NPR Series: Public Libraries In America

1:06am

Mon October 21, 2013
Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.
Jennifer Davidson KSMU

There's one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It's a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There's no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library.

Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.

Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.

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10:11am

Thu August 22, 2013
Music

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 11:30 am

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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4:58pm

Mon August 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

Combining The Nation's Digitized Libraries, All In One Place

The San Francisco Public Library has been digitizing its historical document collections for years, including the scrapbooks of famed homicide detective Theodore Kytka. The SFPL is among scores of libraries and archives adding their digital collections to the DPLA.
Via San Francisco Public Library

Part of a series, Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries

Buried in the archives of America's public and academic libraries are historical treasures — old papers, photos and records — that flesh out a detailed picture of our past.

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1:07am

Mon August 19, 2013
Books

For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 2:14 pm

The Tyson Library in Ludlow, Vt., is required to support itself independently; public libraries in Vermont receive no state funding.
Neda Ulaby NPR

More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state.

Vermont, for instance, brags that it has more libraries per capita than any other U.S. state. Some of them are remarkably quaint. In Ludlow, one library is a white clapboard Victorian, slightly frayed, ringed by lilies and sitting by the side of a brook.

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3:50am

Mon August 12, 2013
Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries

For Disaster Preparedness: Pack A Library Card?

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 9:43 am

Volunteers at the Queens Library in the Far Rockaway section of Queens hand out coats to people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
AFP/Getty Images

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, libraries in New York helped the storm's victims turn a new page. Librarians helped thousands of people fill out relief forms, connect to the Internet and make plans to rebuild.

The New Dorp branch of the New York Public Library in Staten Island wasn't damaged during Sandy. But just a few blocks away, houses were inundated with as much as 16 feet of water. And days after the storm, many of the library's patrons still lacked the most basic services.

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