Building a new library from the ground up

“Universal City librarian Toni Davenport is almost giddy when discussing the task that lies before her — build a new library, from the ground up. Community meeting space, banks of computers and a “library that flows” are among the wants, needs and desires Davenport will express in the coming weeks, as the city begins meeting with architects about what to incorporate in the new structure. Universal City City Council July 15 voted to pursue certificates of obligation in order to build a new $3.2 million library on property near the current facility on Northview Drive. The city owns the land under the current library, as well as a neighboring park and walking trail.” (via San Antonio Express-News)

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Santa Cruz library trustees review $63M facilities plan

“Library trustees reviewed a plan Monday for how to spend $63.1 million in facilities improvements if voters approve a parcel tax. A survey of voters earlier this year determined there was 73 percent support for an annual $49 parcel tax for 30 years. The Joint Powers Authority Board are looking at a June 2015 special election. The plans call for replacing the Capitola and Felton branches, overhauling the Downtown branch and renovating and expanding the Aptos branch by 25 percent. Leaders also are discussing adding a literacy center to the Aptos branch by revamping under-used staff space on the second floor.” (via Santa Cruz Sentinel)

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Miami-Dade mayor lets higher library-tax ceiling stand

“Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez won’t veto a higher property tax rate ceiling for libraries set by county commissioners. Mike Hernández, Gimenez’s spokesman, said Friday that the mayor decided to let the commission’s 8-5 vote from last week stand, even though that means the county’s overall tax rate could go against Gimenez’s wishes. “He will continue to insist that Miami-Dade County government — and our library system — operate as efficiently as possible,” Hernández said. Gimenez had until Friday to veto the commission’s decision.” (via MiamiHerald.com)

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The Low-Tech Appeal of Little Free Libraries

When a 36-year-old bibliophile in Daegu, South Korea, sat down at his computer and googled the word “library,” he didn’t expect to find anything particularly noteworthy. But as DooSun You scrolled through the results, an appealingly anti-tech concept popped up. The Internet led him to Little Free Libraries—hand-built boxes where neighbors can trade novels, memoirs, comics, and cookbooks, and connect with each other in the process.” (via The Atlantic)

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8 Are Removed as Queens Library Trustees

“Eight members of the Queens Library board of trustees were dismissed on Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the borough president, Melinda Katz, according to the mayor’s office. The board members were removed after they voted in April against firing Thomas W. Galante, director of the Queens library system, who has been under investigation for using money earmarked for library improvements for renovations to his personal office and for steering contracts for the work to a friend. Mr. Galante is paid about $400,000 a year. His expenditures have become the subject of inquiries by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States attorney general; the New York City Department of Investigation; and Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Nearly 100 percent of libraries offer tech training and STEM programs, study finds

“According to a new study from the American Library Association ALA, nearly 100 percent of America’s public libraries offer workforce development training programs, online job resources, and technology skills training. Combined with maker spaces, coding classes, and programs dedicated to entrepreneurship and small business development, libraries are equipping U.S. communities with the resources and skills needed to succeed in today’s – and tomorrow’s – global marketplace.” (via ALA Dispatch)

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St. Louis library opens recording studio

“When Charles Thomas tells his friends he’s in the studio working on his latest release, they don’t expect to hear its being recorded at the library. ‘I tell them, ‘You want to come down you just got to bring your library card,’ says Charles Thomas.

Since January he’s put in 20 two hour sessions in the new creative experience lab. ‘So in Creative Experience we have Mac computers and they’re all set up in collaborative work areas we call them pods,’ says Andrea Johnson, the Creative Experience Specialist.  ‘They have the iLife suite on them which is Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto and we also have Adobe Creative Suite Six which includes Photoshop and Dreamweaver.’ (via FOX2now.com)

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Library launches alternate reality game ahead of Comic-Con

“The Downtown Central Library is getting gamers geared up for Comic-Con in a unique way.  The public library has launched an alternate reality game that participants say is the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming four-day expo. “An alternate reality game is an interactive story that takes place in real time, in a real world setting such as here in Central Library, which involves players solving puzzles and perfuming activities,” said Erwin Magbanua, Special Events Librarian. Magbanua said the Central Library is one of just a handful of libraries across the country that has ever tried something like this.  The clues appear in email form and online as well as in the library.” (via KSWB)

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ALA applauds presidential signing of the workforce bill

“Today, President Barack Obama will sign the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a bill that will open access to federal funding support to public libraries for effective job training and job search programs. President Obama will sign the bill into law from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET in the White House Oval Office in Washington, D.C. (view live event). American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young applauded the presidential signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (via ALA applauds presidential signing of the workforce bill)

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Billy Joel to Receive Gerswhin Prize

“Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced that Billy Joel is the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. His piano-fueled narratives take listeners into the relatable and deeply personal moments of life, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that “meant something during the time in which I lived … and transcended that time.” “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” “The Entertainer,” “Piano Man,” “Big Shot,” “New York State of Mind,” “You May Be Right,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Allentown,” “Uptown Girl” and “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” are among many other classics in a rich and deep catalog of songs that have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people.” (via Library of Congress)

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