People N Patrons

Violate Terms & Conditions, Get Indicted

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.

(h/t Evan Prodromou and Dave Winer)

(Update at 1641 Eastern: The Register has reporting here) -- Read More

Tales from the library...

http://libtales.blogspot.com/

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 librarytales01@gmail.com
(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!

Stink Bomb in The Book Drop in Scarsdale NY Library

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.

Snoring...@ Your Library

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. "

Notes from A Lapsed Library User

Missed this last month on the NPR Blog Monkey See, Monkey Do. Linda Holmes wrote:

There's a big public library literally across the street from my bank and the supermarket where I most frequently pick up stuff like milk and paper towels. Across the street. As in: first I buy Diet Coke, then I dodge one SUV careening around the corner, and I'm there.

And yet, until this weekend, I'd never been in it and I had no library card. I know.

I've talked a bunch of times about the economics of e-book purchasing and paper book purchasing, about my love of paperback romance novels, and about how unattached I am to book ownership and the growth of my personal library, and somehow, I never crossed the street.

After finally heading over to get signed up and then leaving on Saturday with the odd sense I tweeted about that they had let me walk out with six books and three DVDs for nothing and I felt like I'd committed a heist, I gave this some thought. Why, when there's such bitter frustration over pricing of all the things people actually buy, is library borrowing often only faintly heard about in noisy, angry discussions you can so often hear about "How do I stop getting broken on the rack by publishers of various kinds?" What kinds of hesitations stop this from happening?" -- Read More

It's Three PM, and Time for the Security Guards

RUSSIAVILLE – Security officers will be returning to the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

From the Kokomo (IN) Tribune: The board of trustees Monday voted to spend $9,450 for the remainder of the year to either hire off-duty police officers to provide security or contract with a private security company.

Charles Joray, executive director of the library, said there has been an increase in the number of “incidents” reported by staff through the first three months of 2011. He said there were a total of 70 incidents last year – and 68 reported during the first three months of this year.

An incident was defined as a confrontation between a staff member and library patron about behavior in the library.

“When there were off-duty police officers, the number of incidents went down,” Joray said. “The staff feels intimidated by the patrons.”

Joray recommended hiring officers to work 15 hours per week at $18 per hour.

The hours worked by the security officers will be after school is dismissed each day. That is when most of the incidents are taking place, Joray said.

NY Post Shocked To Learn People Look At Boobies In The Library

City libraries say 'checking out' porn protected by First Amendment:
Approached by The Post, the dirty old man skulked away, saying, "I don't want to talk to you. Leave me alone." Under US law, all libraries that take federal funding only must install filters on publicly used computers to block content containing illegal obscenity and child pornography, and New York City officials say they comply to the letter.

Salt Lake City Staffers Unhappy With Their Director

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: For the second consecutive public meeting, Salt Lake City Public Library Director Beth Elder was assailed by employees, who argued her methods are tyrannical, managers are "miserable" and that morale is plummeting.

"That might be the most poisonous thing we’re seeing," 15-year associate librarian Mike Nordenstrom told a rapt Library Board on Thursday in a Main Library conference room that echoed with applause and hoots after each successive speaker.

"Why doesn’t the board investigate reports of intimidation and retaliation?" asked Candy Markle, a library assistant at the Sprague branch. "Given the lack of employee confidence in Ms. Elder, as well as the current public-relations crisis over her decisions, how is the board going to successfully sell the public on a tax increase this year for the new branches? Has she been a successful leader? Has the reputation of the library improved under her supervision?"

Board members sat mostly silent during the onslaught, while Elder fidgeted in her chair. Multiple speakers also rattled off a list of longtime employees who recently retired or resigned from the public resource hub that won the 2006 Library of the Year award. -- Read More

Say Yes to Measure L on March 8

Additional information on Measure L here.

Speed Dating @ The Library

Today's NY Times describes an evening of speed dating at the San Francisco Library.

“The library wants to be a gathering place that is relevant to younger people,” said Donya Drummond, the reference librarian who promoted the San Francisco event, mostly through Facebook. “We had more people than we knew what to do with.”

Literary speed dating seems to have its roots in Europe. Danny Theuwis, a librarian from Leuven, Belgium, believes he and his colleagues introduced the concept in 2005 with the goal to enliven somber libraries, and make them “more alive, more direct, more emotional,” he said in an e-mail. He trained hundreds of librarians across Europe to host literary speed dating, or “bibdating” in Flemish.

Among the first of similar events in the United States took place at the Omaha Public Library Benson Branch, where Amy Mather, a librarian, and her colleague at the time, Manya Shorr, organized a “Hardbound to Heartbound” night in 2009, on Valentine’s Day. Some 65 people showed up.

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