People N Patrons

People do the craziest things in libraries

[email protected] Your Library

Many librarians have encountered sleeping patrons...but this story from New Zealand draws the line at snoring while sleeping at the library.

"High power prices and heating restrictions imposed on homestay students are driving people to the library on cold winter days - to sleep.

Language school students Justina Liu and Dory Wang, who were seen napping at the New Lynn War Memorial Library last Saturday, say they go there if they want an afternoon nap, because their homestay parents won't let them use heaters at home during the day.

"It's nice and warm here, and the seats are really comfortable," said Miss Liu, who is from Hebei, China.

"Of course the best thing about it is that it's free and there's no one telling you to turn off the heater."

But it's not only homestay students needing a warm place to sleep.

Housewife Jan Togiola also said she went to "libraries with plush seats" to catch a nap in between reading the newspapers because high power prices had made it "impossible to afford" heating in her home.

Library user Catherine Jones said she found such behaviour "rude and inconsiderate" and had complained to staff at the Auckland Central library a couple of times in the past fortnight.

"It's not just the sleeping ... sometimes it's the snoring that I find irritating when you want to have a quiet read in the library," Mrs Jones said. "

Notes from A Lapsed Library User

Missed this last month on the NPR Blog Monkey See, Monkey Do. Linda Holmes wrote:

There's a big public library literally across the street from my bank and the supermarket where I most frequently pick up stuff like milk and paper towels. Across the street. As in: first I buy Diet Coke, then I dodge one SUV careening around the corner, and I'm there.

And yet, until this weekend, I'd never been in it and I had no library card. I know.

I've talked a bunch of times about the economics of e-book purchasing and paper book purchasing, about my love of paperback romance novels, and about how unattached I am to book ownership and the growth of my personal library, and somehow, I never crossed the street.

After finally heading over to get signed up and then leaving on Saturday with the odd sense I tweeted about that they had let me walk out with six books and three DVDs for nothing and I felt like I'd committed a heist, I gave this some thought. Why, when there's such bitter frustration over pricing of all the things people actually buy, is library borrowing often only faintly heard about in noisy, angry discussions you can so often hear about "How do I stop getting broken on the rack by publishers of various kinds?" What kinds of hesitations stop this from happening?"

It's Three PM, and Time for the Security Guards

RUSSIAVILLE – Security officers will be returning to the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

From the Kokomo (IN) Tribune: The board of trustees Monday voted to spend $9,450 for the remainder of the year to either hire off-duty police officers to provide security or contract with a private security company.

Charles Joray, executive director of the library, said there has been an increase in the number of “incidents” reported by staff through the first three months of 2011. He said there were a total of 70 incidents last year – and 68 reported during the first three months of this year.

An incident was defined as a confrontation between a staff member and library patron about behavior in the library.

“When there were off-duty police officers, the number of incidents went down,” Joray said. “The staff feels intimidated by the patrons.”

Joray recommended hiring officers to work 15 hours per week at $18 per hour.

The hours worked by the security officers will be after school is dismissed each day. That is when most of the incidents are taking place, Joray said.

NY Post Shocked To Learn People Look At Boobies In The Library

City libraries say 'checking out' porn protected by First Amendment:
Approached by The Post, the dirty old man skulked away, saying, "I don't want to talk to you. Leave me alone." Under US law, all libraries that take federal funding only must install filters on publicly used computers to block content containing illegal obscenity and child pornography, and New York City officials say they comply to the letter.

Salt Lake City Staffers Unhappy With Their Director

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: For the second consecutive public meeting, Salt Lake City Public Library Director Beth Elder was assailed by employees, who argued her methods are tyrannical, managers are "miserable" and that morale is plummeting.

"That might be the most poisonous thing we’re seeing," 15-year associate librarian Mike Nordenstrom told a rapt Library Board on Thursday in a Main Library conference room that echoed with applause and hoots after each successive speaker.

"Why doesn’t the board investigate reports of intimidation and retaliation?" asked Candy Markle, a library assistant at the Sprague branch. "Given the lack of employee confidence in Ms. Elder, as well as the current public-relations crisis over her decisions, how is the board going to successfully sell the public on a tax increase this year for the new branches? Has she been a successful leader? Has the reputation of the library improved under her supervision?"

Board members sat mostly silent during the onslaught, while Elder fidgeted in her chair. Multiple speakers also rattled off a list of longtime employees who recently retired or resigned from the public resource hub that won the 2006 Library of the Year award.

Say Yes to Measure L on March 8

Additional information on Measure L here.

Speed Dating @ The Library

Today's NY Times describes an evening of speed dating at the San Francisco Library.

“The library wants to be a gathering place that is relevant to younger people,” said Donya Drummond, the reference librarian who promoted the San Francisco event, mostly through Facebook. “We had more people than we knew what to do with.”

Literary speed dating seems to have its roots in Europe. Danny Theuwis, a librarian from Leuven, Belgium, believes he and his colleagues introduced the concept in 2005 with the goal to enliven somber libraries, and make them “more alive, more direct, more emotional,” he said in an e-mail. He trained hundreds of librarians across Europe to host literary speed dating, or “bibdating” in Flemish.

Among the first of similar events in the United States took place at the Omaha Public Library Benson Branch, where Amy Mather, a librarian, and her colleague at the time, Manya Shorr, organized a “Hardbound to Heartbound” night in 2009, on Valentine’s Day. Some 65 people showed up.

Egypt's Jewel Of A Library Reopens, Thanks To Demonstrators

Story from NPR about the reopening of the Library of Alexandria. It was closed for the last few weeks during the demonstrations, both to protect it from vandalism, and to protest the army's curfew.

And the library's director, Ismail Serageldin says that in all the protests, not a stone was thrown at the library, and not a pane of glass was broken.

"What happened was pure magic," he says. "People from within the demonstrations broke out of the demonstrations and simply linked hands, and they said 'This is our library. Don't touch it.'"

The ancient library has been destroyed several times by vandals and conquerors — most notably by a fire, several centuries ago.

Touchdown at the Library

From the website of Jamie Ford, author of The Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

"Where were you on Superbowl Sunday? I was at...the Seattle Central Library. Yes, months ago I agreed to an event on February 6th, not realizing I was going to end up head-to-head with that abstract pseudo-holiday dedicated to taped-knuckles and million-dollar commercials, with its 5-hour pregame show, and the copious consumption of hot-wings and guacamole.

At first I feared it'd be one of those sparsely attended affairs—just me, the janitor, and a few of our closest friends. But to my surprise (and rapt delight) nearly 150 people showed up, not counting the hundreds of others just gettin' their library on, on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

All I can say is, God bless a literate America."

Fundraiser to Pay Children's Fines

In Spokane, WA a group of civic and literary minded folks are planning a fundraiser to pay off the fines and fees on children's library cards so they can use them again. The local libraries block cards from use if they carry a balance of $10 or more. By paying off these fines, the group raises money for the library and opens up blocked cards so kids can once again borrow books.

Brief story.

Future astronaut takes stand to checkout books

Ronald McNair was one of the astronauts killed in the Challenger Disaster. When he was 9 he took a stand to be able to checkout books at his local library.

Full story

All's (Not) Quiet on the Library Front

Letter from a library patron on the North Shore of Long Island (NY):

LIBRARY NOISE: While I appreciate the input from the librarian regarding this topic, I must voice my opinion on it. I really see no need for the high level of noise in the library. Yes there will be interactions between people in the library, but what I've heard bordered on obnoxious...certainly unnecessary. It seems like every time someone uses the excuse of 'times have changed', it seems like it's always for the worse.

I hate to say it, but the noises that were the loudest were from the library workers themselves, and it had NOTHING to do with library business. C'mon ladies and germs, tone it down please. Maybe times have changed, but there are more than a few old timers that still welcome the peace, solitude and quiet of a library. Don't take this last remaining refuge from us.

And elsewhere, another library in Newport Beach, CA is in the midst of deciding how much noise is too much. From the Daily Pilot.

So what do you think...how much noise is acceptable?

Nothing at the library?

I currently work at a small liberal arts college in the Midwestern USA where librarians are "embedded" in introductory courses and oversee the information literacy curriculum. Last week one of my colleagues informed me about a response from one of her students that I just have to pass along. The student's comment was that she couldn't find anything at the library about the Industrial Revolution , her other topic was .... wait for it .... Martin Luther and the Reformation.

Helping Find New Jerseyans Jobs

Residents used to walk into the Piscataway Public Library and ask Kate Baker where they could find a particular book.

Now, they’re more likely to ask the 49-year-old librarian how to format a résumé and fill out a job application.

"Almost half my day is devoted to job seekers," said Baker, who has worked at the library for eight years. "We keep getting more and more computers, and they’re always filled."

As the jobless rate has climbed since the onset of the financial crisis three years ago, the role of the public library has changed dramatically. In New Jersey, where nearly one in every 10 people is unemployed, officials say the local library has become Job Search Central for many residents. The upshot for librarians like Baker: Instead of spending her workdays organizing and purchasing books, she has watched her job morph into one that is equal parts job counselor, computer trainer and life coach.

Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time.

A Lesser View of Public Libraries

A letter to the editor of the Port Orchard (WA) Independent :

Are libraries really needed anymore?

If so, why aren’t people who use them willing to pay for that service?

Libraries aren’t a vital service and therefore library cardholders and the “Friends of the Library” should be more than willing to donate money and pay user fees for the luxury of having a library.

I guess I don’t quite understand why the public needs so many libraries.

We have libraries in most public schools, colleges and universities.

How many libraries do the public and the students really need?

Most every American has a desktop or laptop computer that can access websites to find the information needed in today’s complex world.

You can also read most books online at college and university websites.

Providing computers at public libraries is a huge cost to taxpayers.

I even know poor people who have computers. In this day and age, anyone who needs to use the library to access a computer is simply too cheap to buy their own.

Please Raise Taxes To Support LA County Libraries

The Los Angeles Library Commission and County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd on Tuesday submitted a report asking the Board of Supervisors to call for a 2011 ballot measure that would raise taxes and drastically increase the number of property owners who pay the tax.

The Board of Supervisors declined to take action on the request and instead chose to file the report for consideration.

Library officials said they did not know how much the tax would be, but said the proposed change would generate between $12 million and $23 million each year over the next decade. Any tax increase would need a two-thirds vote to become law.

The commission wants to extend to the tax to every parcel in neighborhoods served by the library system.

In Duarte, the parcel tax keeps the library open six days a week while libraries outside the assessment area are open only four days per week, according to Pamela Broussard, Los Angeles County Library spokeswoman. Duarte Public Library manager Reed Strege said extra days are important for those who don't have Internet access at home.

"We're kind of like the Internet provider for the city if they don't have it," said library manager Reed Strege. "Our computers for the public are in use all day, every day."

Read more: Los Angeles County Library Commission proposes special tax to close budget deficit - Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_16745189#ixzz16yDFrwv0

One Reader's Experience With 'The Big Read' (One City One Book)

The book arrived from the publisher without any fanfare, wrapped in plain cardboard and sent through the U.S. mail. Record-Bee reports.

With no more effort than it took to tear open the perforated strip that sealed the package closed, the small church library that I oversaw was now part of a "common read." What an exciting moment!

My first experience with a common read was just a few years earlier, during an effort to encourage all of California to read John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath." My husband and I read aloud to each other from my copy that had been given to me by the Calistoga Junior/Senior High School librarian.

It was intriguing, as we read to each other, to know that across the state of California, other people were reading the same book and that, moreover, public events were promoting "The Grapes of Wrath." One of those events was organized locally through the efforts of Harold Riley.

My experience taking part in a common read had been very enjoyable so when the organization that oversees our local church selected a common read, I knew that I wanted to make the book available to the members of my church: to give them a chance to have that much more in common with people in other communities, in congregations around the world. Read more.

Sacramento Library Under Fire for Black Ops Tourney

The Sacramento Public Library is the target of recent criticism due to its upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament. Escapist Magazine reports.

Libraries have been scrambling to gain the attention of the world's new technology-focused population, and one effective method they've found is to embrace the videogame. Videogames and videogame tournaments are not uncommon to see in public libraries these days, but not everybody is happy that kids are playing games in such close proximity to books.

According to the Sacramento Bee, The Sacramento Public Library is planning to host a Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament as part of its humorously named "Nerd Fest." Even though the library will only allow those 17 and older to play, the tournament is still attracting the ire of activists that likely have nothing better to do than rail on videogame violence... again.

Why I Don't Use Libraries for Reference Anymore

From LJ: A library user (the <a href="http://www.radicalpatron.com"> radical patron</a>), describes her frustrations in using the reference services of <a href="http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/reviewsreference/887362-283/why_i_dont_use_libraries.html.csp">her public library system</a>.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - People N Patrons