February 16, 2018

Feedback: Letters to LJ, September 1, 2017 Issue

“The [Aarhus] branch selected a project to create teen space and worked with neighborhood teens. It was inspiring and produced…feelings of ownership”

Community project

I also had the opportunity to attend Next Library and saw the results of the philosophy Rebecca T. Miller writes about (“Asking for More”). One Aarhus branch library set aside funds for the express purpose of creating a community-created improvement. After receiving many suggestions, the branch selected a project to create teen space and worked with neighborhood teens. It was inspiring and produced results in higher participation and feelings of ownership.

—Maxine Bleiweis, Maxine Bleiweis & ­Assocs., Bridgeport, CT

Funding saved

I am so grateful to see Bob Warburton’s “Public Outcry Saves Saskatchewan Funds” in a respected library journal. As an educator who followed the progress reports and cheered on the library workers in my home province, from next door in Alberta, I was encouraged by the examples of professionalism, effective research, and creative social action using both social media and local gatherings. The results and the clear thinking and care leading up to the turnaround (at least for this year) rallied those who love libraries and the services and sense of community they protect and build. This action gave courage to those, both in Saskatchewan and farther afield, who may have become disillusioned about speaking up or working with others to hold municipal or provincial or federal policymakers accountable when it comes to citizen involvement in decision-making. Thank you to all those involved in taking a stand for the One Card system and regional and city library services and staffing in remarkable Saskatchewan. One spin-off was a greater understanding across the province of what librarians and library staff and volunteers actually do to help educate and sustain community.

—Ruth Anderson Donovan, Freelance Writer, Arts Educator, and former School Library Staff, Edmonton, Alta.

Patron recruited

John Berry’s “Hiring Is Recruiting” is a great column. Made me think of all the ways folks decide to join this profession. For many of us, it was as patrons, myself included. Looking back, I wish I had had the chance to work in our small-town library while I was in high school. It would have been a more direct route than the circuitous one I traveled to find my way to librarianship. Either way, though, it is a joy to find one’s way however one does and join this profession.

—Name withheld

Storm documentary

Everything Is Different Now (Video Reviews, LJ 7/17, p. 48) is my documentary about Super­storm Sandy and post-Sandy experiences…. In October 2012, Sandy ambushed the Atlantic Coast of the United States and hit with particular cruelty Rockaway, the only barrier island in New York City…. I appreciate the reviewer’s words describing the extraordinary resilience in Rockaway that the film documents…. The film also raises pressing issues of public policy. Riveting stories of diverse and charismatic artists, surfers, restaurateurs, and longtime Rockawayans are grounded by the eloquent scientific commentary of Princeton physicist Michael Oppenheimer, who’s called the film “­superb.” Writer Phillip ­Lopate says the documentary “charts the metamor­phosis of neighborhood to community,” and Independent Film Quarterly calls it “important on many levels,” with a “sound track [that is] excellent.”

The tension between human beings’ love for beaches and the reality of global warming and rising seas drives the narrative and should leave the viewer feeling both intoxicated by Rockaway’s beauty, where the industrial and the natural intertwine…and engaged with the quandary of how we humans will live with the reality of rising sea levels. Everything Is Different Now…not only entertains but also helps viewers grapple with critical public policy ­issues….

—Jennifer Callahan, New York


The word whom was applied incorrectly to the Verdict of ­Joseph Kanon’s Defectors (LJ 4/15/17, p. 76). The reviewer wrote, “Fans of intelligent suspense…will enjoy trying to figure out who is deceiving whom.” In the Self-Help section, the bibliographic header for Patrice Banks’s Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box (LJ 7/17, p. 63) misidentified the author as Patricia Banks. In the same issue, p. 85, the title of Thomas Graham’s new book has been updated to Silent Films in St. Augustine.

This article was published in Library Journal's September 1, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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