People N Patrons

Information Please Librarian

From The Guardian, a selection of queries addressed to NYPL librarians including "Is this the place where I ask questions I can’t get answers to?" - Phone question, September 13, 1947

The library card - The Lancet

Thanks to Lee for passing this one along!

I keep coming back to the library card. Why did he have it? What did he do at the library? Did he surf the Internet, or check out books? Did he look at newspapers? Or did he just go to the library to escape the elements, to sit in a quiet place, where everything was calm?

From The library card - The Lancet

Homeless People Need Libraries and Libraries Need Homeless People Too

From the AP:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jeffery Bailey spends nearly every day at his public library. It's not just that he loves books. For the 43-year-old who sleeps in a tent outside a local church, the library is pretty much the only place he can go that won't charge him to provide safety, warmth, useful services and entertainment.

Many public libraries discourage homeless people from hanging around all day. "It could be the way you dress, the way your hair is," says Bailey, whose scruffy denim jacket could use a good wash.

But just as Bailey needs his library, the library needs him: In this digital age, many people who used to depend on libraries can find what they need online without leaving home. Menaced by budget cuts, many public libraries are effectively failing to justify their relevance, reducing their hours year after year.

Nice Story for a Monday; VT Janitor Bequeaths Savings to Library & Hospital

Reuters reports:
Everyone thought he was practically penniless, but he managed to save up $8 million dollars and bequeathed it in his will.

Perhaps the only clue that Ronald Read, a Vermont gas station attendant and janitor who died last year at age 92, had been quietly amassing an $8 million fortune was his habit of reading the Wall Street Journal, his friends and family say.

It was not until last week that the residents of Brattleboro would discover Read's little secret. That's when the local library and hospital received the bulk of his estate, built up over the years with savvy stock picks."Investing and cutting wood, he was good at both of them," his lawyer Laurie Rowell said on Wednesday, noting that he read the Journal every day. Most of those who knew Read, described as a frugal and extremely private person, were aware that he could handle an axe. But next to no one knew how well he was handling his financial portfolio.

In South Florida, A Lover and Donor of Unique Books

It all started with his work as a library volunteer. From The Sun Sentinel:

For Arthur Jaffe, books weren't just to be read. They were to be treasured as works of art. Jaffe, who donated a lot of money and his vast collection of hand-crafted books to Florida Atlantic University, died Sunday. He was 93.

Though he passed away this week, his legacy will live on through the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU's Wimberly Library, where he spent 13 years as curator before retiring in 2011. The collection has grown from Jaffe's original donation of 2,800 handmade books to 12,000 today.

The Jaffe collection includes children's pop-ups, wood cuts and lithographs. There are several versions of the Bible, classics like "Moby Dick" and "Hamlet," and more unusual volumes, such as "Ghost Diary" by Maureen Cummins, a rare book made of glass. Even after retiring in 2011, he continued to visit the center on a regular basis. In 2012, he launched a project that seemed unusual for the book arts center: a documentary on the tattoos of FAU students.

"Here was a 91-year-old looking at all these tattooed kids and saying, 'they're all walking books,'" Cutrone said. "Sometimes you think of older people as being set in their ways, but that was not Arthur. He was willing to see the other side of things."

Edinburgh University has Given a Library Card to a Cat

Jordan has turned his back on his Catholic friar owners and adopted Edinburgh University library as his main residence. The feline has his own Facebook page set up by students with over 6,800 “likes”. [Ed. note: the Facebook page is a hoot; pictures of Library Cat and a stream-of-consciousness storyline by an anonymous commenter].

And now the black and white pet has been made “official” by getting a card for the library, complete with a photo and 2017 expiry date. The eight-year-old came to the Catholic chaplaincy as a kitten but never took to life as a mouse catcher with men of the cloth.

Despite being named after a 12th Century saint, Jordan preferred the company of trendy young students - and an easy life in the well-heated library. Every day, Jordan leaves the friary and crosses Edinburgh’s leafy George Square in the old town, to the university’s main library.

There, he enjoys being petted by students from across the globe, and even has a favourite turquoise chair near the door. More from Edinburgh News. And here's Jordan's interview on Scottish TV.

NPR's StoryCorps @ Your Library

via Pub-Lib:

StoryCorps, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, is accepting applications from public libraries and library systems interested in hosting StoryCorps @ your library programs.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),= StoryCorps @ your library will bring StoryCorps' popular interview methods= to libraries while developing a replicable model of oral history programming.

Program guidelines and the online application are available at apply.ala.or= g/storycorps. The application deadline is Feb. 6.

Ten selected sites will receive:

* a $2,500 stipend for project-related expenses;
* portable recording equipment;
* a two-day, in-person training on interview collection, digital recording
techniques and archiving on April 8-9, 2014, led byStoryCorps staff in Brooklyn, New York
* two two-hour planning meetings to develop a program and outreach strategy with
StoryCorps staff in March 2015;
* promotional materials and technical and outreach support;
* access to and use of StoryCorps' proprietary interview database.

Each library will be expected to record at least 40 interviews during the six-month interview collection period (May-October 2015). In addition, each library must plan at least one public program inspired by the interviews they collect. Local libraries will retain copies of all interviews and preser= vation copies will also be deposited with the Library of Congress.

This StoryCorps @ your library grant offering represents the second phase of the StoryCorps @ your library project, following a pilot program in 2013-14. Read more at StoryCorps and StoryCorps @ your library.

Library Cloud Formations of the PAST and the FUTURE

From The Atlantic.

THE PAST

THE FUTURE

Books are still there. What do you think?

How Ninja Librarians are Ensuring Patrons' Electronic Privacy

Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.

Library Patrons Are At Risk

One of the authors of this Boing Boing article, Alison Macrina, is an IT librarian at the Watertown Free Public Library in Massachusetts, a member of Boston's Radical Reference Collective, and an organizer working to bring privacy rights workshops to libraries throughout the northeast. Librarians know that patrons visit libraries for all kinds of online research needs, and therefore have a unique responsibility in helping keep that information safe. It's not just researchers who suffer; our collective memory, culture, and future are harmed when writers and researchers stop short of pursuing intellectual inquiry.

In addition to installing a number of privacy-protecting tools on public PCs at the Watertown library, Alison has been teaching patron computer classes about online privacy and organized a series of workshops for Massachusetts librarians to get up to speed on the ins and outs of digital surveillance.

How Much Will Elvis Presley's Library Card Bring This Time?

From the New York Times Arts Beat:

Elvis Presley’s earliest known signature – on a library card he signed as a 13-year-old student in Tupelo, Miss. – is one of the main draws in an auction of Elvis memorabilia to be held at Graceland, the singer’s palatial headquarters, in Memphis on Aug. 14.

In 2012, the card was sold for $7500 – a bargain, you would think .

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