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By the loading dock of Seattle's downtown library, librarian Jared Mills checks his tire pressure, secures his iPads and locks down about 100 books to an aluminum trailer the size of a steamer trunk. The scene is reminiscent of something you'd see in an action movie, when the hero is gearing up for a big fight, but Mills is gearing up for something very different.
"If you're not prepared and don't have a lot of experience hauling a trailer, it can be kind of dangerous," Mills says, especially when you're going downhill. "The trailer can hold up to 500 pounds."
Mills is part of Seattle Public Library's Books on Bikes program, which aims to keep the library nimble and relevant by sending librarians and their bicycles to popular community events around Seattle.
After a hilly, 5-mile bike ride to a local farmers market, Mills sets up shop among the fruit and vegetable booths. The bright orange trailer is custom-made with bookshelves and an umbrella holder (it is Seattle, after all).
Malena Harrang, in her early 20s, is visiting the market with a friend. She says Mills' book station is "like [a] carbon-neutral library on wheels — doesn't get better than that."
West Hartford Library (West Hartford, CT) patron Bob Snook was on vacation in New Hampshire during the 4th of July when a curious bear took an interest in his library book (Red Country by Joe Abercrombie, for those who are curious). To quote Francis Bacon, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Needless to say, this was the best story we have heard regarding the need to pay a replacement cost on an item. The West Hartford Library was voted best library in the region by Hartford Magazine for 2013, and consists of three library branches, serving a population of over 60,000. (Pictured: Bob Snook and the Hungry Bibliophile Bear. Photo credit: Bob and Alyssa Snook.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is offering a library amendment to the immigration bill that the Senate is considering this week. The amendment, #1223, would make public libraries eligible for funding for English language instruction and civics education, and would also add Susan Hildreth, the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Task Force on New Americans. The American Library Association (ALA) is asking its members to call their Senators in support of Reed’s amendment.
According to the Congressional Record, Reed said that the amendment “recognizes the longstanding role that libraries have played in helping new Americans learn English, American
civics, and integrate into our local communities. It ensures that they continue to have a voice in these critical efforts… This amendment expands on the recent partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and IMLS.” He also cited IMLS statistics which say that more than 55 percent of new Americans use a public library at least once a week.
Story from Library Journal.
It's hardly the most rock and roll rap he’s ever faced. But after a lifetime of hell-raising Keith Richards has finally been brought to book – for unpaid library fines dating back 50 YEARS.
The Rolling Stones legend, 69, admits he still owes for books he borrowed and failed to return to his local public library in Dartford, Kent, when he was a teenager.
And at 15p a day – plus interest and admin fees – the star could be slapped with a bill for around £3,000.
Keith confessed: “I’ve still got overdue fines from about 50 years ago. They must be astronomical by now.”
But with an estimated personal fortune of £175million the veteran guitarist shouldn’t have too much trouble stumping up. Keith, who was once jailed on drug charges and admits he has drunk so much over the years he can’t remember all the Stones’ songs, reveals he was a bit of a bookworm in his early days.
How to attract library patrons, build the community and show people that librarians are cool? One of the ways to do this is organising Bicycool Library in your town.
Bicycool Library is a bike ride for book and bike lovers usually organised by librarians. The idea of the event was born in Poland and first edition was organised in May 2010. In 2012 it was organised in almost 100 places in Poland. This year it will be organised between May 1st and June 9th in many places all over the world.
One of main goals of organising the Bicycool Library is to promote reading and riding a bike as a way of spending time. Promoting libraries and fighting against stereotypes about librarians is also very important to organisers. They would like to show people that library is the place where they can find not only books, but many unusual interesting events as well.
The Bicycool Library is also helpful in library advocacy. This action helps libraries to collect community and show that library connects people and give them oportunity to do something together and simply to have fun.
There are many ways library can organise it and make local event attractive. Variety of ideas and inspirations for organisers are avaliable on the project website: bicycoollibrary.org. Local organisers can also register there their local edition. This is the way to let organisers and librarians all over the world know how many local events will be organised. Also everybody will be able to see that a town is taking part in it, because every city, town and village will be marked on a special map showing “bicycool” places.
Soon more useful materials will be released on a Bicycool Library’s website, so make sure to visit the website regularly or simply like the project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bicycool.Library.
If you are interested in organising Bicycool Library in your town, let people know and register your local edition on the website. -- Read More
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Andy Ihnatko has an initial reaction posted to the death on 4 April 2013 of Roger Ebert.
SWANSEA, Mass. - An outpouring of support for Penny the cat, the unofficial mascot of the Swansea Public Library, has led a Massachusetts man to give up his efforts to evict the cat from the public building.
Patrick Higgins sent an email to Swansea Public Library trustees last Saturday, which said he would file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice if Penny was not removed from the premises. According to Higgins, people allergic to cats would be unable to use the library which meant the public building did not comply with the American Disabilities Act.
As news of Penny’s potential eviction spread, supporters for the neighborhood cat began to rally creating petitions to keep the Penny on the premises. One petition on Change.org has elicited nearly 1,800 signatures.
From the über-conservative American Spectator. Posted by Daniel J. Flynn on Friday Mar 29th at 5:09am
"Today’s public library could be mistaken for a halfway house, homeless shelter, or federal penetentiary."
I write from the public library, which doubles as my city’s daytime homeless shelter. I spend four hours a day there reading and writing. Other patrons, often accompanied by all of their worldly possessions, go there to sleep, masturbate, and stare blankly at the lights. Isn’t this what the local Greyhound terminal is for?
A diversion program for juvenile delinquents apparently meets daily on the first floor. Since the building’s architect imprudently designed the library as a giant open space without walls, their promiscuous use of the “f” word and spirited imitations of famous rappers travel unimpeded to me on the third level — more of a platform two stories above the ground than a separate floor. To encourage such misbehavior, a local library — thankfully not the one I visit — begged its town’s government for $2,000 to buy video games. Libraries once served as refuges against noise. Now the library’s cacophony makes an iPod necessary equipment to drown out the din.
Openness yields to secretiveness elsewhere. Computer cubicles double as makeshift peep-show booths. To protect privacy at the public library, staff has generously equipped computer screens with a tinted gloss that makes the visuals invisible to all save those who look upon them at a direct angle. I mostly glimpse social media and computer games on the screens when I pass. Occasionally, pornographic videos jump out at passersby. Noticing the behavior, rather than the behavior itself, is terribly offensive, so I make it my business to mind my business around pervs who make their business everybody’s business.
This week's program starts off with a brief essay talking about the disintegration of having a coherent "popular culture" in the United States then turns to the strange case of the Harlem Shake in Oxford. After that the episode wraps up with a news miscellany.
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