People N Patrons

Too Many Books at Home? Here's the Solution for One MN Couple

Louis and Sue Ainsworth bought the house next door to tear it down and expand their own. Instead, they kept both houses, joined the two structures and turned an entire house into a library.

Keith Richards...Please Visit My Library!

As we learned last April, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has always had a secret ambition...to be a librarian.

And today, as reported in Penn Live, Librarian Sheila Redcay — and at least 480 others on Facebook — would like to have Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards visit Matthews Public Library in Fredericksburg, PA. Redcay, a lifelong Rolling Stones fan, decided to invite Richards to her library after reading a preview of his autobiography, "Life," coming out in October, in which he says he considered becoming a librarian.

“Having him come to a public library, wherever it may be — why not here — will just simply bring awareness to the many struggles many libraries are having just to keep their doors open." Her goal is to get 1,000 people as members of the Facebook page she created, Keith Richards, Please Have Sympathy for America’s Public Libraries, after which she will approach his manager again with an invite. Richards’ manager said it sounded like “a very good idea,” but his publicist has said he is adamant that he will do only one book signing, in New York City. C'mon Keith...

There's a little contest on the Facebook page...join up and check out your knowledge of the Stones.

A Movie Star Lights Up a North Carolina Library

Zach Galifianakis, a comedian and one of the stars of the movie The Hangover, is a native of Wilkes County NC. Yesterday, he was at the Wilkes County Public Library in North Wilkesboro for a children's reading that drew hundreds of people. He stayed afterward for nearly two hours, posing for photos and signing hats, shirts, posters, money, DVDs, scraps of paper, old Wilkes Central High School yearbooks, and a GQ magazine with his face on the cover reports Journal Now.

The reading was intended for young children, many of whom were familiar with Galifianakis from G-Force, a film in which he champions a team of guinea pigs out to save the world from an evil billionaire.
But word quickly spread in the days leading up to the reading, and the crowd included a lot of people with driver's licenses, jobs and mortgages.

About 508 people came into the library while Galifianakis was there. A majority of them found their way to the upstairs level, where he read three children's books aloud.

"I think that books, reading, are so very important because they tell stories, and they let you into the story," he told the children. "I will start with reading a book called The Hangover."

The people with driver's licenses laughed, and Galifianakis said, "No."

Instead, he read Who is the Beast?, Don't Forget the Bacon (written by his father) and The Snowy Day, holding the books so the children could see the pictures.

San Jose Area Libraries Helping Patrons 'Think Green'

Local residents who have ever wondered exactly how much electricity is gobbled up by their household appliances now have a way to find out: Head to the local library.

Libraries throughout Santa Clara County are loaning out new Kill-A-Watt EZ Meters for free to residents, which can be taken home and plugged in to any household appliance to find out exactly how much energy the appliance uses, and what that costs the homeowner. The program has been a hit with the public, especially in Sunnyvale, where the meters have been checked out 64 times since July 1.

"I loved the idea, and people are excited to learn how much energy they are using every day," Sunnyvale director of libraries Lisa Rosenblum said. "We want the process to be as simple as possible for people, so it's totally free and we are encouraging residents to come check them out."

A Library Kiosk At the Station

The Toronto Public Library is studying the idea of installing an automated kiosk at Union Station, where patrons could borrow a book with the simple swipe of their library cards at any time of day.

It’s not a new concept — these machines have been in place in Europe and in the United States — but the idea is slowly gaining steam in Canada.

Earlier this year, the library board agreed to investigate the idea of installing one of these self-service kiosks, in part because it would create a visible presence in a busy hub that is being renovated. By 2016, 330,000 passengers are projected to pass through the station daily.

“They look like vending machines that can hold books, paperbacks, hard covers, CDs and DVDs,” said Anne Bailey, director of branch libraries for the Toronto Public Library. A simple touch screen allows borrowers to see what in the machine.

“We’re often asked for service in locations where we wouldn’t want to put a branch. This might be a way to offer some level of service in a cost-effective manner.”

The cost for a single library kiosk and related collections is estimated at about $200,000 plus additional ongoing operating costs of about $15,000 a year. A branch library could cost millions.

Does your library, or a library that you know of have an off-site kiosk? How are things working out for them?

Sex Offender Policy

Because of the other story about happenings at the Urbandale, Iowa library I took a look at their website. On their policy page there is a "Sex Offender Policy" listed.

Excerpt from policy: In accordance with Chapter 692A of Subtitle 1 of Title 16 of the Code of Iowa, sex offenders
convicted of sex offenses against minors are prohibited from being on library property or loitering
within 300 feet of library property without written permission of the Library Director.

I am curious how other libraries and states are dealing with the issue of sex offenders. What policy does your library have? Do you agree with the policy? Do you think it is effective? Is a state law or city ordinance the impetus for your policy?

Escaping the Summer Heat in a Bookmobile

A recent study found that making books available to low-income children had a significant impact on preventing the reading gap.

On NPR this morning, W. Ralph Eubanks reminisces about visiting the bookmobile as a child. He is the author of The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South and Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past and Director of Publishing at the Library of Congress.

"When I feel the summer heat steaming from the pavement, my childhood memories of the bookmobile provide a cooling sensation to my spirit. This feeling came back last summer on a visit to Chicago when I happened upon a parade of bookmobiles of various ages. There it was: an old Ford grille with big, round headlights that was a dead ringer for the bookmobile that stopped at my house as a child. "

More from NPR.

Did You Leave Something Inside a Book?

Found at the Burlington MA Public Library:

A photo of a black puppy with a toy bunny in its mouth.
A mass card for Rev. John R. Crispo.
A Happy Mother’s Day card for “Nana.”
A purple “Award of Excellence” ribbon.
A piece of lined paper colored with bright dots of purple, yellow, blue and green and the words “Juliana Book Mark.”

While these items once helped people find their place in a library book, they now decorate a green board with a “Did you lose your bookmark?” sign in Burlington’s Town Library. Library staff put items found in returned books on the board in hopes that library patrons will be reunited with items of sentimental value.

“To us, some bookmark (someone’s) child gave them has no monetary value but its sentimental,” said Cara Thissell, the circulation librarian. She had the idea to put up the board a few years ago, as an alternative to throwing out the sentimental items.

Now, it’s an evolving piece of art in the library. “We leave it up until it starts falling over,” Thissell said. “We don’t really police it. Kids climb up on the bench to look at it.” Story from Boston.com.

Not a Member of the Georgetown Community? Then Don't Use The Library's Computers.

Georgetown University's Lauinger Library is about to get a bit roomier.

Changes to the University’s notoriously lax computer usage policy, which once led Washington City Paper to name Lauinger Library as one of D.C.’s best places to mooch internet access, will make it more difficult for guests to use the library’s computers.

“The impetus for the Library’s new computer policy is to ensure that our services and spaces are readily accessible to members of the Georgetown University Community,” Jessica Pierce, Executive Assistant to University Librarian Artemis Kirk, wrote in an email. “Lauinger Library is a heavily used building and we are constantly challenged to ensure that our resources are available to our primary users.”

Under the new policy, which takes effect on August 5, only 12 computers in the library will remain available to guests: ten on the third floor between the circulation and reference desks, one next to the printer on the second floor, and one across from the elevator on the fifth floor.

When the City Paper article was written last February, University guests had access to nearly every computer in the library, save for the ones meant for specialized tasks, such as editing or scanning.

Although the new policy seems to force out guests, it simultaneously “encourage[s] guests to bring their own laptops to Lauinger Library and take advantage of the free wireless network available throughout the building.”

Novel Approach: Reading Courses as an Alternative to Prison

And now...the other side of the coin. How enforced reading can help rehabilitate former and would-be offenders as reported by the Guardian UK. The program, Changing Lives Through Literature, is described here.

When Mitchell Rouse was convicted of two drug offences in Houston, the former x-ray technician who faced a 60-year prison sentence – reduced to 30 years if he pleaded guilty – was instead put on probation and sentenced to read.

"I was doing it because it was a condition of my probation and it would reduce my community hours," Rouse recalls. The 42-year-old had turned to meth as a way of coping with the stress of his job at a hospital where he frequently worked an 80-hour week. Fearing for his life, Mitchell's wife turned him into the authorities. "If she hadn't, I would be dead or destitute by now," he says. -- Read More

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