Thursday, January 04, 2007

Libraries in the News

Wow this has been quite a week as the mainstream media has definitely been shining its spotlight on libraries and librarians. For librarianship as a profession the coverage has been favorable as the Wall Street Journal talked about our changing role which compliments the recognition given last month by the U.S. News & World Report naming it one of the 25 best careers of 2007.

Unfortunately, the news hasn't been so kind to all. The New York Times first reported on Tuesday about the Maplewood Memorial Library in New Jersey which has decided to close between 2:45-5pm due to crowds of Middle and High School students who hang out there after school until their parents pick them up after work. Apparently there have been multiple problems over the years with some misbehaving teens and the library feels that this is their only option at this time. The paper posted a follow-up piece today about the situation which indicates that the government in Maplewood seems to be trying to come up with alternative solutions.

Fairfax County Public Library has also sent the media into a tizzy with their new weeding program. It was reported on Tuesday in an article in the Washington Post and then lambasted in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Both pieces are quick to emphasize the elimination of "classics" for newer books. Due to the coverage, the library has posted a response on their website to help explain their position. I particularly recommend reading the responses to the Wall Street Journal piece as they represent the opinions of many members of the public. The issue of weeding has always been controversial when the public is involved, but it is also not without debate within the library profession. One response to this item worth reading (whether or not you agree) is at the Annoyed Librarian.

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1 comment:

Always On Watch Two said...

Just FYI...

I found your blog through a link at the Washington Post as I was doing research on my own posting on the topic of the culling of books in the Fairfax County Public Libraries.

I will hat-tip you when I post my piece, probably late Sunday or early Monday.