Media perception of library service: Canada vs. U.S.

It is interesting, though perhaps not all that informative, to compare the recent article in the Toronto Star, heralding a new, golden age for the Toronto Public Library with the Times article more than a year ago regarding the public library in Maplewood, N.J.  Soon after the article was published, Maplewood relented under the pressure by the American Library Association, parents, teachers, and youth advocates of every stripe to examine ways in which Library staff, and the town of Maplewood itself may have inadvertantly contributed to a noisy, chaotic environment.  Efforts were made by the entire community to start getting serious about the public services in offers to its teens. 

What both success stories illustrate is the power of youth participation in creating an environment that is at once fun, culturally rich and mutually supportive.  One year later, it would be nice to see the Times follow up on its own story, but perhaps it is enough that the effect of the original report was to alert academics and consultants to a need for their services.

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2 responses to “Media perception of library service: Canada vs. U.S.

  1. speaking of Toronto, Toronto Star, libraries, and youth, what about this article?:

    http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2006/11/different-way-to-reach-out-to.html

  2. Yeah, it kind of stings to see this, because in Brooklyn we’ve a lot of opportunities to re-make library space for one evening, to showcase rock bands, but there doesn’t seem to be enough energy around the whole cause of attracting Gen-Xers to the library to actually do it. It is hard work. Harry and the Potters did play on the newly constructed plaza in front of Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza library, but you almost want something a bit less obvious and real. A real rock show in the library!!

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