Thursday, February 24, 2011
New Books by some of your favorite authors -- available starting today!
Joyce Carol Oates -- A Widow's Story
J.D. Robb -- Treachery in Death
Joy Fielding -- Now You See Her
Jennifer Chiaverini -- The Union Quilters
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child -- Gideon's Sword
Michael Palmer -- A Heartbeat Away
Mark Childress -- Georgia Bottoms
Randy Wayne White -- Night Vision
T. C. Boyle -- When the Killing's Done
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Here's what Scott Turow, bestselling author of Presumed Innocent, Pleading Guilty, and Innocent, has to say about libraries:
"While our economy seems to be slowly staggering back to its feet, state and municipal governments remain hard-hit as the result of lost tax revenues, lost stimulus money and pension fund payments that have grown to monstrous size to make up for the market losses of 2007 and 2008. Those governments are cutting everywhere they can and public libraries nationwide have been one of the biggest and least deserved losers in the process.
Widespread public access to knowledge, like public education, is one of the pillars of our democracy, a guarantee that we can maintain a well-informed citizenry.
But libraries seem to be losing out in the funding battles, due, in part, to the mistaken belief that they are somehow anachronistic in an age when so many Americans have instant computer access to information through the Internet. This is, frankly, a let-them-eat-cake-attitude that threatens to destroy a network of public assets that remains critical in our country.
Millions of Americans simply cannot afford to replace what libraries have traditionally offered for free -- access to books, computers and research assistance. Ironically, the importance of these services is even greater in a time of economic uncertainty.
For Americans facing job losses, working to gain new skills and seeking assistance in an increasingly digital world, U.S. public libraries are first responders. Two-thirds of libraries report they provide the only free access to computers and the Internet in their communities. Libraries function as crucial technology hubs, not merely for free Web access, but those who need computer training and assistance. Library business centers help support entrepreneurship and retraining
For thousands and thousands of American kids, libraries are the only safe place they can find to study, a haven free from the dangers of street or the numbing temptations of television. As schools cutback services, the library looms even more important to countless children. And libraries often offer young parents the only chance they can provide to inculcate their children in a culture of books, one of the most essential building blocks for success in school.
For the elderly, libraries are often important community centers that help them escape the loneliness of old age.
Most important of all, perhaps, a library within a community stands as a testimonial to its values, its belief in universal access to literature and knowledge.
The value of all of these services has been widely accepted in our nation for at least a century. But we have now entered an era of unprecedented budget cuts.
For example, in California, Governor Brown's new proposed budget decreases General Fund assistance for public libraries by $30.4 million, eliminating the California Library Services Act, Public Library Foundation and the California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Services -- that is, access, resource sharing and adult literacy. In Texas, the cuts are even more stark, with the new budget proposing complete elimination of several programs that have either provided direct aid to libraries or irreplaceable programs, like those that created shared databases. Even in my own community, a small city on the northern edge of Chicago where a major university sits, my neighbors and I have been struggling to save a small branch library that was pivotal to the education of many neighborhood kids.
Librarians know that shrinking budgets demand hard choices, and they do not expect to be exempt as local and state governments endure the hardest times they have faced since the Depression. But it is wrong to cut library budgets disproportionately compared to other reductions, and that is what is happening around the country.
I count myself as one of millions of Americans whose life simply would not be the same without the libraries that supported my learning. We cannot take that opportunity away from so many Americans who need that help urgently now.
Read the article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-turow/letthemeatcakeattitude-th_b_823609.html
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Why I Love My Library Campaign – What Citizens Around
the State Say About their Library
Thousands of people all over South Carolina use their
public libraries to access the information they need to
improve their lives, whether it’s to grow personally or
professionally or to help their children learn and stretch
Click to the right to tell us why YOU love your library! Here's what others are saying:
“The library is definitely our most favorite place to go every week! As a homeschooling mom of 2 boys (5.5 and 3.5 years old), I am constantly
using the resources that the York County Library offers. I especially like
the fact that I can reserve books online in the comfort of my home; I
know when the books are in because I receive the oft-heard telephone
message that starts out, "This is the York County Library...." Oh, what
music to my ears! When the new computers (for the children) were put in the libraries, my sons were very excited--and so was I. I was pleased to see the excellent educational software programs that are available. I don't know what we would do without local libraries!!”
“I love that the library is for everyone...
young & old, black & white, rich & poor,
republican & democrat. I love that it
crosses all barriers and unites people
through the free gifts of education,
programming and personal growth
“Our family is a homeschooling family that uses the
library frequently and it sometimes feels like a
second home! Especially when the staff are as
friendly and helpful as family. Books are like
treasured family heirlooms and the library is an
attic full of treasures and mysteries to explore.
We love our library!”
“It provides my children access to
reading material that I cannot afford
to buy on the regular basis. My
children can use these resources to
do school work or independent
learning. It has also helped me as I
pursue my master’s degree in
“To me the Aiken County Public Library is a wonderful place to visit and to work. I appreciate the wide selection of books, audios and videos that are available. Even more, I love the delightful variety of activities for all ages and types of patrons. Meetings, entertainment, special visitors, and public service events provide regular doses of excitement, laughter and inspiration that fill the rooms with life beyond the printed page. Add to that the everimproving technology and you have an almost ideal environment for promoting growth, knowledge and connectedness with the whole Aiken community.
A few weeks ago, as I was pulling out of the parking lot on
my way to lunch, I observed a car stopped beside our book
return box. The car had stopped so that the child in the
back seat could lean out of her window and drop her library
books in. She was leaning way out to reach the box and
dropping her many books- one at a time- into the book
return. Before putting in her very last book, she hugged it
tightly to her chest and then kissed it twice. She then moved
to drop it in the box but pulled back and kissed it twice
more before finally dropping it in. I didn’t ask her, but I
think it is safe to say that she loves her public library.