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News story via Lancaster Online, about State Librarian Stacey Aldrich's address to Pennsylvania librarians about modifying the focus away from technology in libraries.
Last year, she spoke mostly the future — advancing technology, and the changing ways that libraries can store information and provide it in new ways to patrons. This year, Aldrich was more reflective. She talked a lot about her travels — to libraries around the state as well as other countries — and she took the group on a visual tour of State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
She still had a few things to say about technology, though — including the way many people are looking for ways to get away from electronics, even if it’s only for a short break. “A lot of people are looking for ways to disconnect to reconnect,” she said. “They’re turning off the electronics.”
Libraries, which have been scrambling to go high-tech with advanced computer and Wi-Fi options, are also trying to meet the need for patrons to decompress sometimes, Aldrich said. Sometimes, that means sponsoring “digital detox” nights, she said — hosting board games, for instance, and providing opportunities for conversation.
“Look around you. See what people are doing in your community,” she urged.
Phil Shapiro often loans his Chromebook to patrons of the public library where he works. He says people he loans it to are happily suprised at how fast it is. He wrote an article earlier this month titled Teachers unite to influence computer manufacturing that was a call to action; he says that if 20,000 teachers demand a simple, low-cost Chromebook appliance -- something like a Chrome-powered Mac mini with a small SSD instead of a hard drive, and of course without the high Mac mini price -- some computer manufacturer will bite on the idea.
Rather than solely looking at change over time, it’s worth zooming in to a finer level of detail. For each metropolitan area, the BLS calculates a “job quotient,” which measures the number of librarians relative to population. On that basis, with 2.1 librarians for every 1,000 people, Owensboro, Ky., is the Silicon Valley of librarians.
Even though it's not Friday, Tasha Saecker's Sites and Soundbytes blog has a small sample of some funny-bone crushing 1950's style dime novel covers with a library bent.
"I just can’t stop giggling at these fifties-style paperback covers converted to library humor. There are things here for everyone who has worked in a library."
Amy Cheney is a librarian and advocate who currently runs the Write to Read Juvenile Hall Literacy Program in Alameda County, CA. She has over 20 years experience with outreach, program design, and creation to serve the underserved, including middle school non-readers, adult literacy students, adult inmates in county and federal facilities, students in juvenile halls, non-traditional library users and people of color.
Cheney was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal, has won two National awards for her work, the I Love My Librarian award from the Carnegie Institution and New York Times, and was honored at the White House with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Her six word memoir: Navigator of insanity, instigator of enlightenment. Her theme song is Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake.
From the Daily Herald:
Linda McPherson, 69, was a retired branch manager of the Darrington Library and a longtime Darrington School Board member and one of many who died in last week's slide.
The disaster destroyed the home on the south side of Highway 530 that McPherson shared with her husband of nearly 45 years. Her husband, Gary “Mac” McPherson, was injured in the disaster but is out of the hospital. McPherson retired from the Sno-Isle Libraries branch in 2011 after 28 years as a librarian in Darrington.
There was a touching story in the New York Times about the McPherson's personal tragedy.
Library administrators are discarding older books in bulk, prompting a backlash from longtime staff members.
Library administrators have ordered staff to discard books in bulk. With increased funding for materials this fiscal year, managers are making room for newer books and as a result have been trashing older ones in mass quantities, staff members said. The practice, they said, has been rushed and haphazard — and not in line with the standard guidelines for "weeding," the term librarians use to describe the process of moving books out of collections. In Albany, thousands of good books that could be donated or given away are instead ending up in the trash, the employees said. They noted that while this policy is especially widespread at their branch, it appears that this careless discarding is happening across the Alameda County Library system.
"Everyone is amazed by the amount of stuff going to the garbage bins," said Dan Hess, a children's librarian in Albany. He has worked at that branch for four years and has been an employee of Alameda County Library for fourteen years. "It's like forty years and forty different brains thinking what should be in the library [are being] swept away in two months," he said. "We're having this infusion of new money and materials that are coming very fast into the library. It's pushing us to change the criteria for what we are discarding." Hess said that managers have directed staffers to effectively remove most books bought before 2001, with little regard to the content, condition, or other factors librarians would typically take into consideration. "All you have left is the new. To me, that is not a library."
Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) said spendthrift Thomas Galante’s undisclosed side gig — which paid $287,100 in less than two years — as a business consultant to a Long Island school district was the last straw. Galante also spent $140,000 in library funds on renovations to his executive offices. ‘I urge you to consider the interests of the library and its patrons and resign,’ Avella wrote.
The excessive spending was previously reported on LISNews .
Last year, Queens Library President Thomas Galante was paid more than the mayor or the MTA chairman, and spent $140,000 to renovate his offices at the Central Library. Meanwhile, Galante eliminated nearly 130 library jobs through layoffs and attrition over the past five years.
Story from The NY Daily News.