People N Patrons

The Generousity of a New Yorker Who Loved to Read

Simply because she loved to read, Lotte Fields bequeathed $6 million to the New York Public Library after her death, the library announced on Wednesday.

Mrs. Fields, a New Yorker who died last summer at 89, inherited her wealth from her husband’s family, who were wool merchants.

“One of her great joys was spending the weekend reading with her husband,” said Irwin Cantor, Ms. Fields’s executor, in a statement. “Her donation shows just how much Lotte loved books and how important she felt it was to support her fellow book lovers.” Because Ms. Fields had been a modest – though regular – donor to the library in the past, Tony Marx, the library’s president, said the library was “astounded” by her bequest.

“But we are deeply honored to pick up her mantle and promote the joy of reading,” he added. At Ms. Fields’ request, the library will evenly divide the funds between its branch libraries and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street.

Let's hope they don't apply the donation to destroying the classic Bryant Park Main Library.

Libraries Participating More in World Book Night

From Library Journal:

Library participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.

Some libraries and bookstores host a special reception when the books arrive to foster community spirit among the volunteers. Last year, World Book Night US had volunteers in 5,200 towns and cities in all 50 states and a record 1,055 libraries and bookstores participate, program director Carl Lennertz said.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will host a public talk April 22 with several authors whose books have been selected for 2014 World Book Night US distribution. This is the first time NYPL is holding official World Book Night launch events; prior World Book Night events were held at the Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.

The guest list at the main library event includes writers Victoria Bond, Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Walter Dean Myers, Esmeralda Santiago, T.R. Simon, and Tobias Wolff. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in the 250-seat Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and will also be live-streamed on the Internet.

I'm a "giver" for the third time and delighted to be handing out copies of Jamie Ford's "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I will be picking up my books at my local branch library in Brooklyn, how about you?

Is The NY Public Library Deceiving the Public?

An interesting facebook post by New York State Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner about the NYPL:

I am profoundly disturbed that the leadership of the New York Public Library (NYPL) is using misleading and deceptive language in an attempt to trick New Yorkers into supporting its controversial Central Library Plan for the main 42nd Street Branch.

While purporting to expand public access to the 42nd Street Library, the Central Library Plan is instead a half-baked real estate deal that will result in the selling off of the largest and most used lending library in New York City, the Mid-Manhattan branch at East 40th Street, and the gutting of the fabled stacks at the NYPL’s Main Branch, which house the world-class collections of books and research materials that make the world's leading free research library truly unique. Millions of volumes currently available on-site in the stacks will be warehoused in New Jersey, lessening public access to a public resource unparalleled anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

By issuing a mass appeal yesterday urging New Yorkers to ‘Support … the daily work of NYPL's network of 88 branches (and) a renovated central branch library that provides longer hours, additional public space, and more resources for children, teens, teachers, and job seekers,” the NYPL is claiming that selling off its largest circulating branch and eviscerating the Main Library’s fabled stacks, at an estimated cost to City taxpayers of $150 million, is improving the NYPL for everyday New Yorkers, when the exact opposite is the case. This is truly an example of Orwellian double-speak. The NYPL’s leadership must harbor serious doubts about the merits and practicality of its Central Library plan to employ such a willfully deceptive appeal. -- Read More

Boy saves entire year, donates to library

Lalo Nunez-al-Faisal decided to use his saved up money from chores to help other children.

Read more: http://www.kcci.com/news/central-iowa/Boy-saves-for-entire-year-to-help-library/-/9357080/23...

Peter Scott, Creator of Hytel-net and Publishers Catalogs, Dead at 66

According to a posting by family members on Peter's facebook page, Peter died calmly in his sleep at St. Paul's Hospital, Palliative Care Unit in Saskatoon on December 30.

He was an important figure in information and library science, beloved by many.

Here are some biographical bits:

Peter Scott was born February 14, 1947, in Walthamstow UK and moved to Canada in 1976. He was the Internet Projects Manager in the University of Saskatchewan Library in Saskatoon. Along with another Saskatoon librarian, Darlene Fichter he served as the editor and content developer for many online directories.

He was the creator of HYTELNET (1991), the first electronic browser for Internet resources, developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. Peter wrote a blog, Peter Scott's Library Blog for Credo Reference. Other web creations are: Twitter Compendium, RSS Compendium, Weblogs Compendium, allrecordlabels.com, Blogging The Blues, Peter Scott's Library Blog, Libdex - (Sold in 2005) and Publishers' Catalogues . This reporter (birdie) first met Peter (via internet) when I asked him to add my company to the listing thirteen years ago. In the interim, we remained good virtual friends.

He was also also a blues singer and harmonica player, and had the distinction of winning a Juno Award for having his song "TV Preacher" on the album "Saturday Night Blues" which won "Best Roots and Traditional Music Album" in 1992.

Public Libraries Are Better Than Congress, Baseball, and Apple Pie, Say Americans

According to the Atlantic Magazine:

A new Pew study finds that not only do Americans adore libraries, but a majority of us think they’re adjusting to new technology just fine.

Some 94 percent of Americans say that having a public library improves a community and that the local library is a “welcoming, friendly place.” 91 percent said they had never had “a negative experience using a public library, either in person or online.”

These sound like incredible approval ratings for any U.S. public institution. So I wondered: Just how incredible are they? How do other icons of Americana compare?

Odiferous Ejected Patron Sues Utah Library

After being asked to leave a Sugar House library because of his lack of hygiene, a Utah man is suing the Salt Lake City Library for $25,000 and he wants his library card re-activated. According to a lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court Wednesday, the man wrote that over the summer, he was banned from the public library at 2131 S. 1100 East by a librarian "who said that I smelled and I was unclean."

The man wrote that the librarian was talking loudly with another man, and the duo then began "badgering" him while he was using a library computer. The man argued in court papers that the librarian and her friend "made up erroneous lies about [the plaintiff’s] conduct and behavior while in the library."

The man wrote that he is suing on grounds of mental cruelty, defamation of character and lost wages — though, in another document asking to waive fees associated with filing the case, he wrote that he was unemployed.

According to the library’s rules of conduct, patrons who have offensive body odor or personal hygiene that interferes with other patrons’ ability to use the library will be asked to leave library grounds until the problem is corrected. No court date has been set in the case.

The man also filed a similar lawsuit against the City Creek Mall in July in federal court, asking for $100,000 in damages after he was kicked off the property for what he said were "ridiculous reasons," such as sitting on planter boxes and picking up cigarettes out of an ashtray. That case has been dismissed, according to court records.

When Difficult Patrons happen to Good Librarians

Story via librarian Roz Warren.

Even though librarians like Warren have to deal with these characters, they also have to also maintain their cool. She suggests that she might write a book with survival tips someday, and she already has title ideas:

Because we librarians are helpful and courteous by nature, we refrain from telling these folks off. Or telling them to get the hell out of our library. Instead, we smile and do what we can to help them. Which, given what we’re dealing with, calls for its own special guide book. “When Difficult Patrons Happen to Good Librarians.” Or “Impossible People For Dummies.” Some day I might just write that book.

The Most Loyal Patron

From The Telegraph, UK:

Louise Brown, 91 (NOT the first IVF baby), has read up to a dozen books a week since 1946 without incurring a single fine for late returns.

She borrows mainly large print books because she is partially sighted, and has almost worked her way through her local library's entire stock.

Library staff in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, say the pensioner's rapacious reading habits over 60 years could earn her a place in the record books. Mrs Brown, a widow, said: "My parents were great readers and I've always loved books. I started reading when I was five and have never stopped. I like anything I can get my hands on." She said her favourite genres are family sagas, historical novels and war stories, but added: "I also like Mills and Boon for light reading at night." She said she had read too many books to have a favourite or top five, but if she had to choose a preferred genre it would be family sagas or historical novels.

Louise Pride, her daughter, said: "She has aids to help her sight and usually borrows large print books. But the trouble is she has read nearly all of them in the local library. She still finds time to ready a newspaper every day and to watch TV."

A Sly Cutter in Oak Grove

Someone is cutting random pages out of books at the Oak Lodge Library in Oak Grove, OR.

Clackamas County deputies say the vandal has targeted 122 books so far, costing taxpayers more than $2,700.
Over the past few weeks, library employees noticed pages had been torn and/or cut out of numerous books, mainly from the mystery and science fiction collections, deputies said.

Library employees conducted an internal investigation by viewing who had been checking out the vandalized books. They believe the damage was done while the books were still in the library, deputies said. Only the center pages are being ripped or torn out.

The mystery and science fiction books are in an area that is far away from the main desk and more difficult to monitor by staff.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's confidential tip line by telephone at 503-723-4949.

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