If you read this column, you are interested in books. You are a reader. But when was the last time you visited your local public library?
If you have to stop and think about it, you are like many Americans today. According to data released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, the number of American adults who say they have visited a library in the past year has been dropping, decreasing from 53 percent in 2012 to just 44 percent in 2015.
My last wallet clean-out unearthed seven library cards. One each from the British Library and England’s National Archives, where I did research for my college thesis. One from the small city in Alabama where I lived the summer after college; one from the corner of Scotland where I lived the following year; one from a town in Connecticut where I rented a room the summer after that. Buried behind them all was my childhood library card. In a more accessible pocket, I found the card for the library I belong to now, but it leaves my wallet no more often than the others—most of the time, I check out e-books online or use a keychain card.
What Engineers Can Learn From the Design of the Penis Serious library-card collectors approach the pursuit more systematically than I do. A high-school freshman in California, for example, maintains a collection of more than 3,000 cards. A librarian in Nebraska scans valid library cards from all over the world and posts the images online. The retired librarian Larry Nix maintains a web page of older library cards, or “library tickets,” dating back to 1846, which demonstrate more variety in size, color, and wording than the library cards of today.
These days, the libraries in Haines, Klukwan and Skagway mean much more to residents and visitors than checking out a book or two. The facilities are hubs for educational functions and information gathering via the internet. Patrons use the free web access to find jobs, file taxes and scholarly and cultural pursuits. [Our emphasis] But proposed cuts from both the House and Senate Finance committees call for a 100-percent reduction to the program that funds library internet connections. Last year, the Online With Libraries, or OWL, funding was threatened, too. And like this year’s campaign to reduce the deficit, the program was originally slated to be axed in its entirety. But it survived completely intact.
London borough’s budget cuts mean four of its 10 libraries will either close, move or be run by volunteers
Carnegie Library in Herne Hill, south London, is to reopen as a gym, but will also host shelves of books with no dedicated library staff. It has been described as the greatest crisis in the history of British public libraries. And now, deepening cuts in public spending are to force four out of a London borough’s 10 libraries to close, move or be taken over by community volunteers. What does your local library mean to you?
The Carnegie and Minet libraries in Lambeth, south London, will close at 6pm on Thursday – the end of the financial year but also peak exam revision time. Both are scheduled to reopen in a year as curious hybrids: part private gym, part host to shelves of books with no dedicated staff, which campaigners argue will fail to fulfil the function of a library. Later this year another library, in Waterloo, will be relocated to a temporary home belonging to a church-based community group. The fourth, in Upper Norwood, is being handed over to a group of volunteers.
The changes highlight a wider trend, which, according to a BBC analysis this week, has seen almost 350 libraries closed over the past six years, with the loss of about 8,000 jobs.
CHENNAI: More than 140 public libraries in Chennai are battling for survival. However, none of the political parties has promised to revive these knowledge centres in accordance with the modern standards. Many book lovers and librarians want e-books and internet facility in all the libraries for the benefit of poor people. "We can't find any useful books in any of the city libraries. It will be good if the authorities provided four-five computers in each library with internet facility. This will also help several people who are otherwise dependent on private internet cafeteria" says P Balu, a resident in Saidapet.
What do 82 public libraries, a Texas beef processing company, and a string of Pizza Huts across Tennessee and Florida have in common?
They’re all managed by the same private equity firm.
Fifteen of those libraries are in Jackson County, Oregon, where public officials are starting to raise concerns over the firm’s ownership of the private contractor that manages them. Facing budget issues in 2007, the county contracted with Library Systems and Services (LS&S), the country’s largest library outsourcing company, to try to save money—but LS&S is owned by Argosy Private Equity, whose mission is to “generate outstanding returns” and “substantially grow revenues and profits” for the businesses it owns.
Now Jackson County is learning the hard way. LS&S’s claim to do more with less while still making a profit really meant that corners would be cut. Before privatization, most of the county’s libraries were open more than 40 hours per week—after taking over, the company cut the operating times in half and closed branches on Sundays. They also cut benefits for the staff, which were no longer unionized.
Library gives $2.74 value per tax dollar The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library contributes $2.74 in benefits locally for every taxpayer dollar directly invested in the system, according to an economic impact research study.
The internal analysis by Columbus economist Howard Fleeter reports the county-wide library system gets about $37 million a year in tax dollars and generates an annual economic value of more than $101 million. Main branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. The report shows the library system saves Lucas County residents money and also directly benefits the local economy.
We’re celebrating School Library Month with three of the most dedicated librarians we know. John Schumacher (the famous “Mr. Schu”) and Scholastic librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey talk with us about why they became librarians, the crucial task of finding the right book for a child, and why—as John describes it—the library is “the heart and soul of a school.” Kristina Holzweiss, the 2015 School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year, also joins us to share her thoughts on why libraries matter.
April 10 – 16 is National Library Week in the United States, an annual observance that has been sponsored by the American Library Association since 1958. In celebration of National Library Week, a few members of the OCLC team reflect on their career choices and today’s libraries in a five-part Next series. FRIDAY, 15 APRIL …
Most libraries that adopt floating collections expect circulation to rise because collections will be better distributed to meet patron demand. Yet how many have analyzed whether collections perform better after implementing floating than they did before materials were relocated? The Nashville Public Library undertook an experiment in floating with optimism. Did the results pay off? Here is how it all began.
Could this be a new chapter in the way we interact with one another?
Shaheryar Malik has left stacks of books from his own library at popular destinations all over New York City. He doesn’t stick around to see if anyone takes one of his books, nor does he re-visit his stacks. Instead he leaves a bookmark with his email address printed on it inside each book, in the hopes that he’ll hear back from whomever decided to pick that book up.
My friend John Spencer had shared this on Facebook tonight As I got ready to share the quote myself, the comment below it caught my eye... "It's also the job of the school to push children to read books that challenge them and take them out of their comfort zone. Diary of a Wimpy Kid,…
On an academic campus, the consumer of licensed scholarly information products is usually not the buyer and does not make purchasing decisions. If your sales reps aren't careful about respecting that distinction, they can get themselves into hot water fast.
CommonSpace columnist Steve Topple argues the case for saving the UK's libraries
WITH the news on Tuesday that libraries across the UK were closing at alarming rates and that swathes of the workforce had been replaced with volunteers, many seemed surprised by this apparent attack on one of the principle foundations of society as we know it.
However, this is not some 'new' crisis.
Campaigners have been warning about the threats these institutions face since 2009, when councils like Wirral were already proposing to shut most of their library services owing to budget constraints after the 2008 financial crisis. These cuts to library services have only snowballed since then, and yesterday’s report stated that nearly 400 have closed since 2010, with a quarter of all staff being laid off and the number of volunteers nearly doubling.
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