The library at Rowen Elementary School in North Philadelphia is musty and outdated – a locked room used for storage and occasional meetings, a repository of yellowing, untouched books.
But Callie Hammond has big dreams for the room, whose leather-bound encyclopedias were printed in 1986, the year she was born.
Hammond sees the West Oak Lane public school as a launching pad for Library Build, a nonprofit group she recently started to renovate and staff school libraries with fellows in the Teach for America model.
The plan is to start in city elementary schools with no library. Library Build would recruit and pay library science graduates in exchange for a two-year service commitment to city schools.
“Libraries do amazing things,” said Hammond, who was a Philadelphia School District middle school teacher until she was laid off in June.
Research shows that library access matters. Students who have a library at school tend to perform better on assessments than those who do not. Libraries can encourage children to love reading and think of it not just as a chore to be handled in the classroom.
When Hammond was laid off from teaching social studies and science to nonnative English speakers at Wilson Middle School at the end of last school year, she figured it was time to work on Library Build full time.
These days, she divides her time between working on grant applications – Library Build received its first award, $10,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation – and organizing the collection at Rowen. She is also studying for her master’s degree in public administration at the University of Pennsylvania.
More on this inspirational young woman from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
This was originally posted on The Desk Set: http://thedeskset.org/?p=4426
“Show the love people. Urban Librarians Unite will be staging a mass hug of the Schwarzman Building (that is the dreamy one with the lions) on June 4th at 2PM. NYPL are fully in our corner and love the event. Our old pals at BPL and Queens are on board as well of course and it is going to be incredible activism for all three libraries in the city.
We will form a continuous human chain around the building. You can imagine us giving it a big squeeze. We LOVE the damn library people, let’s give it a snuggle. Some of our more militant members are also likening the image to a human shield kinda thing, throwing ourselves in front of the building to protect it. Make of it what you will but you gotta come out.
Do NOT be late. The crowd meets critical mass on Saturday June 4th, 2PM come rain or shine. This is us literally rallying around the library, to embrace it, to interpose our bodies between it and a harsh world. There are no rainchecks and fashionably late will be yesterday’s news.
If you have never done something like this it is incredibly exhilarating and a lot of fun. It really does feel like you are part of something larger and the mood is going to be light. If you’ve never been to a rally the hug will be a great start and if you have been to this kinda thing before then you already know this one is going to be a blast.
Now is the time to show what you believe in. This is quite literally your chance to put it on the line. Stand up. Stand proud. Show the world your courage and determination. Show up on time & show the politicians and media that libraries are a force to be reckoned with.”
***400 people are needed to make this event a huge success — check out the Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/4xu8not and RSVP for you are in the NYC-area!***
From Save the BECPL Facebook campaign:
BECPL Fast Facts
* SITUATION: The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library faces a $6.8 million shortfall for 2011 if the budget proposed by County Executive Chris Collins stands. Library hours will be reduced from 332 to 205.
* COST: Buffalo/Erie County library services cost $28.64 per capita while comparably sized cities pay $43 and up per capita.
* VALUE: If you take out just 2 books and 10 movies a month, that is $74 value in a month and close to $900 value in one year.
* INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARIES: In tough economic times, especially with high unemployment, people need libraries.
o Circulation of library materials continues to trend at over 6 million items per year.
o People depend so much on the libraries’ Internet connection that many people drive closed libraries, sit in their cars and connect on laptops through the libraries’ wifi.
o Bookstores and high speed Internet are not available in some of the small communities B&ECPL serves so these residents rely on the reading material and high-speed Internet that their local libraries provide.
o Economically challenged households in Buffalo and across Erie County can’t support the purchase of books, CDs or DVDs, let alone have a computer with Internet access.
* LIBRARY USE INCREASE: Computer usage in Buffalo & Erie County Libraries has always been high but it has increased 25% since 2008—the beginning of the economic downturn.
QUALITY OF LIFE: Libraries contribute to the community’s quality of life economically, equal access to information resources; children’s introductions to libraries; the future role of libraries; the impact of physical development on the sense of community; life skills, including accountability and responsibility; and career paths
**There’s also an online petition and blog at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savebecpl/**
Cattaraugus County Administrator Jack Searles released a budget last week that includes 20% cuts across the board for all contract agencies. For your local library, this could be devastating.
$17, 105 in county aid would be lost to the libraries in Cattaraugus County. However, this is not the only cut that would occur. This cut would be more than 5% of the library’s local funding, which would result in a loss of 25% of State Aid. In total, this would mean a loss of approximately $270,000.
In the past two years, State Aid to the library system has already been cut by $250,000. The current amount of County funding has been the same since 2005. One of the consequences of these cuts was the elimination of the bookmobile. As a result of the current proposal several programs could be cut including weekly delivery of books requested from other libraries, the interlibrary loan service that allows patron to access books outside of the CCLS system, and service to the County’s nine nursing homes and senior centers.
Economic times are difficult, but in times like these more and more people are turning to the public library for help. People visit the library each day to fill out job applications, look for potential employment, update their skills, and more. The library lends out books, DVDs, and video games which saves people money. Is this the time to cut funding, when the library’s services are in high demand?
What you can do to help:
- Call or write your legislator and ask him or her to restore library funding. (The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the District 10 Legislators appears at the bottom of this page as well as a link to information on the other Cattaraugus County legislators.)
- Sign the petition available at the library.
- Attend the Legislature’s public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, November 23rd at 3pm in the Legislature’s Chambers (Cattaraugus County Center, 303 Court Street, Little Valley, NY).
- Sign up to speak at the budget hearing on the 23rd.
- Pass this information on to your friends and family. The library could use the support.
The library can’t do this without your help! Thank you for all you have done over the years for the library and all that you continue to do.
**Thanks to Carol Kowalik for sharing this information.**
The future of the Troy Public Library is “as clear as mud,” the city’s lawyer said Wednesday, after voters defeated four millage proposals designed to create and fund an independent library board.
And in Bloomfield Hills, voters sent a resounding “no” on Tuesday to a six-year, 0.617-mill library levy, with 61% of voters shooting down the measure, 1,342-842. Supporters sought to resume a lending contract with Bloomfield Township’s library or strike up a new deal with the library in Birmingham.
The Troy measure is likely to become a topic of Monday’s City Council meeting, where Mayor Louise Schilling is expected to bring up the possible censure of Councilman Martin Howrylak over his letter advocating the measures’ defeat.
Troy’s Proposal 1, the 10-year, 0.9885-millage, failed by 689 votes, 15,590-14,901, with 51% voting against it. The three other millage proposals failed by more than 80% of the vote each.
The library is scheduled to close July 1, after the City Council slashed funding and library hours this year and all funding by June 30.
Read more: Detroit Free Press.