I’ve enjoyed these monthly link ups and this month it’s all about libraries! I did work in a library at the reference desk for a year so I have a soft spot for libraries. At least it was a soft spot before Gage came along, now it’s a big, sticky, mushy spot. My county has 28 branches, all share materials so if I find a book online and it’s at another library they will send it over within a few days. So convenient! And in addition to the usual things I can check out, our county also offers TOYS to check out! How awesome is that? When I looked through the binder of what was available I found a training potty! I’m not sure if that’s something to be shared, LOL.
The absolute best thing about libraries is that they are so kid friendly. Starting next week our local library is offering 3 different storytimes each week for Gage’s age group. We live within 10 or 15 minutes of 3 branches and we attend story times at 2 of them and I plan on checking out the third because I’ve been told they provide coffee for the parents :)
Our library also has the best kids area. Wanna see his favorite place at the library?
There were no storytimes in August so they used the big room to set up a bank exhibit for kids. There were educational, interactive activities, but lots of them included balls and such so the smaller kids could have fun too. I think you can see a girl pretending to be a teller. Cute, right?
Libraries are a lifesaver for mothers looking to entertain their kids. I usually order what I want online so it’s waiting for me on a shelf up front when Gage is ready to go. Our library rocks (much like Cleveland)!
In tight economic times, with libraries sliding farther and farther down the list of priorities, we risk the loss if their ideals, intelligence, and knowledge, not to mention their commitment to access for all-librarians consider free access to information the foundation od democracy, and they’re right. Librarians are essential players in the information revolution because they level that field. They enable those without money or education to read and learn the same things as the billionaire and the Ph.D. In prosperous libraries, they loan out laptops; in strapped ones, they dole out half hours of computer time, They are the little “d” democrats of the computer age who keep the rest of us wired.
This book pays homage to librarian hot shots, like Judith King who launched Banned Book Week, to everyday librarian bloggers. It’s all about how the role of the librarian is changing but just as important in this new digital world. Libraries themselves are changing. Johnson mentioned one library in particular that checked out laptops and GPS systems. How cool is that?
The most inspirational chapter to me was the one about the four librarians who stood up to the FBI and the Patriot Act (Relevent since today the House failed to extend it. Score one for the librarians). These librarians were bullied by the government and could have easily caved and gave them the information they wanted, but patron rights were important to them. The FBI wanted to know the name of the patron who was using a specific computer at a certain time but they did not have a warrant. I applaud these librarians who represent the best ideal of librarians. My local library now forces us to use our library card to log into internet time which makes me mad. Can there really be no privacy any more, anywhere? And the name the FBI wanted? Someone who had sent an anonymous tip that was no longer relevent. And yet they still wasted years of these librarian’s time and the court’s time.
Anyway, I also loved the behind the scenes look at the New York Public Library. It’s amazing what is there and how they face the same budget crunch as every other library. It almost seemed a little sad at how much it is changing to try to draw new patrons, but that is the future.
I worked for a year at the reference desk of a local library, so this book was preaching to the choir. I love libraries and do think they serve an important purpose in a free society. I think they are too often given cuts in poor economic times when people need their services the most. I briefly flirted with the idea of going back to school and getting a Library Science degree, but ultimately chose not to. This book has reminded me of how important a job it is and how fulfilling it can be and now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go ahead and look into that degree. Time will tell.
A few of the chapters had me skimming a bit (I really did not care about the Second Life online game which got a lot of attention), but this is a must read for any library user.
This book was sent to me as part of the TLC book tour. Visit the other bloggers who read and reviewed this book.
Tuesday, January 25th: Reading Through Life
Thursday, January 27th: Library Queue
Monday, January 31st: 1330v
Tuesday, February 1st: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books
Wednesday, February 2nd: Man of La Book
Monday, February 7th: Boarding in My Forties
Tuesday, February 15th: Books Like Breathing
Wednesday, February 16th: Proud Book Nerd
Friday, February 18th: A Fanatic’s Book Blog
I wrote a post on Sarah Palin’s involvement/noninvolement in banning books as mayor of Wasilla. I thought it would be a timely post during Banned Book week and on the eve of the Vice-Presidential debates, but after reading it was not sure if I wanted to open up a political can of worms on my tame book blog.
I am editing myself to this…Palin did not ban books. Palin may have wanted to ban books, but it never progressed that far. This issue is very important to me because there is no more basic freedom than the access to information. I think the fact that it was brought up as an issue is a good thing. I think it made more people aware that libraries are always fighting off the threat of censorship and we all need to be aware of the dangers of erasing opinions that are not our own.
“Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance required is interest.” -Lady Bird Johnson
Last week the Cleveland Plain Dealer did a story about the increased use of the local libraries. Some already know everything that libraries have to offer, while some think there are just lots of books. If you haven’t been to your local library lately I suggest that you visit soon and see what’s there. There are books (surely), movies (of course), cds of music and books (without a doubt), but you will also find a multitude of other things. There are programs for adults and kids, computers to use for free, paid subscriptions to online websites, old magazines (great to get ideas if you are renovating a room in your house like me), games…the list goes on and on. And if you are having trouble finding what you’re looking for go to the reference desk and ask for help (maybe the person helping you will be me!).
Anyway, it is a great way for you and your family to spend an hour or two and it will also save you money. And since your tax dollars are already funding the library, why not take advantage of everything it has to offer. I saw a man come in today, sit down at a table, pull out his own book to read, and stay for a few hours enjoying the library without ever checking out a book. That is a dedicated patron!
“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” -Jorge Luis Borges