The Facts

OCLC has published an insightful two-page pdf document on "How Libraries Stack Up".

Do explore the link.

People interested in learning about the dynamic nature of today's libraries should take a look at the document in question. Some of the findings will astound you!

-Richard Thau  /


Essential Programming!

This library is proud of our 2010 summer reading programs made available to all. We have provided programs for children, teens, and adults.
The following is some research that specifies the importance of summer reading programs especially for the young student demographic.
Link: Studies show summer reading keeps skills strong
University of Tennessee researchers Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen have completed a three-year study that shows a significantly higher level of reading achievement in students who had access to books for summer reading at home. A study (PDF file) by the Dominican University GSLIS also showed that students who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than students who did not participate.
Do share your insights with us! Contact Richard Thau, HTFL Library Director at

Real World Library Advocacy: Action Needed Now!

{Gleaned from the Pennsylvania Library Association}
To: Pennsylvania Library Supporters.
The vote on FMAP funding that had been scheduled for U.S. Senate on August 2 has been delayed until August 4.  This means that we have additional time to reach out to Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Robert Casey. 
Here is the background that you need to know:  The state budget that passed in late June relies on federal funding that has not yet been approved by Congress.  Without this federal assistance there is a good chance that even more public services funded at the state level will be reduced or eliminated, and this may include vital services and programs provided by Pennsylvania’s libraries.
The United State Senate is scheduled to consider a bill on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 that would insure the needed federal funds known as Federal Medical Assistance Percentage or FMAP.  These funds help to offset the cost of Pennsylvania providing health care for state residents who are poor or chronically ill.  The FMAP total for Pennsylvania is estimated to be $850 million and this amount was included as a source of revenue in the recently passed state budget.  Without it, the state budget will be out of balance and, since the medical assistance program is a federal mandate and cannot be cut, budget-balancing would need to take place in other state programs.  Needless to say, that has an ominous sound to it.
We have no specifics of what might take place if the FMAP money does not come through.  What we do know is that this will likely be a multi-step process beginning as soon as Wednesday and continuing in the U. S. House of Representatives after Labor Day. 
So, if you would, please contact Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Robert Casey today and urge them to support FMAP funding for Pennsylvania. 
Senator Arlen Specter:
Senator Robert Casey:
Here’s a brief message that you can copy and paste into the “message” section on the two links above:
 I urge you to support extending the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding that will return nearly $850 million for your constituents across Pennsylvania.  These funds are desperately needed to insure that medical assistance costs are fairly covered by the federal government.  Without this federal reimbursement, many vitally needed, state-supported programs—such as public libraries—are at risk.
During this recession, your constituents have relied on public libraries to a greater degree than ever before.  Visits to libraries are up 11%; in-library computer use is up 19%; and hits on library websites are up 48%.  Clearly, libraries are an information, technology and employment lifeline for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians.
These vital library services were cut in the state budget this year and last.  If the Congress does not extend FMAP funding, more deep service cuts may result and your constituents will face library services that are reduced even further.
Please do all that you can to extend vitally needed FMAP funding for Pennsylvania.  Thank you for your consideration and positive action.
Thank you for contacting Senators Specter and Casey.  Now more than ever, we need to educate our federal lawmakers about how much citizens depend on libraries as an information, technology, and employment lifeline, and that the loss of FMAP funding threatens their constituents’ access to a wide range of important public services, including libraries.
Thanks for your strong advocacy and for jumping quickly to this task.  Apologies for asking you to go through the “copy and paste” process two times but some technology hurdles require it, so thanks for your extra efforts.  We will keep you informed as this issue moves forward.
--Glenn R. Miller
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association
220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania  17055
phone:  717-766-7663
fax:  717-766-5440
Please join PaLA’s Facebook group, Pennsylvania’s 5.6 Million Library Cardholder Can’t Be Wrong
HTFL Customers: Thank you for reading this. We encourage you to be active advocates on behalf of your Haverford Township Free Library. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Richard Thau, Library Director.

Library Talk

Libraries are not only about borrowing books. Libraries are not only about housing books. Libraries are one of the vehicles in place to deliver community cohesion, social inclusion, community engagement, equality and diversity. Libraries are a place where you can access the internet. Libraries are venues for homework assistance, family center groups and programs. Libraries work with the education sector to promote reading. We stress adult learning to promote life skills akin to our nickname the People’s University. We work with the business community and members of our labor force. In essence, libraries are local and they are community centers. The best attract all ages and all sections of the community. We want to be the best. You are part of the team. Consider volunteering. Consider joining the Friends of the Library. Consider philanthropy. We are, in summary, among the top five essential services that citizens expect to be in their daily lives which ultimately insures community growth and a solid quality of life.  The Haverford Township Free Library appreciates suggestions, compliments and concerns about library services. If you would like a response, please do include your name and address. Your comments are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to respond. Richard Thau, Director;

The Battle Continues: eBooks or Hardbacks?

{Courtesy of LIS News}

David Carnoy of (CNET) weighs in on the 'titled' topic. He tells Huffington Post readers that plenty of people have come up with lists of reasons why e-books are better than hardcover books, but that he finds the opposite point of view more challenging. So here's his list of why hardcover books are better:
1. Spilling a drink on a hardcover doesn't cause it to die
2. You can't press a leaf in an e-book, even a virtual one
3. You can't have an author sign an e-book (yet)
4. E-books don't float in a pool
5. You can't use an e-book as a doorstop or to prop open a window
6. A hardcover doesn't crack when you drop it
7. An e-book has no resale value on Amazon
8. You don't have to recharge a hardcover
9. In a pinch, you can burn a hardcover to keep warm
10. You don't have to feel ripped off after paying $12.99 for something that's just bits and bytes
Post Note: Our library would like nothing more than to have the ability to continue to achieve balance in collection development. The reality is that budgetary challenges and the structure of our current Delaware County library community determines to some extent what we are capable of doing and what are just pipe dreams. However, the evolution is here and we are ready, willing, and able to jump in as the water is great! Please send your inquiries to Richard Thau, Library Director.