People do the craziest things in libraries
Submitted by birdie on August 4, 2010 - 4:46pm
Found at the Burlington MA Public Library:
A photo of a black puppy with a toy bunny in its mouth.
A mass card for Rev. John R. Crispo.
A Happy Mother’s Day card for “Nana.”
A purple “Award of Excellence” ribbon.
A piece of lined paper colored with bright dots of purple, yellow, blue and green and the words “Juliana Book Mark.”
While these items once helped people find their place in a library book, they now decorate a green board with a “Did you lose your bookmark?” sign in Burlington’s Town Library. Library staff put items found in returned books on the board in hopes that library patrons will be reunited with items of sentimental value.
“To us, some bookmark (someone’s) child gave them has no monetary value but its sentimental,” said Cara Thissell, the circulation librarian. She had the idea to put up the board a few years ago, as an alternative to throwing out the sentimental items.
Now, it’s an evolving piece of art in the library. “We leave it up until it starts falling over,” Thissell said. “We don’t really police it. Kids climb up on the bench to look at it.” Story from Boston.com.
Submitted by birdie on August 3, 2010 - 4:43pm
Georgetown University's Lauinger Library is about to get a bit roomier.
Changes to the University’s notoriously lax computer usage policy, which once led Washington City Paper to name Lauinger Library as one of D.C.’s best places to mooch internet access, will make it more difficult for guests to use the library’s computers.
“The impetus for the Library’s new computer policy is to ensure that our services and spaces are readily accessible to members of the Georgetown University Community,” Jessica Pierce, Executive Assistant to University Librarian Artemis Kirk, wrote in an email. “Lauinger Library is a heavily used building and we are constantly challenged to ensure that our resources are available to our primary users.”
Under the new policy, which takes effect on August 5, only 12 computers in the library will remain available to guests: ten on the third floor between the circulation and reference desks, one next to the printer on the second floor, and one across from the elevator on the fifth floor.
When the City Paper article was written last February, University guests had access to nearly every computer in the library, save for the ones meant for specialized tasks, such as editing or scanning.
Although the new policy seems to force out guests, it simultaneously “encourage[s] guests to bring their own laptops to Lauinger Library and take advantage of the free wireless network available throughout the building.”
Submitted by birdie on July 21, 2010 - 4:00pm
And now...the other side of the coin. How enforced reading can help rehabilitate former and would-be offenders as reported by the Guardian UK. The program, Changing Lives Through Literature, is described here.
When Mitchell Rouse was convicted of two drug offences in Houston, the former x-ray technician who faced a 60-year prison sentence – reduced to 30 years if he pleaded guilty – was instead put on probation and sentenced to read.
"I was doing it because it was a condition of my probation and it would reduce my community hours," Rouse recalls. The 42-year-old had turned to meth as a way of coping with the stress of his job at a hospital where he frequently worked an 80-hour week. Fearing for his life, Mitchell's wife turned him into the authorities. "If she hadn't, I would be dead or destitute by now," he says.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on July 21, 2010 - 1:22pm
Blogger wolfshowl asks, "Are library late fees inherently discriminatory and classist?" in the post <a href="http://opinionsofawolf.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/on-library-late-fees/">"On Library Late Fees"</a>
<blockquote>Any library, whether public, academic, school, or special, is about providing equal service to all members of its community.
Submitted by birdie on July 16, 2010 - 11:34am
Submitted by birdie on July 14, 2010 - 11:23am
BOISE, ID -- The 74-year-old woman who is suspected of dumping condiments in a library book return bin on multiple occasions was rearrested Monday.
A bench warrant was issued for Joy L. Cassidy after she failed to show at a court hearing on charges that stemmed from the vandalism at the library.
Cassidy was first arrested on June 13, when police say she poured mayonnaise in the Ada County Library's book drop box that day and has been a person of interest in at least 10 other condiment-related crimes (ketchup, corn syrup, etc.)
Submitted by birdie on July 12, 2010 - 9:29am
As modern-day reference desks go, the one at the DeLand library is still more focused on books than some, and that's OK by Sean Hurley.
He loves books and the people who read them.
Most reference librarians in the Volusia (FL) County library system spend a fair amount of time assisting people on the patron computers that sit near the reference desk, but in DeLand the two departments are on separate floors.
That doesn't mean Hurley, 50, and the other reference librarians don't stay busy at their upstairs desk. On any given day, the desk is a hive of activity with a steady stream of patrons looking for assistance as they navigate the tall shelves of the library's nonfiction and reference sections.
"I love it," Hurley says. "It's the best job I ever had."
Patrons who don't ask for help are likely to get an offer of assistance from Hurley.
"I enjoy helping people," he says. Yes, even the ones who show up at 6 p.m. researching a report due the next morning.
More from News Journal Online.
Submitted by birdie on July 6, 2010 - 12:18pm
Scotland’s only library with a waiting list has been given a top award for the impact it has had on the lives of its readers – the inmates at Saughton Prison.
The prison came first in the Libraries Change Lives Awards on Tuesday, after judges heard the purpose-built facility had welcomed more than 12,500 inmates through its doors in its first year.
The extension, which opened in November 2008, has now become the only library in Scotland, public or private, to have attracted a waiting list. Since the new facility opened, staff say the number of books being damaged has also reduced from 80% to zero.
One prisoner commented: "When I first came into jail I found it really hard to read because I wasn’t good at concentrating and I would have to read the same paragraph over and over but after persisting with it and practising all the time, I find reading just as easy as breathing. I have to admit that reading is now a hobby for me. I love it and I would be lost without it as it’s helped me through my sentence."
The library, run by experienced librarian Kate King, aims to address social inclusion issues amongst prisoners and provide education and employment opportunities to ease the transition back to life on the outside.
Submitted by birdie on July 2, 2010 - 8:58am
DUNEDIN – As the economy grew tougher, the community leaned harder on the Dunedin Public Library reports the Tampa Bay Weekly.
Anne Shepherd, library director, said libraries have quickly become sources of e-government – governmental services that now deal with business online whereas before there was an office people would visit to do business.
This first started with early voting, Shepherd said, which was the first time the library was particularly impacted by large amounts of people coming for nontraditional library services. Then the economy changed.
“In the past, what we saw was people coming in to read their e-mail, print boarding passes, kind of fun or recreational uses of the computers,” Shepherd said. “And now, starting about three years ago, we saw a big change, where people are coming in desperate. Sometimes in tears. ‘I have to apply, I don’t have a job, I want to apply, I don’t know how to use a computer.’ And at first we were kind of shocked, like how could these agencies have done this to these people, but then we decided we couldn’t do anything about that. Instead, what we’ll do is learn how to help these people.”
Submitted by birdie on June 29, 2010 - 4:21pm
PORTSMOUTH NH — Thousands of bookmarks promoting two organizations’ points of view recently created a headache for public libraries on the Seacoast. The two groups were the School Sucks Project and Freedomain Radio.
The School Sucks Project Web site calls for an end of public, government-funded education in the United States, charging that it is ineffective and values obedience over creativity. Freedomain Radio bills itself as a philosophical radio show.
It’s not a new phenomenon at libraries, but Portsmouth Public Library Director Mary Ann List said several in the area were hit recently with a scourge of bookmarks promoting an unspecified political cause between the pages of books. The messages tend to be politically or religiously focused, she said, and libraries typically strive to remain disassociated with that type of propaganda.
The latest dispersal was the largest Cathleen Beaudoin said she has ever seen. The Dover Public Library director said, while she’s found pamphlets and the like within small groups of books in the past, as well as such oddities as a $100 bill, an endorsed paycheck and a strip of bacon, nothing could match the number of stuffed books (over 5,000) that cropped up in May.
Submitted by Blake on June 29, 2010 - 10:12am
Mass. official aims to shame library porn viewers
A city councilor in Massachusetts thinks he's come up with a way to stop people looking at pornography on public library computers — name them and shame them.
Quincy Councilor Daniel Raymondi has asked Mayor Thomas Koch to make public a list of people who have viewed pornography on library computers within the past year. The council unanimously approved a resolution on the idea last week.
Submitted by birdie on June 1, 2010 - 8:54am
It's something Chip Ward saw every year when he was assistant director of Salt Lake City's public library system. Ward was trained to organize information, to file papers and data. But his job, he says, was as much about knowing regulars as it was shelving books. He wrote an arresting piece on the subject entitled How the Public Library Became the Heartbreak Hotel. Emilio Estevez is now reportedly producing a movie based on its themes; the working title is "The Public" and it will be based in L.A.
There was Crash, a happy drunk with a deep scar that cleaved his face from forehead to chin. There were Mick and Bob who suffered seizures. Margi had dementia. John, open wounds he wouldn't treat. For each, the library was as much a home as anywhere else.
Ward worked at Salt Lake City's central branch, an architecturally arresting five-story structure that opened in 2003. A wedge-shaped, glass-fronted wonder that features cafes, an art gallery and one of the world's largest collections of graphic novels, the branch is also the Utah capital's de facto daytime shelter for the homeless and a default hangout for street kids and misfits.
Ward spent five years at the branch. After he retired, he wrote an essay about his work. Published online, the piece became a minor sensation. It was e-mailed from library to library before breaking into the mainstream.
Submitted by birdie on June 1, 2010 - 8:49am
Details about the death of School of Continuing Studies student Brian Tsay remained murky Monday, the day after a library staffer discovered the 25-year-old's body in a University Library bathroom according to a report in the Daily Northwestern.
The Northfield, Ill. native’s cause of death was unclear and pending toxicology results after an examination by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office Monday morning. A spokesman at the office said no determination would be made on the student’s death until test results are released; those reports usually take six to eight weeks, according to another spokeswoman. Both declined to be named.
Spokesmen from the Evanston Police Department, which investigates deaths on NU’s campus, were unavailable Monday, Memorial Day.
The library, 1970 Campus Drive, was closed Sunday and reopened Monday at 8:30 a.m.
Submitted by birdie on May 24, 2010 - 11:42am
May 18, 2010 Hood River OR County voted not to support the formation of a new Library District. Measure 14-37 was defeated: 46 % voted yes and 54% voted no. As a result, there is no funding to continue library operations and Hood River County Library closes its doors to the public on July 1, 2010.
Branches at Cascade Locks and Parkdale were established in 1912, the same year that the Women’s Club received the Carnegie grant to build the Hood River building. This Library system has been in continuous operation for 98 years.
Submitted by birdie on May 20, 2010 - 8:23am
Miss Manners advises Gentle Reader on how to handle the Nosy Librarian who reads the titles of her borrowed books out loud.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on May 10, 2010 - 4:16pm
About 50 librarians and book supporters gathered on all four corners of a busy Hollywood intersection last Friday evening during rush hour, earning honks in support of saving L.A.'s dwindling library system.
Submitted by birdie on May 5, 2010 - 8:36am
AP/ BOSTON — Late-night TV talk show host, sometimes referred to as 'Coco', is joining the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
Board Chairman Kenneth Feinberg announced Tuesday that the former NBC "Tonight" host and comedian who is moving to TBS in the fall was among six new members elected.
The Brookline native and Harvard graduate joins a group that includes Viacom Inc. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone. The foundation also announced the election of Raytheon Chairman and CEO William Swanson as board vice chairman. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy is board president.
The foundation each year honors public servants with its "Profile in Courage Award," named for the president's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
Submitted by birdie on May 4, 2010 - 4:25pm
Milwaukee (WI) Journal reports: Oak Creek - Staff at the public library here are talking about the possibility of buying equipment that could block all cell phone use in the building.
City Librarian Ross Talis said Tuesday that staff has been discussing the option for several months and might decide by summer whether to present a proposal to the Library Board.
Talis, who doesn't own a cell, said a phone blocker is being considered because of "a lot of patron complaints about use of cell phones in the library."
Library policy already prohibits cell use in the building, but some patrons still talk on their phones, he said.
Submitted by Blake on April 5, 2010 - 7:57pm
It’s only books ’n’ shelves but I like it
SHHH! Keith Richards, the grizzled veteran of rock’n’roll excess, has confessed to a secret longing: to be a librarian. After decades spent partying in a haze of alcohol and drugs, Richards will tell in his forthcoming autobiography that he has been quietly nurturing his inner bookworm.
Thanks to Gary Price and The Resource Shelf!
Submitted by Bibliotecher on March 31, 2010 - 12:09pm
Last week it was the patron who came in well beyond the point of intoxication. We had to call the cops and later an ambulance to get rid of him and his alcoholic vapor breath.