Category Archives: Libraries

Cycling for Libraries starts today.

What a cool idea!  Check out the great ‘homework’ to be undertaken by some of the CFL participants.

It seems that cycling and library patronage are two sustainable activities that perfectly together.  The radical mission of public libraries – to provide free and open access to all comers has its active partner in cycling which makes our roads more democratic and safer.

So, what would your local ‘Cycling for Libraries’ event look like?


Librarian friends in the blogosphere.

A big congratulations to my friend Emily for getting so much love and linkage from Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.   Personally, I, like all librarians, look forward to reading the book (no, I haven’t read it yet) and then giving it to all of my non-librarian friends.


Crap [book] – by Erin Conley, Karen Macklin, and Jake Miller

Call No. 305.235 (Young Adult)
ISBN: 978-0979017353
Price: $8.95
Find it at your library [WorldCat]

Buy it at

I was thumbing through the shelves today and came upon this title, another great one for Zest Books. As usual, the intended audience is teenagers, but, as I’ve been feeling a bit down lately, the book couldn’t have revealed itself to me at a better time or in a better format.  This pocket-sized volume would be great to put into your back pocket and whip out the moment someone starts to annoy you.  Simple, pithy pearls of wisdom about dealing with all kinds of crap in one’s life are offset with the authors’ quirky humor.   Readers will also appreciate the random insertions of facts about the actual “number 2”, a twist that helps put it all into perspective.

Making Public Libraries modern again

Recently a discussion about the future of public libraries took place in Philadelphia, a city that has seen its share of library closures in the past year.  Nate Hill, a colleague of mine from Brooklyn Public Library, moderated the discussion and blogged about it at the PLA blog.

Some interesting thoughts from Nate as to what is holding public libraries back from being as useful in our modern lives as they ought to be.  On the one hand, the value of the Book has always been pretty much assured.  Books are the format that libraries of all stripes – academic, research, and public – deal with the most.  In a time such as this of such rapid technological change and upheaval, we cannot help but re-examine the Book as a ‘device’, and quite a good one considering how long the format has been used by people from all walks of life to enjoy stories and learn new facts.  Looking at books as a device (and as Nate points out, up until now the premier marketing tool in selling the services of the Public Library)  we can both reassure book lovers that their beloved format is not at all dead, and put all devices of high- and low-technology in their proper perspective.  Yes, some devices cost more money than others but cost has little to do with usefulness or ease of use.

Maybe it is time for libraries and librarians on our own to collaborate on a format that is durable, cost effective, easy-to-use, and heck, even stylish.  Instead of looking to the marketplace for the device that suits us, why not collaborate on creating our own device?  Criteria one would be that this device would not be developed to supplant the traditional printed format, but enhance it, both by giving users of  libraries a choice as to how to take their reading material, and by allowing more space for material that is still more enjoyable  or useful when taken in on the printed page.

Given what we know about the limitations of the book format, the technologies that we now have at our disposal, and the need to continue the mission of the Public Library as a place that contains information for learning and recreation for all, I expect to hear more about librarians collaborating on projects that seek to develop a new device or series of devices that are portable, durable, versatile, and most of all, cheap.   The time is now to start thinking of ways that we can make use of current technologies in their services to benefit the greatest number of people in their city or town for the lowest cost.

NYPL on Flickr Commons

New York Public Library now has 1,300 images from various collections on Flickr. Pretty cool!

Questions about NYPL – or should we call it “MYPL” now?

photo credit: InfiniteJeff on flickr

Earlier this week, NYPL head, Paul LeClerc was asked questions by Times readers about New York Public Library.  Primary focus was placed on the current state of the collections, the buildings, and the hours of operation at the research facilities and the neighborhood branches.

Of the relocation of Teen Central, LeClerc says:

“Teen Central will move from its temporary location in the Columbus
Branch to our new Grand Central Branch, at 135 East 46th Street, when
it opens this spring. The 13,000-square-foot site will provide access
to a number of collections that were at the Donnell Library Center…”

Cool Rube Golderg Domino Cascades at Brooklyn Library


Originally uploaded by BCAP@The Library

I was torn about whether to point to the the Manga drawings or to these awesome videos of domino cascades.

Either way, readers can go to the unofficial Flickr page of the BPL youth wing Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP) @ BPL Flickr page and check out the very cool result of some teamwork and ingenuity, as well as some other nice arts & crafts.

Thanks, Lana!