Archive for April, 2012

Is this library open, a reading room, or closed?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

If you have personal awareness (or know someone who does) of the state of one or more of these libraries, could you send me email or comment below? (Email: waltcrawford at If it’s still operating but entirely as a volunteer operation or a reading room, I’d like to know that as well.

Arranged by state (alphabetic by postal code); unless there’s an “in X,” the city name is in the library name.

Update, 10:30 a.m., April 10, 2012: Given early responses (and Michael Golrick’s forwarding of the list to state library coordinators), I’ve resolved a number of these already. The resolved ones now appear as struck out, with the resolution (Closed or Open) at the right. [Responses being added as received.]


Mountain Village Public Library Closed
Old Harbor Library Closed
Pilot Station Public Library Closed
Nellie Weyiouanna Ilisaavik in Shishmaref Closed


Highland Home Public Library Closed


Surf-Bal-Bay Public Library in Surfside


Montour Public Library Closed
Soldier Public Library Closed


Summerfield Public Library


Cooper Free Public Library Closed
Sabattus-Town Square Library in Sabattus Closed
Somerville Town Library Closed


Newburg Public Library Open

North Dakota

West Dakota Library in Carson Closed
Drake Public Library Merged with nearby library


Cook Public Library
Edgar Public Library
Royal Public Library

New Jersey

Cedarville Public Library

New Mexico

Dexter Public Library Closed
Elida Public Library  Open (but no longer qualifies as PL)


Nash Public Library


Lake City Public Library  Closed; served by Rice Avenue Comm. Lib.

South Dakota

Volin Public Library


Turkey Public Library Open


Ryegate Corner in Ryegate


Two digits

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

I’m still around…and spending possibly more time on this “closed public libraries” thing than it might really deserve. Except that it’s interesting and, I think, says a lot about how much people care about local public libraries–something that’s probably the only real refutation you need of those who claim U.S. public libraries are going to (or, worse, should) fade away or disappear rapidly.

I’ve done all the fast scans and moderately-slow scans, and now I’m on the final leg (before writing it all up and drawing conclusions). That last leg is a killer, probably taking a lot more time than the other phases and requiring breaks after every three or four libraries.

Without revealing results in any detail, the title of this post will tell you something, given that I’m looking at public library closures over a 12-year period (1998 through 2008).

I’m seeing the occasional sad story that says nothing about loss of support for public libraries: For example, when a town is mostly washed away in a flood, goes from 480 people to 26 in the course of two years, and dissolves as a town…well, it’s not surprising that the library is still closed. To some extent, it’s the sad stories and the disappearing communities that make this phase slow and difficult.

Oh, and can I once again say how much I love (for an unusual definition of love) the hundreds (thousands?) of autogenerated webs of pages that make it difficult to ascertain what’s really out there? (That’s not hundreds of pages–it’s probably millions of pages in hundreds of autogenerated webs.)

It’s a mystery

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

If you’ve been thinking of buying any of the Cites & Insights books–e.g., the annual bound volumes (which are now the only way to get the annual index), which directly support C&I, or any of the other books, this week may be an interesting time.

Lulu’s having a “mystery sale” through April 6, 2012. No coupon codes. You just shop, and each time you add something to your basket, it shows how much of a discount you’re getting. (I have NO idea what those discounts will be, but I note that Lulu’s frequent coupon-based sales are generally in the 15% to 20% range, sometimes up to 25%. Note that in all cases I get the revenue I normally would: The discount comes out of Lulu’s overhead.)

So, well, give it a try.

PS: While you’re at it, this week would be a good time to buy the casebound (hardback) edition of The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing, by itself or in combination with one or more C&I books: You’ll also get the mystery sale. (Just at a guess, you might save enough to make the hardback cost the same as the paperback…although there’s no guarantee.)

And if you’ve been turned off by Lulu’s registration requirement in the past: That’s gone. You can now buy books without opening a Lulu account.

The Greater Problem: A new focus for W.a.R. & C&I

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

I was wrong.

I’ve looked back at various responses to my foolish attempt to find out the truth about public library closings, those responses arguing that there is A Greater Problem, thus making the lesser issue irrelevant.

They’re right, of course.

Which means that I will now* focus all of Walt at Random, Cites & Insights and my other efforts on The Greater Problem–which is, of course, global climate change, the problem that overshadows all other problems.

After all, why waste time on anything smaller when there’s this greater problem to address?

I’m now working with corporate sponsors (who are not yet ready to be named) on a series of international conferences addressing The Greater Problem. Thousands of acknowledged experts, politicians and ordinary citizens will be flown (in 707s converted to fly 20 passengers each in first-class comfort) to a variety of significant destinations for each conference, with all expenses paid by the corporate sponsors. The actual conferences will be unconferences, of course. (Initial sites for conferences might include Kiribati, the Wake Islands, Miami Beach…)

*”Now” is defined as from the time this post appears until the end of the 91st day of 2012. After that, I’m back to those ignominious lesser problems and issues.

Second Footnote

Today marks the seventh anniversary of Walt at Random. The dashboard currently shows 1,522 posts and 3,920 approved comments; Spam Karma 2 has trapped 74,445 spams (it seems like a LOT more) and Bad Behavior has blocked 896 access attempts….in the past week.

In the past year, there have been 470,974 sessions and 2,146,946 pageviews–and I believe as many as 2% of those have been people rather than spambots.

The most-viewed actual post, with just under 11,000 views during that year, is “The Cover Story Part 1.” Sure it is. Apparently a wide variety of spambots access this blog, as I see 55,743 IP addresses in 113 “countries” over the past year. (I use scare quotes around “countries” since that’s really top-level domains; the most common country is .com, for example.)