“Community, education and political leaders gathered Monday at Arlington Elementary/Middle School to celebrate a partnership that is providing thousands of city students new libraries — an effort that could eventually transform learning spaces at two dozen schools. Arlington and the Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary are the fourth and fifth schools to get newly renovated libraries built by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The organization had pledged $5 million to build new libraries in high-poverty schools by 2015, but on Monday said it would double that contribution and bring improvements to 24 schools.” (via baltimoresun.com)
“The Macomb’s Bridge Library in New York has just 10 laptop computers. The 61 shelves are crammed with books. The librarian’s office is smaller than most bathrooms. If the four-member staff wants to put on a puppet show or hold a special screening, their options are stacking tables they have up against a wall to clear some space, or taking the event outside.” (via NY Daily News)
“Ford Heights has a library district that collects about $20,000 a year from taxpayers who live in one of the poorest communities in the state.
But Ford Heights has no library. The district was forced to close its free-standing library about 20 years ago when it couldn’t come up with the money to maintain the building, and it was eventually razed. A state-of-the-art library in neighboring Glenwood then offered services for a while.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has released a study showing that in 2011 the economic benefit from Texas public libraries totaled an astounding $2.407 billion, while collectively the libraries cost less than $0.545 billion. The return on investment was thus $4.42 for each dollar invested.”
“Since 2007, China has spent a massive amount of money to ensure that all villages have access to libraries with well-selected books, newspapers and audiovisual products for people in rural areas. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Wednesday in a statement posted on its website that it has appropriated a total of 5.9 billion yuan (937.99 million US dollars) to subsidize the construction of such rural libraries. In 2012 alone, the MOF earmarked 1.2 billion yuan for subsidizing rural libraries in a bid to put an end to the project of building libraries for all administrative villages in China, according to the statement. The project is one of the nation’s key cultural programs to bring tangible benefits to people living in rural areas, the statement said.”
“A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain’s beleaguered public libraries. In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: “Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?”
via The Guardian