Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Internet Report

There is a New Pew Internet report - looking at online usage.

The summary (provided by Pew) of the report is below - or you can follow the link below to read the full report.

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the "Net Generation," internet users
in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the
most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online.
Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online.
And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to
email (although teens might point out that this is proof that email is for old

The web continues to be populated largely by younger generations, as over half
of the adult internet population is between 18 and 44 years old. But larger
percentages of older generations are online now than in the past, and they are
doing more activities online, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet
& American Life Project surveys taken from 2006-2008.

Teens and Generation Y (internet users age 18-32) are the most likely groups
to use the internet for entertainment and for communicating with friends and
family. These younger generations are significantly more likely than their
older counterparts to seek entertainment through online videos, online games,
and virtual worlds, and they are also more likely to download music to listen
to later. Internet users ages 12-32 are more likely than older users to read
other people's blogs and to write their own; they are also considerably more
likely than older generations to use social networking sites and to create
profiles on those sites.

Compared with teens and Generation Y, older generations use the internet less
for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches,
emailing, and buying products. In particular, older internet users are
significantly more likely than younger generations to look online for health
information. Health questions drive internet users age 73 and older to the
internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y users, outpacing teens
by a significant margin. Researching health information is the third most
popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online

For the full report please visit:

Report Available Here

Is this the First Children's Librarian?

The Lion and the Mouse
The battle that reshaped children’s literature.
by Jill Lepore
July 21, 2008 The New Yorker
Jill Lepore writes about how she got to the bottom of the “Stuart Little” battle

Anne Carroll Moore was born long ago but not so far away, in Limerick, Maine, in 1871. She had a horse named Pocahontas, a father who read to her from Aesop’s Fables, and a grandmother with no small fondness for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Annie, whose taste ran to “Little Women,” was a reader and a runt. Her seven older brothers called her Shrimp. In 1895, when she was twenty-four, she moved to New York, where she more or less invented the children’s library.

At the time, you had to be fourteen, and a boy, to get into the Astor Library, which opened in 1854, the same year as the Boston Public Library, the country’s first publicly funded city library, where you had to be sixteen. Even if you got inside, the librarians would shush you, carping about how the “young fry” read nothing but “the trashy”: Scott, Cooper, and Dickens (one century’s garbage being, as ever, another century’s Great Books). Samuel Tilden, who left $2.4 million to establish a free library in New York, nearly changed his mind when he found out that ninety per cent of the books checked out of the Boston Public Library were fiction. Meanwhile, libraries were popping up in American cities and towns like crocuses at first melt. Between 1881 and 1917, Andrew Carnegie underwrote the construction of more than sixteen hundred public libraries in the United States, buildings from which children were routinely turned away, because they needed to be protected from morally corrupting books, especially novels. In 1894, at the annual meeting of the American Library Association, the Milwaukee Public Library’s Lutie Stearns read a “Report on the Reading of the Young.” What if libraries were to set aside special books for children, Stearns wondered, shelved in separate rooms for children, staffed by librarians who actually liked children?

In 1896, Anne Carroll Moore was given the task of running just such an experiment, the Children’s Library of the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, built at a time when the Brooklyn schools had a policy that “children below the third grade do not read well enough to profit from the use of library books.” Moore toured settlement houses and kindergartens (also a new thing), and made a list of what she needed: tables and chairs sized for children; plants, especially ones with flowers; art work; and very good books. The kids lined up around the block.

The cornerstone of the New York Public Library was laid in 1902, at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue. Four years later, after the library’s directors established a Department of Work with Children, they hired Moore to serve as its superintendent, a position in which she not only oversaw the children’s programs at all the branch libraries but also planned the Central Children’s Room. After the library opened, in 1911, its Children’s Room became a pint-sized paradise, with its pots of pansies and pussy willows and oak tables and coveted window seats, so low to the floor that even the shortest legs didn’t dangle.

from the issuecartoon banke-mail thisMuch of what Moore did in that room had never been done before, or half as well. She brought in storytellers and, in her first year, organized two hundred story hours (and ten times as many two years later). She compiled a list of twenty-five hundred standard titles in children’s literature. She won the right to grant borrowing privileges to children; by 1913, children’s books accounted for a third of all the volumes borrowed from New York’s branch libraries. Against the prevailing sentiment of the day, she believed that her job was to give “to the child of foreign parentage a feeling of pride in the beautiful things of the country his parents have left.” She celebrated the holidays of immigrants (reading Irish poetry aloud, for instance, on St. Patrick’s Day) and stocked the shelves with books in French, German, Russian, and Swedish. In 1924, she hired the African-American writer Nella Larsen to head the Children’s Room in Harlem. In each of the library’s branches, Moore abolished age restrictions. Down came the “Silence” signs, up went framed prints of the work of children’s-book illustrators. “Do not expect or demand perfect quiet,” she instructed her staff. “The education of children begins at the open shelves.” In place of locked cabinets, she provided every library with a big black ledger; if you could sign your name, you could borrow a book. Moore considered signing the ledger something between an act of citizenship and a sacrament, to be undertaken only after reading a pledge: “When I write my name in this book I promise to take good care of the books I use in the Library and at home, and to obey the rules of the Library.” During both the First and Second World Wars, soldiers on leave in the city climbed the steps past Patience and Fortitude, walked into the Children’s Room, and asked to see the black books from years past. They wanted to look up their names, to trace the record of a childhood lost, an inky, smudged once-upon-a-time.

In the first half of the twentieth century, no one wielded more power in the field of children’s literature than Moore, a librarian in a city of publishers. She never lacked for an opinion. “Dull in a new way,” she labelled books that she despised. When, in 1938, William R. Scott brought her copies of his press’s new books, tricked out with pop-ups and bells and buttons, Moore snapped, “Truck! Mr. Scott. They are truck!” Her verdict, not any editor’s, not any bookseller’s, sealed a book’s fate. She kept a rubber stamp at her desk that she used, liberally, while paging through publishers’ catalogues: “Not recommended for purchase by expert.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

FOLA 2008 Awards

Congratulations to the Richmond Tweed Regional Library Tweed Heads Branch who recently received a High Commendation award for its
"Tweed Talks" program at the FOLA 2008 annual awards:
Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA)
FOLA Website
received a record number of entries in 2008 for its two annual awards.

These awards recognise and encourage innovation and excellence in public library programs and services for children and young people (the Peter McInnes Award) and for older adults ( the Eric Flynn Award).
The winner of the FOLA 2008 Eric Flynn Award for Library Services for Older Adults was the Campaspe Regional Library, Victoria, for its Words on Wheels(WOW) storytelling program for older adults in aged care facilities.
RECEIVING A HIGH COMMENDATION AWARD was Tweed Heads Branch Library of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library Service, NSW, for its "TWEED TALKS" an innovative, well promoted and successful concept to encourage older adults to view their local library as an information resource beyond books and reading, by providing a safe "shared space" where they can listen to, request and gather information on topics relating to their everyday life and concerns. In making the Award FOLA stated "Tweed Talks" affirms the unique community capacity building and engagement of all public libraries. It is a concept worthy of consideration by other councils and their library services throughout Australia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Barack Obama and Libraries

US President elect Barack Obama gave a keynote address at the 2005 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. The speech can be found at:

Keynote address