Monday, June 2, 2014

New Play Space at the Library

Come Play at the Library!
For the summer months, we have cleared out some furniture to make room for playing and crafting! Bring the kids and let them play while you browse for books, so spend some time together doing fun activities!

Teen Advisory Scholarship Awarded

Congratulations to Amber Whiting of Riverside Christian Academy, this year's Friends of the Library sponsored Teen Advisory Board Scholarship winner! Amber is the valedictorian of her class and will be attending Lipscomb College in the fall. Congrats, Amber, we will miss you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Unusual Micro Libraries

The New York City phone booth libraries featured in WLT's July 2012 Outpost and in this interview with their inventor John Locke are an innovative immersion of books into urban settings, but these kiosk-style libraries are not exclusive to New York. Check out these ten unique micro libraries and community book shares that have brought books to cities, neighborhoods, parks, and even beaches.

1. Arma de Instrucción Masiva (Weapon of Mass Instruction)

Arma De Instruccion MasivaPhoto by Carlos Adampol/Flickr
Arma de Instrucción Masiva is an invention of art-car maker Raul Lemesoff. Altering a 1979 Ford Falcon that used to belong to the Argentine armed forces, the book tank is loaded with private donation books that passers-by can pull from the car. The car tours through Argentina's urban capital offering free books to all.

2. Bookyard 

Ghent, Belgium
Bookyard in St. Peter's Abbey Vineyard
Bookyard is an outdoor art installation and library designed by Italian artist Massimo Bartolini for the Belgian art festival Track: A Contemporary City Conversation. The exhibit will be open in 2012 until September 16, and readers can peruse the bookshelves, select books, and leave a donation of their choosing in a discrete box. Bookyard is located in St. Peter's Abbey Vineyard.

3. Open Air Library

Madgeburg, Germany
Open Air Library Open Air Library
This outdoor library was first established in 2005 by a group named KARO. The group used beer crates for building material as well as wood and materials from an old warehouse for the library portion of the structure. This open air library now offers seating and a comfortable atmosphere for reading.

4. Little Free Library

20+ Countries, 40+ U.S. States
Little Free Library Little Free Library
Little Free Library Little Free Library
Top Left: Matt Bruensteiner Top Right: Jeremy Cusker Bottom Left: Joanna June Bottom Right: Ambioct
The Little Free Library started as a tribute designed by Todd Bol to remember his mother, a teacher who loved books and encouraged people to read. He built a box, made it waterproof, and filled it with books. It caught on in his community in Hudson, Wisconsin, and from there the idea sprouted into a now international community book-sharing project. Little Free Libraries can be found in over 20 countries, and in hundreds of colors, shapes and sizes.

5. Levinski Garden Library

Tel Aviv, Israel
Levinski Garden Library
A collaboration between Arteam and Yoav Meiri Architects, the Levinski Garden Library is a social-artistic urban community project. The library has no walls or doors, and book shelves are transparent and illuminated from within causing the books to glow in the park at night. The library contains approximately 3,500 books in 14 languages.

6. Phone Box Library

United Kingdom
UK Phone Box Library
Photo by SuperFurryLibrarian/Flickr

Phone box libraries have been popping up in the UK since around 2009. Local communities can apply to adopt a kiosk for repurposing as libraries, art installations, showers, and even public toilets. This is just one of many around the UK that has been converted into a library where community members can take, or leave, a book.

7. Libraries in the Park

Bogota, Colombia

This little library in the park is one of about 47 in various neighborhoods of Bogota, Colombia. They were established by the Paradero Para Libros Para Parques (PPP), a program created to promote literacy across the country. Patrons can check books out, and each stand is staffed by a volunteer for around 12 hours a week.

8. The Uni

New York City, NY; Almaty, Kazakhstan
The UniPhoto compliments of the Uni Project

The Uni is a project of Street Lab that aims to temporarily transform almost any available urban space into a public reading room and venue for learning. The prototype was initiated in Boston where its creators, Sam and Leslie Davol, were searching out underutilized spaces for the public that could serve their nonprofit's goal of getting books in people's hands.  The Uni is designed to be lightweight so that it can travel easily, going wherever the people are—even if that's halfway around the world. The Uni 2.0 just shipped to Almaty, Kazakhstan this week—it was designed by Howeler + Yoon Architecture in Boston, MA and fabricated by Bill Bancroft Furniture in Brighton, MA. The structure will be used in parks and plazas around Almaty to create a roving, outdoor reading room through a partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Almaty and a local children's library. The Almaty project is funded by the US State Department.
The Uni at the Brooklyn Book Festival

9. IKEA Bondi Beach Outdoor Bookcase

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bondi Beach Bookshelves Bondi Beach Bookshelves
Photo by Charlie Brewer/Flickr

This was a one day affair but nonetheless a clever community library implementation. On Bondi beach—one of Australia's most famous beaches—IKEA set up 30 of their bookcases to offer bookworms thousands of books to swap with one of their own, or offer a gold coin donation that went to The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

10.  Public Bookshelves

Public Bookshelves in Germany
Photo by Windgeist/Flickr

Spread throughout Germany, these bookshelves function as free-for-all libraries financed by donation and cared for by local volunteer groups. Each shelf holds around 200 books and it takes about six weeks for a complete turnover.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Newsletter from Rep. Billy Spivey

The Tennessee General Assembly
House of Representatives
A weekly wrap-up of legislative news
Contact: Representative Billy Spivey              (615) 741-4170
Bills Eliminating Dozens Of Unnecessary Laws Passes House Of Representatives
Three bills that will eliminate dozens of unnecessary Tennessee laws have been approved by the Tennessee General Assembly this week and will now head to the Governor for his signature. The bills are a result of a summer project that saw House research analysts and legal staff examine portions of the Tennessee Code Annotated relative to their expertise and draft proposals to eliminate laws that were determined to be antiquated or unnecessary.
“One thing we hear from our constituents consistently is that there are too many laws on the books,” said House Speaker Beth Harwell. “I directed our staff to review our laws with the purpose of identifying archaic, unnecessary, and outdated language in an effort to ‘clean up the code.’ I sincerely appreciate the hard work of our House research team and legal staff. They spent several months poring over our laws and these three bills were the result.”
House Bills 325, 396, and 890 eliminate dozens of laws relating to transportation, finance, and commerce. In several cases, the bills also clarify certain language or delete repetitive or conflicting laws. Statutes pertaining to programs that have since been abolished by the federal government, reports that were assigned to come from entities that no longer exist, and several instances of repetitive language are examples of laws slated to be eliminated.
After years of writing and rewriting laws, many simply become redundant, while others are severely outdated. This effort, Republicans agree, will streamline state laws and make them easier to interpret for all interested parties.
Workers’ Compensation Reform Scores Legislative Victory
Bill will create fairness in the system for both employer and employee
The Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2013, an initiative that is part of Governor Bill Haslam’s legislative agenda for the year, easily passed the House of Representatives this week with a bipartisan vote from state lawmakers. 
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program, adopted in Tennessee in 1919, that compensates employees for injuries they suffer on the job. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of medical expenses and lost wages of employees when they suffer work-related injuries.

As passed, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act (House Bill 194) reforms the workers’ compensation system in Tennessee to provide more certainty for businesses while also protecting the interests of employees across the state.
Once signed by Governor Haslam, HB 194 will reduce the time it takes to receive permanent workers’ compensation benefits and improve injury medical treatment. In addition, the process for resolving workers’ comp disputes will be streamlined, allowing injured workers to receive compensation and return to work quicker.
According to critics, the current workers’ compensation process in Tennessee is unpredictable, cumbersome for determining benefits, and employees are often unable to receive benefits and return to work in a timely manner.
The new reform meets the overall goal of ensuring the most efficient and fair workers’ comp system for both employees and employers. The new system will also help Tennessee become an even more attractive place to work and do business.
Pension Reform Plan Passes House
Changes will only affect new employees hired by the State of Tennessee
Legislation proposed earlier this month to reform the state’s pension plan, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), passed the full House of Representatives this week in Nashville. The legislation represents a proactive approach by State Treasurer David H. Lillard and House Republicans to ensure the security of pension benefits for current employees, retirees, as well as future employees that will be hired in years to come.
The proposed changes, which will only affect new employees hired on or after July 1 of 2014, will change the current defined-benefits system to a hybrid plan that includes elements of defined-benefits and defined-contribution programs. A defined-benefit plan guarantees retirees a fixed pension benefit based on their years of service and earnings, while defined-contribution plans do not have guaranteed payment levels but rather specified contribution levels by the employer.
The pension changes, once signed into law by Governor Haslam, will not affect anyone that is currently a state employee, a teacher, a higher education employee, or an employee of a local government participating in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System.
Legislation Designed To Help Curb Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card Abuse Advances
A Republican-sponsored bill designed to help curb abuse of purchases made using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards will be heard on the House floor early next week in Nashville.
House Bill 119, if passed by the legislature, will prohibit use of a welfare recipient’s EBT card in liquor stores, adult cabarets, casinos, and other gambling facilities. In addition, welfare recipients who use EBT benefits illegally would be subject to disqualification from the program as permitted by federal law.
House Republicans agree the proposal is needed in Tennessee to ensure taxpayer dollars are not abused and to redirect EBT benefits to where they are intended to go – to help struggling families across the state. 
Anti-Income Tax Amendment Sails Through House Of Representatives
A constitutional amendment spearheaded by House Republicans to clarify that Tennessee’s Constitution prohibits a statewide income tax has been approved by lawmakers this week.
The amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 1, specifies that the legislature as well as counties and cities across the state shall be prohibited from passing an income tax on the people of Tennessee.
Now that it has been approved by the legislature, the amendment will be placed on the 2014 statewide ballot for a referendum vote by the people of Tennessee. If passed by referendum, the Tennessee Constitution will then be amended to officially ban a state income tax from ever being implemented in Tennessee.
House Republicans argue the resolution is needed after Democrat lawmakers have made multiple attempts in recent years to implement a state income tax.
In total, 8 Democrat legislators voted “NO” on banning a state income tax via Senate Joint Resolution 1. In addition, three Democrats also decided not to take a stand on the bill at all, even though they were in attendance for the vote.
Legislation Providing Hall Income Tax Relief for Senior Citizens Heads For Governor’s Signature
More senior citizens will qualify for Hall income tax relief under legislation approved by the 
Tennessee House of Representatives this week. House Bill 192 is part of Governor Bill Haslam’s legislative package to provide tax relief to citizens across the state.
The Hall tax is imposed on income derived from interest on bonds, notes, and stock dividends.   Since enactment of the Hall tax in 1929, the use of investment savings has grown as a primary source of retirement income. As such, the legislation approved this week raises the Hall income tax exemption level for citizens age 65 and older from $26,200 to $33,000 for single filers and from $37,000 to $59,000 for joint filers.
The action by Republican lawmakers builds on Hall tax relief efforts taken in 2011 which raised the exemption level for senior citizens from $16,200 to $26,200 for single filers and from $27,000 to $37,000 for joint filers. 
New Law Allows Prosecutors To Stop Statute Of Limitations When DNA Profile Is Known
Under legislation already approved by the State Senate, the Tennessee House of Representatives has passed a bill that will enable prosecutors to proceed with criminal charges against perpetrators even when they can’t be captured or identified by name, as long as the individual’s unique DNA profile is known.
At a news conference attended by leading state prosecutors and Republican Members of the General Assembly this week, the bill’s sponsors said the measure lets prosecutors “stop the clock” on the statute of limitations—that is, the time limit by which criminal actions must be commenced in criminal cases.
The legislation codifies the practice used in the case of Robert Jason Burdick, the so-called ‘Wooded Rapist’, whose crimes spanned more than a decade. His case was kept alive because a piece of skin he left at the scene of one of his earliest crimes provided law enforcement DNA evidence linking him to the crime. 
Even though the ‘Wooded Rapist’ wasn't taken into custody until several years after the crime, investigators were able to preserve the case through the DNA that was collected at the scene. As was the case for the ‘Wooded Rapist’, the use of DNA as a way of identifying defendants and preventing the statute of limitations from running out will help bring people to justice.
Now that the measure has been approved by both the House and Senate, it will travel to the desk of Governor Bill Haslam to be signed into law.
And in case you missed it…
Gun Carry Permit Confidentiality – House Bill 0009 passed the House of Representatives this week with full support from Republican lawmakers. As introduced, the bill makes confidential all information contained in and pertaining to handgun carry permit applications filed in Tennessee.
Beer Tax Reform Act – The house passed The Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 this week on a bipartisan vote of 87-2.  Tennessee has the highest beer tax rate in the nation by 12 percent over the next closest state, and it has continued to grow yearly. This law will stop the growth of the beer tax by changing an antiquated tax structure from price based to volume based, as is done in 48 other states. The bill should help job growth in Tennessee and will have a long-term positive impact on Tennessee’s economy.

FLCPL Commemorates Dr. King's Historic Letter with a Public Reading

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

TN Electronic Library provides Free Access to Records through

TEL’s partnership with continues to grow! In addition to the historic birth and death records, there are now tax lists available to all Tennesseans via the Tennessee Electronic Library.
Tennessee Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895
This database contains early tax lists from 71 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. Tennessee law did not require that tax lists be kept permanently, so many of the early records have been destroyed. In 1836 many counties sent a copy of their tax lists to the state Treasurer, and most of those have been preserved in the State Library and Archives. The database contains many tax lists for some counties, and just one or two tax lists for others.
What You Can Find in These Records
The Tennessee tax lists included in this database typically list the names of white males over age 21 and will sometimes provide information about that person's land, slaves, and other property. They also include valuations. They can be useful both for locating an ancestor and providing an idea about his circumstances. Records available vary by county and year.
You can find this new addition to the Tennessee Records under the Genealogy tab on the TEL website. Remember that while other resources require a subscription, these records are free for all Tennesseans. You will need to create a free guest account--watch this video for more information.

Visit the Tennessee Electronic Library at

Monday, March 25, 2013

FoL Speaker Lineup Announced!

This season's lineup will be awesome! You spoke and we listened! Last year's audience requested more speakers dealing with caring for and learning more from their own family collections. We also managed to squeeze in a few specially requested speakers. Please come out and join us on the last Tuesday of each month to hear some wonderful speakers!