Is This Your 21st Century Library?


Like it or not, this appears to be the face of your 21st Century library. Maybe turning the library into something many librarians and customers don’t recognize is the other edge of the 21st Century double-edge sword. History has taught us that for every useful good thing humankind has discovered, humankind can also find some distorted application for it.

Company to make George Washington’s beer “George Washington is famous for many things. Yet it’s safe to say few know the nation’s founding father created a recipe for beer. The New York Public Library, which owns the recipe, announced on Wednesday that it was partnering with Coney Island Brewing Company in Brooklyn to recreate the brew.” Ula Ilnytzky

53,000 Signatures for Online Petition Against HarperCollins Library eBook Policy “Last month, New Jersey librarian Andy Woodworth launched an online petition entitled “Tell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries.” … Here’s more from the petition: “Limiting a book to 26 total checkouts means that it could be there one day and gone the next, leaving that 27th borrower in limbo as the library assesses whether to re-purchase the eBook. If left in place, this policy would threaten public access to eBooks by making them disappear from the virtual shelf.” Andy Woodworth

Leaflets keep flying; Redding library rules blocked for now “Civil libertarians leafleted the Redding library Wednesday afternoon, just hours after a Shasta County judge temporarily blocked city restrictions on pamphleteering around the building. … The city also prohibits harassment, windshield leafleting, donation solicitation and commercial advertising in the free speech zone under the policy, adopted April 18. Pamphleteers must reserve the space, and only one group at a time may use it.” Scott Mobley

Bike Sharing Comes to the Academic LibraryFirst came coffee, then gaming, and now bicycles. At Cornell University, a new student-run bike-sharing program has arrived just in time for spring. … The problem with offering great coffee, comfy chairs, and bicycle rentals to the library is not that these amenities are unwelcome — indeed, they are appreciated by most patrons. The problem is that they start diluting the brand of the academic library. And a dilution of the academic library brand may make it more difficult to justify hiring, retaining, and compensating highly trained academic staff.” Phil Davis

Obama aide: Bin Laden raid yielded ‘a library’ of terrorist info “President Obama’s national security adviser said today that analysts are poring over an “extraordinary” trove of terrorism intelligence gathered during last week’s raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. “It turns out that this is the largest cache of information gotten from a senior terrorist, gotten from any terrorist in one operation,” adviser Tom Donilon said on CNN’s State of the Union. “It is about the size of a small college library.” David Jackson

Treasured Judaica Library, Feared Lost, Is Back On the Marke “One of the world’s largest and most valuable private Judaica libraries is up for sale, again. To the consternation of Judaeophiles and scholarly libraries around the world, public access to the Valmadonna Trust Library — or even knowledge of its whereabouts — was feared to have been lost last December, with the selection of an anonymous buyer in a sealed bid auction conducted by Sotheby’s.” Paul Berger

Banning Social Media in Libraries “A year ago, we began an experiment in social media. Using Twitter, we invited librarians to come together once a month to talk about the galleys they’ve been reading. Called GalleyChat, it gets more interesting each month and has become a useful RA and ordering tool. There’s one small snag, however; some librarians can’t join because they are not allowed to use Twitter or other social media at work.”

Santa Clara County Library system to begin $80 annual fee for non-residents “The best part about public libraries is they’re free. But starting July 1, thousands of South Bay residents will have to shell out $80 a year to check out books from libraries run by Santa Clara County. Library cards will remain free for people who live in the cities served by county libraries. But if you live in Los Gatos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara or Sunnyvale, you’ll have to pay to get a county library card — or hope your own city library has enough Hemingway and Harry Potter. “Of course, people aren’t going to like this,” Santa Clara County Librarian Melinda Cervantes said. “It’s very complex. And it’s going to make a lot of people unhappy.” Lisa Fernandez

Not all change is progress!

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