NYTimes – “YOU might associate libraries with hushed tranquillity rather than lively music, but the gradual transformation of many libraries into de facto cultural community centers is changing that. Offering the intimacy of clubs, sometimes without the ticket costs and always without the distractions — no clinking of glasses or paying of checks during the set — library music rooms are attracting enthusiastic audiences for first-rate folk, modern jazz and classical concerts in and around Westchester County.”
Detroit Free Press – “A class of fourth-graders at Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit has collaborated to create six outdoor libraries for use by the general public in light of recent branch closings by the Detroit Public Library. Five of the outdoor libraries opened Wednesday and the sixth will open in June. And best of all, borrowers don’t need a library card and there are no late fees.
The students, currently on spring break, received assistance from a class of University of Michigan art and design students.”
Courthouse News Service – “Three library patrons who claimed their rural library’s Internet filter prevented them from researching issues such as teen smoking and gun rights lost their challenge to the library district, when a federal judge found the Internet policy did not violate the First Amendment. The ACLU represented three rural Washingtonians in a 2006 federal lawsuit that claimed the North Central Regional Library District unconstitutionally blocked access to certain websites with a systemwide Internet filter.”
The Boston Globe – “On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines. But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago. Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?”
The Globe and Mail – “Toronto’s public libraries, one of the early areas of friction in Rob Ford’s drive to cut public spending, are now the scene of the first strike of the mayor’s 15-month-old administration. The city’s 98 library branches are expected to remain closed Monday while 2,300 employees begin picketing after a marathon round of negotiations during the weekend failed to resolve differences on job security for part-time staff.”
KTBS – “In Baton Rouge today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced his support for SB 162 by Sen. Dale Erdey, which restricts access to public libraries for certain sex offenders. The legislation will be included in the Governor’s 2012 legislative package. Governor Jindal said, “This session we’re pushing for a number of new laws that continue to crack down on sex predators so they can’t harm children in our state. Like schools and playgrounds, libraries should be a place where children can feel protected. This legislation is another important step we can take to make our communities safe from sex predators.”
Torontoist – “This year, Toronto Public Library narrowly avoided a 10 per cent budget cut that would have slashed about $17 million from its budget and forced it to reduce hours at branches citywide—but that was nothing. In 2010, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa handed Los Angeles Public Library a budget so severe that the system’s board couldn’t keep any of the city’s 73 libraries open more than five days a week, whereas in 2009, regional libraries were open all week, branches for six days.”
Globe & Mail – “Toronto is inching closer to a springtime strike, with the clock now ticking toward a work stoppage at the public library and talks with the city’s inside workers described as “slow.” The province issued a “no-board” report Thursday, meaning 2,300 library employees will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. March 18.”
Libraries of the future? With Chicago’s new library commissioner taking over this month, one prototype library design offers a solid mix of form and function while another falls short
Chicago Tribune – “What should a 21st Century library look like? To ask that question is to conjure futuristic visions–of libraries that resemble sleek Apple stores; of librarians who stroll around their branches with computer tablets, and of robots that stack books in shelves, provided, of course, there still are books. Such issues are no longer academic, not with a new library commissioner heading to Chicago, especially one from digitally-savvy San Francisco.”
Time – “The Harry Potter website known as Pottermore has been beset by delays. But there is some good news. When the portal launches later this year, its stock of JK Rowling e-books and digital audiobooks will be available to public library members. This coup for borrowers was the result of an agreement between Pottermore and OverDrive, the largest distributor of digital content to libraries. But OverDrive is more than just a library partner. It also will provide the sales platform for buyers to purchase e-books on Pottermore.