Posts Tagged ‘Library’

C’mon Shmooze …

March 29, 2008


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I just took my leave of the London Indie Media Fair 2008 at the Central Library, but you can still check it out if you hurry. It’s not scheduled to wrap up until 5:00 p.m. And/or you can drop into Coffee Culture across the street from the library and shmooze with some of the members of London’s Blogger/Podcaster Meetup group for a short spell.

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Does This Make Sense to You?

March 4, 2008

Following the Harper government’ federal budget last month, which included a $500,000 cut to the Library and Archives Canada budget, todays announcement that the national Book Exchange Centre will be closed.

“Opened 35 years ago, the exchange centre is a massive swap shop for public and academic libraries across Canada. Libraries donate books and periodicals their patrons no longer use and, in response to requests by other libraries, the centre redistributes them.” 01

“Those close to the matter said the usefulness of the service can be seen in the more than 500,000 publications distributed to member libraries across the country last year. While the main clients of the CBEC were Canadian libraries, it has also sent boxes of books around the world through partnerships with underdeveloped countries.”  02

Sources:
01. 2008/03/04 – Ottawa Citizen: Federal budget claims … Book Exchange
02. 2008/03/04 – Ottawa Sun: Feds axe book centre

Events – 2007/12/20

December 20, 2007


Date: 2007/12/20 (Thursday)  
When: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  
Where: Central Library
251 Dundas Street
 
What: Backgammon  
The Forest City Backgammon Club . Join us every Thursday in the Central library’s 3rd-floor Arts department. New players welcome.


Public Wi-Fi

December 4, 2007

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Spacing Toronto reports that the Toronto Public Library has been able to expand free Wi-Fi to 19 of it’s branches, thanks to a Citizenship and Immigration Canadadesignated high need areas” grant.

Links:
A Life Untold: Free Wi-Fi in London, Ontario
2007/11/28 – TPL: Toronto Public Library expands public Internet service

Events – 2007/11/29

November 29, 2007

Date: 2007/11/29 (Thursday)  
When: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  
Where: Central Library
251 Dundas Street
 
What: Backgammon  
The Forest City Backgammon Club . Join us every Thursday in the Central library’s 3rd-floor Arts department. New players welcome.


Events – 2007/11/22

November 22, 2007

When: 3:00 pm – ?  
Where: City Hall
300 Dufferin Avenue
 
What: ACCAC Meeting  
The Accessibility Advisory Committee is holding this special meeting to receive input from the public with respect to the Draft 2008 City of London Accessibility Plan.


When: 3:30 pm – 05:00 pm  
Where: UCC  
What: Public Discussion  
A panel discussion on poverty in London, to be followed by an opportunity for audience participation. 2nd-floor McKellar room in UWO’s University Community Centre. Get more info HERE.

When: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  
Where: Central Library
251 Dundas Street
 
What: Backgammon  
The Forest City Backgammon Club . Join us every Thursday in the Central library’s 3rd-floor Arts department. New players welcome.


Events – 2007/11/21

November 21, 2007

When: 5:25 pm – ?  
Where: City Hall
300 Dufferin Avenue
 
What: CAPS Meeting  
A special public participation meeting to receive delegations and their comments regarding the City of London’s Substance Abuse Strategy. A document entitled “Response Strategy – Phase One” is available HERE.


When: 5:30 pm – ?  
Where: Central Library
251 Dundas Street
 
What: Monthly Board Meeting  
Access today’s agenda HERE or grab a printed copy when you arrive. Parking is available in the underground Galleria London parking lot. Validate your parking ticket in the Library for 2 free hours of parking during Library hours. Metered street parking may be available. NOTE: To view one of the reports that are to be presented today, click HERE.


Library Service Reduction

February 27, 2007

Further to my earlier posts (here and here) about the closure of the 2nd-floor central library’s entrance to the Galleria Mall.

Curious about what discussion may have taken place prior to the closure, and what our political representatives on the Library Board may have had to say, I spent considerable time finding and then examining the minutes of Library Board meetings. Surprisingly, there’s no mention about it at all. How could that be?

Another email inquiry from me, and another response from the library. This one from Anne Becker, Library CEO:

As per our Strategic Plan, it is the accountability and responsibility of the CEO and Senior Team to manage the library system as efficiently and effectively as possible, within the operating and capital budget for each year. Accordingly, the decision to close the 2nd floor entrance was completed within this scope. It is an operational decision, not a governance decision. It was done for fiscal reasons and also for security reasons. Our Central Branch is in a large urban setting and we have security issues. To provide maximum security to both our staff and the individuals who use our branch, it was determined that a single entrance into the main branch is a very responsible solution. We have appropriate security in place at the 1st floor entrance to monitor this entrance / exit. We recognize that it may cause some minor inconvenience to some individuals and we do regret that inconvenience, however the 1st floor entrance is very accessible from both the street and the mall. Our previous stats clearly show that the 1st floor entrance has consistently been the entrance that the majority of patrons have always used for the Central Library.”

My translation:

After spending many millions of taxpayer dollars for the construction of the new central library (a decision that was defended at least in part on the contention that it would support the failing Galleria Mall) City Council is now underfunding the library’s operating budget. Those few retail establishments which still inhabit the Galleria Mall will experience reduced traffic and reduced sales.

And yes, how convenient was it for the Councillors on the Library Board that they didn’t have to take a position on this decision?

Library Service Reduction

February 17, 2007

As I mentioned yesterday, the 2nd-floor central library’s entrance to the Galleria Mall has been arbitrarily closed to patrons.A significant convenience, it was deprived without the library’s customary fanfare and without any prior public consultation.

Here is the explanation which I have now received from Nancy Ward (Manager, Public Services) :

The Library is aware that the closure of the second floor entrance will be inconvenient for some of our customers. This was a tough decision and was based on an analysis of many factors. I will try to explain why we feel that this is a decision that will benefit our service.

Security: Security of patrons, collections and staff will be enhanced by having one service point on the main floor. This will enable our security staff to be able to monitor the entrance effectively and efficiently.

Main Floor Revitalization: The Library is in the process of major changes to our first floor. We envision more displays, popular collections and high demand items in this area. This will make a very inviting place to visit. In order to provide more assistance to customers on the first floor we are concentrating our staff resources at one entrance.

Service Efficiency: Holds, self check units and customer service staff will all be concentrated in one service area. This is a more efficient use of staff resources given the much lower usage of the second floor. In addition, it will provide more opportunity for staff to provide customer service at the desk.

I hope that this outline of our reasons for deciding to close the second floor service point will answer your question. The Library also hopes that you will find the new first floor area well worth visiting.

Click here if you wish to find out who is responsible for this service reduction and how to contact them.

2006 Fowler Election Platform – Needle Disposal Bins

October 4, 2006

as originally posted on my Election Website

Some of what I’ve had to say in the past

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:47:05 -0500 (EST)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Failure to Communicate
To: “Sandy White”
CC: adecicco@london.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, John.Wilsons@corusent.com, newstalk1290today@cjbk.com

Sandy,

With respect to the issue of Needle Disposal Bins.

Since there’s been no response from Mr. Irwin at the Central Library, or from anyone at the London Middlesex Health Unit, or from Councillor Eagle, or from Councillor Tranquilli …

and as I’ve expressed to you before, this is terrible behaviour on the part of people who are paid out of the public purse…

Please visit my web blog and review my letters of 2006/01/07 which you will find in the “Library Services” archive.

Perhaps you are in a better position to make inquiries and to get answers than what I am.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Mr. Greg Fowler

email: fowgre@yahoo.ca
smail: 962 Eagle Crescent; London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7
Blog: ca.geocities.com/fowgre/
phone: (519) 649-0500

Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 07:51:27 -0500 (EST)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Fwd: Info Request – Needle Disposal
To: igillespie@lfpress.com, jsher@lfpress.com
CC: bill.irwin@lpl.london.on.ca, health@mlhu.on.ca, seagle@london.ca, ftranqui@london.ca

Mr. Gillespie,

With respect to “the wisdom of placing needle dispenser bins in the washrooms at London’s Central Library on Dundas Street.”

I agree with you that nobody has a “right” to do drugs in the library. And I suppose I have some concern that the presence of dispenser bins might attract persons with serious drug addictions and behavioural problems to the library who otherwise would not be there.

My biggest concern though, is for the safety of library workers. And my presumption is that the bins will result in greater safety for those workers, even if they don’t resolve the problem of unsafe disposal in it’s entirety.

Your suggestion that “accommodating drug users is driving away legitimate patrons” would have been easier to accept if you had prefixed the word “patrons” with a qualifier, such as “some.” I am the organizer of the Forest City Backgammon Club, which conducts it’s meetings 6-9pm on Thursday evenings on the Central Library’s 3rd floor. Even after polling some of the membership on this issue, I have received no expressions of concern about the issue.

As a father and a grandfather, I think that your valid concern for the safety of children (“do you really want your children to visit a library where addicts are shooting up in the washroom?”) might better have been accompanied by a reminder that things like drug use, sexual predators, etc. are a larger societal problem than at this one location, and that children should never be left unattended in public washrooms.

Given my public advocacy over the past decade for increased budgets for police and other essential services, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the quote attributed to Mr. Irwin that “London police’s foot patrol officers regularly tour the library.”

I don’t believe that the police need to attend at the library regularly. But what concerns me about the quote is that many people will misinterpret “regularly” and come to the impression that the police are there (or anyplace else) frequently. And that will simply compound the folly of the notion that we can continue to exert pressure on the police budget without negative consequeces.

What interests me most about this issue, is whether or not the Library Board made it’s decision in isolation, or if it consulted with other community stakeholders first? Is there a broader approach to the problem of needle disposal, with leadership coming from Council and the Health Unit?

Some of what I’ve had to say in the past

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:47:05 -0500 (EST)From: “Gregory Fowler”Subject: Failure to CommunicateTo: “Sandy White”CC: adecicco@london.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, John.Wilsons@corusent.com, newstalk1290today@cjbk.com

Sandy,

With respect to the issue of Needle Disposal Bins.

Since there’s been no response from Mr. Irwin at the Central Library, or from anyone at the London Middlesex Health Unit, or from Councillor Eagle, or from Councillor Tranquilli …

and as I’ve expressed to you before, this is terrible behaviour on the part of people who are paid out of the public purse…

Please visit my web blog and review my letters of 2006/01/07 which you will find in the “Library Services” archive.

Perhaps you are in a better position to make inquiries and to get answers than what I am.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Mr. Greg Fowler

email: fowgre@yahoo.casmail: 962 Eagle Crescent; London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7Blog: ca.geocities.com/fowgre/phone: (519) 649-0500

Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 07:51:27 -0500 (EST)From: “Gregory Fowler”Subject: Fwd: Info Request – Needle DisposalTo: igillespie@lfpress.com, jsher@lfpress.comCC: bill.irwin@lpl.london.on.ca, health@mlhu.on.ca, seagle@london.ca, ftranqui@london.ca

Mr. Gillespie,

With respect to “the wisdom of placing needle dispenser bins in the washrooms at London’s Central Library on Dundas Street.”

I agree with you that nobody has a “right” to do drugs in the library. And I suppose I have some concern that the presence of dispenser bins might attract persons with serious drug addictions and behavioural problems to the library who otherwise would not be there.

My biggest concern though, is for the safety of library workers. And my presumption is that the bins will result in greater safety for those workers, even if they don’t resolve the problem of unsafe disposal in it’s entirety.

Your suggestion that “accommodating drug users is driving away legitimate patrons” would have been easier to accept if you had prefixed the word “patrons” with a qualifier, such as “some.” I am the organizer of the Forest City Backgammon Club, which conducts it’s meetings 6-9pm on Thursday evenings on the Central Library’s 3rd floor. Even after polling some of the membership on this issue, I have received no expressions of concern about the issue.

As a father and a grandfather, I think that your valid concern for the safety of children (“do you really want your children to visit a library where addicts are shooting up in the washroom?”) might better have been accompanied by a reminder that things like drug use, sexual predators, etc. are a larger societal problem than at this one location, and that children should never be left unattended in public washrooms.

Given my public advocacy over the past decade for increased budgets for police and other essential services, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the quote attributed to Mr. Irwin that “London police’s foot patrol officers regularly tour the library.”

I don’t believe that the police need to attend at the library regularly. But what concerns me about the quote is that many people will misinterpret “regularly” and come to the impression that the police are there (or anyplace else) frequently. And that will simply compound the folly of the notion that we can continue to exert pressure on the police budget without negative consequeces.

What interests me most about this issue, is whether or not the Library Board made it’s decision in isolation, or if it consulted with other community stakeholders first? Is there a broader approach to the problem of needle disposal, with leadership coming from Council and the Health Unit?