Posts Tagged: libraries

When the Libraries Got Desegregated

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While Brown vs. Board of education immortalized schools as the site where the historic shift to desegregation happened, few would remember the other locales of everyday life that were also once segregated spaces. For Lit Hub, Cynthia R. Greenlee writes on the importance of libraries being desegregated and the fights that had to be fought to make access to libraries free and equal for all.

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Gimme Gimme JSTOR

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The question of access continues to plague the academic community—if academia is truly about knowledge and discovery, why are there still so many barriers to the unfettered sharing of information? The architects of digital “pirate libraries” around the world are trying to resolve that contradiction, violating copyright laws to bring expensive scholarly materials to the researchers (and data-hungry laypeople) who need them.

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The Psychic Sasquatch

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Most libraries have limited physical shelf space, so if they want to purchase new books for their collections, often they have to remove some old ones. Two librarians, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, know this can be a tough pill for book lovers to swallow, so they’ve been working to bring attention to the issue through their blog, Awful Library Books:

They often feature books with outlandish titles, like “Little Corpuscle,” a children’s book starring a dancing red blood cell; “Enlarging Is Thrilling,” a how-to about—you guessed it—film photography; and “God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents.”

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Better Funding Boosts Library Usage

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Library use has been declining, but that decline probably isn’t due to a decreasing interest in reading. Plenty of pundits blame the rise of digital technology, but even libraries that offer digital services like ebook lending have seen declines. The real culprit is the same crisis afflicting all of American infrastructure: a lack of investment.

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MLS vs. NYC

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Former librarian Michelle Anne Schingler is tired of people questioning her credentials. At Book Riot, she argues that an MLS isn’t required for the most important parts of a librarian’s job:

Library theory isn’t at the fore when you’re helping someone navigate the computer for an online application, or when you’re putting together a display to feature underloved books.

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The Many Libraries of the New York Public Library

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Not every library can be a grand palace. Consider for a moment the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library, a far less glamorous workhorse than the more famous cathedral of books located at Bryant Park. Over at the New Yorker, Ada Calhoun recounts her experiences in some of the smaller library branches around the city.

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The Library in a City’s Time of Crisis

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Libraries are major hubs that serve the community, and even more so in times when people are looking for help. Over at the Atlantic, Deborah Fallows details the efforts to preserve the San Bernardino library, which has seen an increased sense of community after the tragic shootings last year:

When I asked people what felt different in [San Bernardino], some of the language was new.

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No More Book Shaming

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It’s no secret that libraries have had a rocky relationship with publishers since the ebook boom began in the late aughts. Publisher’s Weekly suggests three ways the two could work to heal the rift, but one of the suggestions is surprising: librarians need to stop “book shaming”:

What today’s library elite seems to forget is that reading is a maker activity—and a profound one.

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Inside the Secrets of NYPL’s Underground Stacks

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The New York Public Library holds more than 16 million volumes, making it the 4th largest library in the United States. Many of those volumes are stored in the Milstein stacks, two levels of the library directly under Bryant Park. To maximize the storage capacity of these facilities and allow for patrons in the main library above ground to request volumes on site, the NYPL turns to some interesting technology.

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