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The fight to keep libraries open has dominated the headlines but the UK has quietly lost more than 200 branches over the past year, according to a detailed national survey.
The rate of library closures has increased, reveals the annual report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy: 146 branches closed between 2010 and 2011, with the number stepping up to 201 this year. The UK now has 4,265 libraries, compared with 4,612 two years ago, and the number of closures is likely to grow. Campaigners in Newcastle are currently fighting plans to close 10 out of the city's 18 libraries, with Billy Elliot playwright Lee Hall calling on the council to protect the city's heritage last month.
But Reluctant Habits has talked with many of Saint Louis’s sources and has learned that the Times article is misleading. Bedbugs are not the major threat that Saint Louis suggests they are. In fact, some of the library directors who Saint Louis spoke with have never had a bedbug epidemic at all. They were merely taking preventive measures in the wake of recent media stories.
“The odds of you picking up a bedbug from a book in a library are so low that it’s not even worth talking about,” said Potter.
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.
If you love solving KenKen logic puzzles (in the New York Times and elsewhere), the Chappaqua Public Library in Chappaqua, New York, will be hosting the 3rd annual KenKen logic puzzle tournament this weekend. Participation is free. To register for the tournament see http://www.kenken.com/contest An article about this puzzle tournament appeared on the PCWorld magazine web site in Feb, 2012. http://www.pcworld.com/article/249603/kenken_logic_puzzle_competition_at_the_public_library....
People travel from New Jersey and Connecticut to attend this competition -- as well as from surrounding towns in New York.
There is an interesting article by ADA LOUISE HUXTABLE, an architect in today's (Dec. 3, 2012) Wall Street Journal about changes to the New York City Library. "There is no more important landmark building in New York than the New York Public Library, known to New Yorkers simply as the 42nd Street Library, one of the world's greatest research institutions. Completed in 1911 by Carrère and Hastings in a lavish classical Beaux Arts style, it is an architectural masterpiece. Yet it is about to undertake its own destruction. The library is on a fast track to demolish the seven floors of stacks just below the magnificent, two-block-long Rose Reading Room for a $300 million restructuring referred to as the Central Library Plan."
Finally, the arts are not, and should never be, limited to artists and 'arts lovers.' Creativity exists in everything that people do. It takes huge amounts of imagination and critical thinking to run a business (I grew up in a family business), or to create and manage a manufacturing process, or design a new widget, or promote different living environments. Art and creative thought is sought and appreciated by people who must turn thinking into action, and action into profit. The creative thinker - Steve Jobs, for example, and a thousand others like him - is the one who succeeds where others don't, who expand when others stay static, and who drive change toward the new, and the untried, and the next best thing - or the next best place. And the key -- perhaps the only -- place where creativity, business, art, education, youth, and experience come together is the public library. It is my absolute conviction that the Central Library should be rapidly developed in this regard. Its funding is critical to the cross-sector interactions that will continue to drive Buffalo's reimagining.
A hard-hit area of Queens is getting a temporary library — set on blocks in the sand.
The permanent Queens Library at Arverne was badly damaged by superstorm Sandy.
On Friday, a double-wide trailer is being set up next to the library.
It's expected to open to the public by Monday.
Neighborhoods with high poverty rates have lower test scores. Education is affected by lack of access to resources. Libraries and their staff (both in schools and out of schools) are part of those resources that can help bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor students. Working-class children hear 10 million words before they enter kindergarten compared to the 30 million that kids with professional parents hear. That initial vocabulary gap is predictive of reading comprehension in high school (Beth Fertig "Why Can't U Teach Me 2 Read?"). The gap is developed in part by lack of access to literary materials, which libraries provide free of charge, and probably continues because of the perpetual inaccessibility of libraries to the inner-city. I'm sure Schaumburg has great test scores that are in part due to its great main library and school libraries. Let's make it a city goal to have good libraries, and our students (and their test scores) will benefit from the plentiful access to educational resources.
This morning Wisconsin Public Radio devoted an hour to discuss the role libraries play in our lives and communities. Guests: --Wayne Wiegand (WEE-ghend), library historian and author of books including Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland. He's a former professor at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison --John Cole, Founding Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress