Brooklyn is Back

Clinton Hill Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library

Here’s the Good News!

From Coney Island on up to Clinton Hill, all 60 Brooklyn Public Library branches have reopened following a lengthy string of repairs that have stretched for nearly two years. – Brooklyn bibliophiles rejoice! All 60 public library branches now open after lengthy repairs

The Bad News is two branches will be closing in a few months and there is still $300 Million in additional repairs backlogged. But still, this is an accomplishment and a start.


Public Libraries of Jefferson County get Grant from Daniel Foundation of Alabama

Hugh Daniel

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative needs new Circulation Software.

“Our previous software was in desperate need of an upgrade,” Ryan said in an email to “The majority of the funds came from State Aid to Public Libraries, appropriated annually by the Alabama Legislature.” “However, we are indebted to the Daniel Foundation for providing us with the [funds] that allowed us to purchase this software. Until Jefferson County cut the Library Cooperative’s funding, due to the loss of the occupational tax, we were able to fund the local match required for most grants within our budget.” Ryan said that PLJC received $93,975 from State Aid. The software is Sierra Services, which was created by Innovative Interfaces, Inc. In addition to checking out items online, Sierra Services also “serves as a back office” for processing, cataloging items and annual statistical reporting. – Public Libraries in Jefferson County received $15,000 grant for software update

Thankfully, they found a solution for this but it sounds like there are still some longer-term issues.

Property Tax Drop hit Kanawha Libraries

Kanawha Library

And it is a hit they really aren’t in a position to take. Last year, a decision by the State Supreme Court impacted funding for the library system, causing a building plan to be put on hold. And now:

The Kanawha County Public Library will receive slightly less funding from the county and city next year because of reductions in property values. On Monday, the library board of directors requested the city of Charleston sponsor a levy that would produce $1,025,385 for library operations and the Kanawha County Commission sponsor a levy that would produce $3,131,858. Those amounts, set for the 2015 fiscal year, are calculated based on a 1957 act that created the Kanawha County Public Library system and authorizes the city and the county to provide funding to libraries each year. – Drop in property values another blow for Kanawha libraries

Hopefully, the West Virginia State Legislature will come up with some solution. And soon.

Texas Cities Corinth and Denton reach Service Agreement

Denton Public Library

Since 1975, Corinth, Texas has been a member of the Lake City Libraries. They decided to leave last fall.

A recent partnership between Corinth and the Denton Public Library will allow residents to use Denton’s library service for a reduced price, finally ending Corinth’s long-standing agreement with the Lake Cities Library. The Corinth City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the Denton Public Library on Thursday night during a council meeting that officials say will be a cheaper option for residents and Corinth. – Corinth, Denton Public Library make service deal

Hopefully, this will work out well for everyone but I think it may be a rough transition.

Less Lord of the Flies and more Sense and Sensibility

San Francisco Main Library

The title of this post is courtesy of the Mayor of San Francisco.

The mayor’s letter to the commissioners proposed creating a Family and Education Fun Zone around the library and suggested that the first step should be instituting actual penalties for breaking the library’s long-standing code of conduct. Previously, most bad behavior was met simply with a warning to stop. In response, library staff beefed up the Patron Code of Conduct with much harsher penalties than the admonishment, “Uh, that’s a sink – not a bathtub.” Under the proposals, which will likely be tweaked after community input and voted on by the commissioners this spring, repeat offenses could result in being banned from all the city’s public libraries for up to a year. – S.F. library proposes new code of conduct with penalties

In my experience, you do have to have rules but no one ever enjoys having to enforce them.

Weed What When?

bq.I think the days of libraries saying, ‘We must have that, because it’s good for people,’ are beyond us. There is a sense in many public libraries that popular materials are what most of our communities desire. Everybody’s got a favorite book they’re trying to promote. – “Leslie Burger(Hello, Grisham — So Long, Hemingway?)”: My library expanded back when I first went to work here in 1999. And we are on track for a new multi-million dollar larger building sometime in the next few years. The problem, in the meantime, is we have already filled all the space we left open for expansion originally. We have weeded along the way (Florida guidelines call for 5% per year as a routine matter) but we may very well be forced to do soon something similar to what Fairfax is doing. I am sure this is a topic I will be writing more about.

Successfully Networked Public Libraries

I got an e-mail about the doctoral program at Florida State University. Clicking through the links led me to these studies on “Public Libraries & the Internet(Public Libraries & the Internet)”: When I get time, I intend to go back and read them through them a lot more thoroughly.

Reinstated in Valparaiso

Sue Martin, who was recently “suspended(Florida Librarian Suspended over Porn Incident)”: from her job at the Valparaiso Community Library, has been “reinstated(Valparaiso reinstates library director after porn ruckus)”:
bq.I am extremely pleased to share that the Valparaiso City Commission voted 4-1 last night to dismiss all charges against library director Sue Martin and have reinstated her as library director effective immediately. The commissioner who brought the charges against Sue will no longer be responsible for the library or serve on my governing board. A new city commissioner who has long been a strong library supporter will be responsible for the library. Computers will be placed back in the library this week. In Valparaiso, the commissioners are responsible for overseeing city departments. This means that the library director’s supervisor is an elected official. About 150 people attended the meeting last night with others being turned away. The elected official who brought the charges again Sue refused to be sworn in or to testify. The meeting was a quasi judicial hearing. – Robert Gorin, Director of the Okaloosa County Library Cooperative. It would have been better had this incident not happened at all, but at least it seems to have had a happy ending.


Our Director was so excited over the Express/Self-Service Checkout demonstrations she saw at ALA this year that she has been wanting to do the same thing around here. So… !!: As you can see, we are just beginning to get started today. Reaction from the staff and our patrons has been quite positive. What this isn’t about is making do with less staff (we are actually going to be increasing one position when the new fiscal year begins in October). What this is about is improving the experience for anyone who wants to use library services. I can’t wait to see what things are like when we really get going.