Public Libraries

In the Wonderland of Libraries Are Cats Like Alis

Gary Price passed along This LATimes Story on library cats, this one named Alis, she died this week, after 15 years in the library. This is the longest story on library cats I\'ve seen.

The story also has information on The Library Cat Society.

The society has a threefold mission: \"To encourage the establishment of a cat or cats in a library environment; to improve the well-being and image of the library cat; and to promote camaraderie among library staffs who have cats, or hope to, and with those persons not in libraries who advocate library cats.\"

Police check out books to protest library program

Police in South Bend, Indiana, protested an upcoming library program on "What To Do When Stopped By the Police" by visiting the library daily to check out all books put out in a promotional display. "I don\'t care if they\'re really reading them, but this borders on a form of censorship," says the library director. Story in the South Bend Tribune.

Dot.Bust Overloading Public Library Terminals

There\'s a Little Blurb at Business Week on the troubles the dot.com bust are causing at SFPL.


\"As local unemployment has surged to 5.7%, once-quiet bookworm oases now swarm with surly surfers. Weekday demand for the main library\'s 300 computers is so high that administrators split them into \"express\" terminals, with a 15-minute limit, and 1-hour terminals--with strictly enforced waiting lists. \"It\'s like a stampede in the morning for the sign-up sheet,\" says library spokeswoman Marcia Schneider. \"Security has to hold people back.\"

There is a report of \"Web Rage\", where one user screamed for 10 minutes at a librarian who kicked him off a terminal and then threatened to sue.

Florida Libraries Short on Spanish Language Material

From the Orlando Sentinal:

Vivian Irizarry visits the Buenaventura Lakes branch library in Osceola County every week. She devours Spanish translations of Danielle Steele, John Grisham and Mario Puzo, as well as books by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Her choice of reading material is skimpy. Although Osceola is nearly 30 percent Hispanic, Spanish-language materials account for slightly more than 1 percent of the total collection . . .

More.

Sticky Bandit Busted

Tacoma Police arrested a 56-year-old man Friday in a series of incidents in which syrup was poured into library book drops, destroying nearly $10,000 worth of books, videotapes and compact discs. They think he\'s hit 21 times since October, and, King County libraries in 1997, The man spent two months at Western State Hospital after the King County library incidents.

Here\'s A Story at SeattlePI.com.

The last refuge - The library

Gary Price was kind enough to pass along a Nice Irish Times Story on all the great things happening at the Blanchardstown Library. I don\'t think I\'ve seen such praise for a library before.

\"Children\'s librarian handing out carnations? Surely some mistake: librarians are scary creatures in hand-knitted cardigans who say shush a lot and turn children who haven\'t paid their library fines into mice. They\'re not flower-wielding, skate-pants-wearing women in their 20s.\"

Late Library DVDs Get Court Play

Bob Cox passed along this one on the dwindling dvd collection at North Babylon Public Library.
Ninety-four of the library\'s DVDs were systematically checked out by three patrons in September and October, never to be returned.
The director has gone to court is asking for a court order to get the DVDs back and have the fines paid.
Taking patrons to court is rare, they say, but not unheard of. Nationwide there have been cases of patrons being sued and even arrested for failing to return overdue materials.

Black History Month Showdown at D.C.\'s M.L.K. Library

From the Washington Times:

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will mount an exhibit of art works by local black artists and devote an entire division to black history, art and culture starting Monday.

Librarians are still upset that the tradition of using the entire library to celebrate National Black History Month, which begins today, was not followed this year. \"We are trying to make the best of what we have, but it is not what we really wanted,\" said Alice Robinson, head of the library\'s black studies division, who has worked at the library for 31 years . . .

[Librarians] said [the exhibit coordinator] informed them that the library\'s policy is not to give special consideration to race in scheduling exhibits, sparking a tense situation between the executive staff and black librarians . . .

More.

UK Public Libraries\' Greatest Hits

From The Times:

The popularity of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton is waning as they have slipped from the list of authors who are clocking up more than one million library loans a year.
Nationwide library figures published today show that Catherine Cookson, the doyenne of traditional romance, has maintained her position as the most borrowed author for the 19th year running. She achieved more than three million loans, with The Thursday Friend, her story of a longstanding friendship threatened by jealousy, topping the adult fiction list.

A decade ago, Dahl, author of irreverent children’s books, and Blyton, whose prolific output included Noddy and the Famous Five, were in sixth and seventh places respectively on the top 12 list . . .

More. Still more on the report from the London Evening Standard.

Ireland\'s 2nd Oldest Public Library Expands

From The Sligo Champion:

As the second oldest public library service in the country, Sligo County Library has had a long history of development and service delivery to the people of Sligo. Currently, Sligo County Library service is embarking on an impressive project of library development, which will include new branch libraries, additional services, extended opening hours and computerisation which aims to marry the best in library traditions with modern technology . . .

For the past fifty years, Sligo City branch has operated from its Stephen Street premises. At one time a church, the 150-year-old building has served the library well, but now faces retirement, due to increased user numbers and the expansion in the levels of services being delivered . . .

More.

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