Facilities

Would More People Use the Library if it had a Water Slide?

Rhetorical question from The Atlantic Cities:

In 2010, Poland's National Library performed a survey to determine the reading habits of the Polish citizenry. The results were not buoying: 56 percent of Poles had not read a book in the past year, either in hard or electronic form. Just as bad was that 46 percent had not attempted to digest anything longer than three pages in the previous month – and this included students and university graduates.


So architect Hugon Kowalski conceived of a new kind of library that he hopes will one day be built in Mosina, a town just south of Pozna?. On its first floor, it's all bibliotheca: Patrons squat on moddish stools among stacks and stacks of books. But then it gets weird: In the middle of the library is a glass column full of water and flailing human bodies. Go up one level and you're suddenly in the middle of a vast swimming facility, complete with a snaking water slide that takes whooping swimmers on a ride inside and outside of the building.

Kowalski got to thinking about his watery wonderland of reading after consulting surveys that showed Poles "rarely indicated" a desire to build new libraries. Rather, they wanted to see more sports halls, pools, kindergartens and retail shops. So the architect decided to supply the public with a fun reason to repeatedly visit a mixed-use library facility. If it so happens that bathers exit the pool's locker room with a fierce desire to consume Hans Fallada, that's just a happy side effect of the building's design.

A Different Kind of Library Down Under

Sydney Australia will be getting a new library; library as learning space, meeting space and playing space.

Cedar Rapids Has High Hopes for its New Library Opening in August

From the Gazette:

The new library — 11 percent larger than its flooded predecessor but seemingly much bigger, with a roof garden plaza, three walk-and-read treadmills, three fireplaces and a cafe with drive-up window — still will have plenty of printed books even as the rush from print books to electronic books is moving nearly as fast as workers can put on the finishing touches so the new library can open in August.

And no, the e-book revolution doesn’t mean that the city’s new library will be a modern-day dinosaur, an anachronistic testament to tunnel vision in a relentless world of change, assures Bob Pasicznyuk, the Cedar Rapids library’s director.

Walk-and-read treadmills, love it!!

A Dark and Itchy Night

Sigh.

READING in bed, once considered a relatively safe pastime, is now seen by some as a riskier proposition according to this article in the New York Times.

Mark Lillis of Schendel Pest Services examines quarantined crates filled with library books in Wichita, Kansas.

That’s because bedbugs have discovered a new way to hitchhike in and out of beds: library books. It turns out that tiny bedbugs and their eggs can hide in the spines of hardcover books. The bugs crawl out at night to feed, find a new home in a headboard, and soon readers are enjoying not only plot twists but post-bite welts.

Raccoon Seeks Shelter in Queens Library During Sandy

From NBC News.

More on Changes to the the New York Public Library Main Reading Room

A letter to the Editor from the director of the Harvard U. Library, Robert Darnton via The New York Review of Books on the anticipated changes to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library. LISNews reported on the story this past spring.

"Polemics rarely lead to happy endings. They usually produce hard feelings and a hardening of positions, rather than mutual understanding and mutually acceptable results. The loud debate about the Central Library Plan (CLP) of the New York Public Library may, however, be an exception to this rule—not that it has come to an end, but it has reached a turning point, which should satisfy both sides.

Critics of the CLP were especially incensed about its provision to remove books from the seven levels of stacks under the Rose Main Reading Room and ship them to offsite storage in order to make room for a circulating library to be installed on the lower floors. They petitioned, they provoked a debate—some of it conducted in these pages [Letters, NYR, July 12—and they were heard.

After studying the problem further, a committee of the library’s trustees has made the following recommendations, which were accepted by the full board on September 19:

• Another level of stacks under Bryant Park will be developed, creating room for onsite storage of another 1.5 million books.

• Books shipped to ReCAP, the offsite storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey, from the onsite collection will mostly be works that are already digitized and available online. -- Read More

Automatic Barista at U. of Texas Academic Center

Ordering a cup of coffee is now as simple as reaching for your smartphone. Launch an app, tap the screen a couple of times and, as soon as a minute later, your order could be ready, prepared by a "robotic barista" kiosk created by Austin-based Briggo. Story from The Texas Statesman.

The first — and so far only — Briggo kiosk opened late last year in the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas campus. Measuring about 130 square feet, the orange-and-white box makes a variety of hot and iced coffee drinks, as well as lemonade for folks who aren't caffeine fiends.

In addition to the mobile app and online, walk-up orders can also be placed using a touchscreen.

"We're all about precision, quality and convenience," said founder Charles Studor, a former Motorola employee who built the first several Briggo prototypes in his garage starting about four years ago. "You essentially have a championship barista at your service 24 hours a day."

Major Cuts in Canadian Library And Archives

From CBC News: The federal government is eliminating a series of libraries and archives throughout different departments as part of the latest budget cuts.

Library and Archives Canada alone has received or will still receive more than 500 surplus notices and the department announced 20 per cent of its workforce would be let go.

The cuts to the government's archival collections stretch beyond just one department, though. Libraries at the transport, immigration and public works departments will be eliminated.

That is a scary prospect, according to researchers, genealogists and academics that often rely on such libraries and history to develop their work.

"Professionals and scientists who work in those departments need access to those specialized libraries to develop policy," said James Turk, president of the Canadian Association of University Professors.

"As well, other Canadians rely on those specialized libraries and there aren't other libraries that have those people and can make up for that."

Pondering A Cell Phone Jammer For Peace @YourLibrary?

The Chief of the Enforcement Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission issued a 2 page PDF enforcement advisory discussing why using jammers is illegal in any situation and outlining the massive penalties using or importing such a device entails.

Topanga Canyon Library: Not Just Another Pipe Dream

In an age of library closings and cuts, here's some good news: a brand new library for Topanga Canyon, CA. Story from Huffington Post.

The two women who spear-headed this decade-long -- and yes, it was well over a decade -- quest were themselves fifteen and eighteen year residents of Topanga, moms of kids in the Topanga elementary school, all of whom used to visit the weekly Las Virgenes Bookmobile. One of the mom's, Cynthia Scott, became a volunteer, and she -- inspired by her kids -- started gathering petitions about getting a library. She now works for County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, the third crucial element in this triad of a deal.

The second mom, Adriane Allan, was a library science student who got a Masters in Library Science from UCLA. In 2001, she had been working on a paper about the importance of libraries to their communities, and something sparked. She called Supervisor Yaroslavsky's office, where they were -- quite understandably -- a tad discouraging. Nevertheless, she started to gather all kinds of information for her paper. What would it take to build a library in Topanga?? Names, facts, feasibility studies... The figures were discouraging, to say the least, but she wanted to finish her paper!! (This woman is now a Santa Monica Children's Librarian, bless her heart.)

The article's author Jodi Lampert adds...go kiss your librarian, today!!

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