Tag Archives: United States

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

The Automat: A look back at the future of dining – CBS News

A look back at the future of dining sunday-morning November 21, 2021 / 9:41 AM / CBS News

The Automat:

It seemed like magic: A restaurant without waiters.

The interior of Horn & Hardart’s last remaining Automat, on 42nd Street in New York City.  R. Krubner/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Instead, walls of shiny glass and chrome doors, which opened to reveal comfort foods to match Mom’s cooking. “Pies, pies, pies. Yes, the pies were fabulous!’ said Broadway legend Chita Rivera. Correspondent Mo Rocca asked, “Had you ever seen anything like this?”

Source: The Automat: A look back at the future of dining – CBS News

Opinion | The golden age of public libraries dawns again – The Washington Post

By Editorial Board, Yesterday, 1/1/2021, at 8:00 a.m. EST

The Deichman Bjørvika library in Oslo has six floors held up by three towers, leaving an open atrium at the building’s center. It was named public library of the year in 2021. (Sigrid Harms/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As the world enters 2022, public libraries are emerging as one of the bright spots — literally.

An abundance of new and newly renovated libraries have opened their doors in the past two years.

In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, many are exemplars of what great community spaces can and should be.

Indoors, they are filled with natural light. Books once packed together in dark corners are now on display on bright, welcoming shelves that could rival those in an Apple store.

Some libraries have added outdoor patios and roof decks.

Source: Opinion | The golden age of public libraries dawns again – The Washington Post

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