Public Libraries

Winning Hearts and Minds in the Budget Battle

Acknowledging that the future of a Detroit-area public library hinges on active taxpayer support, administrators are pounding the pavement to insure the public knows what it\'s worth:

Brighton District Library officials are predicting that a future expansion of library services will require more help from district taxpayers, and they\'re making the rounds to tell member communities that they\'ll get their money\'s worth . . .

\"We\'re going to go around to all the member communities before we go to the polls,\" Huget said. \"People have to know about us. If they\'re with us every step of the way, we get more buy-in from the communities\" . . . Library officials are hopeful that getting their message out in advance will make the next request for tax dollars less of a struggle.

More from the Detroit News.

Parents, Not Books, Overdue at This Library

Due to a high incidence of unattended children in the Ohio Township (KY) Library System, the library is imposing a new kind of fine. Parents who leave their unattended children in the library after closing time will be fined $25 per hour for every staff member who is required to \"babysit.\" more...

Shortage of Librarians Threatens Service in Illinois

Nothing earthshattering here:

A shortage of professional librarians throughout Illinois is expected to get worse in the next five years as a wave of librarians retires, state and regional officials say. And while libraries have been able to withstand the shortage so far, some fear that the number could drop so low that libraries would have to cut back on services.

The shortage, which mirrors one nationwide, is blamed mainly on relatively low pay for the education required, leading fewer people to enter the profession, state library officials say. For those who do, librarians can make more money in private-sector research jobs . . . Entry-level pay for librarians is about $30,000 a year, said Bob Doyle, executive director of the Illinois Library Association. \"Generally speaking, librarians receive less than teachers,\" he said. \"And you need a college and master\'s degree for an entry-level position.\"

More from the Chicago Tribune.

Public Libraries a Contact Point for 9/11 Conspirators?

A certain wire service is reporting that suspects in the NYC/DC attacks may have communicated with one another using computers at public libraries:

WITH increasing evidence that nearly all of the terrorists named in Tuesday\'s attacks had connections to South Florida, investigators are looking into the possibility that some of the conspirators communicated with each other through computers at local libraries.

Police and FBI agents have received tips that some suspects used computers at libraries in Delray Beach and Hollywood, where most of them stayed during the months leading up to Tuesday. Visitors and library employees at three locations said they remember seeing some of the men whose images and names have been made public through television and newspaper reports and on the Internet.

More via The Australian, still more from the Washington Post, and even more from the Miami Herald.

Drinks yes, food no

The Park Ridge (Illinois) public library has ended its summer trial of allowing food in the library. Patrons are still permitted to consume non-alcoholic beverages, though. Story in the Chicago Tribune.

Library mystery absorbs alderman

*Updated link, sorry about that*
Here is a story from the Chicago Sun-Times about an alderman who is trying to figure out why his regional library is removing \"books in good condition.\" Ald. Eugene Shulter has community activists \"up in arms\" over what seems to be routine weeding. Security has twice attempted to have him removed from the library. Folks, this is not a good example of community relations.

Bookmobiles Still Going Strong

Bookmobiles are still going strong in PA. Currently there is at least one bookmobile in 25 Pennsylvania counties. The program began in 1977 with a single bookmobile. The bookmobiles are especially popular in rural areas without a local library. From the Tribune-Review

Library turtle retires - paper calls it a libraria

Steven Bell writes \"On 9/3/01 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported a story about a surburan Public Library, in Abington Township, that held a retirement party for its library pet, a turtle called Eltrut. This would be a fairly standard story, but the Inquirer actually identified the turtle as a librarian. As if our public image wasn\'t bad enough, and the public didn\'t already think that everyone who worked in the library was a librarian, now the Inquirer refers to the library pet as a librarian. The story is found
Here \".

Students losing part-time home when main library locks doors

Wayne Risher from the Memphis, TN
Commercial
Appeal
news writes: \"Like it or not,
libraries
are
day cares, hangouts and meeting spots, as well as
places for bookish pursuits. \"

The Central Library will be closing for two months to
move to a new building. Parents and kids are having to
find other \"day care\" options. Day care centers have
noticed a slight increase in enrollment.

\"A couple of parents have told me they\'re signing up
because the library is closing,\" said Thomas. \"I think
we\'re going to get a lot.\"
Full Story

Last Longing Look at 5 Public Libraries

Baltimore citizens said a sad goodbye Saturday to five city libraries shuttered by budget cuts:

Yesterday, the last day in the lives of five city libraries, played to a small but sad audience.
As Carla D. Hayden, director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, made a farewell tour to thank librarians in all five branches she chose for closure, many people paid their last respects to beloved neighborhood beacons in all corners of Baltimore, from Pimlico to Fells Point.

One woman from far outside the city made a pilgrimage to her past . . . \"This was my childhood library,\" she said. \"I\'m a librarian because of it. I could walk here.\"

More from the Baltimore Sun.

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