Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Library Horror Story...

Library horror story
BY Erin Durkin

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 8:30 AM

Huge budget cuts could force the
Brooklyn Public Library to drastically cut hours at branches across the borough to the lowest level in decades.

A proposed $14 million, 17% budget cut would mean the library could only afford to keep six-day service at 15 of its 60 branches, said BPL Executive Director Dionne Mack-Harvin.

Most neighborhood branches would only be open for five hours a day, five days a week, with weekend service eliminated altogether.

Average hours would plummet to 31 a week - nearly as low as the city's 1970s fiscal crisis, when libraries were only open three or four days a week. In 2008, libraries were open an average of 46.7 hours a week, with all at six-day-a-week service and some at seven days.

Under the doomsday scenario, 220 jobs would be cut through layoffs and attrition.

"What is sad right now is that we have seen such a surge in usage," Mack-Harvin said, noting last month's circulation was up 13%. "Even more people are making use of their libraries."

She said the cuts would shut out the seniors and parents with young children who flock to the library in the morning - and anyone with a full-time job. "For working families, it's going to be a big challenge for them to find a time to use their libraries," she said. "This is our worst-case scenario."

Libraries in the other boroughs are in a similar bind. The New York Public Library, which serves Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx, could lose $23.2million and 465 jobs. Queens faces a $13.9 million cut.

BPL has already eliminated Sunday service at all its branches. It also instituted a hiring freeze and cut spending on books, technology and programming, slashing spending by $5.2million.

But it won't be enough.

"More than 70% of our budget is people," Mack-Harvin said, noting that fewer workers mean shorter hours.

Library officials haven't yet decided which branches would cut hours, but would try to keep a "hub branch" with six-day service in each part of the borough, Mack-Harvin said.

In past years, the mayor has proposed big library cuts, but the City Council has restored the funding in budget negotiations. The current fiscal crunch will make finding the cash harder this year.

"It's less likely because we have fewer resources available," said Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge), chairman of the Council's subcommittee on libraries.

But he said money the city is getting from the federal economic stimulus package could free up for funds for the libraries.

Without the money, said Gentile,
"If you work during the day ... you'll never see a library open, and that's a shame."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Something to make you think

So simple but very effective.

Lost Generation

I wasn't able to embed this video.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Do you want to be a Superhero?

This is a fun site where you can make yourself a superhero. Here's one I whipped up earlier:

Go here to create your own:
Hero Factory
The Bonnie Tyler song really inspires you to be creative and I think we all learn a little about each other with these alter egos......

Thanks Heidi for finding this site and including it on your blog....

Lost in translation?

(Our new official BMCC Library poster)

Last week a colleague sent me this joke in an email:

A bloke walks into a Glasgow library and says to the prim librarian,
'Excuse me Miss, dey ye hiv ony books on suicide?'
To which she stops doing her tasks,
looks at him over the top of her glasses and says,
'F**k off, ye'll no bring it back!'

I'd seen it several times before so read it, smirked (again) and deleted it.

Said colleague has just been in to my office to ask me what the joke was about. They said they'd been trying to work it out for days.

Was it the Scots she was having trouble with and I was the only one able to translate? No. It was the rudeness of the librarian's answer! That was inexplicable - not like a Blue Mountains City Library staff member at all!!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

43 Things

43 Things is a great website for those who like to have goals and keep long to-do lists (lists can be very, very addictive - watch out).

You set up your profile and then choose up to 43 things you would like to achieve in your life. The nifty thing about this site is that people who have achieved a goal you are heading toward can answer your questions and give advice, and you in turn can become a mentor to others in areas you have achieved. There is also the option of giving up on a goal or adding others as you choose.

And here you can take the 43 things test, to assess what sort of personality you have (based on past achievements).

I was a Self-Knowing Traveling Builder
0.65% of the 107185 people who have taken this quiz are like me.

Thanks Naomi for highlighting this - I really enjoyed the quiz!

Take the quiz here

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Knowing Traveling Builder