libraries

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Seattle Public Library is about to make the Internet as lendable as everything else in its collection.

It's the next step in the library's reinvention. A grant from Google means the Seattle Public Library will begin lending Wi-Fi hotspots to library patrons. By the summer it will also lend laptop computers packaged with wifi. 

Before Google there was — that paragon of accuracy and calm — the librarian. The New York Public Library recently came upon a box of questions posed to the library from the 1940s to the '80s — a time capsule from an era when humans consulted other humans for answers to their daily questions and conundrums.

Here's one salacious example: "I went to a New Year's Eve Party and unexpectedly stayed over. I don't really know the hosts. Ought I to send a thank-you note?" asked a "somewhat uncertain female voice" during a midafternoon telephone call on New Year's Day 1967.

Old Favorites On The Library Shelf

Feb 28, 2014
Flickr Photo/German Poo-Caamano (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher and librarian Nancy Pearl look through the bin of Newberry Award winners at Seattle Public Library's Northeast Branch. They also wander over to the children’s literature shelves where Pearl encounters some old friends.

Flickr Photo/Frank Fujimoto

When Seattle Public Library lifted its ban on guns in early November, officials there said they had done so because patrons had complained.  

Internal library emails reveal that there was just one patron complaint in several years – a man with a Yahoo email account who didn’t identify himself as either a patron or Seattle resident.

Seattle 2013: A Year In Protest

Dec 30, 2013
Heather Villanueva

As we looked back on the last year, debating which stories to highlight here, we noticed a trend that surprised us: 2013 was a year of activism and protest in the Seattle area.

Are Traditional Libraries In Jeopardy?

Jan 28, 2013
emdot / Flickr

Thousands of librarians are gathering in Seattle for the annual ALA Midwinter Meeting, and they've got a lot to talk about. Ross Reynolds spoke with ALA President Maureen Sullivan about the future of libraries and how they survive in a digital age.