If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again.
"Federal funding for libraries is down nearly 40 percent since 2000. Our democracy may never wholly recover".
Four-year-old Daniel and his mother Dana, originally from Liberia and now living in the Back Bay, are frequent visitors to the renovated Children’s Library. What do you like about the Children’s Library? Dana: I love everything about it, from the natural light to the colors to the layout and design of the different areas...
On an average day, at least ten students help Laura Gardner run the Dartmouth (MA) Middle School library. Altogether, over 40 seventh and eighth-grade students work there each year. She couldn’t do it without them.
Librarians have long understood that to provide access to knowledge it is crucial to protect their patrons' privacy. Books can provide information that is deeply unpopular. As a result, local communities and governments sometimes try to ban the most objectionable ones. Librarians rightly see it as their duty to preserve access to books, especially banned ones. In the US this defense of expression is an integral part of our First Amendment rights.
A nostalgic homage to the glory of libraries and librarians harnesses Larkin and Keats to point up our lost visions of social betterment
First part of The Beautiful Librarians
The beautiful librarians are dead, The fairly recent graduates who sat Like Françoise Hardy’s shampooed sister With cardigans across their shoulders On quiet evenings at the issue desk, Stamping books and never looking up At where I stood in adoration.
Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn’s Little Free Library isn’t just a good-karma fixture for fellow readers. It provides a fascinating glimpse into human nature and what people do when they think no one’s watching. The busy mom, the insomniac, the wannabe book critic, the picky reader, the cruiser.
The inaugural winner, Haines Borough Public Library, was just moving into a new building funded by its small (at the time population around 2,600) community. Susan Elliott, a long-term library professional and mentor to then-director Ann Myren, suggested the library apply “because their programs, services, and philosophy of operations seemed a perfect fit with the award criteria.” Reba Heaton, currently the assistant director, says, “We were proud of our library before we got the award and were just as proud after.”
Serving a community that is detached from most of its neighbors, accessible only by boat and plane, only increases the effect that a national award can have. Current director Patricia Brown notes, “People were proud to be from the town that received the Best Small Library in America 2005. Even today people will refer to the library as ‘the best small library.’ ”
Ten years ago, I started my current public library job in Takoma Park, Maryland. Soon after I started the job, several Hurricane Katrina refugees arrived at my public library. It's scary to lose your entire city to a hurricane. When you show up in a new city, it's vital that the people you meet welcome you as valued members of their community.
One of these refugees, Desiree, was a wheelchair user. When she asked me for help in obtaining a donated computer, I put her at the front of my list of waiting recipients. When a donated Dell desktop came in, I set it up for her in her apartment and told her to contact me when it wasn't working.
Libraries provide access to a world of learning that can be life-changing - particularly in places where education was once out of reach. World Vision's Photo Librarian Celia Drummond shares how World Vision is using libraries to improve literacy around the world.
The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library are asking for more than $1 billion for all of the general infrastructural repairs that have been neglected by New York City. All three New York Library systems have put together a damning report outlining what is needed. ...
My questions about the current big plan to “give” ebooks to low income kids
Yesterday’s announcement was exciting. The White House in collaboration with the Digital Public Library of America, The Institute for Museum and Library Services, and New York Public Library will work together with the rest of nation’s libraries to give low income kids better access to digital reading material and get them excited about reading. But are the project’s offered solutions really addressing the real problems and needs of the communities it is trying to reach?
I encounter many (often young) librarians in real life and online. One of the most frequent things people tell me is, "How come you are so free with your speech? I could never talk about those things--I would get fired." or more often, "...I would never land a job!
During a forum for Albany residents to learn more about the library trustee candidates, Albany Public Library Executive Director Scott Jarzombek asks Elissa Kane, Mike Neppl, and Lesley Paparone the following question: "What are the most important issues facing Albany Public Library as we move into the future?" The library budget vote and candidate election is Tuesday, May 19th, 2015..
New Yorkers turned out in force at City Hall on May 15 for a lunchtime rally and press conference protesting the deep cuts to library funding outlined in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s FY16 Executive Budget. The proposed budget, released May 7, allocated $313 million for the city’s public libraries—down a full $10 million from FY15, and $65 million less than 2008. A full budget restoration to pre-recession levels would allow libraries across New York City’s three systems to provide core programs and ser
The following presentation was recorded at the San Francisco Public Library on May 8, 2015. Christine Schirmer shares the inside guide to Pinterest for non-profits like public libraries and community groups. This video details what people look for on Pinterest and how they find your pins.
Between 1886 and 1919, Andrew Carnegie planted nearly 1,700 libraries across America. Over the years they grew. Now they are trying to survive. In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue.A new campaign, Invest in Libraries, puts forth that in the past 10 years, the city government has reduced funding for public libraries by nearly 20 percent and 1,000 workers or so have been trimmed from the payroll. The campaign calls on the city to increase its support in various ways, such as restoring $65 million in operating funds.
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