Confessions of a Heavy Library User

Here's a great pro-library essay from a self-confessed library addict.

That leads me to another advantage of my library card. It's helping me wean myself off of buying books. I ran out of bookshelf space even after giving away 800 books -- to a library book sale, of course -- when we moved into our current house. Now I just reserve the newest and most obscure books from the library so I don't have to find a space to store them after buying them.

Four Buffalo Area Libraries Taken off Closing List

Four Erie County libraries have been spared from having to close their doors, because they've agreed to support the county libraries with city funds. The bad news is that there are still 16 libraries on the closing list. More here from the Buffalo News.


This Guy (Hearts) His Library

It's always awesome to have someone other than library workers crow about how terrific libraries are. This Roanoke Times reporter even shares his tips for how he uses his local library.

Tip 8: Check out biographies in addition to whatever subject matter you find interesting. I remember checking the Salem library for books on pro wrestling, but was disappointed by the few books available in the small wrestling area of the sports section. Checking biographies, though, I found books by Jerry Lawler, Ric Flair and Mick “Cactus Jack/Mankind/Brother Love� Foley.

Library Spotlight: Minneapolis Central Library

The Book Standard has a story called Library Spotlight: Minneapolis Central Library. The story starts out: For the past two years, Minneapolis has ranked No.1 on the list of America’s most literate cities followed closely, both years, by Seattle), and, according to Kit Hadley, at least a small part of that stellar reputation is due to the city’s libraries. Of course, as the director of the Minneapolis library system, and as a vocal champion of the phenomenal new Central Library currently under construction in town, Hadley may be slightly biased. Still, she’s got a lot to be proud of. “Our library usage is incredibly strong,� she says. “The ratio of cardholders to city’s population is incredibly high—it’s the third-highest in the country. This is a city that loves its libraries.�


Puppet lending library in the news

Today's KidsPost has a nice article about a puppet lending library run by Brooklyn's Puppeteers Cooperative.

Draped over dull gray boxes of electrical equipment is a Mother Earth puppet with a face the size of a manhole cover. A dragon made of blue garbage bags snakes down a circular staircase.

They peer from alcoves and hang from the ceiling; floor after floor of enormous puppets, including kid-size, grinning white carousel horses. The best part of it: The puppets are part of the New York Puppet Library and they can be checked out -- for two weeks. The puppets really belong to a group called the Puppeteers Cooperative. People use them for parties, parades and political rallies.

ABC News profiled the library earlier in the summer. The library's photo of the week, showing patrons using their puppets, is always good for a smile.


Briton Starts Up On-Line Sharing Library

Peter Baillie, the founder of an online book-sharing library told BBC News that the interest in his scheme has been "beyond his wildest dreams". The 'My Book Your Book' website does not go live until Monday evening, but has already received 750 applications. All of its "founder members" will be able to access thousands of paperback novels - provided they donate 10 books each to the co-operative scheme.

Anyone familiar with any such co-op book-swapping concepts here in the States?


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.
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