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From Mashable, a report on library use by young people.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center published Tuesday, 16-29 year olds are reading more often, largely because of the mass amounts of e-content that is available to them on mobile devices. They’re not just reading short blips of content, either — people under 30 are reading more long-form content on their smartphones and tablets, but also continuing to visit their local libraries.
Eight in 10 Americans ages 16-29 read a book this past year, and more than six out of 10 used their local public library. Of the people who read this past year, 75 percent read a print book while 19% read an ebook, and 11% listened to an audiobook. Forty six percent used the library for research, 38 percent borrowed books (print books, audiobooks, or ebooks), and 23 percent borrowed newspapers, magazines, or journals.
High schoolers, especially, report borrowing books from libraries.
From the Wall Street Journal, Joe Queenan recalls his lifelong habit of reading.
I started borrowing books from a roving Quaker City bookmobile when I was 7 years old. Things quickly got out of hand. Before I knew it I was borrowing every book about the Romans, every book about the Apaches, every book about the spindly third-string quarterback who comes off the bench in the fourth quarter to bail out his team. I had no way of knowing it at the time, but what started out as a harmless juvenile pastime soon turned into a lifelong personality disorder.
If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find "reality" a bit of a disappointment.
Fifty-five years later, with at least 6,128 books under my belt, I still organize my daily life—such as it is—around reading. As a result, decades go by without my windows getting washed.
From the Anchorage Daily News, by Elise Patkotak:
There are great differences between the library of my past and the libraries of the present and future. Some of those differences are simply mindboggling. For instance, in my day a library card meant I could go to a room with a stack of books, choose which I wanted to read and have the books stamped by a nice lady at the desk. Then I got to walk out of the building with my arms full of treasure. Now, a library card means you can sit in the comfort of your own home and download e-books that you can keep for about three weeks before they "return" to the library shelf. How cool is that?
Equally important, perhaps, in a time when we are more and more isolating ourselves from our family and friends through use of electronic media, the library remains a place of vibrant community where ideas can be accessed and shared, discussions held and knowledge gained whether you are rich or poor. It is the ultimate democratizing institution available to everyone in this country.
Today's reality is that if you can't afford a computer, you are at a distinct disadvantage in a very competitive world. Go to the library and find free computer access to anyone with a library card. And that card is also, as always, free. In a world where having information at your fingertips is more critical than ever to succeeding, the library is the one place anyone can go to level the playing field.
Is your library having Snapshot Day? Here's some info from ALA on the phenomenon, started in New Jersey three years ago.
Have you found it to be useful in determining the relative success of your library and its programs? Suggestions for others?
Important story from the LA Times earlier this week: Los Angeles is considering a major step in providing ID cards to illegal immigrants. The Los Angeles Public Library card could one day become a form of identification for the city's large illegal immigrant population that would allow them to open bank accounts and access services.
Here's the follow-up in the Opinion Pages.
With the publication of the Freeh report relative to the child abuse scandal at The Pennsylvania State University, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrisey is calling for the outright physical destruction of many campus monuments to coach Joe Paterno. Not mentioned in the piece by Morrisey is Paterno Library on-campus which otherwise bears the coach's name.
Patron attacks Auburn children's librarian
The Auburn Public Library (ME) is reviewing security after a children's librarian landed in the hospital with a concussion after an attack by a patron. Police say a 19-year-old suffered what they called a "psychotic break" Friday when he attacked a librarian in front of several children.
To the Editor:
Like innumerable writers and researchers over the years, I have experienced the joy (many times) of entering the New York Public Library with a near-hopeless citation in hand only to find the very material I was looking for in just minutes. It is a euphoric moment to which many writers can attest, and it has enriched the quality and content of books beyond counting.
That which gets put off to tomorrow rarely gets done, yet the library administration, under its new plan, would move a huge chunk of its research collection off site, ostensibly available some other day, when a researcher makes a request. The splendor of the library is not only the vastness of its collection but also the immediacy of it.
If there remain any wonders of the world, the New York Public Library is one of them. Please don’t change it.
New York, April 16, 2012
The writer is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin.
To the Editor:
There’s a comfort level in keeping the status quo, yet the 21st century offers us so many new ways of doing research. Without looking at possibilities for the future, we deny ourselves those opportunities. -- Read More
Disgruntled library patron ready for court
He insists he returned several books in April 2010 by their due date. The Cudahy Family Library says he didn't. At the moment, Herle is on the hook for a $114 fine, plus $152 in restitution to the library.
"I am not responsible for their errors. Nor will I ever, for any reason, compensate them for their incompetence," he said in one of several lengthy emails he sent to me. He's invoking the Constitution and a couple of its amendments, not to mention probable cause, due process, equal protection, you name it.