Palo Alto library funding group to dissolve after fundraising success

Sales ChartPalo Alto is known as a particularly affluent area of California.  It is home to many tech entrepreneurs and was once the headquarters to social networking giant Facebook, the city has its claims to fame.  Despite this, Palo Alto libraries had remained in a relatively sad state for some time.  Most of the libraries a 30 years old or older, and lack the space needed for more modern program areas, or even simple facilities like study rooms.  Some of the branches even lacked air conditioning – a daunting prospect considering that the area regularly receives 90 degree+ days.  Some of the libraries were even shutdown for safety in the event of particularly hot summer weather. [Read more…]

Detroit libraries have less tax forms available than usual

TaxesWhen spring time rolls around each year, American taxpayers start to work on preparing their tax filings for the previous year.  They dig out saved receipts, imagine what they might do if they anticipate a tax refund, and gather the appropriate forms.  Unfortunately for those in the Detroit Metro area, libraries this year won’t be able to hand out as many forms as they have in the past.  Due to budget cuts within the IRS, the agency is sending out fewer forms this year to neighborhood libraries. [Read more…]

LA libraries to offer illegal immigrants advice on obtaining citizenship

IdentificationPresident Obama’s executive action on legalizing millions of illegal immigrants is certainly controversial and is currently being challenged in our court system.  That hasn’t stopped several organizations from trying to help illegal immigrants navigate the complex situation they are in.  Many people that are in the country illegally now have the opportunity to obtain legal status and potentially even apply for citizenship.  Unfortunately, the process is lengthy and complex and most illegals don’t know where to start or what their options are.   This issue is especially pressing in certain regions where illegal immigration is high. [Read more…]

Brooklyn libraries look to development for funding boost

DollarsThe contracting and selling of public lands and projects to private companies is always a touchy issue. The complaints against such arrangements are, to be sure, not without merit; countless times, a company has made promises to a government body, which in turn has promised those same things to its constituents, only to be under-delivered in the end. Even more common, is that an attempt to secure a project leads to under-bidding, and taxpayers end up between a rock and a hard place when they have to choose between shelling out more money and leaving a project halfway finished. Because communities generally don’t want to leave their new park, library, or other public facility halfway finished, they almost always opt to pay up. In a way, private contractors can easily extort government agencies, and by extension the communities they serve. [Read more…]

You can now check out seeds from New York libraries

EcoThere have been plenty of stories in the past couple of years about the interesting ways in which libraries are trying to bring new utility to their communities.  This one might just top the list in its uniqueness, however:  The Chemung County Library District in Ney York state has started offering gardeners the opportunity to “check out” seeds from the libraries themselves. [Read more…]

Chicago libraries host special events on National Readathon Day

Coffee BookThis Saturday, January 24th, is National Readathon Day, and Chicago area libraries are looking to host some exciting events, especially for their patrons.  The Readathon is a country-wide celebration of reading and a prime opportunity for libraries to reengage with their patrons.  Today, young people have so many other devices and platforms competing for their attention, that library going can get tossed by the wayside.  In Chicago, several branches are setting up opportunities to show their (even more) fun sides. [Read more…]

Ohio libraries open gift shops to help fund operations

DollarsBorrowing a common pool of resources is the way of the library. From books, to CD’s, to computers and Internet usage, libraries offer services to their communities free of charge. These services are then funded by the government, and by extension tax revenue. Unfortunately, the funding libraries have received in recent years hasn’t always been enough. In the midst of economic crunch times, the library systems in each state and the services they offer are often seen as societal extras; they’re nice to have when we can, but not necessary. Unfortunately, tough times are exactly when libraries are most relevant, as community access to learning materials, the Internet, and more may be limited for more and more families due to financial burden. [Read more…]

Court ruling against Kentucky library funding would be disastrous

Gavel BooksIt’s not often that libraries find themselves on the receiving end of a major lawsuit, but that’s exactly what’s going on right now in Kentucky.  Many library systems across the state are now being rolled into a lawsuit that could potentially strip them of millions of dollars, and result in cuts to services and employment across the board. [Read more…]