Friday, January 20, 2012

Shutesbury: M.N. Spear Memorial Library News!

I've never been to Shutesbury or I can't recall if I have ever been there. I am not sure if the people of Shutesbury have heard that the Revolutionary War is over. There may very well still be armed groups of militia patrolling the woods waiting for Hessian troops to come over the ridge at any time. The pictures that I have seen say to me quaint little Yankee village.

Here's one:

But I digress, Shutesbury was one of the libraries in Western Mass which in 2011 received funding for the reconstruction of their town library. The town recently had a vote whether or not to approve local funding for this project which has been four years in planning. Their library is small and severely lacks modern amenities (like running water). The project comes with a price-tag of $3.5 million. The vote passed with a one vote margin : 523-522. The vote had been tied, but a ballot which had not been counted passed official scrutiny and was counted. Their own little slice of controversy I'm sure which will be the talk of town for generations to come.

This very close vote details the financial considerations particularly in these hard economic times that small towns need to make. Does a town of 1,800 people need a new-fangled library? I'm sure that there was a combination of factors which lead to those no votes. Some, quite simply probably didn't want to change their old cute as a button local library. I can certainly feel for them. There is something to be said for tradition. Some I'm sure, simply didn't want to pay for something in all honesty they would never use. I can appreciate their honesty.

Having done a little more research into this library I want to check it out for myself. It was 'on the list' but now I need to get up their sooner rather than later because I want to see this little old library. I was going to go there tomorrow, but alas, they are closed on Friday. Maybe Saturday, but in any event, I will get there soon.

Here is a small citation on the story Shutesbury library measure approved by single vote from

The official M.N. Spear Memorial Library homepage.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Update: Holyoke Public Library

There has been an update on the opening of the temporary library. It has been rescheduled for next Monday. These things never run as planned, so I am sure that the public is resigned to be patient.

Those locally in Holyoke who need the use of a library should know that the South Hadley library is only about 5 to 10 minutes away depending on how friendly the lights and traffic are.

Here is a link to the Masslive Article.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Library Fines Are Serious Business

Many of my more meme savvy readers may recognize the nod in my blog title. However, according to the Charlton (Mass) Library overdue books will be retrieved with extreme prejudice - regardless of your toddler's age. Article

Now this is not the first time the police have been sent after a library scofflaw. Usually we hear these stories attached with somebody who has some really ridiculous fines and a bad history. I am no saint whatsoever when it comes to this. I have yet to see the sheriff's blue lights outside my window. Most libraries understand that people can be forgetful. I believe that they use this as a tactic to create a little buzz and just get the message out there that they would like their books back. I have no issue with that.

Here comes the big however... A 5 year old girl! Really now? Are those dog-eared. pastel sprayed books that important. It is not like she checked out your one first-edition print of The Catcher in the Rye. Isn't that in the least bit excessive.They have amnesty return days for Heaven's sake. The books aren't that expensive.

You don't want to traumatize the child to hate the library. The library is meant to foster community and be a resource. Yes, obviously the institution wants to protect the community material, but this was a massive mental malfunction for the staff involved.

I really feel sorry for the cop who ultimately is going to be portrayed as the heel and will catch nothing but national ridicule (It was on Drudge - nuff said) until this blows over. The library was clearly wrong in this and needs to apologize to the family. I am very much a republican, law and order guy, but even with that being said there is a line.

So libraries, please don't be stupid when it comes to this. You have a standard of decorum to show the community. You do not want children to never want to never enter your doors or their property-tax paying, community issue voting parents to hate you. Go after the easy targets, not the rugrats.

It is unknown whether or not she only had 30 seconds to comply.