Submitted by birdie on May 2, 2012 - 12:33pm
From CBC News: The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.
Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.
The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.
That is a scary prospect, according to researchers, genealogists and academics that often rely on such libraries and history to develop their work.
"Professionals and scientists who work in those departments need access to those specialized libraries to develop policy," said James Turk, president of the Canadian Association of University Professors.
"As well, other Canadians rely on those specialized libraries and there aren't other libraries that have those people and can make up for that."
Submitted by Blake on April 17, 2012 - 8:14am
$1 million donation will transform Orlando Library into digital playground
A $1 million donation in the memory of Orlando civic leader Dorothy Lumley Melrose will transform the Orlando Public Library into one of the most avant-garde in the nation, officials said before the Monday evening announcement.
"My mother did a lot of things in this community, but she had the greatest passion and talked the most about the library," said Kendrick Melrose, 72, a former Boone High School graduate who left Orlando to earn his fortune as CEO of Toro, makers of turf and landscape maintenance equipment.
Submitted by birdie on March 28, 2012 - 8:42am
From The Atlantic Cities:
"press two for costumer service"
I'll admit, to me, the idea of a privatized public library has a certain dystopian ring to it, the ultimate public space corrupted for a profit. That image was not much aided by my first (and second and third) call to Library System and Services Inc., the only library privatization company in the United States. LSSI now runs at least 15 library systems in California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. This means it is, effectively, the fifth largest library system in the country.
Time and again, I ran through an automated response system without finding a real person. A week's worth of emails went unanswered. And then, there's the message at one of LSSI's libraries, which directs you press two for "costumer service."
Is this the future of the reference desk, I wondered? Not exactly the library system of my childhood, where each call about books on hold was answered by the same librarian I had known since I started attending kid's corner book readings.
But then, there's the example of Santa Clarita, California. ...More.
Submitted by birdie on February 25, 2012 - 12:24pm
From Philly.com a report on South Korean journalists visit to the city of Camden NJ, where the abandoned library "has a tree growing through its roof". Camden is the second most dangerous city in the US, and the foreign journalists were shocked by the poverty and crime.
Maybe if Governor Christie put some effort into helping that city restore its library and its community the situation would improve for the youth of Camden NJ.
Submitted by Blake on February 24, 2012 - 9:03am
Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?
Walking away isn't always easy. It means we won't be able to submit our work to many journals, some of them with strong reputations. We may have to turn down review requests from friends who serve as editors. We may have to explain to tenure and promotion committees that our choices were made to further knowledge, and furthering knowledge is at least as important as building our reputations. This is why we should congratulate all those who are willing to put their tenure on the line to do the right thing.
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2012 - 9:12am
You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals
"Thus, people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish. So, come on people! If we do this now, paywalls will crumble, and we all be better off. So, come on! Let’s do it!"
Submitted by John on February 14, 2012 - 12:37pm
As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:
bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.
Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?
Submitted by Blake on January 20, 2012 - 8:36am
Toronto Library Foundation gets $1.5-million gift from private donors
Marilyn and Charles Baillie have contributed $1.5-million to the Toronto Public Library Foundation’s fundraising campaign, putting it over its $10-million goal.
The campaign, dubbed re:vitalize, was launched in May of 2009 in support of a $34-million renovation to the Toronto Reference Library. Part of the renovations will include a Special Collections Centre, which was supported by the gift. In recognition, the centre will bear their names.
Submitted by Blake on January 17, 2012 - 1:19pm
Oxford library fine figures revealed
Oxford University’s libraries accrued almost £130,000 in library fines last year.
Universities across the country amassed fines totalling £50 million, While Oxford’s takings are significantly more than that of universities such as Imperial College London, who collected just £26,703, they remain some way off the £1.8m amassed by the University of Leeds.
Submitted by Blake on January 9, 2012 - 9:02am
U.K. universities made £50 million from overdue library books
Freedom of Information requests revealed British universities took in £50 million from students whose library books were overdue or simply never returned. Some schools have policies that students owing fines cannot graduate.
The figure of £50 million (US$77.3 million) was arrived at after the Press Association filed Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with all universities in the U.K. The information spans a six year period, beginning with the academic year 2004/05.
Submitted by birdie on December 27, 2011 - 6:51pm
Good intentions. Bad idea. Those words summarize the recent attempt by Live Oak (GA) Public Libraries Director Christian Kruse to spend nearly $23,000 in library funds on gift cards for 166 employees.
The cards were valued at $50, $100 and $200 and were meant to recognize part-time and full-time employees after about three years of stagnant salaries and increased health care costs, Kruse said.
He said the cards were meant to be a small token for the work the staff does and were paid for with surplus revenue from a special fund from book sales, fines and fee revenue. Finance Director Neal Vickers later said revenue from copying and printing fees was used.
One problem is the gift cards may have violated restrictions on the use of public funds, according to state officials.
The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for gifts or bonuses, said Ronald Watson, director of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ education division. A state audit of the library probably would cite the purchase as improper, he said.
Any money that comes from library operations, which are state supported, should be invested in operations, and gift cards don’t qualify, Watson said. More from Savannah Now.
Submitted by Blake on December 21, 2011 - 2:00pm
Oshkosh Public Library gets $1.1 million gift
life-long Oshkosh woman described as an avid reader and movie watcher made a $1.1 million bequest to the Oshkosh Public Library.
The library board decided Thursday to use the money from the estate of Marjorie M. Drexler to establish a memorial trust fund.
Drexler died Aug. 16, 2010, at the age of 87.
Submitted by birdie on December 9, 2011 - 9:52am
PALM COAST, Florida -- These days it seems everybody's trying to make a buck, including public libraries.
And library officials are coming up with some creative ways to do just that, such as handling passport applications and adding merchandise sales and cafes. Long-range plans at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast call for creating an inviting atmosphere for patrons, with a coffee shop serving as the centerpiece. Officials also hope leasing floor space to a vendor will provide a little extra cash for the library.
"We want people to be relaxed and feeling good," said library director Holly Albanese. "People like to have a cup of coffee when they sit and read the newspaper or the first chapter of a book. We want them to be able to do that here."
Incorporating a casual café into the traditional public library mission of lending books, providing meeting rooms and offering classes to the public is part of a national trend, according to a study by the Primary Research Group, a private marketing company.
"Even the places that don't currently have one (a café) are looking to do it in the future," said Marcia Warner, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. "We're kind of johnnys-come-lately. Museums have been doing this for a lot of years."
More ideas for selling your library at the Lib Success Wiki.
Submitted by birdie on November 30, 2011 - 3:12pm
Third part in a series about Libraries in Crisis from Huffington Post.
In case you hadn't heard, books aren't quite as popular as they used to be. "So the question, and it's a huge question, is, 'What even is a library anymore?'" said Cesar Pelli, the world-renowned architect and designer of the Minneapolis Central Library.
While this large urban library has greater resources than many of its suburban and rural counterparts -- the building itself, which opened in 2006, cost some $138 million -- librarians across the country are looking to institutions such as this to show the way forward. For their part, the librarians here say their hope is that this library can be more of a cultural center than a book repository.
When visitors walk into the Minneapolis building, the first collection they see is about 300 computers, each of which is in use about 90 percent of the time. Nationwide, the number of physical books borrowed from libraries is slowly declining, although books remain a core reason why people visit their libraries. The staff in Minneapolis estimates that computer access is the primary reason that most patrons, especially low-income and unemployed people, visit.
Submitted by birdie on November 9, 2011 - 1:23pm
Early in its history the Library of Michigan collected books within broad categories of topics and circulated them in wooden traveling boxes across the state, especially in areas where there were no libraries. The books in the collection were categorized under the Dewey Decimal System. In 1987 when the Library of Michigan converted to the Library of Congress system, the original Dewey books were never rolled into the new system. In essence, they became a shrine to the Dewey system and were seldom touched.
Donald Todaro, who has overseen the auction as assistant director of the state library, said in the last several decades the collection saw little or no use, even though the books occupied nearly half of the fourth floor of the Library of Michigan.
When former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration was looking for ways to save money it determined the library was an easy target. Ultimately, the library was hit with more than $1 million in cuts. It was able to maintain its Michigan and Genealogy collections while pretty much everything else was determined to be expendable, including staff: The library once had more than 130 employees, but that dropped to 32.
From the Lansing City Pulse, Library of Michigan wraps up its sale of 75,000 out-of-circulation volumes. The rare books however have mostly been culled from the collection.
Submitted by birdie on October 26, 2011 - 1:47pm
From New York Magazine, news of a forthcoming look at the "Occupy" phenomenon.
Progressive publishing house OR Books will release a 200-page first draft of a history entitled Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America as soon as December 17, using volunteers from the movement's Education and Empowerment Committee, and including work by both "sympathetic writers and people who are active in the occupation," OR co-founder Colin Robinson told New York. The book's release date will mark the protest's three-month anniversary. "Although you can't deliver definitive opinions at the moment or set out a course of action, you can record the details of what has happened so far in Zuccotti Park," he said.
The publisher — whose anti-Sarah Palin essay collection Going Rouge wound up a New York Times bestseller — will release Occupying Wall Street as a print-on-demand product and independent e-book, with all profits going back to the occupation.
Here's another story on the process of writing the book from Huffington Post.
Submitted by birdie on October 14, 2011 - 1:48pm
READING, Pennsylvania (AP) — Taylor Swift wants children in the Pennsylvania city of Reading to hit the books — and she's made that easier by giving 6,000 volumes to the local library.
Librarians unveiled the donation from the Grammy-winning country singer Thursday. Swift grew up in nearby Wyomissing and wasn't able to attend the event.
Swift partnered with publisher Scholastic Inc. to donate the books for children and young adults. The titles were chosen by local librarians.
Reading is a struggling city about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. Swift's representatives told library officials she wanted to help economically troubled libraries.
Librarians say Swift's books will be marked with a white star on the spine and a sticker inside. They say they hope Swift's popularity will motivate more children and teens to read.
Submitted by Blake on October 11, 2011 - 9:03am
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2011 - 6:55am
Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist
"What we see here is pure rentier capitalism: monopolising a public resource then charging exorbitant fees to use it. Another term for it is economic parasitism. To obtain the knowledge for which we have already paid, we must surrender our feu to the lairds of learning."
See Also: Response to George Monbiot’s Rant against Academic Publishers
"No one doubts that commercial publishers are in the business of making money. But the way they make money is by doing something that academics value but that they would not do for themselves, left to their own devices. What I mean is captured in two words: ‘innovation’ and ‘extension’. "
Submitted by birdie on August 18, 2011 - 11:35am
From The Millions, an excellent article by Steve Himmer:
One recent morning, my almost four year old daughter started crying out of the blue. I asked her what was wrong, and she wailed, “I don’t have a library card!” So with a proud paternal bibliophile’s heart swollen in my chest, I strapped her into her car seat and we set off for the library in search of a library card and — at her request — in search of Tintin books like those I’d told her were my favorite stories at the library when I was young.
We went first to the branch library in our end of town, a small, round building with walls almost entirely of glass. All those windows, and the books behind them, make it look pretty inviting, and we parked our car in the lot and I held my daughter’s hand as she skipped to the door, bubbling over with excitement. Unfortunately, it was closed; I’d known municipal budget cuts had reduced the hours of all library branches, but I’d thought that only meant it was closed on Fridays. Instead, it meant this branch — and all others, apart from the main library downtown — were open only a couple of hours four afternoons through the week. No mornings, no evenings, no weekends.