There’s a lot going on in the news lately. It’s a busy time of year. Several people have sent me this image over facebook and elsewhere. What people may not know is that there is a library at Occupy Wall Street and one at Occupy San Francisco. And possibly more. Like many other temporary autonomous libraries, details are distributed and not always accurate. I suggest, for interested folks, keep an eye on the People’s Library blog (specifically this call for librarians if you want to get involved and these library ground practices) and get in touch with the folks from Radical Reference tonight if you’re in NYC. If anyone knows of either Occupy Ann Arbor or Occupy Milwaukee have libraries, please drop me a note. I’ll be on the road for a little bit.
Terrific long illustration of a day in the life of SFPL, by Wendy McNaughton.
“Sarah is a librarian of INES-National Institute of Deaf Education. I’ma librarian at UFRJ. We married and decided to make the official photos in two libraries. The first, the Royal Portuguese Reading. The second, the Library Technology Center of UFRJ. Both in Rio de Janeiro.” [translated from Portuguese]
“Show me a town that denies funding to a library, and I’ll show you a librarian who stays in the office. Show me a town that funds its library, and I’ll show you a librarian who takes donuts down to the fire department. Who goes down to the city hall and goes into offices asking if they need anything. You have to be proactive. It might come as a shock to some of you, but a large part of the success of that library is your personality and the way you treat people.”
The Boston Globe [via Associated Press] has a short article comparing bringing broadband to rural America to the rural electrification program which finally wired up the last of Vermont towns in the early 60s. The story is what you would expect, except that it’s a little maddening that the options offered are 1. wait for broadband and suffer with dial-up, or 2. nothing. The byline of East Burke points to a town with a teeny library that is open 12 hours per week. West Burke has a larger library but it’s still not large enough to have a website. According to the VT Department of Libraries’ statistics it doesn’t have a single public access computer. Lyndon is the closest town with high speed at their library. Not too far, but still several miles.
Doing a quick autofilter on the DoL’s list shows 183 public libraries in the state of Vermont. Ten have dial-up internet access. Thirteen have nothing. Seventy-five libraries have no wireless internet access. It’s possible I’m reading the statistics wrong, but this is fewer libraries with internet than in 2009. I sure hope I am reading the charts wrong.
Dial-up user Val Houde knows this as well as anybody. After moving here four years ago, the 51-year-old mother of four took a correspondence course for medical transcription, hoping to work from home. She plunked down $800, took the course, then found out the software wasnâ€™t compatible with dial-up Internet, the only kind available to her.
Selling items on eBay, watching videos, playing games online? Forget it. The connection from her home computer is so slow, her online life is one of delays, degraded quality, and â€œbufferingâ€™â€™ warning messages. So she waits until the day a provider extends broadband to her house.