Only July 10, the group Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), together with a coalition of scholars, authors, and preservationists, filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the New York Public Library (NYPL) to stop the demolition and removal of the stacks that support the Rose Reading Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, as part of a major redesign and renovation of the central library. The move follows a separate suit to halt the plan which was filed by different plaintiffs a week earlier, both with the New York Supreme Court.
Robust crowds showed for the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, which took place in Chicago June 28-July 2. Total attendance topped more than 26,000, dramatically higher than 2011 and 2012, which both came in at about 20,000. In addition to the greater total attendance, ALA’s recent initiative to condense programming into fewer, closer locations meant more bodies physically on site, garnering grateful shout-outs from several attendees on Twitter. The combination of more attendees and fewer competing venues also led to excellent traffic in the exhibits, several vendors told LJ, and a sense of intensity that attendees welcomed.
Cengage Learning reached an agreement with an ad hoc committee of first lien lenders to reduce approximately $4 billion of the company’s $5.8 billion of outstanding debt, the company announced yesterday. In conjunction with the deal, and as the company announced it might in May, Cengage and its domestic, wholly owned subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 in the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. (Cengage’s non-U.S. subsidiaries are not included in the filings and “will continue to operate in the ordinary course without interruption,” the company said in a statement.)
The American Library Association has launched a new website, ala.org/liberty, in response to the recent revelations about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The site offers a toolkit and other resources for libraries to convene forums and moderate community discussions on privacy. Many more resources will be added in the weeks to come, an ALA representative said.
Offering commonsensical, yet often overlooked, advice, this session proposed that non-users cannot effectively be reached by focus groups, surveys on the library website, or other such mechanisms that may be useful for capturing the opinions of active library patrons. To reach this other group, libraries must go where they already are: malls, daycare centers, coffee shops, commuter rail stations, houses of worship, farmer’s markets, senior programs, etc.
Joshua D. Sosin, an associate professor in Duke’s Department of Classical Studies, will become director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of the Duke University Libraries which is supported by a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sosin will be the first tenured faculty member at the university to have a joint appointment in the library and an academic department.
This fall a new national “library staff picks list” will debut under the name LibraryReads. All public library staff will be welcome to nominate new adult titles that they have read, loved, and are eager to share with patrons via the website libraryreads.org, which will go live today at noon. The ten most frequently recommended titles will be calculated monthly, and beginning this autumn, the resulting list will be publicized and promoted by librarians in branches as well as in patron newsletters, websites, etc.
LJ’s Design Institute (DI) in Cuyahoga County, OH, was itself an example of one of the major trends it planned to cover—flexibility. When Hurricane Sandy rendered New York–based LJ staff and many presenters incommunicado or unable to travel to the event on its originally scheduled date, architects and the event’s host, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), worked with LJ to pull off a rescheduled get-together only a month later on December 14, 2012. Attendees rearranged their schedules to provide a full house despite the short notice and approaching holiday season.
The situation Brian Bannon inherited when he took over as commissioner of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) on March 19, 2012, was, to say the least, daunting. Though he had a lot of experience as chief information officer for San Francisco’s public libraries (and previously with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Seattle Public Library), this was his first time in the hot seat, and he was following in the footsteps of 18-year veteran Mary Dempsey.