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).


Computers and libraries

Steffers writes "The New York Times has an article about the marriage of libraries and the pc. Highlights how computers and internet access have benefitted libraries across the country. It has some very nice things to say about the Gates Foundation, including their new initiative to help fund upkeep of pcs."


Proposed Contract for Brooklyn, Queens, New York Public Libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "The proposed contract for DC 37 in New York City, which covers library workers at Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries, includes a 15% pay cut for new employees (for the first 2 years.) The entry-level librarian salary would be about $27,000. Clerical salaries would be about $21,000. This is appalling. More at New York Newsday"


Early libraries guilty of less selection, access

An Anonymous Patron sends " this piece from the Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner that gives a (very) brief historical overview of libraries."


Libraries show shelf life

An Anonymous Patron writes to tell us of another National Library Week Story from
"Libraries didn't go the way of the dinosaur; they're growing and changing with technology. They'll celebrate all they have to offer this week for National Library Week."


Library Book Sales Project

Steve Mauer writes "If your library could use some extra money or shelf space, make sure you sign up for the
Library Book Sales Project.
Sell your donated / duplicate books online. Average sales price is about $35 per book. Learn about the antiquarian / out of print book trade. Determine market values, chat with other members. STOP giving your books away at the local book sale. Expose your books to the entire world! Data entry couldn't be easier. Lots of drop down menus. Free to use (10% commission on sold books). Originally funded by the California State Library system. Check it out. We think you will be impressed. Steve"



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