Tag Archives: Library

How libraries became refuges for people with mental illness.

By Anthony Aycock, Sept 22, 20225:50 AM

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photo by Chanvre Québec on Unsplash and Pawel_B/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Welcome to State of Mind, a new section from Slate and Arizona State University dedicated to exploring mental health. Follow us on Twitter.

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is often credited with saying that “Paradise is a library.” He must not have meant a downtown public library, circa 8 p.m. Such places, like most communal spheres, can be a challenge to oversee.

Some people treat them like a sort of roomless hotel, sleeping in chairs and bathing in restrooms. I used to watch a man who looked like the famous woodcut of Blackbeard the Pirate ride the escalator of my three-story library up, down, up, down. For hours. Carrying a duffel bag. He never bothered anyone, so our security officers left him alone. (Can’t say the same for the lady of the evening who was meeting clients in the stairwell.)

Then there are the questions from believers in Qanon. Election deniers. Sovereign citizens. The woman who ranted about the “news” that the World Health Organization was going to “force a vote to allow them to take over the U.S. and force a lockdown like China.” (If WHO had that kind of power, why bother with a vote?)

The man who asked me how he and a few of his buddies could get into the governor’s office to “remove him” over pandemic closures. (Would that all insurrectionists did such thorough research!) Declinism is the feeling that everything is getting harder, scarier, and weirder, and a lot of people seem to have it.

Work in a library, I want to tell them, and you’ll learn what weird is.

Source: https://slate.com/technology/2022/09/libraries-mental-health-support.html

Asking Your Opinion: National Film Registry | Now See Hear!

August 3, 2022 by Stacie Seifrit-Griffin

I am happy to say that I work with some of the most fascinating, brilliant and passionate people that I’ve ever known. The halls here at the Library of Congress National Audio-Video Conservation Center are abuzz every day with discussions about movies, directors, cinematography, casting decisions, and opinions about what is the greatest film of all time. (You can add your thoughts in the comments).

from article…

The most-lively debates revolve around the National Film Registry.

Second to Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, I think I have one of the greatest jobs at the Library. An important part of my role is working with the National Film Preservation Board to research and recommend works to the Librarian for induction into the National Film Registry.

Source: https://blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2022/08/need-your-opinion-national-film-registry/?loclr=eanshb

The right in the US has a new bogeyman: libraries | Maeve Higgins | The Guardian

By Maeve Higgins, Wed 27 Jul 2022 06.25 EDT

‘Twenty masked neo-Nazis recently protested outside a library in Boston hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour event.’ Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

Neo-Nazis and Proud Boys are targeting libraries, as legislators and conservative lobby groups are trying to remove books from shelves and change how library board members are appointed

Last month, I went to a library in more or less the exact middle of America, and everyone was there – kids, elderly people, students of all ethnicities and ability levels – quietly doing their own thing, together.

A librarian interviewed me in an elegant amphitheater in front of Kansas City residents. We spoke about immigration, politics and the climate crisis and managed to laugh a lot too. Some audience members challenged my views, and we talked it out right there. We had a frank and fun conversation in a public space, free to all, and streamed live for people who couldn’t make it to the library that day. I only later thought about how rare that is – and how profound.

Source: The right in the US has a new bogeyman: libraries | Maeve Higgins | The Guardian

Welcome to the library of the 21st century – CBS News

Welcome to the library of the 21st century

July 24, 2022 / 9:11 AM / by CBS News

from show/article…

On a recent Monday morning, the citizens of Kanawha County, West Virginia, came to check out a new chapter in the life of an old institution.

After more than two years and $32 million in renovations, downtown Charleston’s public library reopened to the public – less a warehouse of books, and more a marketplaces of ideas.

Inside, visitors discovered a brand-new cafe, a tool-lending library, and an “idea lab” full of the latest technology. From podcasting booths to computerized sewing machines to augmented reality screens, the facility has been updated for the modern age.

Source: Welcome to the library of the 21st century – CBS News

Biblioracle: If they didn’t already exist, public libraries would never be established in today’s America – Chicago Tribune

By John Warner, Chicago Tribune, Apr 30, 2022 at 6:00 am

Thank goodness public libraries already exist, because if they didn’t, there’s no way we’d ever be able to establish similar institutions in today’s dis-United States of America.

from article…
The Carnegie Library in Waukegan, at the intersection of Sheridan and Washington, was built in 1903 as one of the many libraries built with Andrew Carnegie’s money. It was where author Ray Bradbury liked to read when he was young. Although it’s no longer a library, the building is slated to be the home of the Waukegan Historical Society. (Rob Dicker / Chicago Tribune / Chicago Tribune)

There are a number of reasons I’m skeptical. For one, belief in institutions, in general, is at an all-time low ebb. Government, schools, churches — the entities in which people are expected to come together and sacrifice some portion of their individual well-being for an overall increase in the common good — either have significantly less salience in today’s society (churches), or are under direct assault by forces that seem to not just be partisan politically, but actively anti-democracy.

Weakened institutions aside, there also seems to be an overall lack of communal spirit.

“I’ve got mine” could be the slogan of our age.

from article…

Our inability to act collectively to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic is illustrative here. Inconvenience or discomfort, or worse, someone else getting something one thinks they might not “deserve” would all make libraries a difficult sell.

I can imagine the internet hot take: Why punish people who can afford to buy books by making them free to read for everyone?

Source: Biblioracle: If they didn’t already exist, public libraries would never be established in today’s America – Chicago Tribune