TIME and other news outlets have picked up an Associated Press story relating that Ivika Turkson of the Tallinn Central Library in the Estonian capital of Talinn reported that an elderly man in his mid-eighties had returned a book he checked out on March 7, 1944, while Estonia was under occupation by Nazi Germany. The old fellow returned the book sixty-nine years after he checked it out with an apology and an offer to pay a late return fee.
The Talinn Central Library declined to charge him. To put this in context, earlier this year, a book was returned to the New York Public Library (NYPL) almost fifty-five years after it was borrowed, and last year, a book was returned to the Chicago Public Library (CPL) seventy-eight years after it was borrowed.
Last month, someone returned a copy of Fire of Francis Xavier: The Story of an Apostle by Reverend Arthur R. McGratty, S.J. on April 10, 1958 to the Fort Washington Library, a branch of the NYPL in the Washington Heights neighborhood of the Borough of Manhattan. Whoever mailed the book back to the library included a $100 check to cover any fines.
Last August, the CPL announced a “Once in a Blue Moon” Amnesty. During this period, the CPL waived $641,820 in fines as patrons returned 101,301 books, DVDs, and CDs or approximately $2,000,000 in property.
Most of the items the CPL regained were overdue by a matter of three to five weeks, but CPL Marketing & Communications Director Ruth Lednicer related to Chicago Tribune reporter Bridget Doyle that staff members were shocked by the number of items that had been checked out in the 1980s, or farther back, in the 1970s, but one woman returned a copy of Giant Animals of Long Ago by Agnes McCarthy, which the woman had borrowed as a little girl thirty-six years beforehand.
Someone else returned a copy of Weather and Man by Hans H. Neuberger that had been due for fifty-eight years. The item that had been missing the longest, however, was a limited edition of Oscar Wilde’s Faustian horror novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, which someone checked out in 1934.
On March 5, 2013, Encinitas, California-based Soutron Global announced “that Courthouse Libraries British Columbia has selected Soutron Global as their multi-site library software solution, replacing automation software products from SirsiDynix. The Courthouse Libraries is a not-for-profit society funded by the Law Society of BC and the Law Foundation of BC, Canada.”
Courthouse Libraries British Columbia helps the legal community as well as the general public find and use legal information, providing support to twenty-two local legal libraries, five regional legal libraries, and two legal resource libraries. Soutron Global stated, “As part of their strategic goals, the Courthouse Libraries strive to shape their digital offerings, collections and physical space to meet the diversity of needs in the legal communities they serve. In particular, they were delighted to discover the ease by which legal knowledge can be enhanced, cataloged and shared effectively with the Soutron Global legal library system.”
“As an organization, we value innovation, collaboration, enthusiasm and knowledge sharing – and we feel that Soutron is a good fit for us. Soutron impressed us with how closely they listened to our library system’s priorities and responded with a library management system approach targeted to our specific needs,” stated Mandy Ostick, Director, Digital Library, Courthouse Libraries BC. “I’m confident Soutron has the people and the tools to help us meet our goal: to meet our clients where they are to enhance access and provide effective use of legal information and tools.”
“At Soutron, we understand the difficulties associated with meeting the needs of diverse sets of clients, and our flexible legal library solution should easily help the Courthouse Libraries meet and exceed their strategic goals,” said Tony Saadat, CEO and President of Soutron Global.
Ross Dress For Less celebrated the opening of a new store at 1050 Mount Prospect Plaza on Saturday, March 9, 2013 by donating $1,000 to the Mount Prospect Public Library Foundation, as reported by RAILS. Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana K. Wilks cut the ribbon on the new store, located at Central and Rand roads, while Library Board former Trustee Jackie Hinaber, Foundation President Suzanne Busse, Library Board President Jane Everett, and Trustee Sylvia Haas were there to receive the donation.
On March 11, 2013, Carlsbad, California-based EOS International announced that it will host two events in New York City on April 22, 2013 at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. The EOS International Luncheon Seminar will take place on April 22, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Conference Room 35I of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
According to EOS, "This event is designed for individuals interested in learning more about EOS International and the products and services it provides. Steve Lastres, Director of Library & Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Ralph Monaco, Librarian and Executive Director at the New York Law Institute will be the featured guest speakers at EOS’s Luncheon Seminar."
Following the Seminar, EOS will host a Client Reception specifically for EOS clients to meet for an afternoon of refreshments and discussions about the latest enhancements to their EOS products, as well as how EOS is helping to improve their library’s capabilities. This will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Conference Room 35F of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Salvatore Provenza stated, "We look forward to attending our annual Seminar and Client Reception to meet with our prospects, partners, and clients in the New York Area. Our presence in the New York area provides us the opportunity to personally demonstrate our latest enhancements for our valued clients and to show prospects the amazing benefits of becoming an EOS client!"
Applications are now being accepted for FY2014 Illinois State Library (ISL) Public Library Construction Act Grants. Find the application, eligibility requirements and other information at http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/publib_construction.html.
Even though no funding is currently available to award grants in FY2014, the ISL is required by law (30 ILCS 767) to accept applications in the event funding does become available through action by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor. The deadline to submit applications is April 15, 2013.
If one has questions about the Public Library Construction Act Grant Program, please contact Mark Shaffer at 217-524-4901, mshaffer [at] ilsos.net; or Pat Boze at 217-782-1892, pboze [at] ilsos.net.
ISL Communications Manager Pat McGuckin stated last month, “Libraries continue to complete the required Annual Library Certification process. The deadline to complete the process is March 31.” The online form and additional information about the process is available at http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/libraries/librarycertification.html.
The annual certification process is a requirement for all library system members, full or developmental, in order to qualify for system services and programs/services from the Illinois State Library. Questions about the process should be emailed to the ISL Library Development Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly Pohl has written articles in the Daily Herald and Daily Herald Business Ledger about colleges reducing hours for adjunct faculty members who are part-time employees to avoid being compelled to give them health insurance under Obamacare. She covered a protest outside the Westin Lombard hotel in early March during the montly meeting of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents.
In mid-January, NBC reported the same thing about four state schools: Florida’s Palm Beach State College, Pennsylvania’s Community College of Allegheny County, Ohio’s Youngstown State University, and New Jersey’s Kean University. James Joyner noted in his Outside the Beltway (OTB) blog that this was precipitated by the IRS introducing rules to protect adjunct faculty (“New IRS Rules Designed to Help Adjunct Faculty Hurt Them”).
In an ideal world, colleges would hire adjuncts only rarely and for the purposes of teaching niche courses . Most courses would be taught by full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty making a decent living and fully committed to the life of the institution and its students.
Instead, adjuncts are hired in droves to teach introductory courses almost solely for the purposes of saving money. Full-time professors command decent salaries and benefits and accrue generous retirements, whereas adjuncts are paid a meager sum on a per-course basis. The national average is less than $3000 per course, with some institutions paying as little as a third of that.
The IRS is of course right that adjunct work hours should include time they spend working for the university, even if they’re not in front of the classroom. They are, after all, expected to grade papers and examinations and prepare for their lectures. The redefinition of “full-time” as a 30 hour week strikes me as odd, since we’ve traditionally defined it as 40 hours and most of us work more than that; but I’m generally in favor of making it less desirable to employ not-quite-full-time employees for the sole purpose of screwing them out of benefits.
 It was called the Blue Moon amnesty because the last one was held in 1992 and the previous one was in 1985.