Tag Archives: Public Libraries

The New York Public Library: The Personal Side of Public Libraries

WSJ – “Passions are being roiled around the city by what some see as the nefarious actions of the trustees of the New York Public Library. The story to date: to consolidate its holdings, update its infrastructure and strengthen its endowment, the NYPL intends to sell two large mid-town branches, and to oust seven stories of closed stacks in the main research library on 42nd and Fifth to make room for a lending library, and maybe a coffee shop. There are good reasons to deplore certain aspects of this plan, as NYPL trustee Robert Darnton notes in his measured essay in the June 7 issue of The New York Review of Books. Chief among these is the loss of storage space – according to Darnton, approximately half of the books now stored in the stacks will be moved to the ReCAP facility in Princeton, requiring researchers to order them twenty-four hours in advance.”

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City of San Diego libraries open on a Monday for first time since 2007

760kfmb – “The city of San Diego’s 35 branch libraries opened on a Monday for the first time today in five years. Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office used part of a $17.8 million budget surplus in the current fiscal year to add to library hours, along with the amount of time recreation centers stay open. Those hours are set to expand further when the new fiscal year begins July 1. “For a lot of people, the library is a window to the world,” Sanders said. “With these additional hours, more residents will have more opportunities to study, learn and expand their horizons.”

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Libraries manage to avoid deep cuts despite economy

NorthJersey.com – “While tough economic times have forced towns to make tough decisions about what services to provide, but when it comes to the local library the ax thus far is stayed. The Norwood Public Library is one such institution set to see improvements. In April, the Norwood mayor and council approved expansion plans that include a new reading room for adults, 3,200 square feet of usable space and a revamped lavatory. A bulk of the work is funded with an inheritance grant of $750,000 from the late Barbara Shaw, a Norwood resident, and the work is slated to be completed in five or six years.”

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Changes Planned at N.Y. Public Library Are Assailed

NY Times – “The New York Public Library came under fire Tuesday night during a panel discussion held to debate its $300 million plan to remake its flagship Fifth Avenue branch. We’re being told that the only way to save the library is to rip out its innards,” said David Nasaw, a panelist and a history professor at the City University Graduate Center, who called the plan “fatally flawed.” “It might be best to start over again,” he said. “This boat doesn’t float.”

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‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ by E. L. James, in Demand at Libraries

NY Times. – “It did not escape the notice of Tim Cole, the collections manager for the Greensboro Public Library in North Carolina, that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was “of mixed literary merit,” as he put it with a heavy helping of Southern politeness. He ordered 21 copies anyway.”

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Are Public Libraries “Permanently F***ed?” Maybe Not

SF Weekly – “Jessa Crispin arrived at the 2012 Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia in March with high expectations. And by high, we mean abysmal. “Secure in the knowledge that libraries are now permanently fucked,” wrote the editor-in-Chief of the popular “litblog” Bookslut. Surely librarians would crumble before her, the harsh fiscal realities having reduced the bibliognosts into heaps of despair, wailing about furloughs and nonexistent arts grants. But Crispin is not a librarian. Once a publishing outsider, she launched Bookslut in 2002 while working at a Planned Parenthood in Texas. She now enjoys insider status, and she contributes to likes of NPR, PBS, and the Washington Post on all things books. The conference falls within the realm of the “book world,” so Crispin, donning black garb, traveled all the way from Berlin in search of heavyhearted roundtable discussions and forsaken vendor booths.”

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What Is the Role of Libraries in the Age of E-Books and Digital Information?

PBS – “Public libraries are a major hub through which Americans gain access to e-books and other digital resources, but these institutions’ role in the digital transition hasn’t been made easy by the nation’s recent economic troubles. On April 9, the American Library Association released its annual State of America’s Libraries Report, and many of its findings were grim. “Public libraries continue to be battered by a national economy whose recovery from the Great Recession is proving to be sluggish at best,” the report concluded. Twenty-three of the 49 chief officers of state libraries surveyed indicated that their library systems faced budget cuts over the past two years. According to the report, “For three years in a row, more than 40 percent of participating states have reported decreased public library funding.”

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Use Your (Louder, Livelier) Library Voice

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.”

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Outdoor libraries start lending books at closed branches

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.”

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Court Lets Public Library Block Websites

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.”

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