Tag Archives: Public Libraries

Some states are changing the laws that govern community libraries : NPR

Thanks to Library Link of the Day for this one…
http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/  (archive, rss, subscribe options)

Heard on Morning Edition, By Jim Zarroli, June 21, 20225:12 AM ET

Attempts to ban books in school districts around the country have increased in recent years. Now, some states are working on enacting laws to give politicians more power over public libraries.
Rick Bowmer/AP

When the Kentucky Legislature started mulling a bill that would tighten control over public libraries earlier this year, librarians across the state called their lawmakers pushing for its defeat.

In the past, legislators would at least have heard them out, says Jean Ruark, chair of the advocacy committee of the Kentucky Library Association. Not this time.”

It seemed as though our efforts fell on deaf ears. There was a big outcry about the passage of that and they did it anyway,” Ruark says.

At a time when public school libraries have increasingly become targets in the culture wars, some red states are going further, proposing legislation aimed at libraries serving the community as a whole. A few of the bills would open librarians up to legal liability over decisions they make.

While some of these bills have quietly died in committee, others have been signed into law, and librarians worry that the increasingly partisan climate is making them vulnerable to political pressure.

Source: Some states are changing the laws that govern community libraries : NPR

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