Monday, January 26, 2015

Plans for Brooklyn Branches Have Merit -


A rendering for the proposed Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn Heights that has apartments on top.

Brooklyn Public Library

proposals to sell and develop local library sites are wending through
the Brooklyn Public Library pipeline, and, predictably, opponents have
manned the barricades, citing the usual arguments about selling off
public land to rapacious developers.

for a change, the plans look promising. There is good and bad
development, after all, and sometimes, with foresight and some help from
City Hall, a community asset like a public library can anchor positive

plan envisions updating, but shrinking, a branch in Brooklyn Heights
built in the 1960s. The other overhauls a popular, decrepit branch, from
the 1970s, in Sunset Park. Both involve housing, a fair chunk of it
subsidized, mostly on top of new storefront libraries.

reason for skepticism. In 2007, the New York Public Library sold off
its Donnell site in Midtown Manhattan for what now seems like a song.
Library authorities also cooked up a scheme
to pool resources and cash in on the property values of the
Mid-Manhattan branch and a science library at 34th Street, consolidating
both in the 42nd Street building by demolishing its historic stacks.
That derailed last year in the face of stiff protests and runaway cost
estimates. So did a separate proposal to demolish a century-old branch
near Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yeshiva University News » Gottesman Library to Get Makeover

New Design Will Create Updated Student-Focused Research and Study Center

The Mendel Gottesman Library,
research center and student hub at Yeshiva University’s Wilf campus,
will soon undergo a major renovation. Thanks to a generous donation from
David S. Gottesman, former chairman of the YU Board of Trustees, and
his wife, Ruth, the library is receiving a complete overhaul that will
see the ground level through the fourth floor revamped. Mr. Gottesman, a
grandson of Mendel Gottesman, also participated in the planning and
design of the library.

The library renovations will feature new floor-to-ceiling windows
The library renovations will feature new floor-to-ceiling windows

“The library was completed in 1969 and has really terrific features,
but modes of study and learning have changed significantly since then,”
said Dean of YU’s Libraries Pearl Berger. “Fifty or 60 years ago, the
primary function of library buildings was to house collections. While
library collections retain great significance, today’s university
libraries are student-centered and are designed to support the variety
of learning activities in which students engage. The planned renovation
is focused upon our students, with the aim of creating library
environments that support student needs.”

“Times have changed, but the facility has essentially remained the
same,” said Vice President for Administrative Services Jeffrey
Rosengarten, who is spearheading the project. “We knew that as a leading
academic research institution, we needed to focus on updating the
library to meet 21st century demands.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kentucky Contingencies | EveryLibrary

Kentucky Contingencies

Coolidge Quote on Taxes

When “any tax is a bad tax”, the library is an instrument of tyranny.

The Tea Party of Northern Kentucky case against two libraries is set to be ruled on by the state Appeals court any day now.
This appeal follows a loss by the libraries in the lower state court. 
The loss would roll back funding for 99 out of 104 libraries in Kentucky
to at least 1979 levels.  To date, the Supreme Court has refused to rule on the case, remanding it to the Appeals court.  Likewise, the legislature in Kentucky failed to pass a bill at the end of last session to ‘fix’ the points of law at the root of the case.  The President of the Senate wanted to let the Courts sort it out.  The points of law are pretty thoroughly discussed
in other places. We don’t have a way to handicap the Appeals court
deliberations, but we – and the rest of the national library advocacy
ecosystem – do need to anticipate their ruling.

EveryLibrary has been tracking this case since 2013 for two reasons:  If
the Tea Party ultimately prevails, the 99 libraries affected by the
ruling may have to go out for Petition or Ballot to reset their tax
rates to current levels; and, that this is a situation where a small
group of anti-tax ideologues sued libraries, and that technique for
‘shrinking government’ has been proven viable. If the libraries prevail
in their appeal, the funding picture for libraries in the Commonwealth
of Kentucky is more stable, but the underlying anti-tax climate
there – and across the country – has only been handed temporary setback.
When the URL one of the local plaintiff groups is “”,
they will be back.  They are on a mission.  Read more....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Charlie Hebdo | R. David Lankes

This morning in a Tweet Bredebieb asked me “what should public
libraries do,” about the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was frankly a bit of a
humbling and scary question. After all, I am not in Paris, and I cannot
claim to know everything that French libraries do now. However, it
would be an obvious act of cowardice to simply claim ignorance or to
respond with some high level non-answer like “help the communities have a
conversation.” So I provided some ideas:

“provide a safe place to talk about the attack and the reasons for the attack and free expression. Provide access to Charlie.”

“host talks and forums on free expression and democracy. Host a human library event with different faiths.”

“host sessions with therapists and parents on how to make kids feel safe.”

“above all use this as an opportunity to be a safe place to express feelings and help your community.”

“help your community compose a narrative and then project it to the
world. Is it ‘we shall overcome?’ Or ‘we stand with Charlie?’”
and ended with:

“all libraries should provide safe place to recover and the tools to turn tragedy into action and understanding.” Read article....

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books - Mic

The debate between paper books and e-readers has been
vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have
been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who
prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the
practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the
studies are on the side of paper books. 

Reading in print helps with comprehension. 

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering
the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.
Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway's Stavanger University concluded
that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the
same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book
Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted
and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain
reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page. Read article...

The Future of Libraries Has Little to Do with Books

Photo from Bibliothèque publique d'information ©Vinciane Verguethen

On a Monday morning between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Paris,
the line for modern art museum Centre Georges Pompidou winds around the
block. But the patrons waiting in the cold aren’t there to catch a
glimpse of a Magritte—they’re young locals queueing for access through
the museum’s back door to another attraction: Bibliothèque publique
d'information, or the public library.

In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in
the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one
that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published
in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and
Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves
by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,”
focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world,
digital fluency.” Read article....

Friday, December 5, 2014

Why a town librarian has spent 102 days standing in front of Ferguson’s police department | Toronto Star

Angelique Kidd, 41, of Ferguson, is among most dedicated of protesters awaiting the verdict in the killing of black teen Michael Brown. The mother of two has been on the streets opposite the Ferguson Police Department nearly daily for the past 102 days, demanding change.
FERGUSON, MO.—She’s a mom, a librarian, a U.S. army vet, just like her dad. She belongs to a Ferguson book club that hasn’t met since police bullets felled Michael Brown in August.
Her 9-year-old daughter’s on the Ferguson swim team. Her husband, who builds in-ground pools for a living, is president of their neighbourhood community association. Together, they launched two local community gardens. This is home. They’re dug in, here for the long haul.
With a bio like that, Angelique Kidd, 41, admits she’s just about the last person you might expect to find on the picket line, standing vigil day in and day out for the past 102 days opposite the Ferguson Police Department, demanding change.

Watch video

Thursday, December 4, 2014

School libraries are essential for learning

Masterman principal Marjorie Neff sits in the school's closed library, which was closed last year due to budget cuts. TOM GRALISH / Staff

POSTED: Monday, December 1, 2014, 1:07 AMBy Carol Heinsdorf

and Debra Kachel

In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in Philadelphia public schools. This year there are 11 and only five are known to be actually doing what they were trained to do. Five librarians for the nation's eighth-largest school district.

Leaving Philadelphia's public school libraries without professional staffing is a grave mistake. It will have consequences for the students for the rest of their lives. Study after study shows a clear link between school libraries staffed by certified librarians and student achievement.

Read more ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You won’t believe what NYC museums keep in storage | New York Post

Collections Manager Carl Mehling helps manage the "Big Bone Room" beneath the American Museum of Natural History, which includes these long bones and other hidden treasures.Photo: Tamara Beckwith/NY Post
Apparently, you can have too much of a good thing — which explains why Lauren Bacall’s gowns, Beethoven’s death mask, a paddy wagon and a 68-million-year-old triceratops skull are all in storage.
It’s the typical New York bind: There’s never enough shelf space. Whether too big, too fragile or redundant — just how many triceratops skulls does one need to admire, anyway? — millions of cultural artifacts are kept under wraps. And no place seems to tuck away as many things as the American Museum of Natural History: Though it contains more than 32 million specimens and artifacts, only a measly 2 percent are on display at any one time. Read article...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stop Looking At Your Phones ('The Britishes')

Neil Gaiman: Libraries are cultural 'seed corn'

Neil Gaiman with ‘a little empathy machine’. Photograph: Lebrecht Music and Arts Photo Li/Alamy

A feral child who was raised in libraries

Toby Litt: You’ve described yourself as a “feral child who was raised in libraries”. What age were you when you were first drawn into a library, and why do you think they hooked you?
Neil: I was probably three or four when I first started going to libraries. We moved up to Sussex when I was five, and I discovered the local library very, very quickly. But I wasn’t really hooked until I got to the point where I was old enough to persuade my parents to just take me to the library and leave me there, which would have probably been about seven or eight. And at that point it was like being given the keys to the kingdom.
 Read the article....

A Field Trip to America's Public Libraries - The Atlantic

Duluth Public Library (Deborah Fallows) 
As we’ve been crisscrossing the country visiting towns and cities for our American Futures project,
I always look forward to stopping in the town's public library. Every
town has one. They’re often lovely buildings. (Thank you, Andrew
Carnegie!) They offer a first pulse of the town. (Are they vibrant and
bustling?) The librarians are as knowledgeable as the newspaper editors
and as welcoming as the Chamber of Commerce. Who wouldn’t love a
library? Read the article....