Community defined by system of libraries

Anonymous Patron writes This opinion piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, extolls the virtues of Seattle as a technology and library-savvy hub. The guest columnist, Lizabeth Wilson (director of university libraries at UW), also gives much credit to Bill and Melinda Gates.


Prisoners turn to library for escape behind bars

The Associated Press looks at prison libraries.
Last year, the state spent $1.7 million on law books for its 69 prison law libraries, according to Allen Overstreet, who oversees library services for the state Department of Corrections. Meanwhile, the general collection at Tomoka consists mainly of worn paperbacks and is dependent mostly on donations.


Library of Alexandria discovered

The BBC Reports Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning. A Polish-Egyptian team has excavated parts of the Bruchion region of the Mediterranean city and discovered what look like lecture halls or auditoria.

Two thousand years ago, the library housed works by the greatest thinkers and writers of the ancient world.


Library at the Mall

pchuck writes "New library offers `living room' feel - Southcenter branch of King County (WA) Library System is modern, colorful and waiting to be explored.

They also add a disclaimer that it isn't a day-care center.

Here is the link:"


Yet another "Libraries on NPR" story.

The DC-area Public Radio program The Diane Rehm Show, which has national distribution on a number of NPR affiliates, featured libraries in the second hour. Guests were Toni Garvey of Phoenix, ALA president Carla Hayden, and Winston Tabb, formerly of the Library of Congress, now with Johns Hopkins University.

And yes, for those of you who listened, I was "Karl from Tulsa" who called about pay equity.

Update: The show in question, the second hour on Thursday, May 6, seems to be in limbo right now. The main website (linked above) has moved on to show next week's shows, while the archive isn't showing May yet. This link should eventually get you to the right place (based on the way other URLs are written on the site), but right now it's dead. Sorry.

ReUpdate: That last link is now operational, and will take you directly to the show's section on last week's archive page.


Librarians pitted against Google

The Guardian has posted this little exercise, comparing the time it takes to answer certain questions using Google, the phone or a library (but not the helpful advice of a librarian who may have helped improve the library's times no end).

It reminded me of those reference question tests I did at library school. The memories of failed reference questions meant that I was thinking "why didn't he go straight for the Whitaker's Almanack?" on question 4.


Library's Longtime Cat-In-Residence Dies

It's been awhile since we ran a library cat story, Here's One out of K.C.
In more than 20 years as cat-in-residence at the Haysville Community Library, Libby Libra survived being run over, a catnapping, a tornado and 10 days shut up in an abandoned wing of the old library building.

But after a siege of bad health due to persisent thyroid problems, library officials had the cat euthanized last Friday.


New Library With Fewer Books

Changing with the times, the South Norwalk (CT) branch library will re-open a year from this summer to serve the community with in increase in the number of computers, and a decrease in the number of books. The Stamford Advocate profiles the changes, which include ADA compliant features including elevators and additional accessibility for handicapped patrons. At present, the book racks are too close together to allow wheelchair access.

The exception to the rule will be the children's department, which will add rather than subtract books.


NYC Mayor will put Libraries in All Public Housing

search engine web writes " 541Mayor Michael Bloomberg is outlining a plan to put reading rooms and libraries in all 345 of the city's housing projects. The hope is to increase literacy in areas where families cannot afford early education materials.The plan focuses on teaching kids to read before they reach school age since studies show that those who learn to read early on tend to move to the head of the class. While some see the plan as a good thing, others feel the mayor should be spending money on schools and computers instead.Mayor Bloomberg is also looking into sending kids to school as young as 3 years old for a half day of pre-kindergarten. He also wants to put 4-year-old kids in pre-kindergarten for a full day."


Dewey Decor Planned for FL Library

Story here from the Star Banner about the how the design for the new Marion County (FL) Library came into being. Library director Julie Sieg returned from a conference elsewhere in the state having been inspired by decorated banners, and with the financial help of the Friends of the Library, and a state art organization, a contest was sponsored for artists to represent the major categories of the Dewey Decimal system from 000 generalities through 999 history.

You may recall that this is the same county that considered slashing the budget to limit purchases of so-called undesirable books (LIS News story from April 7).



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