. Listen to the show
or check out the band The High Strung."


Inmates can’t go to library, so it comes to them

The Gary Post Tribune - Gary,IN, reports some good books were written in jail and a group of local educators hope some good books can be read in jail, too.

The Porter County Sheriff’s Department received $5,000 from a local civic group to establish a library in the Porter County Jail, police Sgt. Tim Emmons announced Thursday.


Need to change mindset on libraries: Ku

Here's One From east Malaysia, where they say there is a need to change the public's mindset that libraries are merely avenues to borrow books so as to encourage more people to patronise them.

State Library Director Ku Joo Bee said the library is a source of information that also provides a wide range of facilities and services to visitors.


New California Libraries "Put Civilization First"

The city of Palm Springs, CA and surrounding towns are the home to many wealthy citizens, many of them retirees, but they also have a population that cares about libraries and is willing to put their money to use to build and equip them, in contrast to taxpayers vetos of funding in San Luis Obispo County and the city of Salinas.

Here's the story from the Desert Sun.


UK Libraries face their biggest shake-up

The Guardian Reports UK Librarians could be stripped of their 144-year-old right to choose books under plans to reorganise the public library service disclosed yesterday.

A national agency would be set up to run libraries, largely replacing current control by a patchwork of 149 local authorities. Staff would be redeployed from back offices to deal with the public. Book choice would be privatised by wholesale suppliers; the savings could help extend opening hours or pay for popular titles to win back book borrowers.


An odd ILL plan for Erie County libraries may help save costs

mdoneil writes "The proposal to leave a book at the library where it was requested (rather than returning it to the lending branch) was one of the ways of cutting costs suggested for Erie county libraries.

This proposal and some other not encouraging news is available from WGRZ.

The ILL proposal seems like a bad idea and it oversimplifies the ILL system (I don't think one employee drives one book around) but if libraries were run like a manufacturing business it would be plausable."



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