A friend and colleague (Thanks, Paul!) posted a link to "All Hail the PUBLIC Library" about the Fort Worth Library's decision to take the word "public" out of their name. Part op-ed piece, part public library history, this discusses everything from the roots of the public library as an inherently American institution to relevance of public libraries today - and the challenges faced by all public libraries.
To me, "public" is the word in our name that says that this library serves everyone. Being "public" means anyone and everyone can come in. And they do. Hundreds of people everyday. Heck, we had over 150 2nd graders from Central Elementary come in just this morning! It is, at once, the most challenging and rewarding part of the job - and I, for one, wouldn't change it for the world.
FTR - the kids from Central were beautifully behaved. Kudos to them and the Central staff.