No parking? Librarians will deliver to your car!

This curb service project grew out of complaints from customers weary of searching for scarce library parking.  Read more about the initiatives developed at the Houston Public Library to stay relevant in their community.   Click here to read the full article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6594373.html

When parking becomes impossible...

When parking becomes impossible...

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Our Future? E Readers partner with Public Library e-Services

My son (21 years old)  reads the morning newspaper on his laptop.  I have no doubt that he would embrace an electronic reader (such as a Sony reader or the Amazon Kindle) and download his textbooks, leisure reading, etc.

So we need to seriously consider the future.  For many g enerations, we have been paper-dependent.  But are we on the cusp of the paperless wave if manufacturers can create e-readers that perform as well as their paper counterparts?

Check out this article: http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/25/sony-announces-daily-edition-reader/

It states: “We’re a little more geeked about the library finder service, which enables you to check out ebooks and other digital content from your local public library on any of the Readers — for free. The New York Public Library is the flashy public launch partner, but there are “thousands more” looped in through a partnership with Overdrive.com — check out the huge selection of top-tier content you can get through the Chicago Public Library, for example.”

Our customers have embraced Library to Go.  Will e-readers, such as Sony or Kindle, that are loaded with three or four titles (selected by our skilled professional staff, of course) be our future?

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Be Selfish, Promote Service!

Janice Banser sends this article from Library Journal to share:

“Is this hard in today’s tighter economic times? Absolutely. Time is at a premium, as is money, but right now, you, you, need to be selling yourself.

This isn’t about “the library,” but, as in“Reasons for Optimism” (LJ 5/15/09, p. 20), it is about you, the librarian, the individual, making yourself stand out. You need to be the most energetic, multitasking, forward-thinking, driven librarian you can because administrators, managers, and your fellow workers (who may be your future bosses) are all watching to see what you’re doing.”

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6663769.html

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Did you hear it on CBC?

A blog entitled “Awful  Library Books” has drawn the attention of Jian Ghomeshi at CBC’s Q program. The podcast is available at  http://cbc.ca/q

VIRL no doubt has had plenty of awful books – and perhaps there are still a few on our shelves.

So how about starting a blog about “Stuff Found in Library Books.”   Have any fascinating stories (or articles) to share?

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Reading Robot Revealed

Japanese researchers have developed a literate, child-bookreadrobotsized robot capable of reading old-fashioned paper-printed books. Ninomiya-kun, a one-meter-tall, 25-kilogram, aluminum-framed robot was developed at Waseda University’s Information, Production, and Systems Research Center. For full details, go to:

http://www.pinktentacle.com/2009/06/ninomiya-kun-book-reading-robot/

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Summer Reading Club in Comox Valley via Canada.com

Kudos to the Comox Valley branches – their promotion of the Summer Reading Club was picked up by Canada.com.  To read the article, go to: http://www.canada.com/Kids+summer+reading+club+party+kick/1735848/story.html

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Challenged materials

Lee Losell, Customer Service Librarian (casual), sends this article from the Guardian our way.

Christian group sues for right to burn gay teen novel

In a scene which appears to have been lifted straight out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a group of Christians in Wisconsin has launched a legal claim demanding the right to publicly burn a copy of a book for teenagers which they deem to be “explicitly vulgar, racial [sic], and anti-Christian”.

The offending book is Francesca Lia Block’s Baby Be-Bop, a young adult novel in which a boy, struggling with his homosexuality, is beaten up by a homophobic gang. The complaint, which according to the American Library Association also demands $120,000 (£72,000) in compensatory damages for being exposed to the book in a display at West Bend Community Memorial Library, was lodged by four men from the Christian Civil Liberties Union.

Their suit says that “the plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, claim their mental and emotional well-being was damaged by this book at the library,” and that it contains derogatory language that could “put one’s life in possible jeopardy, adults and children alike.”

“The word ‘faggot’ is very derogatory and slanderous to all males,” the suit continues. “Using the word ‘Nigger’ is dangerously offensive, disrespectful to all people. These words can permeate violence.” The suit also claims that the book “constitutes a hate crime, and that it degrades the community”.

“They’ve filed a claim against the city of West Bend and the city has to decide if it is valid,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, acting director of the ALA’s office for intellectual freedom. “Their insurance company is evaluating the claim, but I would be very surprised if they found any merit in it … Should they find any merit in this claim, we would certainly support the library in fighting it.”

The legal challenge follows a lengthy campaign by some West Bend residents to restrict access to teenage books they deemed sexually explicit from library shelves, which was eventually thrown out at the start of June.

“Obviously we were really pleased with the outcome to that – there was a unanimous vote to keep the books in the library and we thought the matter should be over,” said Larry Siems, director of the Freedom to Write programme at PEN America.

Siems said there was clearly “a bit of theatre” in the lawsuit which followed. “They’ve filed a lawsuit which has little possibility of going forward legally, and they’re asking for damages which include the right to burn a book. It does seem more to gain publicity than a real serious challenge.” But, he said, PEN remained very concerned about the impulse behind the claim. “This is a group of people trying aggressively to rid the library of these books and that’s very serious – it needs to be fought.”

The claimants, he said, “have a right to continue to express their views, and this in a way is a creative attempt to express those views”. But it’s “also a dangerous game when you’re talking about something like book burning, calling on the law to burn books. It’s certainly completely un-American, and if they paused, I think they would agree.”

It was not possible to reach the Christian Civil Liberties Union for comments.

Comments?

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