“Gregorio Travoli spends his nights lying in a tent in downtown Dallas and most of his days at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library on Young Street. Travoli said he has visited the library for the past 15 to 20 years. He isn’t the only homeless person to call this branch his own; many of its patrons are homeless. And the library’s staff has started to welcome them in a new way. Coffee and Conversations, a one-hour session that caters to homeless people, is the brainchild of Jo Giudice, who became the director of the Dallas Public Library system last year. Giudice’s office is at the central branch.” (via Dallas Morning News)
“There’s a briefing for council today on whether or not our public library system sucks. Looks like the verdict will be that it does not totally suck, but it should, because we do. The briefing is based on a nationwide bench-marking system Dallas participates in with most other second-tier cities in the country, along with some third-tiers and some downright damn suburbs. The survey shows that we care about our libraries, visit them and use them at above average rates.Our visitation per capita, for example, is ahead of Phoenix, San Antonio and Miami-Dade but behind Austin and … no, c’mon. Arlington? They gotta mean Arlington, Virginia. I’ll have to watch. Maybe some sharp councilperson will raise that question. If Arlington, Texas goes to the library more than Dallas, Texas, then just shoot us.”
via Unfair Park
Dallas libraries already do a lot of amazing things that go well beyond loaning books. The perpetually under-funded system has a crack reference staff, hosts all kinds of training and seminars and public forums, and, oh yeah, is free to users. Dallas libraries want to do more, but that’s where the “perpetually under-funded” part comes in.
Today, the city announced an effort to do something about that. Council member Ann Margolin and Atmos Energy’s Sandra Doyle are leading a team to recruit corporate partners to help fund several needs at the library. It’s called, appropriately enough, Corporate Partners for the Dallas Public Library.”
via City Hall Blog
“Libraries, as we already know, have not been spared City Manager Mary Suhm’s budget cleaver in recent years. The library budget has been chopped and quartered like perhaps no other city department, having been sliced in half since peaking at $36 million peak in 2007. That’s decimated staffing levels, hours of operation, materials budget — just about everything.”
via Dallas Observer.