Please consider donating to the EveryLibrary Rapid Response Fund!

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EveryLibrary is a nonprofit social welfare organization chartered to work exclusively on local library ballot initiatives. How? By training library staff, trustees, and volunteers to plan and run effective Information Only campaigns; by assisting local Vote Yes committees on planning and executing Get Out the Vote work for their library’s measure; and by speaking directly to the public about the value and relevance of libraries and librarians.

EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response Fund is designed to address the single most significant problem in library advocacy today: no one is funding direct outreach to the public or stakeholders when a crisis hits libraries. Too many times, the urgent and necessary calls-to-action issued by local stakeholders are unable to reach activists and constituents because no one is advertising or marketing those calls-to-action. Whether the stakeholders are a group of staff, the local trustees or Friends, an ad hoc community of advocates, or an established trade or professional association, their legitimate voices for the library need support.

From their website: Our Rapid Response Fund is designed to amplify the voices of local library advocates during a crisis by supporting paid ads for outreach and action.  In setting up the Rapid Response Fund we will not attempt to replace or supplant the legitimate local advocates; rather, we will apply best-practices to market them through social media.  The Fund will allow us to drive traffic to their calls-to-action by both new and existing constituents and advocates.  EveryLibrary will not set the agenda or create the calls-to-action.  That responsibility still resides with the local advocates.  They are closer to the issue and are already trusted in their community.  We will work to spend the Rapid Response Funds in a way that creates success through broad-based or targeted advertising that produces measurable results.   

The Rapid Response Fund will put money to work to get the advocacy message in front of the right people and “bring them out” for the library. Please consider donating today! You can also visit http://everylibrary.org/everylibrary-announces-2014-campaigns/ for a list of the campaigns and to see how your donation will impact the future of library funding across the country.

Have you seen LA Public Library’s “Shades of LA” archives?

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http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid271539391?bctid=3585093337001
The Los Angeles Library’s “Shades of LA” photo archive contains more than 10,000 images of black, Latino and Asian-American families throughout Southern California dating back to the early 20th century. Here, librarian Kathy Kabayashi explains the very deliberate process of gathering so many images from people’s private archives as part of this grass-roots community history project.

http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/06/heres_how_los_angeles_built_its_photo_archive_of_communities_of_color.html

Kate Spade’s library-themed (card catalog) iphone case and clutch aren’t cute to me. This is why.

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Perhaps you don’t spend too much time thinking about libraries as spaces that jump start early literacy, inspire art, or provide free resources to those that can’t afford their own personal (private) everything. Maybe you don’t even know where your local branch library is, because you have no immediate “need” for it. Oh but how much do you love that cutesy iphone cover that looks just like those old catalog cards?! Like so many things, what you are not supporting in your local community is marketable and wearable just the same.  I don’t buy it.

Jessamyn West says more on this topic, with some good points to boot:

[Because] The word library is evocative of a whole bunch of things, from now stretching deep into the past. It has gravitas and comes with a bunch of associations that you can sort of get for free by linking your thing to libraries. Except libraries aren’t free. And the work that goes into keeping them running (which is a lot more than keeping a bookshelf stocked) is complicated, sometimes thankless and under attack from people who think somehow that libraries are not fashionable enough, not hip or current enough, that our day has passed. So please feel free to quit sending me this iphone case, as much as I love it, and think about why New York loves this sort of thing and is trying to sell off their library real estate in New York City and gut the stacks.

Help Save NYC Libraries with a Phone Call? Yes Please!!! 311 Call-In Days 6/20 and 6/21

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[Save NYC Libraries Re-post]

The NYC budget decision is coming down to the wire now, people! Thank you so much for your support so far. We appreciate you signing the petitions, camping out with us at the Read-In, and all the other great stuff you’re doing to help save NYC libraries.

We’re going to ask you to do ONE LAST THING this year to help prevent library funding cuts before the budget is finalized (which might be as early as next week – yikes!)

Just like last year, we’re holding an official “311 Call-In Day” so that the mayor’s office gets inundated with phone calls in support of NYC libraries.

This small action has a BIG impact because 311 tracks the comments and tells the mayor about the issues that concern people the most. Imagine if Mr. Bloomberg got A MILLION comments just about library funding. Would he be able to justify closing them down THEN? Pshaw! (Okay, maybe a million calls is a stretch. But it’s nice to dream!)

Here’s what you can do:

On either Thursday, June 20th, or Friday June 21st (or both!), call 311 at any time and tell the operator you’d like to make a “budget comment.” Then you can make a statement regarding library funding. If you want to keep things simple, here’s a sample script: “I believe closing any libraries in NYC is unacceptable and I’m calling to request the complete restoration of library funding.” Easy as that! And it feels so good.

If you don’t live in NYC, you can call 212-NEW-YORK (or 212-639-9675). In addition, the TTY Number is 212-504-4115.

Want to connect with other library supporters? RSVP to make your phone call over on Facebook!

Save New York City Libraries From Bloomberg Developer Destruction

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(Via Carolyn McIntyre of Citizens Defending Libraries & the associated petition Save New York City Libraries From Bloomberg Developer Destruction)

Mayor Bloomberg refuses to adequately fund our public libraries unless they sell off assets including crown jewels of the system, a plan that is wrong-headed and counterproductive.
 
We are in a period of steadily increasing use of libraries by all sectors of New York’s population, attendance is up 40% and circulations are up 59%, while the amount required to properly fund libraries is a pittance compared to other city expenditures.   
 
Public libraries enrich their communities and are an important part of the tax base and a stable economy, providing jobs, community space and serving as a buffer against economic downturn.   They provide a safe haven for seniors during the day, teens after school, for parents with young children, for job seekers needing computers, for the growing number of freelance professionals, and for those needing literacy and technical skills.
 
Bloomberg’s plan would eliminate irreplaceable and historic crown jewels, such as the research stacks underneath the main 42nd Street library, and demolish Brooklyn Heights Art Deco style building, housing 62,000 square feet of library space replacing it with only 15,000 square feet of space in a developer’s high rise.  The removal of the Brooklyn Business Library from Brooklyn’s central business district in downtown Brooklyn, the hub of commerce, transportation, and next to universities is a travesty.  These are just two examples of a scheme to shrink New York’s public library system, eliminating resources that communities depend on.
 
We need to immediately halt real estate deals that involve selling any more branches to private developers until the libraries have been properly funded and until the needs of the public’s library system are the first priority.

Libraries should not be hostages for development.  The city should cease the practices of bribing the public into approving bigger and denser development and pressuring communities into accepting libraries housed in smaller spaces with fewer services.

Developer-driven partnerships that put developers in the driver’s seat and render competitive bids meaningless are bad public policy that must be avoided.  The practice of using developers who specialize in insider deals, who treat the communities poorly and have a record of failing to deliver promised benefit violates the public trust.

There should be no elimination or sale of irreplaceable assets such as the crown jewel research stacks under the 42nd Street main library or elimination of the Business and Career Center Library on the border of Brooklyn Heights and downtown Brooklyn.

There should be no premature library closings such as Donnell library, closed in 2008 and still awaiting a replacement.  Any library closing should have a binding contract for its prompt replacement with solid assurances, including full up-front payments and financing in place.
 
There should be no mass sell-offs of libraries.  Sales of library properties, if any, should be sequenced so that multiple libraries are not closed at the same time and only when it is in the best interest of the public’s library system.

“The knowledge of different literature frees one from the tyranny of a few”
 -Jose Marti   Plaque on 41St Library Walk
 
New York’s libraries, the lifeblood of a democracy, have contributed to making our city economically vital and a cultural powerhouse.  We must not sacrifice it to shortsighted planning and the interests of powerful developers. We demand protection for public libraries, the city’s trusted place to learn, grow, be inspired, and connect with great minds.
 
Relevant articles:

• New York Times: Critic’s Notebook- In Renderings for a Library Landmark, Stacks of Questions, by Michael Kimmelman, January 29, 2013. 

• Wall Street Journal: Undertaking Its Destruction, by Ada Louise Huxtable, December 3, 2012.

• Noticing New York: New City-Wide Policy Makes Generation Of Real Estate Deals The Library System’s Primary Purpose, by Michael D. D. White, January 31, 2013.
 
• Center For An Urban Future: Report – Branches of Opportunity, by David Giles, January 2013
 

If you have not yet, please sign a petition to Stephen Levin, City Council Member, Mayor Michael R Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Trustees of New York Public Library, Trustees of Brooklyn Public Library, and Trustees of Queens Public Library, which says:

“We demand that Mayor Bloomberg stop defunding New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth.  Shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for the wealthy at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity is not only unjust, it is a shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.”

Simply click here to add your name:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-new-york-city-libraries?source=s.fwd&r_by=798749

Thank you!