David Rider Urban Affairs Bureau Chief, Toronto Star Fri Jul 22 2011
Literary icon Margaret Atwood has joined the fight against a consultant’s proposed cuts to Toronto’s library system, marshalling her 225,200 Twitter followers and crashing a server hosting a petition.
At 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Atwood retweeted this from @sonalogy: “Toronto’s libraries are under threat of privatization. Tell city council to keep them public now.”
That drove a flurry of users to the petition and, shortly after 6 p.m., crashed the server of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, CUPE 4948, which was hosting it.
... Atwood has kept up the pressure Friday, tweeting several times from @margaretatwood, including “Here is direct link to the @torontolibrary petition http://t.co/hPNMV8P to stop closure & privatization. Thanks to all, pass it around.”
Continue reading the story
Atwood's library; Time for public libraries to update their outdated business model, Solomon, Lawrence. National Post [Don Mills, Ont] 06 Aug 2011: FP.17.
The Toronto Public Library book lending system, in fact, would serve the vast majority of its members better by replacing its local branches with satellite kiosks, much as the postal system sold off its oversized buildings and placed kiosks in drug stores and shopping malls. The book retailers are not only more numerous and so likelier to be conveniently located, they also keep more convenient hours and have knowledgeable staff who can enhance the lending library experience -they stock enough books to offer a true book-browsing experience, for example, and they can sell people like me an e-book reader to allow me to make better use of the Toronto Public Library offerings. continue reading: National Post
So why are libraries under siege? The general consensus among the library-savvy in this country echoes the view of one former public librarian and professional researcher on Vancouver Island I spoke to:“The public library doesn’t perform its traditional mandate anymore because information and how it’s accessed has changed so rapidly. Also, resources are spread too thin among branches, when they should be merged rather than duplicated. And a lot of librarians currently perform the duties of social workers and teachers, looking after latchkey kids when social workers should be monitoring them. We should consolidate public libraries and community centres—blend their budgets staffs—so they can do their jobs much more efficiently.”