"MY family lives in New Holly, a mixed-income Seattle Housing Authority Neighborhood in Southeast Seattle. Despite lower income levels than many affluent parts of the city, in one important way, it is the richest neighborhood in Seattle because of its diversity.
Mayor Mike McGinn, however, has proposed budget cuts that would slash all on-site librarian services at the New Holly library and seven other library locations, carving the very heart out of southeast Seattle and other parts of the city. Seattle's status as most educated city in the United States is intrinsic to our identity, but we cannot hope to retain that badge of honor if we remove from our midst the most democratic and foundational resource for adults and children to educate themselves.
The Seattle City Council must reject cutting librarian services at these vital libraries and preserve this invaluable resource as ongoing equity for neighborhoods in dire need of support.
My family carpools with a Somali family to a local preschool. Faduma, the mom, works at home and her husband drives a taxi 70 hours each week. They moved to New Holly because the city designed our neighborhood for success — and Faduma's family is succeeding! One of their school-aged children transferred to a Seattle Public Spectrum school with programming for gifted children.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The city of Providence has filed a lawsuit against the Providence Public Library charging the nonprofit with not complying with the lease agreement and not making needed repairs.
The suit filed this week lists more than a dozen problems at the branches, including leaky roofs, poor drainage, electric problems and faulty ventilation.
Seven of the nine libraries are still owned by the Providence Public Library, the nonprofit that operated the entire city library system until July 2009, when the city transferred its $3.5 million library allocation to the Providence Community Library.
The PPL, which operates the downtown Central Library, agreed to lease its branch buildings to the city for $1 a year.
The legal action comes as PCL has been putting more pressure on PPL to resolve the dispute over the buildings.
Facing a $600,000 shortfall, the Des Plaines Illinois library could close in early December if it doesn’t get the money needed to tide it over until the end of the year.
The library board has asked the city council for up to a $1.5 million loan, which has yet to be voted on. The library is waiting for nearly $3 million from Cook County tax receipts.
"They have to come in front of the city council and justify why they want this loan . . . [and] justify to the city council that they are making the necessary cuts so they won't have to come to us for loans in the future," Mayor Marty Moylan said.
He said the library needs to return to its core mission of making "basic reading material available." Moylan said he has heard comments in the community that the library shouldn't, for example, be in the business of loaning out CDs and movies for free.
Are you in a school library in CA, NV or NY? Read on...
GlobeNewswire via COMTEX -- City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.
Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting Reading Is the Way Up. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.
Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement. Awards can be used for books, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer software or hardware, or in other ways so long as the recipient shows that the project for which funds are sought will support literacy.
CHATHAM, NJ — There is a group of hardworking individuals behind the scenes at the Chatham library – and they aren’t bookworms. The Friends of the Library raise money for books and programs which the library could not provide with the money received from Chatham Borough and Township.
“The Library of the Chathams would not be the same place without the Friends of the Library. I sincerely believe we have the best Friends group in the entire state of New Jersey,” said Diane O’Brien, Director of the Library.
As state aid for libraries continues to shrink supplementary funds generated through groups such as Friends has become ever more critical. The Friends recently allocated funds for a cybercafé to be placed in the basement of the library. According to Friends Chairwoman Candice Booker, there is an increasing demand to meet the needs of those patrons looking for a job.
Get your friends *ON THE JOB*. At a time like this, friends of the library can be a tremendous help. For more info on Friends and how your library could start a friends group contact ALTAFF.
OK, New Jersey-ites, who wants to challenge the Chathams friends in a competition for 'best friends group in NJ'?
"The New York Public Library, like many libraries throughout the country, is so strapped for cash, they're cutting back services. But guess how much money the guy who runs the library earned last year?" Get the scoop from <a href=http://www.insideedition.com/news/5157/inside-edition-investigates-monster-salaries.aspx>Inside Edition.</a>
First reported a few days ago, the pundits are now adding their 2 cents.
This from Dan Gillmor at Salon: When America's book publishers wrested control of e-book prices from Amazon earlier this year, I expected two results. First, prices would go up. Second, I'd buy fewer new Kindle books. I got that part right.
What I didn't expect, however, was that publishers would be so incredibly foolish as to start raising e-book prices to the point that they were close to, and in a few cases above, the hardcover prices. Here's a non-literary term for this policy: nuts.
I've been keeping loose track of this trend for months, and had noticed that some hardcover books were getting close to the Kindle prices. Then the barrier fell, as the New York Times reported this week, when at least two books actually were more costly to read on Kindle devices than the actual physical book.
How did this happen? It's a classic Traditional Media vs. the Digital Age story. The key players are Amazon, the major book publishers and Apple.
Save our Libraries in the London Borough of Barnet
Published by Roger Tichborne on Sep 25, 2010
Region: United Kingdom
Target: London Borough of Barnets Conservative Party
Web site: http://barneteye.blogspot.com
We the Undersigned, are totally opposed to the closure, sell off or downgrading of the Library service in the London Borough of Barnet.
We believe that Libraries are a vital part of the Borough and recognise the importance of having trained Libraries run by trained librarians. We believe that it is vital to have "quiet space" for students to study.
We believe that closure of the service would cause untold damage to the citizens of Barnet and is totally opposed by the vast majority of the population.
On facebook? Please join our campaign to get the top pop culture book-loving maven of our time to PROMOTE LIBRARIES by joining "Oprah, Libraries Need You!".
The group, created as the result of a dream that Marilyn Johnson (author of 'This Book is Overdue') had in which she spoke to Oprah about libraries and Oprah agreed that they needed support (vivid dreaming MJ!) is ONE WEEK OLD and already has close to 1,000 members.
Please add your name to the ranks and invite all your friends. It won't cost you a penny and who knows, maybe it'll result in an overwhelming wash of love and money from Oprah's coffers.
If you have a story about your library that will help to support the cause, please post it on the wall and keep posting. Don't be shy. Thank you!!
[quote] In Louisiana, librarians panicked this summer when the state Board of Regents announced the end of funding for LOUIS, the statewide academic library network that provides journal and database access to some 30 institutions, including Louisiana State University (LSU). On a Facebook page dedicated to saving LOUIS, students and faculty alike expressed their outrage at the loss of access. "Oh, please please please save LOUIS," wrote one LSU graduate psychology student. "I'm funded by a large federal research grant from the Department of Education.
Submitted by birdie on September 27, 2010 - 8:43am
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company, Library Systems & Services, in Maryland, has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.
The basic pitch that the company L.S.S.I. makes to cities is that it fixes broken libraries — often by cleaning house.
Now the company, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.
A $4 million deal to run the three libraries here is a chance for the company to demonstrate that a dose of private management can be good for communities, whatever their financial situation. But in an era when outsourcing is most often an act of budget desperation — with janitors, police forces and even entire city halls farmed out in one town or another — the contract in Santa Clarita has touched a deep nerve and begun a round of second-guessing.
Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?
The company is majority owned by Islington Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Boston, and has about $35 million in annual revenue and 800 employees. Officials would not discuss the company’s profitability.
Submitted by birdie on September 16, 2010 - 9:20am
With all the doom and gloom, Sean Bonney, Graphics Designer at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library put together this video to cheer us up.
The video follows one member of the staff as she deals with a string of bizarre patrons. About halfway through, a fabulous disco sparkle segues to our music video, set to the 1978 disco hit, "I Will Survive".
Submitted by birdie on September 16, 2010 - 7:34am
Above is the headline, unedited, in today's LA Weekly in which Patrick Range McDonald cites the devastating choices of LA's mayor and city council in carrying out "an unprecedented, and punishing, raid on the libraries."
The article goes on: Last spring he convinced the City Council to close the city's central and eight regional libraries on Sundays, then slashed $22 million from the 2010-11 budget and closed all 73 libraries on Mondays beginning July 19. Library officials say as many as 15,000 youths — plus an untold number of adults — have been turned away every closed day this summer.
Unlike the angry City Council in New York, which successfully fought a large library budget cut proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and 4th District City Councilman Tom LaBonge, chairman of the council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, quickly caved on Villaraigosa's proposed 2010 budget, of which the library cuts were a part.
The Bridgewater and Raynham (MA) middle school librarians won’t be getting their jobs back, but the schools’ libraries will remain open.
That was the word from school officials at the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School Committee meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25. School Committee member Gordon Luciano said after the meeting the decision of the administration to use proctors instead of librarians at the middle schools this year is final and does not need a vote by the school board.
The school committee could have chosen to override the decision, he said. But there was no discussion of possible alternatives and there were no motions by committee members to take a different route.
The school committee meeting was the last before the beginning of school on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Last year, Bridgewater Middle School and Raynham Middle School each had one full-time librarian. But this year, the funding for those positions was eliminated. Story from the Bridgewater Independent.
Stonington CT - Shortly after this spring's flooding caused about $50,000 of damage to the Stonington Free Library's children's section, Peter Brown and his wife, Alexandra Stoddard, were talking to Dog Watch Cafe owner David Eck about how they could help.
Brown, a trial lawyer, decided that he would donate 1,000 copies of his new book, "Figure it Out," to the effort. On Sunday anyone who donated $25 to the library received a signed copy and a free drink at the Dog Watch.
The event was a hit as hundreds made donations to the library during a daylong event at the restaurant, which overlooks Stonington Harbor.
"This has just been a phenomenal success," said Stoddard, an author of books including "Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life."
Public reaction to the prospect of stiffer Seattle library fines was just what you'd expect: mixed. And a bit limited.
City Library Board members are considering raising daily overdue-materials fines from 15 cents to 25 cents, with a maximum fine of $8 for each overdue piece of material. They're also pondering whether to notify parents or guardians of youths 17 and under who owe more than $25 in fines, and to send some youths' backlogged fines to a collection agency, which is not now done.
All this comes as the library has had its budget cut $1.17 million this year and faces even more as the city confronts a two-year, $121-million revenue shortfall through 2012. Library hours and some staff have already been cut and there are warnings that more reductions are possible.
Since getting hit by budget cuts last month, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system permanently closed three branches, cut hours at others and laid off workers.
But across the region, it's a different story.
Most area county governments - the primary funding source for many libraries - are spending slightly more on their libraries in this fiscal year, which began July 1, than in the past fiscal year, according to an Observer survey of 13 regional county budgets.
Lincoln County commissioners, for example, gave their library system about $35,000 more this year for materials, upgr
Seattle PI: Seattle's libraries will close for a week beginning late this month, leaving patrons without many normal services while the city continues to ponder how the system will operate on less money next year. It will be the second budget-driven closure in a year.
The system will close Aug. 30 through Sept. 6, including Labor Day, with regular operations to resume Sept. 7. During the closure patrons will be able to download e-books from the system and will have access to databases for encyclopedias, consumer information and investment but won't be able to reserve, pick up or drop off books or talk with librarians. The closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 650 employees who will not be paid during that week.
The library shutdown, part of the city's effort to deal with a $67-million city budget shortfall, was planned for a time when library use is lower than at other times in the year, when school is not in session and fewer programs are scheduled, staffers said.
Mayor Mike McGinn has asked the library and other city agencies to trim budgets to deal with the revenue shortfall. He'll submit a proposed 2011 budget on Sept. 27.