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Nothing’s Sacred

A library should be a place of quiet but, no, not my local library. Someone gave them the harebrained idea to redesign it with an open concept — no walls — and so now we can hear every noise-generating thing like a gaggle teenagers goofing off over here, and an inconsolable kid crying over there. Without walls the sound travels unimpeded and that has rendered the library as no longer the quiet sanctuary it used to be. Nothing’s sacred.

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Guest Blog

The Desperation of a Public Library | Kristen Twardowski

Kristen Twardowski

These days public libraries operate on desperation as often as they run on anything else. This recently drove several library staff to do something a little reckless.

Culling library collections often relies on numbers. If a patron checks out a book, that book is safe in the system. If a book isn’t checked out for a certain period of time, however, that book is often placed on a to-be-culled list. These lists don’t take into account whether or not a book is considered a classic, was written by a famous author, or has regional value. It only looks at circulation numbers.

To get around this system, several librarians at Florida’s East Lake County Library created a fictitious library patron, Chuck Finley. Named after a retired major league baseball pitcher, Finley would be their savior. During 2016, Finley checked out 2,361 books from the library. These books varied and included titles by…

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Blog Journals The Evening Muse

The Evening Muse 1 | 24-Hour Local Public Libraries

Library_of_CongressThis is a concept that should exist in the 21st century.  Like many self-respecting writers, I have  a home office/study (and naturally mine doubles as a mancave/manscape when necessary since I live with multiple double-X chromosome carriers).  However, that Chamber of Peace and Solitude – y’know, the kind a writer requires – is on the first level of this fine two-level domicile in which I reside and hold the mortgage.  However, it’s not far from the common living quarters of the place.  So if anyone else is home, their sounds of living seep unfettered into said chamber.  This is why escapist places like public libraries are a valued construct (considering one does not have an offsite studio in which to retreat).  The two we have here in our local quadrant of the county are fine establishments.  Great, actually.  However, there’s just one problem:  the operating hours – particularly those on the weekends – are unacceptable.  A 5:30 closing time?  No, no, this simply cannot stand to reason.  If 24/7 is not on the negotiating table, can we at least come to an agreement of not closing before sundown?  I fully concede without shame that this is a First World Problem and I’m okay with that.  I’m just a fella looking for a reliable writers’ retreat while maximizing his tax dollars.