Thanks Paul Clark – Florida Libraries get funded for one more year

Florida decided to restore state aid to Florida’s public library system. This is good news. There’s also a quirky feel good story about one Florida librarian a systems librarian at Wilderness Coast Public Libraries, who dedicated his vacation to hanging around the Capitol which he did last year as well.

This year Paul spent days at the Florida Capitol, holding signs in suppport of State Aid funding for public libraries. At midnight on April 26 as funding was restored, Senator J.D. Alexander acknowledged that advocates could learn a lot from Paul’s example.

FLA blog mentions this, and Paul comments “Together, as a team we won a victory for the many patrons who rely on their libraries.” Thanks Paul, and Co.Longer story over at Tampabay.com and Library Journal.

Save the libraries roundup

So, I have some free time this week since I am supposed to be at PLA. My slides and my notes and links are online: Library 2.0 and Reader’s Advisory. I read about what the other speakers had to say, it sounds like it was a really lively pre-conference.

I came back to a facebook full of pleas for library assistance including the Save Libraries umbrella group for all the assorted campaigns. Apparently this is a very bad time to be a library. I’ve been meaning to do a wrap-up of some of the save the library campaigns. My apologies that it’s taken me so long to do this.

  • Charlotte & Mecklenburg County libraries [in NC, original home to 23 Things] may have to close 12 branches depending on what happens with the budgets. I was alerted to this via the $2 million in one week facebook group. Clicking on “learn more” on their website takes me to a donation form with a little more information but I think this budget page is most useful and this news release explains what’s really happening.
  • Los Angeles Public is in trouble again and their Save the Libraries website is back up and running with newly updated information and some good action items including sample letters you can send to the mayor. There is a meeting today. Facebook page has some more details.

  • Florida is looking at wiping out state aid for libraries. Coming from a state that has no state-level funding for libraries, I know what a mess this is going to be. I’ve also been to two different Florida library systems in the past few months. They’ve got a good thing going on, it would be a shame to screw it up. Blog is here. Here’s the FLA’s statement and list of links.
  • The New Jersey Library Association has posted a Critical Legislative Alert (pdf). There’s more information on their legislative page. Looks like budget cuts and furlough days for state library employees.
  • There’s a mostly-empty Save Libraries website up at LISHost. ALA has an undated page which may or may not be relevant. The pages it links to seem to be from 2009.
  • Ohio has a very attention-getting website at Save Ohio Libraries with links to some great tools by OPLIN including a find-a-library tool.
  • In a little bit of good news, it looks like after the hubub of the past few years Providence Public Library is doing okay.

If people want to add more in the comments, please do. Times are tough all over, but libraries are needed more n tough times, not less.

Florida Library History, circa 1998

I am going to Florida on Sunday, so I have Florida on my mind. I found out about the Florida Library History Project and was pleased to know the entire thing is available online as a big PDF. Some enterprising student could, with the permission of Kathleen de la Pena McCook get it online crosslinked and searchable.

The Florida Library History Project (FLHP) began in January 1998. Letters requesting histories were sent to all public libraries in Florida with follow-up letters sent after an initial response was received from the libraries. E-mail messages were sent out to FL-LIB listservs encouraging participation in the project. A poster session was presented by USF research assistant Catherine Jasper at the 1998 Florida Library Association (FLA) Annual Conference, an event that marked FLA’s 75th anniversary. At the end of this funding period, 89 library systems and organizations had provided histories. These have been compiled and are reproduced in this volume as submitted by participating libraries. Highlights include library founding, collections, services, budgets and expenditures, personnel, funding, survey results, technology, and developments.

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can your users “recreate” @ your library?

From The Librarian’s Rant comes this report from AL Online of a public library in Florida blocking MySpace because their Internet use policy prohibits using the computers for “chat-room access, e-mail, and recreational uses.” The actual policy goes so far as to prohibit “entertainment” use as well, so they block YouTube. Longer article here, please make sure to note the MySpace = predators assertion.

how responsible is the librarian for the internet?

Steven IMed me about the library director who was suspended with pay because of patrons — including a registered sex offender — allegedly viewing porn in the library. The City Commissioner is recommending that she be fired. I posted it to the Council list and was told the Washington office was aware of the situation. Rochelle wrote a few words about it, and now the entire affair has been slashdotted. The library has filters apparently, but they’re imperfect. The staff does walk-throughs of the computer areas but, apparently, they are imperfect also. Let’s also rememebr that this is Florida, the state that doesn’t let sex offenders into hurricane shelters and perhaps you’ll see what we’re up against.