Once a month, giddy adults come to the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, IA, just before closing time, armed with Nerf blasters. Other patrons stare with curiosity and a little alarm. Once the building is closed, the quiet reference area explodes with noise, excitement, and foam darts. This is our favorite program: Nerf Capture the Flag, open to anyone 18 and older.
Here’s the good news: respondents to LJ’s annual materials survey of U.S. public libraries nationwide report that their materials budgets are up 3%, averaging $807,000 overall and ranging from $30,000 on average for libraries serving populations under 10,000 to $4,437,000 for libraries serving populations over 500,000. That’s the best budget showing since the $862,000 average in 2008 and a sign that libraries are catching up after the major economic downturn of 2007–08, though with prices now higher, budgets are still playing catch-up.
The pros and cons of community college for all, library marketing, the need for shooter safety, and more letters to the editor form the February 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.
Watson appointed Associate State Librarian for Ohio; Simons to direct Brown County Library, WI; Grayshaw named director, Middletown Public Library, PA, and more library people news from the February 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.
Speaking here and there, I’ve logged a few airline miles over the years and visited some pretty cool places. A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living.
Librarians and libraries are essential to discourse about intellectual freedoms. Now we have more work to do in light of violent efforts to curtail such rights, perhaps most notably the January 7 attack on the offices of Paris’s weekly Charlie Hebdo. For me, these events brought our work to date into high relief but also intensified a sense of urgency about what librarians can do to defend a richer understanding of the value of freedom of inquiry and expression.