It is a plan so dastardly, so despicable, that state and local officials don’t want you to know about it. Pennsylvania has a plan in the works to gut the Philadelphia Library for the Blind, a vital service for the area’s visually impaired. The cover for the move is fiscal conservatism, but that makes no sense as the move may end up costing the state more money. The whole thing has the stench of political cronyism. Governor Tom Corbett and western PA Republicans want to move most of the operations out of Philadelphia to the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, nestled in the Governor’s home county. The two libraries share funds allocated in the state library budget. This isn’t about saving money; it is about shifting the majority of those funds to Pittsburgh.
I understand that elections have consequences. I understand party patronage. I don’t understand making the 13,000 visually disabled people who regularly use the Library suffer because of political gamesmanship. The Philadelphia Library for the Blind lent out 600,000 Braille and recorded books last year. That is 20 percent of the entire circulation of the Philadelphia Library System.
"An argument can be made that this is what makes the city great, but I would dare say our common language is English, we’re spending tons of money for ESL, should we not have a discussion of how much of the library budget should go for non-English resources?"
Homeless Men Caught Watching Porn at CA Library
Laguna Beach Public Library patrons say there's a big problem with homeless people watching porn on library computers. Police found eight homeless men gathered around a computer inside the library Saturday afternoon watching pornography. One was arrested for allegedly fondling himself.
Fall asleep in the Chicago Public Library, someone will nudge you awake. Do it again, they'll show you the door. But drift off in Lombard's cozy library and you can slumber in peace.
"The library is a good place to at least catch up on the sleep you missed out on the night before," said Tammy Selio as she sat in the west suburban library on a recent Tuesday, a black suitcase filled with her belongings at her side.
Selio, 40, and other homeless patrons often gather there in the hours before a nearby shelter opens at 7 p.m. Sometimes their eyes grow heavy — especially as the days turn gloomy and colder and a comfortable library chair beckons.
Libraries tend to frown on behavior that disrupts other patrons, and that can include sleeping. But Lombard's Helen Plum Memorial Library is considering changing its rules to allow sleeping as long as it doesn't disturb others. Unofficially, it has already done so.
This fine is not so fine
Lorain Public Library patron Caprice Anderson got a big surprise at the main library Wednesday.
It was a bill for $322 in late fees. But she said she hadn’t been to the library in months and she never checked out the items for which her card was used.
“I’m actually a frequent book reader, but I normally buy my books,” said Anderson, 27, of Lorain. “I was going to go to the library and find something I haven’t read. That’s when I found out my card was used.”
Anderson doesn’t know who used her library card, and filed a police report after coming across the staggering late fees.
A patron at the Palm Beach County Library's Gardens Branch saw <a href="http://www.cbs12.com/articles/library-4735422-beach-palm.html">more than she wanted to </a>when walking past a computer.<p>
A brochure picked up at the main information desk explains their internet policy. It says: "What you view is not private and may be seen by others-be considerate." It goes on to say: "Internet workstations are filtered to block explicit sexual content.
Iowa man lands in jail for overdue library books
A Newton man who didn’t return overdue books and CDs to the city’s public library for months landed in jail on a theft charge. He was charged with third-degree theft on Aug. 20 after he failed to return items worth $770, police said. He checked out 11 books and six CDs, including a box set, in January. He was charged after repeated efforts to get him to return the items.
Thunder in the Libraries
Why would a blind person go into a library? Maybe to borrow a book in Braille, or more likely to borrow a talking book, CD or DVD. In Lambeth (UK) the new answer is to learn to use a computer.
Dennis Carlisle is a librarian at the Rainier Beach branch of the Seattle Public Library, and he wanted to talk with me about the digital divide, which has pushed his job onto a different track.
Columnist Jerry Large has written recently about libraries adapting to technological change, providing books for e-readers for one thing.
But Carlisle said he's just as much affected by the other end of the tech spectrum. He got a master's in library science 26 years ago, and colleges shortly after dropped library and started calling it information science.
"The first half of my career, I was deep into reference." Then people stopped calling and stopping by so much. They migrated to Web browsers. Libraries replaced shelves of phone books, atlases and maps with banks of computers.
Another group of people came to the library, people who didn't own computers, or who couldn't afford high-speed Internet access, people who often don't know the first thing about using one of the machines.
Librarians became computer coaches, at least at some branches. Carlisle first encountered that at the High Point branch, and now at Rainier Beach.
"You would think many who need help are in their 60s, 70s or 80s," Carlisle said, "but that's not necessarily the case." He sees mostly people in their 20s to 40s struggling with computers.
Maybe you've blogged about a disturbing patron, or posted something on a tumblr account about the not-quite-with-it daily visitor to your library.
From M (Michigan) Live: Former library assistant Sally Stern-Hamilton (under the pen name Anne Miketa) wrote a fictionalized book about about her experiences in the library and was fired for it. Now she's suing.
Stern-Hamilton’s literary work, entitled 'Library Diaries' — a disturbing look at life in the library — wound up on the shelves at Mason County District Library. It got her fired there as a library assistant.
Now the author has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the library violated her free-speech rights by firing her.
“(Stern-Hamilton’s) First Amendment interests, combined with the interests of the public, outweigh the government’s interest in the efficient performance of the workplace,” her attorney, David Blanchard wrote. “(She) was explicitly fired for engaging in protected speech.”
Library director Robert Dickson declined to comment. Attorney Kathleen Klaus, representing the library, Dickson, and Marilyn Bannon, president of the library board, said she would respond to the complaint next month. The controversy created headlines three years ago when Stern-Hamilton was fired from her job of 14 years.
"After working at a public library in a small, rural Midwestern town (which I will refer to as Denialville, Michigan, throughout this book) for 15 years, I have encountered strains and variations of crazy I didn’t know existed in such significant portions of our population,” Stern-Hamilton wrote in the introduction.
Is closing a library comparable to child abuse? At least one Brit thinks so.
Campaigners are seeking a ruling that decisions to close six libraries in the London (UK) borough of Brent are legally flawed.
The Brent case is expected to be followed in the near future by similar challenges to library cuts proposed by Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils, and on the Isle of Wight.
Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and Goldfrapp are among those who have contributed to campaign legal costs.
Playwright Alan Bennett launched a scathing attack when he spoke at a church benefit to raise legal funds to save Kensal Rise library, one of the six under threat in Brent. He compared the loss to ''child abuse''.
Brent campaign lawyers yesterday applied for judicial review, arguing council officers unlawfully failed to assess local needs and the likely impact of closing half the borough's libraries.
The Bits Blog online with The New York Times reports that programmer Aaron Swartz was indicted for allegedly stealing 4 million documents from MIT and JSTOR. According to documents posted to Scribd, the arrest warrant cites alleged violation of 18 USC 1343, 18 USC 1003(a)(4), 18 USC 1003(a)(2), 18 USC 1003(a)(5)(B), and 18 USC 2.
The Boston Globe summed up the charges stating:
Aaron Swartz, 24, was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
After working in a public library for several years I have accumulated all kinds of crazy stories to tell. After my animated re-tellings, friends and family often joke with me about how I should create a website to share some of my funny, crazy, and touching experiences from work - so this blog has been long overdue!
The first “Finals Night” at the Scarsdale Public Library did not go as planned on Tuesday June 15, when a stink bomb was thrown into the library drop box around 7:45 pm. The odorous contents of the bomb could be smelled throughout the library, and concerned staff called the police to report it.
According to SHS Junior Zach Edelman who was studying at the library at the time, the stink bomb smelled like garlic and onions and the fumes were tolerable. However, once the report was made, emergency responders arrived in droves and forced everyone to leave the building and wait in the library plaza. The area was taped off and those who had been inside were told that they could not leave the scene until HAZMAT workers could investigate.
Edelman reports that the stink bomb incident was treated as a full-scale emergency. In addition to police cars there were fire trucks, HAZMAT workers sporting gas masks and even an emergency spill team. The students waited 20-30 minutes for officials to arrive and were told that depending on the findings of the HAZMAT team, those who were inside the library may have to be decontaminated and showered off.