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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.
From the Boston Globe:
On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines.
But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago.
Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?
But Carlisle is not alone in its decision to stop charging for late returns. Over the past few years, Massachusetts libraries have been increasingly hopping aboard the fine-free bandwagon, including institutions in Dover, Littleton, and Westford.
Read more to find out why...
From the New York Daily News: Interesting article based on the reporter's attempts to give a bagful of books and DVDs on African-American themes to a library on 125th Street in NYC.
Maybe someone wants to comment in response to the article in the NY Daily News?
It is a plan so dastardly, so despicable, that state and local officials don’t want you to know about it. Pennsylvania has a plan in the works to gut the Philadelphia Library for the Blind, a vital service for the area’s visually impaired. The cover for the move is fiscal conservatism, but that makes no sense as the move may end up costing the state more money. The whole thing has the stench of political cronyism. Governor Tom Corbett and western PA Republicans want to move most of the operations out of Philadelphia to the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, nestled in the Governor’s home county. The two libraries share funds allocated in the state library budget. This isn’t about saving money; it is about shifting the majority of those funds to Pittsburgh.
I understand that elections have consequences. I understand party patronage. I don’t understand making the 13,000 visually disabled people who regularly use the Library suffer because of political gamesmanship. The Philadelphia Library for the Blind lent out 600,000 Braille and recorded books last year. That is 20 percent of the entire circulation of the Philadelphia Library System. -- Read More
Oshkosh Public Library gets $1.1 million gift
life-long Oshkosh woman described as an avid reader and movie watcher made a $1.1 million bequest to the Oshkosh Public Library.
The library board decided Thursday to use the money from the estate of Marjorie M. Drexler to establish a memorial trust fund.
Drexler died Aug. 16, 2010, at the age of 87.
Toronto library chair defends multilingual collection
"What proportion of our budget should go for non-English movies and books?" said Del Grande in a widely publicized statement.
"An argument can be made that this is what makes the city great, but I would dare say our common language is English, we’re spending tons of money for ESL, should we not have a discussion of how much of the library budget should go for non-English resources?"