Facilities

Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time. -- Read More

Damp Georgetown DE Library Will Reopen in January

GEORGETOWN -- The Georgetown (DE)Public Library will remain closed through the end of January, with repairs to the water-damaged facility estimated to cost $250,000, officials said. DelMarVa reports.

On Sept. 26, a defective pipe fitting damaged books, carpet, furniture, and drywall on the building's first floor. The flood occurred less than two months after the Aug. 9 grand opening. They don't build them like they used to in the Carnegie days I guess...

"The nature of this disaster is taking longer than we'd hoped," said Paul Enterline, president of the library's board of directors. "Basically, it's kind of like a whole new building project."

Last month, officials said the 29,400-square-foot building would be closed for eight weeks. Since that time, the opening of the first floor has been further delayed, but the second floor has been opened to the public.

Paean to Beautiful Libraries

Chauncey Mabe, Florida Center of Literary Arts says: "Public libraries are like babies: There aren’t any ugly ones. In a way, then, Flavorwire’s round-up of the “The Most Beautiful Libraries in the US” is as wrong as a baby beauty pageant. On the other hand, I’ll concede, it’s always better to have a handsome building than otherwise, if given the choice.

My first library was a storefront on Tazewell Street in the small Appalachian town of Wytheville, Virginia. It was on the way home from the elementary school, and I stopped in almost every day to wander the stacks, take in the heady aroma of book must and chat with the librarian, a tiny smiling woman who encouraged me to read books beyond my age group.

To me, no library can ever be more beautiful than that homely little place where my incipient love of reading was flamed into a full-fledged romance with books. I wish I could call the librarian’s name to mind so I can give her the credit she deserves. I’m sure every reader in the country has a similar origin story.

Bedbugs, Well Maybe, Close Riverhead LI (NY) Library

The Riverhead Free Library was closed Tuesday morning after bedbugs were detected by an insect-sniffing dog in the building.

But the dog’s sense might have been wrong, according to library director Lisa Jacobs. She said the dog was brought in as a precaution Tuesday morning and did find traces of the parasitic insect inside. However Suburban Exterminators inspected the building Tuesday and found no sign of bedbugs.

“They couldn’t find anything,” Ms. Jacobs said. “They literally tore apart a chair. They looked in all the places the dog had given a positive.”
The pest control company laid traps Tuesday to see whether or not the building was bedbug-free.

Riverhead News reports.

A Library In Lieu of a Dillard's in Chapel Hill?

The Chapel Hill Town Council may move the town library into the Dillard's anchor spot in University Mall.

Discussions began this month, and the mall owner, Madison Marquette, asked the town to consider the space last Tuesday. On Friday, the company offered to sell the town 52,000 square feet for $4 million cash, provided that Dillard's ends its lease.

The Town Council voted Monday night to delay plans to expand the library on Estes Drive and consider the mall as a permanent location. The town staff will make a report to the council Feb. 14.

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/11/23/820705/chapel-hill-gets-offer-to-keep.html#ixzz168hVHmXm

A Prize-Winning New Library

Portsmouth's UK university library has won a top award for being the best-designed new building.
The eco-friendly building, in Cambridge Road, beat stiff competition to win the first Solent Design Awards.

The inaugural awards scheme tracked down buildings or spaces which have been well-designed and also add value to the community.

One of the city's most eye-catching buildings, Admiralty Quarter, in Queen Street, Portsea, was highly-commended at the award ceremony in Winchester.

University staff received their accolade from famous designer Wayne Hemingway

A Library Designed for the Post-Print Era

From Fast Company Design:

The defining decorative element of a library has always been the books themselves. But now that institutions ranging from the University of Texas at Austin to ultra-traditional Cushing Academy are tossing their stacks in favor of digital collections, the question arises: How do you design a library when print books are no longer its core business?

At the University of Amsterdam, Dutch designers Studio Roelof Mulder and Bureau Ira Koers converted an existing 27,000-square-foot library into a massive study hall -- without any visible books -- to accommodate the 1,500 to 2,000 students who visit daily.

It’s a clever way to adapt to the post-print era. Libraries are expensive to operate. As books increasingly go digital, it makes sense for libraries to either downsize or, in the case of the University of Amsterdam, shift the focus of operations from books to people.

Check out the link for photos.

Not Your Parents High School Library

Lamar (TX) High School’s library is in the midst of an overhaul that is shifting around more than the books. The project is redefining how the study space will be used and how students will access the information resources it holds.

More specifically, the conversion under way means fewer physical books on the shelves (and fewer shelves), but more equipment on site for tapping into the books, periodicals and research tools available in electronic formats.

As explained by Principal James McSwain, the project includes:

Laptop computers (100 now and hopefully 100 more to follow) that can be checked out for use only in the new center and accessible only by a student ID code that also connects to the new Lamar portal, “Sky Drive.”

Longer hours of operation, (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) to increase access to the new computer equipment and online information for students who might not have other study venues or research tools.

Space for peer tutoring and teacher-led tutorials, and

A small coffee bar that also serves healthy snacks for studying. Students in the culinary division of Lamar’s magnet program in business management will run the new amenity.

Joyous Reopening for Burnt Out Georgetown (Washington DC) Library

The fire that destroyed the Georgetown library three years ago burned through most of the books in its circulating collection. They could be replaced. The unique Georgetown artifacts in the library's Peabody Collection could not.

Thankfully, all those items survived, though some will require repairs. And so, with the ribbon-cutting at a new $18 million structure at 9:30 a.m. Monday at 3260 R St. NW, the Georgetown library once again becomes whole.

"I have to keep reminding myself that everything could have gone up in flames, and we could have absolutely nothing," said Jerry McCoy, the special-collections librarian who oversees the Peabody Collection. Among his rescued treasures: A July 1776 edition of the Maryland Gazette, with the full text of the Declaration of Independence printed on the second page.

What caused the library fire remains "a matter for litigation," said Ginnie Cooper, chief D.C. librarian. She notes, however, that at the time, workers were using heat-generating tools to remove tar in the building's attic and in the vicinity where the fire began.

Story from the Washington Post.

Fix the Branches City Says to Providence Public Library

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The city of Providence has filed a lawsuit against the Providence Public Library charging the nonprofit with not complying with the lease agreement and not making needed repairs.

The suit filed this week lists more than a dozen problems at the branches, including leaky roofs, poor drainage, electric problems and faulty ventilation.

Seven of the nine libraries are still owned by the Providence Public Library, the nonprofit that operated the entire city library system until July 2009, when the city transferred its $3.5 million library allocation to the Providence Community Library.

The PPL, which operates the downtown Central Library, agreed to lease its branch buildings to the city for $1 a year.

The legal action comes as PCL has been putting more pressure on PPL to resolve the dispute over the buildings.

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