Tag Archives: Library

Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

Nancy Pearl, possibly America’s best-known librarian and recommender of books, shares her thoughts on choosing what to read, and when to stop reading.

By Rebekah Denn, Correspondent, November 16, 2021

Susan Doupe, Courtesy of Nancy Pearl

It’s not every librarian who has an action figure modeled after her. But Nancy Pearl, who was honored at the National Book Awards on Nov. 17, comes to her superhero status by her encyclopedic knowledge of books and powerfully engaging recommendations in almost every form of media.

In 1998, Ms. Pearl launched a program at the Seattle Public Library called “If All Seattle Read the Same Book,” which led to the worldwide group-reading phenomenon known as One Book, One City.

In 2009, Ms. Pearl’s ability to connect readers with the right book gained a wide following when she published “Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason,” which became a surprise hit.

More recent work includes “Book Lust” sequels, a novel, and a collection of author interviews. Known as “America’s Librarian,” Ms. Pearl received the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community for her work in expanding audiences for reading. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou and NPR’s “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross.

Source: Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

By Brewster Kahle, October 22, 2021 1:21 PM EDT
Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. Member, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Internet Hall of Fame
Getty Images

When I started the Internet Archive 25 years ago, I focused our non-profit library on digital collections: preserving web pages, archiving television news, and digitizing books. The Internet Archive was seen as innovative and unusual.

Now all libraries are increasingly electronic, and necessarily so. To fight disinformation, to serve readers during the pandemic, and to be relevant to 21st-century learners, libraries must become digital.

But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information.

These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years.

If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

Source: Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

How Memphis Created the Nation’s Most Innovative Public Library | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

You can play the ukulele, learn photography or record a song in a top-flight studio. You can also check out a book

By Richard Grant, Photographs by Ariel Cobbert

Cloud901’s maker space is equipped with such high-tech tools as laser cutters and 3-D printers. The workshop is open to all ages, not just teens. Ariel Cobbert

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, a building of pale concrete and greenish glass, rises four stories in midtown Memphis. Walking through its automatic doors on a weekday afternoon, I hear unexpected sounds, muffled but unmistakable, almost shocking in a library context: the deep, quaking bass beats of Memphis hip-hop, plus a faint whine of power tools cutting through metal.

It’s difficult to summarize the myriad changes taking place in American public libraries, but one thing is certain. Libraries are no longer hushed repositories of books.

Here at the Central branch in Memphis, ukulele flash mobs materialize and seniors dance the fox trot in upstairs rooms. The library hosts U.S. naturalization ceremonies, job fairs, financial literacy seminars, jazz concerts, cooking classes, film screenings and many other events—more than 7,000 at last count.

You can check out books and movies, to be sure, but also sewing machines, bicycle repair kits and laptop computers. And late fees? A thing of the past.

Source: How Memphis Created the Nation’s Most Innovative Public Library | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

Times Are Changing: COVID-19 and Library Late Fees | Book Riot

By Tika Viteri, Sep 24, 2021

From article…

Almost any reader with a library card will be familiar with the concept of library fines.

Developing the ability able to return my books on time and not incur a fine was basically the only reason I ever learned to read a calendar as a child. Here is where I confess that despite having a calendar of my very own, I was still terrible at returning books on time and often spent my entire allowance on fines.

Libraries have been collecting fines since at least the late 1800s, originally using them to generate revenue for the library and also, in an example of strict father morality, to punish those who cannot adhere to arbitrary timelines.

When researching for this article, I was surprised to learn that research on going fine-free has been published since as far back as the 1970s. Similar to other movements involved with equality and equity, it took several decades — and in this case, a global pandemic — to put the idea across the finish line.

Source: Times Are Changing: COVID-19 and Library Late Fees

Libraries Across The United States Are Ending Fines For Overdue Books

By Rachel Kramer Bussel, Senior Contributor Media, Jul 30, 2021,07:49am EDT

Numerous libraries across the United States are eliminating fines for overdue books.
Getty Images

Libraries across the United States are eliminating late fees for overdue books.

In Burbank, California, the Burbank Public Library became fine free on July 1, eliminating fees for overdue books and cancelling historical overdue fees.

Of the switch, the library wrote on its website, “This move is part of our efforts to improve equity of access. While fines for overdue items may seem like a small burden, they can create a major barrier to service for those who are struggling financially. Too many people have made the choice to stop using the Library because of inability to pay or fear of accruing fines.”

The library also stated, “Research has shown that fines are not effective in getting materials returned on time, and libraries that have eliminated fines have found that long overdue items come back and patrons who avoided the library for years start visiting again.” Fines won’t be charged for lost library cards, or holds that aren’t picked up, but will still be charged for lost or damaged checked out items.

Source: Libraries Across The United States Are Ending Fines For Overdue Books

Telescopes checked out from the library will let you explore the starry skies | The salt lake tribune

The Salt Lake County Library system has several items available to borrow for free in its Library of Things.

By Kolbie Peterson  | July 24, 2021, 5:00 a.m.

Zach Schierl | National Park Service) In 2017, the night sky is filled with thousands of stars, as seen from Utah’s Cedar Breaks National Monument, an officially designated dark sky park. Telescopes are available to check out from the Salt Lake County Library system for free.

Stars may be very, very far from Earth, but obtaining a telescope to get a good look at them only takes a trip to your local public library — and a library card.

And with the Delta Aquariids hitting their meteor-viewing peak later this week, it’s a perfect time to go stargazing here in Utah.

The Salt Lake County Library system has 48 telescopes available for adult patrons to check out. These sturdy, beginner-friendly models are part of the county library’s growing collection of equipment called the Library of Things, which also includes internet hot spots, Chromebooks, tablets and a variety of other items, all free to borrow.

Spearheaded by Joan Carman with the Salt Lake Astronomical Society, the library system’s telescope program provides access to an instrument that usually costs at least $100 and up to $1,000 or more.

Source: Telescopes checked out from the library will let you explore the starry skies