Public Libraries

Public Libraries

Some public libraries home to rare and valuable treasures

When it comes to where one might find rare works of art or valuable historical artifacts, most people think of museums or perhaps the Boston Public Library, particularly after the high-profile “loss” earlier this year of valuable prints by Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt that were ultimately found 80 feet from where they should have been filed.

Many would be surprised to find, housed amid the book and DVD collections in many local public libraries, historical treasures ranging from the rare and valuable to the curious, such as Woburn’s swatch of the wool coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated.

For the most part, local libraries are not in the business of actively collecting historical artifacts, but rather have amassed a hodgepodge of donated items of historical value and interest, said Jake Sadow, statewide digitization project archivist with the Boston Public Library.

From Some public libraries home to rare and valuable treasures - The Boston Globe

Phoenix libraries unveil treadmill desks

We've all been to the library to check out books, rent DVD's, and surf the web. But now at three Phoenix libraries you can do more; work out.

Fit Phoenix unveiled a new way for people to improve their health all while reading a book. These treadmill desks are available to use at three Phoenix libraries including; Palo Verde, Harmon, and Yucca.

"What you do is come to the library with your library card, check into the computer like you normally would with one of the normal , but it has a treamil with it, and you'll be able to walk slowly at 2 miles and hour while you use the computer," said Jon Brodsky.

From Phoenix libraries unveil treadmill desks - Story | KSAZ

AirBNB to Remove Controversial Ads from Busstops in SF

Business Insider reports on the removal of offensive ads against public libraries at San Francisco busstops.

Some of the ads offended San Francisco residents. One letter to the public library system said it should be spending Airbnb's tax money on staying open later.

"Had you donated that $8 million you spent fighting Proposition F directly to the public libraries you love so much, that could have made a bigger difference. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20!" said San Francisco State University professor Martha Kenney in her Facebook post.

Another ad, posted on a city bus stop, suggested that the city should be feeding expired parking meters. (We're not sure why.)

Airbnb confirmed to Business Insider that it was taking down the ads after they were posted this morning, and that the campaign was not run using the $8 million it had given to political groups to fight proposed legislation.

Public response to SPL survey sharply against City Librarian Marcellus Turner's rebranding plan

Of course some survey takers liked the proposed rebranding, but less than 1% wrote comments in support of it. The overwhelming majority opposed it; they rejected the “branding initiative.”
Even though there were hundreds of survey respondents who said they love the Seattle Public Library, what they’d heard about the branding initiative spurred some to take a tough stance on their future relationship with it

From The Seattle Review of Books - Public response to SPL survey sharply against City Librarian Marcellus Turner's rebranding plan

The Active Librarian Journal Launch | Call for Papers!

<em>The Active Librarian</em> has published its first issue! Peer-reviewed and practical, <em>TAL</em> publishes the programs, initiatives, and services of public librarians. It aims to house the best practices from which librarians can draw inspiration. In this issue, we focus on teaching in public libraries, although Crystal Trice (Washington County Cooperative) discusses usability testing, packed with stuff like wireframes, card sorts, and heat maps. Seriously: who DOESN'T like heat maps?

Wi-Fi hotspot loans from Kitchener, Ont. library a Canadian first

Kitchener Public Library is embracing the digital age, and setting a new standard for libraries in Canada with its new Wi-Fi hotspot loan program. 

"We do believe we are the first library in Canada to offer Wi-Fi loans," said library CEO Mary Chevreau.  

From Wi-Fi hotspot loans from Kitchener, Ont. library a Canadian first - Kitchener-Waterloo - CBC News

9 Amazing Things You Can Take Out From the Library

"We certainly understand the economy of lending," Wolstenholme says. (Resource-strapped libraries typically acquire these items from donations.) She's surveying to gauge patron interest in a telescope, metal detector, even a game camera to catch footage of those pesky coyotes in the back yard.

With help from Jessica D’Avanza, community services librarian at Barrington Public Library and other library staff throughout the state, we’ve put together a list of great things you might not know you can borrow from Rhode Island’s libraries

From Rhode Island, libraries, unusual items

Where Do Books from Closed Libraries Go?

Philly Voice answers the {infrequently asked} question:

Q) What happens to the books at closed libraries like the South Philadelphia one at Broad and Morris streets?

Question answered by Jennifer Maguire-Wright, chief manager of materials for the Free Library of Philadelphia:

A) The materials in the South Philadelphia collection were mostly sent to other neighborhood libraries in the library system. Items that were in poor condition or outdated were withdrawn from the collection -- we call it “weeding,” in library lingo. Those items are typically offered to other city agencies for a period of time and then sold in book sales.

How do you determine which ones get the boot?

We have a collection development policy that includes details on how we keep our collections fresh and current. Typically, items are removed from the collection due to condition. Our books can be well-loved to the point that they are falling apart. For non-fiction, we have guides based on the content. A good example is health-related materials. Anything older than five years is looked at critically to see if there are newer titles on the topic ...

Remember Hydrox?

Is it or isn't it the Public Librarians favorite cookie? Rumor has it that they're coming back. But as you are library folk, rumor doesn't quite cut it.

Post inspired by recent conversation on Publib list Publib Archives.

Please comment yay or nay. Any votes for 'Nilla Wafers?

Library explores relationship with homeless

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150920/ARTICLES/150919668/0/search WILMINGTON -- The New Hanover County Library is working to figure out what role it should play in the lives of the homeless who use some of its branches, particularly the main library on Chestnut Street. Harry Tuchmayer, New Hanover County Library's director, said staff members have had internal discussions about whether they could be better prepared to help homeless people.

Editorial - Library can serve the homeless, too

Homelessness is a complex social issue -- from its root causes, how to help the people who are experiencing it, and how to end it. The New Hanover County Library finds itself wrestling with that complexity as it tries to decide how to interact with the homeless people who use its branches – particularly downtown – as a hangout. From the beginning we would like to make it clear that homeless people have every right to use the library, or any other public facility, for that matter. It would be naïve, however, to pretend that homeless folks do not create special challenges and, yes, prob

Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing

The El Pueblo library evolved from a partnership that includes Reading Advantage, a Brentwood-based nonprofit, the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, the county library and its Pittsburg branch, and the Grace Worship Center.

"They love being able to go home with books," said Terris Allen, a volunteer with Grace Worship Center, which also runs after-school and tutoring programs at the learning center that opened in June. "They can start their own personal library. This is something they can keep with them, and pass it down to a little brother or sister as they grow older so there is always a book in the house."

From Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing - ContraCostaTimes.com

Sacramento's Library of Things

From today's New York Times:

(as we know quite well...) Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls etc.

How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library convinced 13,000 people to come back

After a year, you go to “inactive” status and begin getting emails saying the library misses you. These alone have brought back 13,000 people so far, Anderson said. Interestingly enough, the library’s found that the No. 1 thing inactive users do first is to actually go into a branch and check out a book.

More granular demographic clusters include “dependables,” or heavy users, “rising stars,” or children who check out books regularly, “audiophiles,” who use audiobooks, or “bedtime stories,” or people checking out a lot of fiction/nonfiction books.

The data project coincides with a special advertising campaign the library is introducing this fall. Beginning this month, the library will have billboards on I-77, I-85 and Independence Boulevard, each for eight weeks at a time.

From How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library convinced 13,000 people to come back - Charlotte Agenda

Where Have All the Libraries Gone?

The data shows that libraries are needed, and in fact usage has steadily increased, yet funding remains stagnant. Rather than implementing short-term gaps in service by leasing space to nonprofits, the city should be finding ways to fund fully-functioning libraries that offer an array of free services for all members of their communities.

From Where Have All the Libraries Gone? | Nonprofit Quarterly

The public library in an Internet age: a series from Michigan Radio

“That is is a sign of great optimism for the future of not just libraries but for the future of curious communities, which is really what libraries are designed to serve.”

From The public library in an Internet age: a series from Michigan Radio | Michigan Radio

Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers

The library's renovation is as exquisite as its history is turbulent. The building sits in the heart of the provincial capital that was wracked not so long ago by battles and bullets.

A three-decade civil war pitted Sri Lankan forces against rebels fighting a brutal campaign for a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils. The rebels, known as Tamil Tigers, were crushed in 2009, in the closing months of the fighting.

From Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers : Parallels : NPR

Redlands California Library as Center of Civic Revival

The public library in Redlands, California is much more than a steward of books and information. It is an exemplar of the history of the town and a living legend of its spirit of generosity, a hallmark of Redlands since its first days.

From Redlands California Library as Center of Civic Revival - The Atlantic

Outrage as city with new £188m library ask readers for help buying books

A council which spent £188million on a state-of-the-art new library has been criticised by readers and authors after it ran out of money and asked the public to donate books.
Libraries in Birmingham have posted notices requesting members donate their new and recently-released books, saying they would be “gratefully received”

From Outrage as city with new £188m library ask readers for help buying books - Telegraph

Libraries need a deeper online presence

Librarians understand the context in which books make sense, how they go together, what are the canonical readings, and what are the dissenting works worth reading. Library information systems may not know as much about users’ behavior as Amazon does, but even highly anonymized usage records can say a lot about what a community values: which works people are reading, which ones they like or think are important, and even the relations they see among the works. In essence, the library can hold a mirror up to the community, allowing it to get a clearer and stronger sense of itself.

From Libraries need a deeper online presence - Opinion - The Boston Globe

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