Monday, September 17, 2012

Traugher’s decision, part of a two-hour hearing, came after a legal challenge filed by the city arguing that the library cards met the criteria under a revised state voter law. As of Jan. 1, a photo ID card issued by a state or federal institution is required as proof of identity before a ballot can be cast – a driver’s license being the most likely option. Attorneys for the state told Traugher the city lacked legal authority to issue valid picture IDs for voters, according to media reports.

A lawsuit had been expected almost from the first day – July 5 – the new library card initiative was rolled out in Memphis. The city’s library system, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. said, is the very embodiment of a state institution. So there was no doubt the cards fit the requirements set down in the state law.

Bob Warburton, “Judge: Library Memphis Cards Aren’t Photo ID”, Library Journal.

This seems utterly ridiculous - not everyone has a driver’s license, and this could be the only form of state-issued photo ID that they have (because, yes! Public libraries are, in fact, a government institution). This is denying public libraries their place in government. When people sign up for a library card, they have to bring proof of who they are, so why shouldn’t a photo ID library card be proof of who they are as well? This ruling seems to invalidate not just library users, but libraries themselves.

(via nocureforcuriosity)

Well, if the law requires that it be a STATE or federal institution, a library card probably doesn’t pass muster. Because public libraries are generally municipal or county institutions, and therefore not STATE identification.

I mean, here’s another example: I attend a municipal university. It is not a state-run institution but run by my city (and, you know, the Board of Regents and blah blah blah). I carry a photo ID from my university. It is NOT state-issued identification, and I could not use it to vote. But the thing is, we all agree that this is the case because it is essentially a municipal ID. It is the same with libraries.

(Which raises an interesting question about state-run universities and, if such a thing exists, STATE-run libraries. I am not sure whether there are STATE-run libraries, though.)

It’s not GOVERNMENT-issued identification that’s required, it’s STATE identification. And this is why voter education with these new (stupid) ID laws is so important: because people may very well not understand the difference between the IDs they may have and end up getting confused because they think they are set when, in reality, they are not. And this is where the Obama campaign gets props regardless of where your political loyalties lie: it has been working very hard to educate people, for free, about these things, and to prevent shitty situations.

As for the “libraries not having their proper place in government”, again: the governmentality of the library does not seem to be the issue. The issue is whether it is a STATE-issued identification. It even says that the city lacked legal authority for the required IDs, which indicates that the library’s place is in CITY government. This is the American system at work, friends: a nesting system of governments-within-governments.

(via amazonqueenkate)

If you read the article, it says that the mayor believes that the library cards do fit the requirements issued by state law. That is what the case was about: whether or not libraries can represent the state. The judge ruled no, and the ultimate ruling is ridiculous too: “Any would-be voter that presented one, he instructed, should be issued a provisional ballot. That ballot would be sealed and counted only when the resident returned within two business days with another valid form of photo ID. Early voting in Memphis began three days after Goins’ decision.” This gives citizens no time to get a photo ID if they don’t already have one, since usually the process can take weeks.

A lot of would-be voters are going to be shut out because of this. Even though libraries are local-level institutions, they are supported by taxes from both the city they operate in AND the state. I would consider them to be part of the state government, as well, since they adhere to both local and state laws. So I think that a public library can very accurately represent the state they reside in.

On average prices will increase 220%.

Hachette to raise ebook prices for libraries by 220% — paidContent

Who would do this to ordinary consumers? And what consumers would tolerate it? Ugh.

(via arlpolicynotes)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Traugher’s decision, part of a two-hour hearing, came after a legal challenge filed by the city arguing that the library cards met the criteria under a revised state voter law. As of Jan. 1, a photo ID card issued by a state or federal institution is required as proof of identity before a ballot can be cast – a driver’s license being the most likely option. Attorneys for the state told Traugher the city lacked legal authority to issue valid picture IDs for voters, according to media reports.

A lawsuit had been expected almost from the first day – July 5 – the new library card initiative was rolled out in Memphis. The city’s library system, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. said, is the very embodiment of a state institution. So there was no doubt the cards fit the requirements set down in the state law.

Bob Warburton, “Judge: Library Memphis Cards Aren’t Photo ID”, Library Journal.

This seems utterly ridiculous - not everyone has a driver’s license, and this could be the only form of state-issued photo ID that they have (because, yes! Public libraries are, in fact, a government institution). This is denying public libraries their place in government. When people sign up for a library card, they have to bring proof of who they are, so why shouldn’t a photo ID library card be proof of who they are as well? This ruling seems to invalidate not just library users, but libraries themselves.

Friday, September 7, 2012
This was the first book I’d read in a long, long time that actually befit the name “page turner,” where the time flew by as the plot grew thicker and creepier, where the world it created inhabited my thoughts even when I wasn’t reading it. This book is exciting in so many different ways: aside from just being a thoroughly enjoyable and thrilling read, it’s one of the first sci-fi young adult novels I’ve ever read with such solid queer characters. The plot of this book is so engrossing that it won’t just be read by queer kids because it’s queer. Kids of all stripes will read this, and get an awesome queer perspective injected into their brains as a bonus. Jill Guccini’s wonderful review of Adaptation in her column “Your New School Library” at AfterEllen (via malindalo)
People need to know that the resources are beyond these walls and at all hours. The power of a library card is tremendous. Hasbrouck Heights Library Director, Mimi Hui (via libraryadvocates)
Big Box Store Has New Life As An Airy Public Library
Finally! Something useful and inspiring to do with all those empty vacant buildings just sitting there abandoned. Click the picture to read more about the McAllen Library, whose previous life was that of rolled back prices.

Big Box Store Has New Life As An Airy Public Library

Finally! Something useful and inspiring to do with all those empty vacant buildings just sitting there abandoned. Click the picture to read more about the McAllen Library, whose previous life was that of rolled back prices.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
laphamsquarterly:

Speaking of Emily Dickinson, the schedule for a 19th century women’s seminary student didn’t leave much time for poetry-writing.
See how the school day compares to other daily routines from our Lines of Work issue.

laphamsquarterly:

Speaking of Emily Dickinson, the schedule for a 19th century women’s seminary student didn’t leave much time for poetry-writing.

See how the school day compares to other daily routines from our Lines of Work issue.

The tweet announcing the formation of the EveryLibrary.org campaign came a day earlier than its founder and executive director John Chrastka had intended, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Within four hours of Kate Tkacik’s post to Tumblr, donors had contributed $400 toward EveryLibrary’s goal of raising $50,000 by November 7 with the interests of helping public, school, and academic libraries get ballot initiatives passed in 2013 and beyond.

Beverly Goldberg, American Libraries | The Campaign is on to Form the Nation’s First Library PAC

(Tumblr’s own Lifeguard Librarian [Kate Tkacik] flexes her muscles, and the internet takes notice. Tumblr’s influence has grown while the adults weren’t looking.)

(via thepinakes)

Pulling this bit out: “Tumblr’s influence has grown while the adults weren’t looking.”

(via libraryjournal)

Kate Tkacik: saving the world, one library at a time.