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Libraries and Income Inequality

Writing in the Huffington Post last week, Julie Sandorf, President of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, called for increased funding for New York City’s public libraries. Her impassioned appeal is applicable to public libraries everywhere:

“One can make a compelling case that no institution in New York City plays a more vital role in addressing income inequality than our libraries, which provide all New Yorkers with access to materials and services – including literacy itself – that they can use to improve their lives. Increasingly, they also provide advice and assistance in finding a job, becoming an entrepreneur, and starting a business.”

“A report titled ‘Branches of Opportunity,’ published by the Center for an Urban Future last year, found that over the past decade circulation at New York City libraries has increased by 59 percent, program attendance by 40 percent, and program sessions by 27 percent while City funding has declined by 8 percent. Perhaps surprisingly in a digital age, the need for libraries has only expanded.”

Best Fiction of 2014

Here are the top five picks of the editors of The New York Times Book Review:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr        Doerr’s novel follows two characters whose paths intersect in the waning days of World War II: an orphaned engineering prodigy recruited into the Nazi ranks, and a blind French girl who joins the Resistance.

Dept. Of Speculation  by Jenny Offill        Offill’s novel assembles fragments, observations, meditations and different points of view to chart the course of a troubled marriage.

Euphoria   by Lily King    In 1933, the anthropologist Margaret Mead took a field trip to the Sepik River in New Guinea with her second husband; they met and collaborated with the man who would become her third.

Family Life  by Akhil Sharma       Sharma tells the story of a family that immigrates from India to Queens, and has just begun to build a new life when the elder son suffers brain damage in a swimming pool accident.

 Redeployment  by Phil Klay      Klay — a former Marine who served in Iraq — shows what happens when young, heavily armed Americans collide with a fractured and deeply foreign country few of them even remotely understand.

Tuesday’s Tip — Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

There is a recent trend in academia to offer “college without walls”.  Major academic institutions (including MIT, Harvard, Yale and renowned international universities) offer the public FREE access to many of their classes and course materials.  Choose your favorite subject and have a look at what’s available!          Tuesday’s Tip — December 9, 2014 (MOOCs)

Univ Michigan  (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor–One of the participating institutions)

Library is an Oasis of Calm in Ferguson

The Ferguson Public Library is just a block away from the center of demonstrations at the Ferguson Police Department. NPR reports that when violent protests led to the burning of more than a dozen businesses and the uncertainty caused schools to close, the library stayed open.

It has become a quiet refuge for adults and children alike in this St. Louis suburb. And the nation has taken notice. The outpouring of support for the library has reached “orders of magnitude” more than any previous amount, says library Director Scott Bonner. He’s the only full-time librarian there — and he started his job in July, just weeks before the town became an internationally known name. Bonner says the donations may allow him to hire another person to help. Since the latest unrest began Monday night, more than $175,000 has poured in.

For community leaders and business owners, the library has become a place to convene. “Small Business Administration came in and did staging of emergency loans out of the library,” Bonner says.

Tuesday’s Tip — Air Travel Web Sites

Holiday time means travel time for many who are logging air miles to reunite with their far-flung families, and enjoy chestnut stuffing, eggnog, turkey, ham or tofurky.  In this week’s Tip,  you’ll find a whole slew of resources to help make your travels more economical and efficient.   Tuesday’s Tip — November 25, 2014 (Air Travel Web Sites)

Tuesday’s Tip — Dates for Serial Titles in the Online Catalog

Serials in our collections are not just magazines.  Periodicals can be anything that is issued periodically, so searching for the most current issue can be a bit more confusing than looking for a new edition of a book.  This week’s Tip tries to point out the pitfalls, and steer you to more success when searching for new materials!  Tuesday’s Tip — November 4, 2014 (Periodical and Serials– Dates in the Catalog)

Tuesday’s Tip — Mental Illness Awareness Week–NAMI & Suicide Prevention

As the nation observes Mental Illness Awareness Week, the Library District would like to share some resources to help the mentally ill and their families in our communities lead the best lives they can.  The organizations highlighted in this week’s Tip, can lead people who need it to help and treatment that can be life-saving.  Please share this Tip with anyone you know could benefit from these resources.  Tuesday’s Tip — October 7, 2014 (Mental Illness Awareness Week)