You are here

People N Patrons

Future astronaut takes stand to checkout books

Ronald McNair was one of the astronauts killed in the Challenger Disaster. When he was 9 he took a stand to be able to checkout books at his local library.

Full story

All's (Not) Quiet on the Library Front

Letter from a library patron on the North Shore of Long Island (NY):

LIBRARY NOISE: While I appreciate the input from the librarian regarding this topic, I must voice my opinion on it. I really see no need for the high level of noise in the library. Yes there will be interactions between people in the library, but what I've heard bordered on obnoxious...certainly unnecessary. It seems like every time someone uses the excuse of 'times have changed', it seems like it's always for the worse.

I hate to say it, but the noises that were the loudest were from the library workers themselves, and it had NOTHING to do with library business. C'mon ladies and germs, tone it down please. Maybe times have changed, but there are more than a few old timers that still welcome the peace, solitude and quiet of a library. Don't take this last remaining refuge from us.

And elsewhere, another library in Newport Beach, CA is in the midst of deciding how much noise is too much. From the Daily Pilot.

So what do you think...how much noise is acceptable?

Nothing at the library?

I currently work at a small liberal arts college in the Midwestern USA where librarians are "embedded" in introductory courses and oversee the information literacy curriculum. Last week one of my colleagues informed me about a response from one of her students that I just have to pass along. The student's comment was that she couldn't find anything at the library about the Industrial Revolution , her other topic was .... wait for it .... Martin Luther and the Reformation.

Helping Find New Jerseyans Jobs

Residents used to walk into the Piscataway Public Library and ask Kate Baker where they could find a particular book.

Now, they’re more likely to ask the 49-year-old librarian how to format a résumé and fill out a job application.

"Almost half my day is devoted to job seekers," said Baker, who has worked at the library for eight years. "We keep getting more and more computers, and they’re always filled."

As the jobless rate has climbed since the onset of the financial crisis three years ago, the role of the public library has changed dramatically. In New Jersey, where nearly one in every 10 people is unemployed, officials say the local library has become Job Search Central for many residents. The upshot for librarians like Baker: Instead of spending her workdays organizing and purchasing books, she has watched her job morph into one that is equal parts job counselor, computer trainer and life coach.

Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time.

A Lesser View of Public Libraries

A letter to the editor of the Port Orchard (WA) Independent :

Are libraries really needed anymore?

If so, why aren’t people who use them willing to pay for that service?

Libraries aren’t a vital service and therefore library cardholders and the “Friends of the Library” should be more than willing to donate money and pay user fees for the luxury of having a library.

I guess I don’t quite understand why the public needs so many libraries.

We have libraries in most public schools, colleges and universities.

How many libraries do the public and the students really need?

Most every American has a desktop or laptop computer that can access websites to find the information needed in today’s complex world.

You can also read most books online at college and university websites.

Providing computers at public libraries is a huge cost to taxpayers.

I even know poor people who have computers. In this day and age, anyone who needs to use the library to access a computer is simply too cheap to buy their own.

Please Raise Taxes To Support LA County Libraries

The Los Angeles Library Commission and County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd on Tuesday submitted a report asking the Board of Supervisors to call for a 2011 ballot measure that would raise taxes and drastically increase the number of property owners who pay the tax.

The Board of Supervisors declined to take action on the request and instead chose to file the report for consideration.

Library officials said they did not know how much the tax would be, but said the proposed change would generate between $12 million and $23 million each year over the next decade. Any tax increase would need a two-thirds vote to become law.

The commission wants to extend to the tax to every parcel in neighborhoods served by the library system.

In Duarte, the parcel tax keeps the library open six days a week while libraries outside the assessment area are open only four days per week, according to Pamela Broussard, Los Angeles County Library spokeswoman. Duarte Public Library manager Reed Strege said extra days are important for those who don't have Internet access at home.

"We're kind of like the Internet provider for the city if they don't have it," said library manager Reed Strege. "Our computers for the public are in use all day, every day."

Read more: Los Angeles County Library Commission proposes special tax to close budget deficit - Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_16745189#ixzz16yDFrwv0

One Reader's Experience With 'The Big Read' (One City One Book)

The book arrived from the publisher without any fanfare, wrapped in plain cardboard and sent through the U.S. mail. Record-Bee reports.

With no more effort than it took to tear open the perforated strip that sealed the package closed, the small church library that I oversaw was now part of a "common read." What an exciting moment!

My first experience with a common read was just a few years earlier, during an effort to encourage all of California to read John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath." My husband and I read aloud to each other from my copy that had been given to me by the Calistoga Junior/Senior High School librarian.

It was intriguing, as we read to each other, to know that across the state of California, other people were reading the same book and that, moreover, public events were promoting "The Grapes of Wrath." One of those events was organized locally through the efforts of Harold Riley.

My experience taking part in a common read had been very enjoyable so when the organization that oversees our local church selected a common read, I knew that I wanted to make the book available to the members of my church: to give them a chance to have that much more in common with people in other communities, in congregations around the world. Read more.

Sacramento Library Under Fire for Black Ops Tourney

The Sacramento Public Library is the target of recent criticism due to its upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament. Escapist Magazine reports.

Libraries have been scrambling to gain the attention of the world's new technology-focused population, and one effective method they've found is to embrace the videogame. Videogames and videogame tournaments are not uncommon to see in public libraries these days, but not everybody is happy that kids are playing games in such close proximity to books.

According to the Sacramento Bee, The Sacramento Public Library is planning to host a Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament as part of its humorously named "Nerd Fest." Even though the library will only allow those 17 and older to play, the tournament is still attracting the ire of activists that likely have nothing better to do than rail on videogame violence... again.

Why I Don't Use Libraries for Reference Anymore

From LJ: A library user (the radical patron), describes her frustrations in using the reference services of her public library system.

Pages

Subscribe to People N Patrons