Libraries

Empty Library May Become Homeless Shelter

Genghis John writes "The upscale Contra Costa enclave of Orinda, which many consider one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay Area, may soon house a new group of people -- the homeless.While homeless advocates praised the city for volunteering its long-empty library for a shelter to help deal with one of the Bay Area's most-pressing problems, political leaders are bracing for opposition from residents who fear that the operation in the charming Orinda Village would bring in crime, loitering and begging.The City Council voted in closed session this week to negotiate a lease with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County for a temporary shelter for families and the frail elderly.Here'sThe Story."

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Thousands of books damaged by water sprinkler break

Erik writes "I found this article in the local paper about a water sprinkler break at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library System in New Jersey. They were doing construction to expand the library. The extreme cold we've had here in New Jersey for the last week in being blamed for the pipe break. It's always depressing to find so many books destroyed."

No interest in Wampum

The Wampum (New Castle, PA) public library is closing after twenty years.

Town Council President Karolee Loughhead said, "The library board and the volunteers are to be commended for all their work. They put forth a great effort for the community but the community did not respond. I'm sorry it is closing. We have lost a piece of history." Here's the closing notice

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Budget cuts & Government Intrusions - Bad News All Around

The search-engines-web person found a bunch of stories that I'm just too busy to give full coverage to, but they are all worth a look.
www.pittsburghlive.com on the Ford City Library, and efforts to save it, thecrimson.com on layoffs, tcpalm.com shows a ray of hope where Rupert J. Smith Law Library is being saved by lawyers, bouldernews.com where The library asked the city council to join Patriot Act battle, and philly.com has libraries researching their alternatives after huge budget cuts."

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Today in library history - Dec. 24

In 1851 on this date, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes (Associated Press).

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Backlog woes dog Indian National Library

Bad News Out Of Kolkata where : Language titles have taken a backseat in the country's largest book repository — the National Library. Research fellows here have little access to valuable documents and books in various Indian languages.
The backlog has piled to a whopping 2,86,392 Indian titles including government documents in English.
Although officials keep on whining about dearth of competent librarians, some of them don't even do their minimum job. "Despite a vacancy, one group C staff has cleared all the backlog in the Gujarati section," said one of the officials.

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Architect says library should be 'seductive'

A Quotable Philly.com Article on the design inspiration for the renovation and expansion of the Central Branch of the city's Free Library at 19th and Vine Streets.
architect Moshe Safdie:
"I have a passion for libraries," Safdie told a group of about 75 people who had gathered in the center hall of the library's ground floor. "They are potentially real community centers."

Safdie said the library "must be extroverted, it must reach out, and, if I may use the word, it must be seductive."

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Berlin Library Woes

Lee Hadden writes "There is an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal (Dec.
9, 2003). "Berlin's Bitter Land Dispute: New Library May Further Test
Family's Fight for Prime Plots."
A bitter battle over prime Berlin real estate taken from a
prominent Jewish family during the Holocaust may be coming to a head now
that the German government has given up its claims to the land. The easing
of tensions, however, will be tested this week by the opening of a new
governmental library built on one piece of the land.
The case involves about 15 acres in the heart of Berlin, now valued
at hundreds of millions of dollars, whose ownership came into question
after German unification in 1990.

Read more about it at: wsj.com (subscription required), or through many
other library services, such as ProQuest."

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UK Library's anti-religious poster policy met with disbelief

Bucks Free Press Reports the High Wycombe library would not allow an advert for a carol service at All Saints Church, in Castle Street, to be displayed because it was too religious.

One vicar in High Wycombe, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a poor decision to ban it. Their decision is based on a philosophy a philosophy of equality.

"Why is that any different to putting up an advert for a jumble sale? Why shouldn't you be able to advertise carol services.

decision by High Wycombe library to ban religious material from its notice board has been met with a mixture of amazement and incredulity.

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Rock & Roll Library cranks up the volumes

The Boston Globe Reports on a benefit concert, at a nightclub, for a library.
The Rock & Roll Library, where music meets academia, and things can get loud. It's the brainchild of Brighton resident Anne Fitzpatrick, who came up with the idea for a different kind of library after a childhood visit to a more traditional one in her hometown of Quincy.
In 1999, Fitzpatrick opened the Rock & Roll Library in her Lower Allston home, having abandoned the idea of an actual library building in favor of a virtual home on the Web. The library remained there for the next three years, then spent a brief exile in Arlington earlier this year before returning to Allston this past summer. Despite the difficulties of moving, and trying to raise funds in a struggling economy, Fitzpatrick says that the mission remains on course.

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