Public Libraries

Public Libraries

I was Racially Profiled at the New York Public Library

At an event to honor Harry Belafone one guest stated that he was stopped and questioned upon his entrance to library, story from The New York Post.

A scene of homeless misery greets patrons trying to use Santa Ana's award-winning library

ut a visit to the downtown library has become, on many days, a walk through a gantlet of misery: Homeless men and women sleep in the lawn while others plead with visitors for change. Inside the building, signs warned people to avoid restrooms where some homeless use sinks and even toilet water to bathe themselves and wash their clothes. Some of Santa Ana’s down and out used the study carrels to look for jobs — others shot up drugs, with syringes found discarded in planters and even a box of toilet seat covers. Security guards carry syringe disposal kits on their tool belts.
From A scene of homeless misery greets patrons trying to use Santa Ana's award-winning library - LA Times

How NYC's First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves

But Perez y Martina — which tells the tale of a romance between a cockroach and a mouse — isn't just any children's story. When it was published in 1932, it was the first Spanish language book for children published by a mainstream U.S. press. And its author, Pura Belpré, was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York's public library system at a time when the city's Puerto Rican population was swelling. Belpré could not find any books for kids in Spanish — so she wrote them herself. Back in 1921, Belpré was a college student at the University of Puerto Rico.

Dallas Public Library's Used Bookstore Closing After 30 Years

Too bad. Replaced by an office of Vital Statistics. Story here.

The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

From 6 square ft, a story about the secret apartments of New York libraries. The protagonists being the supers (superintendents) that maintain and live in the libraries.

"In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours."

Would you like to have a little place in the back of your own library?

Smaller Replacement for Donnell Library (NYC) Opening

Via email from Save NYPL: After eight (!) years of delays, the replacement for Donnell Library will open next Monday (June 27) at 10am. If you are free that day, please join us as we remind NYPL officials that the opening of the new (significantly smaller) library is no cause for celebration. Beloved for its children’s literature and foreign language collection, the Donnell Library was one of NYPL’s most heavily used circulating branches. But in a trial run for the defeated Central Library Plan, Donnell was sold to private developers for a pittance in 2007 and shuttered the following year. The deal was hatched in secret, and no public review preceded the sale. The new replacement library is less than a third the size of Donnell and has been shoehorned into the basement of a luxury condominium-hotel, where rooms start at $850 per night. The special collections will not be returning. Unfortunately, we can’t bring back the old Donnell. But with your support, we can prevent further sales of our libraries. Let’s rally to remind library executives and elected officials that public libraries belong to all of us!

Escaping Poverty Through the Library

From Canada's Independent-Newfoundland,Labrador a piece explaining the importance of libraries to the poor and indigent.

Los Angeles Library Shop Reopens

From LAist, the shop at the Central Library, closed since last January has reopened and is a great place to buy everything a booklover wants. Check it out!

More than half Newfoundland & Labrador libraries closing in wake of budget cuts

The library board in Newfoundland and Labrador announced sweeping changes to its services Wednesday, adopting a regional library model which will see 54 branches close in the next two years. The board met Tuesday to discuss how best to deal with a $1-million loss in its annual budget, a cut made in the provincial budget. In a statement, the board said 41 libraries will remain open, and 85 per cent of residents in the province will still be within a 30 minute drive of a remaining branch.
From More than half province's libraries closing in wake of budget cuts - Newfoundland & Labrador - CBC News

Mass. circulation rates tell an interesting tale

Susan Neuman, a professor of education studies at the University of Michigan who has researched the use of libraries in poor versus middle-income areas around the country, said, “In low-income areas, the time people spend in the libraries is often much longer than in middle-income areas and it’s a lot different.” “This is where they do their job applications, where they do their gaming, and where they read and do all of their information-related activities. It’s where the kids do their homework,” Neuman said.
From Is your local library a bestseller? — Mass. circulation rates tell an interesting tale - The Boston Globe

Meet the man who is turning D.C. libraries into a national model

But Reyes-Gavilan’s ambitions go beyond bricks and mortar. He wants to put the D.C. Public Library at the forefront of American libraries, to be a model for the nation by embracing a “hacker” culture that treats library patrons not as passive consumers of information, but as creators. His mantra is “libraries are not their buildings,” but “engines of human capital.”
From Meet the man who is turning D.C. libraries into a national model - The Washington Post

In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed Because Of Late Fines

Alexander is more careful than most.Half of the current cardholders at the Biblioteca branch owe money, and most — 65 percent — are barred from borrowing materials and using computers because they owe $10 or more. San Jose’s charges are exponentially higher than comparable cities like San Francisco, where there is no charge for late materials for users 17 and younger and a charge of 10 cents a day for adults. “Fifty cents a day for middle-class families is a slap on the wrist,” said Maria Arias Evans, the principal of Washington Elementary School in San Jose, which is behind the Biblioteca Latinoamericana. Given the choice between paying fines “and putting food on the table and a roof over the children’s head, it’s a no-brainer: It is better not to check out library books.”
From In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed - The New York Times

Editorial: Embarrassing to Forget Black History Month

The Gilroy branch of the Santa Clara County Library (Calif.) apparently forgot about Black History Month until a user asked about it.

Mayor's plan could turn a page on Philadelphia's crumbling libraries

Mayor Kenney's ambitions $600 million "Rebuild" plan is aimed at fixing up many of those aging libraries and repairing run-down recreation centers.

The six-year initiative also calls for reorganizing space in some library buildings and creating new space in others.

The proposed makeover involves adding pre-kindergarten classrooms in some library branches as part of another major Kenney initiative: His goal of adding 10,000 "quality" Pre-K slots for 3- and 4-year-olds by 2020.

From Kenney's plan could turn a page on Philadelphia's crumbling libraries

San Jose library amnesty weighed as unpaid fines near $7 million

Diaz, who has since paid off his penalties, is not alone. The city's library system is facing a staggering and mounting $6.8 million in unpaid fines across its 23 branches -- the most library director Jill Bourne has seen in nearly three years on the job. That figure is roughly five times the amount of unpaid fines racked up a few years ago in Chicago, a city nearly three times San Jose's population. It also exceeds unpaid fines at public libraries in other major Bay Area cities such as Oakland, which has $3 million in outstanding fines, and San Francisco, which stands at $4.6 million.

From San Jose library amnesty weighed as unpaid fines near $7 million - San Jose Mercury News

The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library

In recent years, there has been much talk about what to do with the various library branches as they continue to adapt to the digital era. Originally, the Mid-Manhattan was due to be sold and its services moved into a fully renovated main building. Now those controversial plans have been scrapped in favor of a new “Midtown Campus Renovation,” and the Mid-Manhattan has been tapped for an overhaul, with designs set to be unveiled later this year, and completed by 2019. The carpets could certainly use a good cleaning, and it would be nice if the elevators and climate control worked better, but I hope the revamp won’t alter the branch’s freewheeling energy.

From The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library - The New Yorker

Why don’t public libraries deliver?

It got me to thinking: Why doesn’t the library team up with somebody with real expertise in the logistics of home delivery — Amazon, UPS or one of the many food delivery services that have sprung up over the past year or so — to figure out a way to cover “the last mile” — the journey from the library to my house and back again? Then it really would seem even more like Amazon Prime, and I can’t imagine that that wouldn’t help grow the market for library books.

From Why don’t public libraries deliver? - The Washington Post

11th hour call on Lambeth Council Cabinet members to “do the right thing” on libraries

PRESS CALL 1pm MONDAY 8 FEB OUTSIDE BRIXTON LIBRARY 11th hour call on Lambeth Council Cabinet members to “do the right thing” on libraries Lambeth Councillor Scott Ainslie will join staff picketing outside Brixton Library today (Monday 8thFeb) as he issues an 11th hour call on the council’s cabinet to reconsider its decision to close five libraries in the borough. “It’s not too late to do the right thing,” said Cllr Ainslie, referring to the slogan the council uses to urge residents to play their part in activities such as recycling and paying their council tax. “It’s hard to find an

Why America's Public Library System Will Survive

Author Jorge Luis Borges once wrote, "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." Librarian historian Wayne Wiegand's new book, "Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library," explores the library's importance as a civil and social space. We'll discuss his book and why libraries are still flourishing in the Internet age.

From Why America's Public Library System Will Survive: Forum | KQED Public Media for Northern CA

What happens when libraries are asked to help the homeless find shelter?

And at the same time, libraries are dealing with rising crime rates, including an uptick in stabbings, shootings, drug use, narcotics sales and even prostitution. On a humid Florida afternoon in 2014, a homeless man crept up behind someone making a copy at the Sarasota County Public Library’s main branch and stabbed him in the back. The victim staggered to the circulation desk, leaving a trail of blood down the stairs. Several months later, at another Sarasota County branch, police caught a homeless couple cooking meth on library grounds. The couple slept in a small homeless encampment behind the library and spent most days inside for shelter.

From What happens when libraries are asked to help the homeless find shelter - The Washington Post

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