Public Libraries

Wider and Wiser Units

\"An article entitled \"Are Wider Units Wiser?\" by Thomas J. Hennen Jr. appeared in the June/July 2002 issue of American Libraries. It asks the question - what form of public library organization delivers the best library service? For many years library leaders have told us that “wider units of service” will produce better library services. The article examines some of the issues, using national data. Although far more study is needed, the national data suggest to the author that, in most cases, wider units of library service are, indeed, wiser.

We cannot compare how well a library may have fared had its planners chosen a different road in the past. We can only compare the results for the roads taken by other libraries in different areas of the country, hoping that the comparisons will help library planners choose wisely in the future.\"

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Eugene, Oregon\'s New Library: a \"126,000-square-foot Christmas present.\"

Getting a jump on the \"official\"
grand opening in 2003, the day after Christmas 2002, Eugene, Oregon
opens its \"126,000-square-foot
Christmas present,
\" to visitors.

The new library replaces
the \"44-year-old veteran\" that was one of the keys that coalesced my devotion
to libraries.  The old building let me see libraries as sanctuaries
and is one of the reasons that whenever I\'ve had the opportunity to travel,
checking out the local library was always near the top of my to do list. 
I\'m delighted to see strong community support for the new, expanded library.
-Hermit
;-) -- Read More

Little More Than Sad Stories In D.C. Libraries

Lee Hadden writes: \"There is an interesting article in today\'s Washington Post concerning
the emphasis placed on certain aspects of public libraries, while basic
needs are ignored and budgets cut.\"


Intersting indeed, the story says libraries are latching onto a gimmick like \"One Book\", while the city\'s library system has seen its staff cut by 30 percent.

\"I don\'t think anyone visiting our libraries would look around and say \'This is a fantastic-looking, well-maintained, attractive place I would like to visit with my family,\' \" says Alexander Padro, a publishing executive who lives in Shaw and serves on the D.C. library\'s board of trustees. \"We haven\'t been performing basic maintenance for 15 years. We have frayed carpeting, poor lighting, HVAC systems that don\'t work.\"

MD libraries switching to online staff training

From Federal Computer Week:

About 100 librarians across Maryland\'s public library systems are using interactive online management training tools, which proponents say save time and are less expensive than traditional classroom training.

Started as an experiment three years ago . . . the project spread to 16 of the state\'s 27 public library systems last fall with the help of the Maryland Library Partnership, a nonprofit cooperative of the library systems.

Developed by San Francisco-based Ninth House Inc., the courses — which aren\'t library specific — include such topics as situational leadership, high-impact hiring, handling interpersonal situations and change management . . .

Full article.

British Library loans suffer sharp fall

Laura Keen points to This Story from The BBC that says Book loans from libraries have dropped steeply in the last decade while book shops have been experiencing contrasting fortunes, according to a report.

The number of books borrowed from British libraries has gone down by almost a quarter since 1992 compared to an equivalent rise in book sales.

This seems to be the opposite of the #\'s here in The States.

Pressure For Public Libraries to Provide Bestsellers

Kevin J. Gallagher posted this on PUBLIB, and has agreed to allow us to reprint it here:

\"I\'ve got to respond to the posting from a colleague in western
Ireland, who relayed yet another address decrying the decline in reading
of classics.
This is the second public library that I have served in as
director. Both communities are small cities, serving a large suburban area. In
both communities the library collections have had extensive holdings of
classic writers, as well as large collections of bestsellers. Both parts of the
collections are used, with the heaviest use coming from the bestsellers.
(There\'s a reason they\'re called \"bestsellers\"...) -- Read More

Tacoma library sets limit on stuff you can bring in

SeattlePI has a Story on The Tacoma Public Library approving a \"behavior\" rule that would restrict patrons from bringing bedrolls, big boxes or bulky bags into the library.
This is aimed at the homeless who hang around with their only belongings -- stowed in boxes, sacks and large duffel bags.

Report says library cafes should suspend operations

Bob Cox sent on This One from Starnews that says coffee and food sales in Indianapolis library branches have been so sluggish that the concept should be shelved for a year, according to a report being presented tonight to the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Board.

\"I know that across the nation, branches with cafes have been very successful, and some have failed,\" said Grove. \"From what I\'ve seen, it has more to do with location, the number of people coming in and where you put the cafe within the library. If it\'s hidden in the basement, it\'s not going to do very well.\"

Baltimore Closing Splashy Library

Charles Davis noticed This sunspot.net Story on a $200,000-a-year library too small to qualify officially as a branch, that drew thousands of visitors, some vocal critics and only about six book borrowers a day.
Critics complained that the location served mostly tourists at a time when the library was closing neighborhood branches.

NYC librarians speak out against budget cuts

From the New York Daily News:

This is the stark nonfiction message public library officials will deliver to the City Council today: sharply reduced hours, slashed free learning programs and a half-million fewer new books . . .

They\'re trying to stave off or reduce the proposed cuts in the face of a $5 billion city budget deficit that the mayor says will mean a sharp ax for many services, including sanitation and education.

\"We\'re not a frill, we are an essential service, and more than 30,000 children visit our libraries every day,\" said Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library . . .

More.

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