Librarians

Do School Children Really Need Librarians?

Yes and no, according to your perspective.

City Limits, a NYC blog reports that earlier this summer, the Department of Education requested a variance from the state, asking official permission to offer fewer librarians in schools. While the DOE says it recognizes librarians' value, in the face of fiscal challenges and technological changes the department is looking for alternative ways to provide students with library services. In place of hiring certified librarians, schools could train teachers to offer the same services, bring in parent volunteers or have librarians circulate between schools.

Meanwhile, elementary schools are exempt from the regulation altogether. Some elementary school libraries are staffed by teachers or librarians without certification. Some even go without.

And from the librarians' POV: "The idea that a shelf full of a books somehow replaces a librarian is wrong," says Christian Zabriskie, Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a professional group that supports librarianship in urban settings. "If I'm exploring things about, say, my sexuality, drug issues, health issues, I can't grab those books in front of my peers," he adds. Zabriskie's own middle school librarian had a significant impact on his life by supporting him when he was being bullied and teaching him how to stand up for others.

Library logistics: How millions of new books make it to the shelves

The library system orders books, CDs and movies daily, timing them to hit the shelves on the same day as they would in bookstores. Items also are ordered when there are at least twice as many requests from the public as copies available.This year, the library is to spend $7.4 million on materials.

It’s a precision-timed logistics that few library patrons notice, unless something goes wrong.

“We say that nobody talks about technical services until something isn’t there,” said Laura Simonds, manager of the operations center at 101 S. Stygler Rd. in Gahanna. “If we’re doing our job really well, the book is always there.”

Full story (Piece includes video)

A Summer Reading Program and Its Discontents

Via Gawker a librarian who is sick to death of the same kid always having read the greatest number of books at the summer reading program.

Nine-year old Tyler Weaver calls himself “the king of the reading club” at Hudson Falls Public Library. But now it seems Hudson Falls (NY) Public Library Director Marie Gandron wants to end his five-year reign and have him dethroned. Tyler won the six-week-long “Dig into Reading” event by completing 63 books from June 24 to Aug. 3, averaging more than 10 a week.

He has consistently been the top reader since kindergarten, devouring a total of 373 books over the five contests, according to his mother, Katie.

“It feels great,” said Tyler, an intermediate scholar student at Hudson Falls School. “I think that was actually a record-breaking streak.”

Everyone is so proud of him. Everybody, it seems, but Gandron, who was surprised to learn Katie (his mom) notified a Post-Star reporter about her son being a longtime winner. During a phone call Tuesday to Gandron, the library director said Tyler “hogs” the contest every year and he should “step aside.” “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said.

Gandron further told the reporter she planned to change the rules of the contest so that instead of giving prizes to the children who read the most books, she would draw names out of a hat and declare winners that way. She said she can’t now because Katie has come forward to the newspaper.

Gandron said she has an “attitude” about the contest because several years ago a little girl came in claiming she had read more than 200 books. Her mother backed her up, but it was discovered the girl was lying.

Librarians + Beastie Boys =

From the New York Public Library Tumblr.

Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song

From Doctor Who to Buffy to Borges' Babel, we visit some notable libraries in popular culture.

Piece on NPR

Fourth quadrant: Librarians?

Books Stolen by Librarian Who Committed Suicide Return to Sweden

Two rare volumes stolen by an employee from Sweden’s Royal Library will be returned today in New York after the antique book seller in Baltimore who purchased them agreed to hand them over to the FBI.

The chief of the Royal Library’s Manuscript Department, Anders Burius, stole at least 56 rare or one-of-a-kind books in his 10 years of employment, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement stamped July 17. The books to be returned “contain early depictions of the United States by explorers,” the attorney’s office said.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-24/books-stolen-by-librarian-who-committed-suicide-...

The secret lives of librarians

While most of us see librarians sitting and talking to people or moving quietly about the facility, they are, in fact, quite an active group. One is training as a competitive barrel racer. Others are belly dancers. There are several long-distance runners. These individuals are committed to improving their fitness, which will help them maintain their focus on the demands of research and data management that are part of a modern librarian’s daily life.

The secret lives of librarians

Why librarians are needed more than ever in the 21st century

Post by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing

Excerpt: In a 2010 interview with The Book Page, Neil Gaiman neatly set out the case for libraries and librarians in the 21st century; the remarks are even more relevant today, as libraries fight for a fair deal from publisher for ebooks, and with austerity-maddened local governments for their very survival.

Hundreds gather for vigil held for Liverpool schools librarian killed in brutal Clay incident

Hundreds of people gathered at a public vigil tonight to say goodbye and honor the memory of Lori Bresnahan, the school librarian who was killed in the Town of Clay three months ago, after she left a class at the mall.

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