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The public library has the real ability to add real value and to be a real community hub in social network community world. But does it understand this, or as in the UK, is it obsessed with its statutory obligations and keeping everything ‘as is’ at all costs? Are the ‘Shhh, no noise’ signs actually hiding a sleeping environment that is simply not listening to the market and its customers?
We are witnessing harsh funding cuts, a worrying migration to voluntary services, the wholesale dumping of every customer facing civic service into the library’s ‘underused space’ and a general lack of leadership and digital direction within the public library community.
The News-Herald reports librarians claiming increased activity at their agencies in Ohio's Lake and Geauga counties due to ebooks and ereaders as well as other technologies.
"A library is an unlikely place to see a 1934 Harley or Honda crotch rocket.
In fact it's a good bet the term "crotch rocket" is rarely uttered inside the quiet, hallowed halls of a book repository.
But the public library in the western Wisconsin community of River Falls is currently a great place to see a small but comprehensive exhibit of vintage motorcycles for free, no library card required."
The Wall Street Journal has a front page story, January 7, 2013, "Check These Out at the Library: Blacksmithing, Bowling, Butchering To Draw Crowds, Some Facilities Offer Much More Than Books; Expanding the Tool Selection." by Owen Fletcher.
Public libraries have long served as gathering places and offered a range of nonliterary programs. And those who predicted their demise "have been proved wrong," says historian Wayne Wiegand, emeritus professor of library and information studies at Florida State University.
Community-focused activities at libraries aren't new developments, he says, but rather "repetitions of what happened in the past."
Librarians say they are increasing the number and variety of programs they offer—and people seem to be responding.
Attendance at public library programs rose 29% from 2004 to 2010, as overall visits to libraries also rose, according to the most recent survey by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
From the Atlants Journal-Consitituion: "Gwinnett Commissioners needs to find a way to save library materials budget" 12:52 am January 3, 2013, by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso.
"A strong library system is obviously important for literacy and academic success but I think it’s even more important during hard economic times. For many struggling families it is the only way for them to get books, movies and music. They give up subscriptions to Netflix or buying magazines and books, and the library allows them to still have entertainment and enrichment in their lives. I hope the Gwinnett County Commissioners can put their heads together and find a way to not cut or cut less from the materials budget for the sake of the county. A strong library is extremely important to the community and cannot be undervalued!"
Mary McConnell Bailey died as quietly as she lived. At her request, no services were held. No obituary was written. Even one of her closest friends cannot say for sure where she is buried.
The library plans to split her bequest: half for programming, materials and resources for the 87 branch libraries in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island; and half for its four research libraries, according to Ms. Geduldig.
This was originally found lurking in the comments today attached to a story dating from November:
Books for International Goodwill has donated over 5.7 miillion books to libraries in the U.S. and overseas. We have 150,000 news and used books in our warehosue at any one time. We would be happy to provide books to libraries damaged by hurricane Sandy, but do not have a contact. We will cover the cost of transportation (and even cover the cost of a librariian to come to our site in Annapolis, MD to pick books, if tht is feasible). If anyone has a contact to help us get this off the ground, it would be appreciated.
Steve Frantzich---President Books for Interntional Goodwill 410 721 7344
As a general matter of good practices, it is best not to leave comments on stories over 45 days old as they might not be seen by most users. If anybody wishes to contact Mr. Frantzich in this matter his contact details are shown above.
Do We Still Need Libraries? is a series of opinion pieces from the New York times. See:
In the first of two parts about the new realities of publishing and public libraries, Forbes contributor David Vinjamuri discusses whether the right battle is being fought:
"The solution to the current pricing problem lies in understanding that the argument publishers and libraries are having is the wrong argument. It is based on the paradigm of the printed book and as such presents a series of intractable challenges for both publishers and libraries. By changing the model for pricing an eBook, both parties could find a clear and equitable resolution to the current impasse."
WPRI reports: One year after donating $10,000 to Central Falls' Adams Memorial Library in Rhode Island, Alec Baldwin sent another $5,000 check to the library in response to its year-end fundraising appeal.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” said library board president Bruce Kaplan. “A year ago, Alec’s donation helped us keep the doors open. This year he's helping us expand hours of operation and community programming.”
Funding for the Adams Memorial Library was cut in the wake of Central Falls' bankruptcy. It was forced to close its doors for several months in 2011, until a group of volunteers raised enough money to reopen the library.