Public Libraries

A Dime at a Time

From the New York Times: Yonkers, NY library worker embezzled late fees over a period of seven years and now faces jail time.

Margo Reed, who earned about $43,000 a year and was described as a conscientious, trusted and well-liked longtime employee, was responsible for taking $163,582 in library fines collected by the three public library branches in Yonkers. It was her job to collect fines — 10 cents for most books, 50 cents for new seven-day ones — and turn them over to the city for deposit.

According to her guilty plea, from July 7, 2004, to Dec. 7, 2010, she would regularly alter the collection paperwork to reflect a lower amount of fees and pocket the difference after taking money out of the library deposit bag. Stephen Force, the Yonkers Library director, said officials discovered that she regularly used correction fluid to alter the receipt sent to her and then entered the new number on the paperwork she filed when she sent the money to the city. The difference between what she received and what she reported was usually $100 or more, he said.

$15K Statues stolen from Library sold for $270 then melted

Statues stolen from Waukegan Library sold for $270 then melted
The thieves who stole a pair of bronze statues, valued at $15,000, from the courtyard of a north suburban library last month sold the artwork to a West Side scrap metal business, which paid them about $270 and then melted the pieces, police said.

New Orleans Public Library Expands

Alex Woodward on the rapid growth of the NOPL. Can funding meet the demand?
??"Libraries are no longer, and should no longer, be thought of just going to pick up your books and leaving," Styons says. "There's still a heavy research component — assisting students with work for school — but also people want to be able to lounge with their laptop or smartphone. Things need to be mobile in the library. We know that's the direction we want to move in. ... We try to stay a little ahead of the trend, but in New Orleans we're catching up."

A Food Truck & a Bookmobile Walk Into a Museum

This is an essay I wrote last month and am having trouble finding an audience. I think LISnews readers and I would find it mutually beneficial.

New York Public Library Plans for Research

There is an interesting discussion at the the New York Times on the new plans for renovating the New York Public Library system.
The New York Public Library’s $300 million plan to sell its Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library and consolidate them in a renovated main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street continues to generate criticism. Opponents, hundreds of scholars and others who have signed a petition to block the plan, have said it would undermine its mission as a research center because millions of books would be moved to a storage facility in Princeton, N.J. But library officials say the move is vital to saving the two branches, would have little effect on research and would bring in more users. Should the library go forward with the plan?

Read more about it at:

Wind-Up Toys @ The Library

LINCOLN, VT — Dancing gorillas, chattering teeth, jumping owls, rolling hamburgers, a climbing panda and a Mickey Mouse that strolls. What do they all have in common? They’re wind-up toys — a cultural relic of childhoods past.

In an era where digital games, like Angry Birds and Diner Dash, dominate the minds of many children, the Lincoln Library is paying homage to the centuries-old wind-up toy. For the months of May and June, more than 200 miniature, wind-up toys are on display in the Lincoln library, some of which date back to the early 1900s.

At the library last Thursday afternoon, librarian Debi Gray and assistant Marcia Jimmo were in high spirits as they wound and clicked their way through a half hour, watching the clockwork motor toys dance around.

The large collection of wind-up toys actually belongs to Jimmo’s grandson, but Jimmo and her husband, Roger, have kept them safe for years. Now that their grandson is a teenager, he doesn’t have any use for the toys, said Jimmo. So, she decided to take the collection out of its resting place in an old box and bring the little automatons back to life under the lights of the town library.

Future of UK library secured by florist shop

Future of Great Missenden library secured by florist shop
The future of a Buckinghamshire library has been secured after it offered to share its building with a business.

"Partnering with a local business is not only a great way of generating income for the library and keeping the library alive with potential new visitors but enables local businesses to get more involved in what matters to the community," he said.

Man Accused of Watching Porn, Stabbed in Brooklyn Public Library

Man Accused of Watching Porn, Stabbed in Brooklyn Public Library
A 53-year-old man was stabbed multiple times in a Brooklyn public library by another man who accused him of using library computers to watch pornography, police said.

Does the Free Library even know what century it’s in?

Does the Free Library even know what century it’s in?

"The unions that represent library workers would prefer to inject fear and hysteria into the community about privatizing the system, but the reality is that the community should be getting a much higher return on their tax dollars. For instance, visit your local library and request to speak to the branch manager, who might be earning an annual salary up to $70,000, while accruing a lucrative pension package, and ask how a specific Photoshop function works? You know what they are most likely going to do: walk you over to the outdated computer-reference section to find an operating guide on Photoshop. Is this what taxpayers perceive as getting a good value on their tax dollars? You can pay someone $12 per hour to do that."

Oregon's wired libraries are a digital delight

Oregon's wired libraries are a digital delight
Since Multnomah County began offering downloadable books and videos in 2010, use of the service has skyrocketed, said Jeremy Graybill, a spokesman for the county library system. Ten months into the fiscal year, checkouts have already more than doubled last year's numbers, with more than 189,000 checkouts of electronic titles. Similar trends are seen in Clackamas and Washington counties.

To meet the increasing demand, libraries throughout the metro area are increasing their collections of downloadable books, audio and video. But navigating the ever-expanding options can be overwhelming. Library visitors so regularly request help with their e-readers, tablet computers and smartphones that Flotten has launched a weekly hourlong session to answer their questions.

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