People N Patrons

Oregon Voters Choose to End Operation of 98 Year Old Library System

May 18, 2010 Hood River OR County voted not to support the formation of a new Library District. Measure 14-37 was defeated: 46 % voted yes and 54% voted no. As a result, there is no funding to continue library operations and Hood River County Library closes its doors to the public on July 1, 2010.

Branches at Cascade Locks and Parkdale were established in 1912, the same year that the Women’s Club received the Carnegie grant to build the Hood River building. This Library system has been in continuous operation for 98 years.

Shush Her

Miss Manners advises Gentle Reader on how to handle the Nosy Librarian who reads the titles of her borrowed books out loud.

Librarians Protest Budget Cuts, Crowding Hollywood Intersection During Rush Hour

About 50 librarians and book supporters gathered on all four corners of a busy Hollywood intersection last Friday evening during rush hour, earning honks in support of saving L.A.'s dwindling library system. This year, it has already faced major cuts--for one, libraries are no longer open seven days a week--and now faces even heavier ones in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposed budget, which will take affect July 1st when libraries could go from six to five days of open doors.

"[The proposed budget] is completely backwards--it has funding towards upper escheleon positions and layoffs in the hundreds in all the lower positions," explained Shannon Salmon, a librarian who runs the SaveTheLibrary advocacy website. "It's just a mess."

http://laist.com/2010/05/10/librarians_protest_budget_cuts_crow.php?gallery0Pic=14#gallery

Conan O'Brien Elected to Board of Directors of the JFK Library Foundation

AP/ BOSTON — Late-night TV talk show host, sometimes referred to as 'Coco', is joining the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Board Chairman Kenneth Feinberg announced Tuesday that the former NBC "Tonight" host and comedian who is moving to TBS in the fall was among six new members elected.

The Brookline native and Harvard graduate joins a group that includes Viacom Inc. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone. The foundation also announced the election of Raytheon Chairman and CEO William Swanson as board vice chairman. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy is board president.

The foundation each year honors public servants with its "Profile in Courage Award," named for the president's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Going Further on Cell Phone Policy

Milwaukee (WI) Journal reports: Oak Creek - Staff at the public library here are talking about the possibility of buying equipment that could block all cell phone use in the building.

City Librarian Ross Talis said Tuesday that staff has been discussing the option for several months and might decide by summer whether to present a proposal to the Library Board.

Talis, who doesn't own a cell, said a phone blocker is being considered because of "a lot of patron complaints about use of cell phones in the library."

Library policy already prohibits cell use in the building, but some patrons still talk on their phones, he said.

Its only books n shelves but I like it

It’s only books ’n’ shelves but I like it
SHHH! Keith Richards, the grizzled veteran of rock’n’roll excess, has confessed to a secret longing: to be a librarian. After decades spent partying in a haze of alcohol and drugs, Richards will tell in his forthcoming autobiography that he has been quietly nurturing his inner bookworm.
Thanks to Gary Price and The Resource Shelf!

Patrons Behaving Badly

Last week it was the patron who came in well beyond the point of intoxication. We had to call the cops and later an ambulance to get rid of him and his alcoholic vapor breath.

The week before that it was a recurring problem with the Quiet Study room. The first incident involved a patron turning the carrel desk into their private bar. They downed some beer and left the bottles for us to pick up.

A few days later, a patron decided that he wanted to eat his steak dinner in the Quiet Study. He pretty much had a picnic spread with him, replete with all the necessary accoutrement: a dinner plate, fork, steak knife, bib a la napkin, and sauce. When he was told that food was not allowed in the library, he was completely indignant.

Where do these people come from?

Almost half of poor Americans go to the library for Internet

Almost half of poor Americans go to the library for Internet
There's more data coming in on the extent to which low income Americans depend on public institutions for broadband. A new report released by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says that 44 percent of those living below the poverty level access e-mail and the Web via their local public library. And nearly a third of Americans over 14 used library Internet services in 2009. That's about 77 million people.

Who needs a library?

Why do you need the library?

Why does anyone need the library?

Why do we need anything?

If we, librarians, could define the role of the library, then we, library users, could decide if we really need them. As it is, we are letting technology define the role of the library. Whereas I think that our service to people should define it.

I think it's a matter of ego. And Homo NOVUS, the superior iPhone-clutching human, can be a huge ahole. Whatever he needs, he gets, with a simple tap of his as-yet-to-be-determined-rightful-ownership-through-patent-litigation futuristic touch-screen. He (and She, the ladies can be aholes, too) is multi-tooled, unlike his club-wielding and single-minded predecessors.

It truly is ego. The new library is about who owns the authority. In the old library, the librarian was the authority. But things change.

(there should be a table here, but I don't think we can use tables)

ANTIQUUS (old library) --- NOVUS (new library)
Librarian-centric --- User-centric
Fixed Authority --- Dynamic Authority
Repeated shushing --- Constant bleeping

So clearly there's a power struggle. But it's not between librarians and library patrons, but between librarians and inanimate devices. NOVUS totes the device around, searching for signals, or wireless connectivity, and follows. So who is the master? the human or the device? -- Read More

Are public libraries glorified babysitting services

"My town officials think all we're running here is a babysitting service" a librarian recently shared in a moment of frustration. She went on to mention studies about the proven impact on cognitive abilities when toddlers are actively engaged in library programs like Lapsit versus passively engaged with toys & videos.

This was news to me; my how the educational product companies and toy manufacturers had shaped my understanding! I also hadn't thought of toddler programs as educational initiatives. When I've seen adults and toddlers together at the library, I've usually thought "oh, aren't those kids adorable" and "I'm glad people are getting together to have fun". Though it now seems obvious, the educational and literacy component of Lapsit was lost on me.

This last point was intriguing, so I did some quick research. I googled "Lapsit" and got plenty of results from library websites around the country. I clicked through to the top 20 (all different libraries, by chance) and searched for the terms literacy and education in the page content, in images or as part of the navigation.

  • 80% made no mention of literacy or education in conjunction with Lapsit
  • 20% contained the term literacy
  • 10% contained the terms literacy and education

Clearly these stats don't tell the whole story, but they tell a good one about the help libraries need presenting information to the public.

********* -- Read More

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