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Dennis Carlisle is a librarian at the Rainier Beach branch of the Seattle Public Library, and he wanted to talk with me about the digital divide, which has pushed his job onto a different track.
Columnist Jerry Large has written recently about libraries adapting to technological change, providing books for e-readers for one thing.
But Carlisle said he's just as much affected by the other end of the tech spectrum. He got a master's in library science 26 years ago, and colleges shortly after dropped library and started calling it information science.
"The first half of my career, I was deep into reference." Then people stopped calling and stopping by so much. They migrated to Web browsers. Libraries replaced shelves of phone books, atlases and maps with banks of computers.
Another group of people came to the library, people who didn't own computers, or who couldn't afford high-speed Internet access, people who often don't know the first thing about using one of the machines.
Librarians became computer coaches, at least at some branches. Carlisle first encountered that at the High Point branch, and now at Rainier Beach.
"You would think many who need help are in their 60s, 70s or 80s," Carlisle said, "but that's not necessarily the case." He sees mostly people in their 20s to 40s struggling with computers. -- Read More
Naked Man Rescued from Missouri River Wanted to Float to Library of Congress
Firefighters rescued a naked man from the Missouri River on Thursday morning. Crews were alerted after his friend called police. Police said the man wanted to float down the river to the "Library of Congress."
DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME THIS ISN'T A LIBRARY RELATED STORY!
Maybe you've blogged about a disturbing patron, or posted something on a tumblr account about the not-quite-with-it daily visitor to your library.
From M (Michigan) Live: Former library assistant Sally Stern-Hamilton (under the pen name Anne Miketa) wrote a fictionalized book about about her experiences in the library and was fired for it. Now she's suing.
Stern-Hamilton’s literary work, entitled 'Library Diaries' — a disturbing look at life in the library — wound up on the shelves at Mason County District Library. It got her fired there as a library assistant.
Now the author has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the library violated her free-speech rights by firing her.
“(Stern-Hamilton’s) First Amendment interests, combined with the interests of the public, outweigh the government’s interest in the efficient performance of the workplace,” her attorney, David Blanchard wrote. “(She) was explicitly fired for engaging in protected speech.”
Library director Robert Dickson declined to comment. Attorney Kathleen Klaus, representing the library, Dickson, and Marilyn Bannon, president of the library board, said she would respond to the complaint next month. The controversy created headlines three years ago when Stern-Hamilton was fired from her job of 14 years.
"After working at a public library in a small, rural Midwestern town (which I will refer to as Denialville, Michigan, throughout this book) for 15 years, I have encountered strains and variations of crazy I didn’t know existed in such significant portions of our population,” Stern-Hamilton wrote in the introduction. -- Read More
Lady rushes into the library, hyper and excited , obviously on something...
Hyper Lady: "Do you know the old librarian?"
Staff: "The guy?" (our previous librarian was a male)
Hyper Lady: "No. The lady. The lady with the hair (makes motion meaning hair?) and the glasses (does the classic glasses pantomine, except she makes REALLY BIG GLASSES to match her really wide eyes).
Staff: Oh. She wasn't a librarian. But ok.
Hyper Lady: I'm not sitting next to her on the bench! It isn't her!
Staff: Oh. Ok?
Hyper Lady: She says she's her! She's not Jimmy Jr.'s mom (as she rushes into the restroom)!
We have no idea who Jimmy Jr. is.
...MORE LIBRARY COOLING CENTERS It's a hugely important function of public facilities like libraries...and what are they going to do when more of them are closed due to funding cuts?
Westchester & Rockland Counties, NY
Boston & environs
Beloit WI -- Read More
Is closing a library comparable to child abuse? At least one Brit thinks so.
Campaigners are seeking a ruling that decisions to close six libraries in the London (UK) borough of Brent are legally flawed.
The Brent case is expected to be followed in the near future by similar challenges to library cuts proposed by Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils, and on the Isle of Wight.
Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and Goldfrapp are among those who have contributed to campaign legal costs.
Playwright Alan Bennett launched a scathing attack when he spoke at a church benefit to raise legal funds to save Kensal Rise library, one of the six under threat in Brent. He compared the loss to ''child abuse''.
Brent campaign lawyers yesterday applied for judicial review, arguing council officers unlawfully failed to assess local needs and the likely impact of closing half the borough's libraries.
From the Telegraph UK.
The Bits Blog online with The New York Times reports that programmer Aaron Swartz was indicted for allegedly stealing 4 million documents from MIT and JSTOR. According to documents posted to Scribd, the arrest warrant cites alleged violation of 18 USC 1343, 18 USC 1003(a)(4), 18 USC 1003(a)(2), 18 USC 1003(a)(5)(B), and 18 USC 2.
The Boston Globe summed up the charges stating:
Aaron Swartz, 24, was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Activist group Demand Progress, of which Swartz previously served as Executive Director, has a statement posted. Internet luminary Dave Winer also has a thought posted as to the indictment. Wired's report cites the current Executive Director of Demand Progress as likening the matter to checking too many books out of a library.
After working in a public library for several years I have accumulated all kinds of crazy stories to tell. After my animated re-tellings, friends and family often joke with me about how I should create a website to share some of my funny, crazy, and touching experiences from work - so this blog has been long overdue!
Please feel free to submit some of your own "tales from the library" - whether you are a patron or an employee! The good, the bad, the unexpected, scary, hilarious, horrendous, enlightening - you can email them all to me, along with your name, at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Neither your email nor your last name will be published - only your first name or screen name.)
I look forward to hearing from you all, and to sharing some of my own experiences with the world as well!
The first “Finals Night” at the Scarsdale Public Library did not go as planned on Tuesday June 15, when a stink bomb was thrown into the library drop box around 7:45 pm. The odorous contents of the bomb could be smelled throughout the library, and concerned staff called the police to report it.
According to SHS Junior Zach Edelman who was studying at the library at the time, the stink bomb smelled like garlic and onions and the fumes were tolerable. However, once the report was made, emergency responders arrived in droves and forced everyone to leave the building and wait in the library plaza. The area was taped off and those who had been inside were told that they could not leave the scene until HAZMAT workers could investigate.
Edelman reports that the stink bomb incident was treated as a full-scale emergency. In addition to police cars there were fire trucks, HAZMAT workers sporting gas masks and even an emergency spill team. The students waited 20-30 minutes for officials to arrive and were told that depending on the findings of the HAZMAT team, those who were inside the library may have to be decontaminated and showered off.
More from Scarsdale 10583.
Many librarians have encountered sleeping patrons...but this story from New Zealand draws the line at snoring while sleeping at the library.
"High power prices and heating restrictions imposed on homestay students are driving people to the library on cold winter days - to sleep.
Language school students Justina Liu and Dory Wang, who were seen napping at the New Lynn War Memorial Library last Saturday, say they go there if they want an afternoon nap, because their homestay parents won't let them use heaters at home during the day.
"It's nice and warm here, and the seats are really comfortable," said Miss Liu, who is from Hebei, China.
"Of course the best thing about it is that it's free and there's no one telling you to turn off the heater."
But it's not only homestay students needing a warm place to sleep.
Housewife Jan Togiola also said she went to "libraries with plush seats" to catch a nap in between reading the newspapers because high power prices had made it "impossible to afford" heating in her home.
Library user Catherine Jones said she found such behaviour "rude and inconsiderate" and had complained to staff at the Auckland Central library a couple of times in the past fortnight.
"It's not just the sleeping ... sometimes it's the snoring that I find irritating when you want to have a quiet read in the library," Mrs Jones said. "