Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

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Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:28 pm

Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times
Toronto libraries the place to be during recessions

Feb 11, 2009 04:30 AM
Trish Crawford
Living Reporter

After 60 years as a travelling salesman, Peter Cripps is enjoying his retirement staying right here at home.

His routine is simple: morning coffee (plus free refill) at the McDonald's in his neighbourhood, followed by a workout at the gym and an afternoon reading the newspapers at the S. Walter Stewart library near Coxwell and O'Connor Aves.

"I come here every day to read," says Cripps, bathed in the afternoon light as he sits at a built-in desk adjacent to the windows.

The library is his sanctuary, his entertainment and his school. http://www.thestar.com/living/article/585418

The main floor computer area of the Toronto Reference Library is occupied almost always for the Internet terminals. Yes, you need a library card for the terminals if they are not express ones. Some library systems have a card-free 15 minute Internet express terminal in most branches, so visitors who are not regular patrons can do a quick look-up online of information.

Smaller branches of the Toronto Public Library make great break stations when exploring neighbourhoods. Which ones have French materials, best collection of fiction paperbacks, best reading nooks, variety of newspapers and plenty of seating?
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:33 pm

Reference books slowly being phased out of libraries
As more reference titles move online, print reference collections in many Toronto collections are being reduced.
Published On Tue Jul 27
Jasmeet Sidhu, Staff Reporter
It’s a familiar undertaking for academics, bookworms and the occasionally curious: furiously scanning the library shelves, lugging out a thick, dusty volume, and thumbing your way through the pages until you’ve found your much sought after entry.

However, the act of reaching for that almanac, encyclopedia or dictionary in a local library may soon become a thing of the past, as several Toronto libraries move to reduce their print reference collections.

Susan Caron, manager of collection development for the Toronto Public Library says that the library’s physical collection of reference books has been getting smaller, as many reference titles discontinue their print editions for online editions.http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/840817--reference-books-slowly-being-phased-out-of-libraries

Online resources are becoming more the mainstream option, but even accessing a few library systems' catalogues reveals common databases chosen as reference material (mostly from the US, with a smattering of Canadian titles). Yes you can read the information online, but you miss some of the wonderful discoveries of just leafing through the pages for photos and reading some random items. It's the tactile as well as the visual experience.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:02 pm

Public libraries: An idea that can transform India
Published: Monday, Aug 16, 2010, 0:25 IST
By Abhay Vaidya | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

If education has been recognised as the fundamental transformative force that can literally pull generations out of the clutches of poverty, why then are our libraries the most neglected of public institutions?

Just as the mid-day meal scheme of 2002 has worked wonders in drawing children to school, so too can an innovative strategy in the form of interesting, well-stocked libraries make a difference to children in rural and municipal schools in India. Libraries, not with boring and badly printed government text-books full of spelling and grammatical mistakes, but with well-illustrated, colourful and pop-up books, scientific and educational toys.

While establishing the world’s largest radio telescope near Narayangaon, Pune, radio astronomer Govind Swarup had made a visit to the nearby village school at Khodad. Everything went well till he visited the school “library”. Some new books had been kept locked in a cupboard and children were meant to admire these books through the glass door. The books were not to be touched because “they would get spoilt”. http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/comment_public-libraries-an-idea-that-can-transform-india_1423898

Books do tend to show wear and tear from multiple patron loans. But ideas can outlast books so get the books circulating among the children.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:07 pm

The Toronto Public Library board will be voting on the 5.7% budget reductions which include fewer hours at branches and possibly 100 jobs cut. The City of Toronto sought all of its departments to reduce budgets by 10%.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1077932--library-board-will-reject-radical-cuts-vice-chair-says?bn=1

The Yorkville branch is in an old building with stairs in front on Cumberland St., a street of specialty shops, boutiques and small businesses. The branch is about 2 blocks away from the main reference library on Yonge St. The Yorkville branch is known for having a collection of French material, but it could just be added to the other branch's circulation. Since the reference library is getting renovated and it has event/meeting spaces, it might make sense to close Yorkville.

I don't see how eliminating computers would work as libraries have pushed electronic catalogue use, computer terminal bookings and Internet use.

In Windsor, Ontario the library board will ban certain adult sites from being accessed from library computers. The logic applied is that the public areas in libraries are frequented by various age groups and adult sites do not seem appropriate if viewed by patrons.
Not accessible at the Windsor Public Library computers

However, library systems with public access computers do have their terms of service (up on the login screen or just after logging in which requires acceptance) usually stating that other patrons may observe content on your terminal in use so to consider what content is accessed on-site.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby smitty on Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:30 pm

I think of all the times, in my past, that I use to get the loan of libary books. Fortunately being some time said bed bugs did not get on me nor into my bed.

I wonder if this could have defeated due to my bedroom being in a cold climate, enough once that the snow came in to cover my bed, the floor to my desk & even froze the India ink I used when sketching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes for the interest of anyone on this board the snow did not wake me up, but I woke up at the normal time in the morning to hear this strange crunching sound of the snow being on my bed.

Guess that is due to an old farm house built in 1912!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:55 pm

When I was visiting a heritage site, formerly a family home in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a rhyme was explained. Snug as a bug in a rug was reference to bed bugs in one's bedding. I used to think how cute an expression that was to mean cozy (unaware it was a bed bug situation). Rugs were terms used in the old days to refer to blankets or thick wovens used to keep warm in sleighs or rooms.

Snow in your room, Smitty, and you did not awake to notice? I think you had really warm bedding and that kept you asleep. I would have noticed snow and woken up the household! I remember being aware one morning that something was moving downstairs while I was in bed and told Mom. She found a bird in the basement (likely it had flown down the chimney and out the opening into the furnace room then into the basement. I had to open the back door and keep it locked in position while Mom hustled after the bird with a broom. Bird figured out where the light (outdoors) was and headed out.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:10 pm

War of words over library’s role
National Post Staff Nov 30, 2011 – 12:03 AM ET
Should the city library be your neighbourhood Blockbuster? Should it be well stocked with non-English materials? Budget chief Mike Del Grande posed the provocative questions on Tuesday to illustrate the kind of frank conversation he thinks the public library should have about how it spends its money. In a point-counterpoint, Mr. Del Grande makes his case, and Councillor Sarah Doucette, a member of the library board, offers her rebuttal. An excerpt of their comments is below.


Councillor Mike Del Grande, budget chief “I ask this question again: 25% of circulation budget is for DVDs and movies. Should the city library become a Blockbuster? Is that what we should be doing? Is that our core program, or is that program creep? What proportion of our budget should go for non-English movies and books? An argument can be made that this is what makes the city great, but I would dare say our common language is English, we’re spending tons of money for ESL, should we not have a discussion of how much of the library budget should go for non-English resources? ’Cause then we say we don’t have enough, if you don’t deal with your basic first, how can you be doing all these other things? Should I be able to go the library and borrow Pirates of the Caribbean, latest release, which every single library has? Should the library be closed on Sunday when we’re paying our people double time? If we are to be an international language library then let’s talk about how we do that, but right now we’re a computer centre, we’re in the movie business, we’re in the circulation business of non-English language and programming. My issue is: what’s our fundamentals? Now the library is becoming ‘the community centre.’ Is the library to be our community centre? What do we do with our community centres? We have to have some fundamental, frank discussions. By the way, the top borrowing of movies is in the Hindi language.” http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/30/war-of-words-over-librarys-role/

As someone had pointed out, the Blockbuster video store no longer exists in Canada. The public library does carry a selection of recently released DVDs from North America but they can have long waiting lists for copies. I'm rather glad there are other language films plus documentaries and how-to-do things videos. I did not know that Hindi language movies got the most circulation in the Toronto library system.

Libraries need some computers--not everyone can afford a computer or Internet cafe time. Having access to one in a library can allow a patron to look up things on breaks or after school and feel somewhat connected to happenings online. Also, many reference materials are online--try finding magazine back issues or encyclopedia volumes on a library shelf nowadays--not likely to exist.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:34 pm

Libraries that publish a monthly or bimonthly newsletter will have new classes, programs and readings planned for January. There could be an author visiting that you won't want to miss or a talk that appeals to an interest. Computer classes help all skill levels acquire easy in using the Internet or a popular software program.

I saw a brush painting demo listing. Sounds intriguing! I had viewed a couple of videos on brush painting on the Japanese cable program a few years ago. One artist managed to make the characters look like visual images by varying the brush pressure or angles.
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:20 pm

The Hamilton Public Library (in Ontario, Canada) has come up in Hamilton council's budget talks as one councillor is asking questions about increases to its budget.
A recent article mentions numbers in relation to library facility use and services/loans.
Councillors peppered library officials with questions and shared personal experiences at Thursday's meeting, which followed a social media storm caused by high-profile questions from Coun. Donna Skelly about the budget hike last week.

Those questions about the proposed 1.8 per cent hike and the validity of some library services spurred an online outpouring of support for the institution from residents.

Skelly prefaced her questions Thursday by calling herself "very supportive" of the library, adding she planned to ask questions about potential savings from all agencies and departments.

Several council members shared personal experiences with the library, including Aidan Johnson, who suggested being able to visit the "refuge" as a kid "saved my life."

Council won't vote on the operating budget, including the request put forward by the library, until February or March.

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/7087236-4-million-visits-surge-to-hamilton-s-22-library-branches/
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Re: Library a quiet sanctuary in hard times

Postby CielOnTap on Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:26 pm

There are library systems that do load out portable wi-fi hotspots to patrons wanting to have Internet access at home if they do not have an Internet Service Provider. A very touching story of how this item gave a bedridden woman a last chance to enjoy a jazz band performance at her spouse's memorial concert will make you glad that a library staffer was able to make the virtual visit possible on event day. The woman has passed away as of last month.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/03/05/pickering-residents-borrow-internet-with-a-library-card.html
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