Submitted by birdie on May 2, 2014 - 3:37pm
Feel good story via American Profile.
Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan.
“It definitely made me proud,” says Mason, a junior at Louisburg (Kan.) High School. Matthew’s mother, Jennifer Shields, noticed last fall that her son’s birth defect was making the third-grader self-conscious and affecting him socially. But even with health insurance, the single mother knew she couldn’t afford a professionally made prosthetic.
Researching online, Jennifer found Robohand, the mechanical hand invented by South African carpenter Richard van As, who lost four fingers in a circular saw accident, and theatrical props maker Ivan Owen, in Bellingham, Wash. The pair posted the free digital design last year on thingiverse.com. “I looked at the plans, but had no idea how to do it,” recalls Jennifer, 43.
Her teenaged son Mason, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. A straight-A student who aspires to be an engineer, he previously had read about three-dimensional printer technology. “I downloaded all the files and spent about three hours scaling the hand to fit Matthew,” Mason says.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on April 27, 2014 - 10:47am
<p>I suggest you a video: Pharrell Williams: Happy (We are from a Library), made in Bródy Sándor Public Library in Eger, Hungary. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1evLp-ycbuQ?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360"></iframe> Our library is a happy and cheerful place. Check it :) Marianna Zsoldos music librarian http://www.brody.iif.hu</p>
Submitted by Pete on April 21, 2014 - 4:30pm
From Milwaukee's JSOnline:
"The Milwaukee Public Library board will meet Tuesday to discuss the possible sale or permanent loan of one of its treasures, "The Bookworm," the most famous canvas by German romantic painter Carl Spitzweg.
The board will consider an active offer from an undisclosed party for the work, which is valued at $400,000, said Paula Kiely, director of the Milwaukee Public Library."
Submitted by birdie on April 10, 2014 - 12:23pm
Submitted by birdie on April 8, 2014 - 3:46pm
Via Fast Company: In 1994, photographer Robert Dawson began an odds-and-ends project. Whenever he traveled, he'd take pictures of public libraries. Then, a handful of years ago, he started taking trips across the United States just for the libraries--like the shed that served a one-person county in Nebraska, or the Texas library that housed a "petroleum room" with all sorts of George Bush-themed collectibles. He documented everything from a library found in a suburban strip mall to the the air-conditioned institution that functioned more like a refugee camp in sweltering Detroit July.
All told, Dawson journeyed through 48 states, fascinated and inspired by the common role libraries played in society. Libraries, he found, didn't only serve as a refuge for the poor who didn't have any place else to go, but gateways that opened up all corners of the world to anyone inquisitive enough to take a stroll among the shelves. The result is his new book: The Public Library, A Photographic Essay, published by Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-61689-217-3. The book includes 150 photos, plus essays by Bill Moyers, Ann Patchett, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, and many more.
Nice slideshow on the author's website.
Submitted by Blake on April 2, 2014 - 9:14pm
Lawmakers are moving forward with an effort to create a tougher legal environment for unwelcome library visitors. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 19-0 to advance S. 813, which says someone who refuses to leave a public library after previously being warned is guilty of a misdemeanor.
“I’m very concerned about the safety and the operation of our public library system,” said Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston.
“Having said that, I’m also concerned that the public has the right to use to library.”
Submitted by birdie on March 28, 2014 - 4:18pm
Stop by Boston's Central Library in Copley Square by April 5 to see this Lego masterpiece before it moves to its permanent home at the Legoland Discovery Center in Somerville.
The model is a result of the BPL winning a contest sponsored by Lego. It received more votes than any other landmark in the city.
Submitted by birdie on March 25, 2014 - 4:22pm
Check out this amazing video from the St. Paul MN Public Library about their Mobile Workplace program. Libraries have a long history of serving their communities by providing access to resources and information. When the St. Paul Public Library saw a growing need for computer and job search skills, it created a new way to bring its community the tools and access they were searching for. The program primarily caters to newcomers of the Somali, Hmong and Karen (Burmese) populations. Hat tip to Stephen Abram Stephen's Lighthouse.
Submitted by Blake on March 25, 2014 - 8:26am
I hang out at libraries, even when I’m not looking for a book :
"Libraries are information warriors fighting the digital divide that can be caused by age and income. As I travel up and down the province for work I'm always certain to check out the frequently old, frequently brick buildings in many places too small for much else. I have now been to most of them, and they have more in common than what sets them apart---invaluable access to programs and information that can shape the communities they sit in. "
Submitted by birdie on March 21, 2014 - 11:15am
From The Juneau Empire: Amid a slew of ordinance approvals and introductions, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly got to have a little fun, accepting a big — in every sense of the word — check from the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.
“This is so much fun, to give away a million dollars,” Friends of the Library board President Paul Beran said before presenting the oversized check. “Can you imagine how many books at a nickel, a dime, a quarter and a dollar it takes?”
He said the group made the donation possible by staffing its Amazing Bookstore (pictured above) with 70 volunteers per week, some of which have been working in the store for 30 years.
Submitted by birdie on March 19, 2014 - 11:07am
This is a tragedy.
From The Miami Herald: Squeezed by tax cuts, Florida’s largest library system can’t buy nearly the number of children’s books it used to.
Countywide, Miami-Dade libraries budgeted about $90,000 for children’s books this year, a fraction of the $1.3 million the system spent in 2005 and about 60 percent below the $210,000 budget in place just three years ago.
Submitted by Blake on March 19, 2014 - 7:14am
The virtual destruction of the New York Public Library rests on faulty premises. In a world of cheap personal computers, ubiquitous internet access and vanished book stores, libraries will always be special. For in addition to preserving manuscripts that may never be digitized, providing services to communities, and lending e-books to remote users, library collections entice citizens to meet in public spaces – and not just for the experience of reading on paper. Readers come for the ageless experience of browsing the shelves and commenting on one another’s dust jackets. Should the plan here in New York go through, the 42nd Street Library may soon find that its terminals are as empty as the ethernet ports carved into the tables of the Main Reading Room.
Submitted by birdie on March 13, 2014 - 11:37am
From The East Bay Express (Alameda Cty, CA):
Library administrators are discarding older books in bulk, prompting a backlash from longtime staff members.
Library administrators have ordered staff to discard books in bulk. With increased funding for materials this fiscal year, managers are making room for newer books and as a result have been trashing older ones in mass quantities, staff members said. The practice, they said, has been rushed and haphazard — and not in line with the standard guidelines for "weeding," the term librarians use to describe the process of moving books out of collections. In Albany, thousands of good books that could be donated or given away are instead ending up in the trash, the employees said. They noted that while this policy is especially widespread at their branch, it appears that this careless discarding is happening across the Alameda County Library system.
"Everyone is amazed by the amount of stuff going to the garbage bins," said Dan Hess, a children's librarian in Albany. He has worked at that branch for four years and has been an employee of Alameda County Library for fourteen years. "It's like forty years and forty different brains thinking what should be in the library [are being] swept away in two months," he said. "We're having this infusion of new money and materials that are coming very fast into the library. It's pushing us to change the criteria for what we are discarding." Hess said that managers have directed staffers to effectively remove most books bought before 2001, with little regard to the content, condition, or other factors librarians would typically take into consideration. "All you have left is the new. To me, that is not a library."
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on March 10, 2014 - 12:08pm
"Calling library closings the "absolute worst decision" in his 20 years in elected office, Mayor Nutter took time in his budget address Thursday to apologize for the cuts he made in 2008.
City Council "was right on this issue . . . and I've been determined to correct my mistake ever since," Nutter said after proposing a $2.5 million increase for the Free Library.
The new funding would let the library system hire 43 people and keep all neighborhood libraries open six days a week.
Submitted by Blake on March 9, 2014 - 6:18pm
The mayor's letter to the commissioners proposed creating a Family and Education Fun Zone around the library and suggested that the first step should be instituting actual penalties for breaking the library's long-standing code of conduct. Previously, most bad behavior was met simply with a warning to stop.
In response, library staff beefed up the Patron Code of Conduct with much harsher penalties than the admonishment, "Uh, that's a sink - not a bathtub." Under the proposals, which will likely be tweaked after community input and voted on by the commissioners this spring, repeat offenses could result in being banned from all the city's public libraries for up to a year.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on February 25, 2014 - 12:01am
Library's WikiSeat challenge inspires creative thinking
Why sit in any old seat, when you can build your own?
The Mountain View public library is challenging its patrons with a unique project: build your very own tripod seat, in a month or less.
Called the WikiSeat challenge, the month-long project aims to inspire both fun and function through the task of building a seat.
Submitted by Blake on February 19, 2014 - 4:52pm
Submitted by birdie on February 3, 2014 - 11:34am
This story from the Seattle Public Library is a bit dated, but worth reading.
When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.
Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.
That man, Dave Bowman, lives in Seattle and has a library card (which he uses, he noted in an email to KUOW), and said that he demanded the policy change on behalf of all gun owners. He described himself as “neither a conservative, nor liberal, but a libertarian.”
“I noticed one day that the library’s rules stated that firearms were not allowed on library property except by law enforcement,” Bowman said by email to KUOW. “I knew this rule was in violation of state law (and common sense) and brought it to their attention.”
Joe Fithian, the head of security for the library, replied to Bowman: “Much the same as eating and sleeping or being intoxicated are not against the law, (guns) are against our rules of conduct.”
But Bowman refused to back down and within two months, the library announced to its staff that it would drop the gun ban. Staff members could ask questions, but administrators were firm: On Nov. 4, the library would allow guns.
Do you allow guns at your library? Are there specific restrictions? Please comment below.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on January 31, 2014 - 8:29am
Library districts need to adapt to the needs of their communities. A one-size-fits-all tax levy simply will not work. The library districts in Arizona have never been accused of abusing their authority, and, what’s more, they provide valuable service to all of the libraries in their geographic areas.
Read more from The Hipster Librarian.
Submitted by Blake on January 23, 2014 - 7:15am
At a time when more information is moving online and into digital formats, our patrons highly value free access to books and the range of resources and programs available at the library. To accommodate the high demand for digital services, we added several Internet-equipped computers to the computer lab and expanded library space for laptop users. As a library director, I see students, parents, and readers turn to the library when they need homework help, children's books, historical information, or research assistance.