Civil Liberties

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 07/13/2008 - 09:29.

Today's PD includes an editorial opposed to Library Director Ken Warren's decision to monitor computer use at Lakewood Public Library. 

Public library patrons should be left alone

I know and respect the author of the editorial for his civic engagement.  I applaud him for discussing what seems like a cut-and-dry violation our constitutional rights, but let's look harder at all of our library systems to determine the best way to protect all of our civil liberties in the process of establishing library STANDARDS for ALL. 

We as a civil society need statewide library STANDARDS.  Inconsistent standards create loopholes, and we, Americans, all know how loopholes erode democratic society.  Standards do not erode democratic society.  John Moss looks at Lakewood Library and faults them for their one standard, and yet, the other library systems held up as examples of unfettered access, have their own restrictive standards/policies, not necessarily made known to the public. 

Dig deeper, John--perhaps, you can help to set statewide standards that make Ohio libraries the standard bearer for libraries throughout the country.

( categories: )


Interesting that Ed Morrison is also thinking about libraries and economics

Main Entry:
eco·nom·ics Listen to the pronunciation of economics Listen to the pronunciation of economics
\ˌe-kə-ˈnä-miks, ˌē-kə-\
noun plural but singular or plural in construction
1 a: a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services b: economic theory, principles, or practices <sound economics>2: economic aspect or significance <the economics of building a new stadium>3: economic conditions <current economics>


Justin's story

  The irony here--"urban/underprivileged" kids without webcam computers are "safer" and less likely to be able to broadcast personal details about themselves and fall into the trap set for "suburban/privileged" kids like Justin.

Ken Warren's policy reasonates with Lakewood residents, because like "urban" residents, they want standards and they know that the lines are blurring every day.  Parents/Kids/Adults?  Who is watching who?

(Parents have an option that provides some structured access to the Internet.  Buy a laptop and visit the library with your kids.  They can work on their papers at home and come to the library with you for supervised use of WiFi.)

Lakewood Public Library

I couldn't afford a PD today...

With the over-pricing of the PD, I'm no longer a regular reader... and I wouldn't know where to find Litt's columns any more if I was... is it in the Saturday "Religion and Life" section, or the Tuesday "Cleveland Clinic Life" section.

I though Litt left with the last bunch of PD writers...

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Without photos, Litt's column is worthless

I looked at the link to Litt's column and it is meaningless to read his words abuyt this without some visuals of what he critiques. One thing I know is Litt loves "modernism" and hates "NEO"-classical architecture. The last column I saw by him was in gushing praise of that 1970's throwup "retro-modernism" box... er, "ship's bridge", just completed on the Shoreway, which Litt loves and I hate... so we don't seem to have similar tastes or opinions on architecture in general or for these critical times.

He has some interesting perspectives from Lakewood Library Director Ken Warren, who is one of the most opinionated people I've met, and who can be counted on to have strong reason for all he does, and be certain he is correct!

I suppose my big concern is as we build all these fancy islands of books and computers, throwing $20 million libraries in every 'burb and X'burb, somebody needs to pay for them, forever! Hopefully the costs all come out of the pockets of Lakewood residents. I don't consider the Disneyfication of the region, with themepark pools and Signature Libraries, sustainable or socially desirable.

The biggest question I therefore have, which Litt doesn't even explore, is how green was this library project. How much pollution was created to make it happen, and how much pollution is caused or saved each day as a result. If the impact is greener, good for Warren. If not, the library is a failure.

As for "looks" - I'll let you know next time I'm on the Isle of Lakewood....

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New Lakewood Library looks good in their eyes

I looked to the Lakewood Library website for photos of the new library and didn't see any, but there are photos of the old library and redevelopment through 2007, with tons of content. The old library was pretty ugly.... a hodge hodge.  Here is the rendering of the new design... I'll get some photos asap.

Rendering of new Lakewood library

Here is how they describe their own library, which sound well thought-out...

The Lakewood Public Library Board of Trustees held the official opening of the expanded and renovated Main Library on June 1, 2008. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the new facility has nearly doubled the size of the Main Library from 55,000 to 93,000 square feet with room for greatly expanded children's services and computer access, not to mention more books, movies, music, newspapers and magazines. Guests at the rededication saw the Grand Reading Room adorned by twin murals of Lakewood life by celebrated artist, Richard Haas. They basked in the luxury of our beautiful new state-of-the art auditorium and the possibilities of the multi-purpose performance space. They also toured the new and improved Technology Center and Learning Lab. Many frolicked through the new Children's and Youth Services Department and saw the archway sculpture of Ohio wildlife devised by the Cleveland Institute of Art's own David Deming. And, they let loose in the Lakewood Librainium for Reading Readiness, a fun, playful learning experience designed by the Burgeon Group.

A reception for architect Robert A.M. Stern featured short remarks, light refreshments and live jazz. His firm is known for beautiful, cost-effective, long-lasting, memorable, successful and welcoming buildings. Projects include the Nashville Public Library, Bangor Public Library, Clearwater Public Library, Miami Beach Library, the Main Library in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Main Library in Columbus, Georgia.

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PD sales down at Browns

I was over at Brown's Market today and I asked the owner if the PD price increase had impacted paper sales. He said sales are way down... and when they took the TV section out of the non-delivery Sunday papers, his Sunday sales went down by more than 50%.

I'd be interested how this is impacting other markets... ask any markets you frequent how much PD sales are down since the price increase and report back.

The PD now offers two classes of paper, with the lower value paper being more expensive, and forced on the poor. The PD is trying to price and gauge customers away from buying the PD at stores (which at least earns shopkeepers a few cents), hoping people will subscribe and pay direct.

This seems a poor approach to market economics that most rational economist would expect to fail, and the Voodoo Republicans love... we'll see if PD home circulation goes up this year, 'cause it is safe to say counter sales will be down (revenues and profits from counter sales may be up, what with a 50% price increase and ongoing product downsizing).

No matter what, they've pissed off lots of poor urban customers.

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  Here is where I agree with Litt's comments on the Robert A.M. Stern remodeled library:

"Lakewood Public Library sees itself as a rock of certainty and stability amid the cultural storms of the 21st century, and it very much wants you to know it."

"In other words, in today's contest between the printed word and digital media, the library has chosen sides."

"The finished product functions well, especially for book lovers..."

"In this house of knowledge, you'll always be able to find your way and chart a clear course to understanding.  The high ceilings reinforce the idea by acting as a spatial metaphor--lofty spaces encourage lofty thoughts."

Here is where I adamantly disagree and find the comment grossly offensive:

"The design brings to mind the stripped-down classicism of Albert Speer, chief architect of the Third Reich."

I have not visited the remodeled library, yet, but I will.  I don't live in Lakewood, but my grandparents lived in Lakewood and my grandmother worked at the library.  Like most immigrants, they found refuge in the library.  I think that Steven Litt owes an apology to Robert A.M. Stern for a patently offensive comment that unfairly demeans and insults the architect of the remodeled Lakewood Public Library and by extension the library board of trustees and Library Director Ken Warren.

One of the ugliest references in PD memory

That Speer reference is very odd - I was shocked by that as well... what was the purpose of that undertone?

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Flippant and nasty

  I could care less if Steven Litt considers the architecture of Lakewood Public Library too totalitarian for his taste, but to imply that the architect was inspired by the architecture of the Nazis is morally reprehensible and tactless.

one never knows what causes these things

I used to have to endure critic's reviews regularly. Thankfully much of what we did she "got". But I recall several instances where I was mortified to read comments like "heavy-hipped, thick thiged" referring to a beautiful dancer who's weight was never an issue for other viewers. Then there were the "reports" - the light was blue, the costumes were brown.

One steels the soul against such slights after time and defers to ideas like - oh, they had something disagreeable to eat before writing this or boy - it must really suck to be in the position of critic.

I haven't seen the Library, but the front view that was pictured looked pretty sweet in the itty bitty photo. Also the headline written not by Litt (usually an editor writes the headlines), belies the many nice things he had to say.

Third Reich comment? Well, maybe it was the result of some overly greasy food. Per critcs we can always recall that maxim - opinions are like sphincters, everyone has one.

Maybe Laura and Norm can write your own reviews here once you've seen the building. No comments yet at Cleveland Design City.