Libraries

Finding answers to library blight

Anonymous Patron writes "China Daily, China article on the National Library in Zhongguancun. Many visitors to the National Library, the country's biggest, complain about its inefficiency. Some even question whether it is fulfilling its public duties properly."

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A Unique Naming Opportunity

tangognat writes "Via Obscurestore.com, a donor has spent over 5 figures to sponsor urinals at the Van Pelt Library. Full story available at the Daily Pennsylvanian"

"The relief you are now experiencing is made possible by a gift from Michael Zinman," read circular silver plaques above the urinals in the men's restroom of the Van Pelt Library.

Endangered Libraries List

Michael McGrorty has posted an Endangered Libraries list at LibraryDust.com and I've put a call out for comments from library staff who work in endangered libraries, asking what sorts of support most help library workers and community members.

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Lottery saves literary who's who

The BBC reports The National Library of Scotland is to be given £17.7m by the Heritage Lottery Fund to acquire the "unique" John Murray publishing archive.
Lottery cash of £16m was also awarded to fund the development of a new Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

However, the acquisition of the archive is seen as the major coup in the grant announcements.

It was started by the first John Murray, who was a Scot and founded his publishing house in London in 1768.

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Homeless in Winter? Libraries become Oases

search-engines-web.com sends this piece on homeless people in Las Vegas area libraries from the Review Journal.

There are about 7,800 homeless in the Las Vegas Valley, according to Nevada Health Centers. Clark County Social Services counted 1,725 beds last year available in local shelters. But there are few spaces offered during the day where the homeless can go to escape heat and cold, short of a few nonprofit shelters scattered throughout the valley. Several hundred homeless visit libraries every day and have for decades, said John Farrell, outreach case worker for Nevada Health Centers."
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Libraries with WiFi hotspots around the world

Godfrey Oswald writes "How I love the increasing number of services libraries have been introducing
over the last 2 decades.

In the very begining libraries provided us only
with books and periodicals, then in the 1980s they started providing us with
access to CD-ROM databases on computers, as well as allowing us to rent
videos to watch at home. In the late 1990s came computers with Internet
access (for us to check our e-mails and browse the web), and DVD movies to
rent.

Imagine this scenario, you are at your local public library typing your
project on your laptop or reading a book, and suddenly you need to check
your e-mail or browse the web, but the library's computers with Internet
access are all fully booked or in use. The solution is to use the WiFi
Hotspot in the library (if it has one of course!)

Starting from late 2002 (first in the U.S.) libraries began to offer WiFi
Hotspots. Initially only university, college and special libraries around
the world offered WiFi Hotspots, but around middle 2003, a number of public
and national libraries also began to offer WiFi Hotspots.

I am now compiling a list of libraries and bookshops with WiFi Hotspots.
Please e-mail me details of any library or bookshop you know that has a WiFi
Hotspot.

The website listing libraries and bookshops with WiFi Hotspots
is at:

LwRw.com
"

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Libraries just aren't the same

Anonymous Patron writes "roanoke.com - Extra Stories -Libraries just aren't the same"

Nicholson Baker has railed on this topic in the past as well (in pre-Double Fold days).

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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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