Category Archives: Public Libraries

The New York Public Library Reboot

I’ve really wanted to stay out of this.

First, I don’t expect to be alive to ever see its completion, so I figured what they’re up to is for the benefit of the next generations, not me.

Second, I think every damned book should be digitized so they can be made available instantly — even if it’s stupidly restricted to having to be at a NYPL branch for access.

Third, the entire thing has been a mess and it’s become so complex that I really don’t want to have to devote any of my remaining time on it.

However, today I was pointed to this post by @tuphlos, a librarian in another city: A Tour of the NYPL Stacks. And it makes a good case for slamming the brakes on the entire reboot idea.

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Corporateers Loot NY’s Public Libraries

Queens Library president gets $390G salary, luxe office makeover while shedding 130 jobs

… Galante’s eye-popping salary last year of $391,594 — an increase of $12,000 from the previous year.

Some might ask: Why is the director of a borough library system, one that’s always menaced by budget cuts, paid more than the mayor ($225,000), the schools chancellor ($220,000) or the MTA chairman ($350,000)?

And:

Linda Johnson, head of the Brooklyn Public Library, made $250,000 last year. Paul LeClerc, the former head of the New York Public Library, made $711,114 in 2011, the most recent year available, according to seethroughny.com. The current CEO is Anthony Marks.

“We need high salaries to attract the best people.”

That is such a crock of shit.

The only people who argue that are the corporateers. A Certain Class of people who Get Over all the time.

It’s obscene that while the public library systems of New York struggle with constrained budgets at a time of increased use, the people at the top are living like it’s the Gilded Age.

Slash their salaries by three-fourths. If they can’t do the job and live within that salary, let them resign. I’m sure there are many qualified librarians who could handle their job and would be glad at the salary increase.

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New York Public Library Does YouTube Livestream

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Click = big

Screensnap taken minutes ago.

I was surprised at how smooth the video was, unlike my regular atrocious experience with YouTube.

If you want to tune in, click.

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MS FND IN A LBRY

My first full-time boss gave me a copy of this story to read back in 1981. Whoa. Talk about an eye-opener!

I managed to lose my copy long ago. And couldn’t remember the title. And couldn’t remember the writer. Neither could he. Keening ensued.

Today, thanks to Mathematical Fiction, I was finally reunited with MS FND IN A LBRY.

Which is something every single one of you should read!

How I love the Internet!!

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Rejecting A Carnegie Library

From a 1903 issue of Appleton’s Magazine:

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Free Libraries Equal Free Minds

I found this in a 1905 issue of Every Where Magazine:

EveryWhere190548b

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It Burns Books For Fuel

First Look: New High-Tech NYPD Helicopter Takes The Fight To The Terrorists

The helicopter, a Bell 412EP, was funded with federal port security money and can carry up to 10 people, including a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, NYPD SCUBA divers or Emergency Services Unit officers. It weighs 7,000 pounds, can travel 150 mph and costs $9.8 million, plus it carries another $4 million worth of sensitive equipment.

What’s not being told: How much fuel does that eat every day?

… the counter-terrorism patrol executed several times a day by the NYPD takes them off the beaten path.

While our bastard Mayor slowly strangles the budget of the New York Public Library, the NYPD gets a new toy to play with and children have access to fewer books.

Damn right it burns books for fuel!

What the hell is going to be left to protect in New York City when all of the budget is going to “protecting” it?

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Once Again It’s Time To Defend The New York Public Library

The NYPL makes it easy to send a letter to a local representative at its site.

They also provide form letter text.

But I would have none of that. I deleted it and wrote this:

So once again the Mayor is trying to destroy the New York Public Library system.

After all, what does he care? He’s a rich old man who can buy anything he wants.

But for the rest of us who don’t have more than a billion dollars in the bank, the NYPL is the lifeblood of our civil society.

It provides an assortment of media for free lending and is also the place to turn to for information — because contrary to popular perception, the Internet does not have everything.

And, believe it or not, it’s also a place someone can quickly pop into when restroom facilities are needed (until CitiCorp does CitiToilet and charges five bucks for such relief).

Cutting the budget of the NYPL is an act of Bloomberg’s egobaggery that once again should be defeated.

Mayors come and go — and I will be so glad to see this one go! — but the NYPL is forever.

The sooner Prickberg is gone from office, the better.

We go through this every year now.

Meanwhile, I’d like to know what new Police State toys the NYPD will be getting in its new budget so it can continue to suppress dissent.

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1915: The Third Bookmobile

The Square Deal from 1915:

This one made it into Wikipedia too.

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Unglue.it Could Save Public Libraries

Unglue.it Crowdfunds Unlimited Licenses for Beloved E-books

This, for example, is what he means by “unglue,” the concept that lies at the heart of Gluejar: “unglue (v.t.) For an author or publisher to accept a fixed amount of money from the public for its unlimited use of an e-book.”

Hellman wants us to consider, in other words, a world in which those who hold the rights to books agree to license them through a Creative Commons arrangement that protects author/publisher copyrights, enables the rights holders to maintain or pursue additional licensing agreements, and at the same time creates an environment in which public funding helps “unglue” the books for digital distribution.

Crowdfunding — something already in play within organizations as diverse as the Nature Conservancy, NPR, and Kickstarter — provides the fiscal fuel, making sure that both the creators of the book and Gluejar get compensated for their efforts.

1) Print publishing now has a cash-out Exit Strategy if this comes to pass.

2) Writers dumped by their publishers could have a new way to reach new readers. Think of their books so freely available, not locked into any one format, free from all public libraries too.

3) What if all public libraries pooled into one fund each year 1-2% of their budgets for this? They could compile a list of books they’d like to get and have their patrons vote for them. Also, patrons could also add to the fund out of their own pockets. Such active participation in public libraries could save them.

4) Those who hold rights to currently not-in-e and out-of-print books could have a way to bring them back to life by having the market decide their value up-front.

There are many, many more implications to this. Those are off the top of my head. But this has to be the most exciting books-related proposal I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s the first thing that has given me hope for both books and especially for public libraries.

I’d like to see this happen.

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Filed under Books: Internet, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Public Libraries, Rights, Writers