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The indication that an ordinary string of rare book thefts has evolved into a terrifying string of rare book thefts often comes down to this: the presence of a man whose sole job it is to get rid of library ownership marks. No other single trait indicates as certainly that a theft ring has moved from the amateur to the professional ranks. So while it seems encouraging that five people involved in the Girolamini Library thefts have been sentenced for their crimes, it had better only be the beginning of people being prosecuted. One of the men charged two months ago with playing a part in the scheme was a Bologna bookbinder whose job was to scrub books of their marks — and his presence, like that of a single cockroach, signals a much larger problem.
How to attract library patrons, build the community and show people that librarians are cool? One of the ways to do this is organising Bicycool Library in your town.
Bicycool Library is a bike ride for book and bike lovers usually organised by librarians. The idea of the event was born in Poland and first edition was organised in May 2010. In 2012 it was organised in almost 100 places in Poland. This year it will be organised between May 1st and June 9th in many places all over the world.
One of main goals of organising the Bicycool Library is to promote reading and riding a bike as a way of spending time. Promoting libraries and fighting against stereotypes about librarians is also very important to organisers. They would like to show people that library is the place where they can find not only books, but many unusual interesting events as well.
The Bicycool Library is also helpful in library advocacy. This action helps libraries to collect community and show that library connects people and give them oportunity to do something together and simply to have fun.
There are many ways library can organise it and make local event attractive. Variety of ideas and inspirations for organisers are avaliable on the project website: bicycoollibrary.org. Local organisers can also register there their local edition. This is the way to let organisers and librarians all over the world know how many local events will be organised. Also everybody will be able to see that a town is taking part in it, because every city, town and village will be marked on a special map showing “bicycool” places.
Soon more useful materials will be released on a Bicycool Library’s website, so make sure to visit the website regularly or simply like the project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bicycool.Library.
If you are interested in organising Bicycool Library in your town, let people know and register your local edition on the website. -- Read More
Highly recommend this story in New Haven (CT)'s Daily Nutmeg about an innovative approach to arts publicity
Several Texas A&M professors know something that generations of teachers could only hope to guess: whether students are reading their textbooks.
They know when students are skipping pages, failing to highlight significant passages, not bothering to take notes — or simply not opening the book at all.
“It’s Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent,” said Tracy Hurley, the dean of the school of business. (If the intent is good anything goes)
While many libraries are, of course, still run by municipalities or schools, it has become more common for people to create their own, many of them, like Mellow Pages, seeking to include material that is unusual or that is curated with a particular audience in mind. For instance, ABC No Rio, a community and cultural center on the Lower East Side, maintains a zine library. And a group of librarians who joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York created a library at Zuccotti Park.
TORONTO, Apr. 9, 2013 — Elementary school students in Guatemala will be able to borrow books from the library for the first time, thanks in large part to the work of librarians and library students.
Librarians Without Borders members from across North America will be traveling to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzeltenango (Xela), Guatemala from April 13-28, 2013 to collaborate on the development and operation of a school library.
LWB has partnered with the Asturias Academy since 2009 to support the Academy’s vision to build a sustainable community library in the school. This year’s on-site work marks a major transition for their library: we are implementing cataloging, searching and borrowing technologies (and training the staff on these tools) to enable students to locate and check out books for the very first time.
Many Guatemalans are restricted from getting a quality education, in part due to a severe lack of access to books and literacy materials. In a country where books are taxed beyond the reach of the 75% of the population who live in poverty, it’s almost impossible to get children excited about reading because many cannot get actual books in their hands.
This year, we plan to change that.
Over the course of 2012, with the help of a full-time on-site librarian funded by Librarians Without Borders, students far surpassed the reading goal of 4 books per year, reading on average some 14 books per year. Given this enthusiasm, imagine the impact on (the less than 60%) literacy levels of Asturias’ predominantly indigenous students and their families — once they can check books out of the library and bring them into their homes. This is an unprecedented opportunity in Guatemala.
About Librarians Without Borders -- Read More
The scientists who were recruited to appear at a conference called Entomology-2013 thought they had been selected to make a presentation to the leading professional association of scientists who study insects.
But they found out the hard way that they were wrong. The prestigious, academically sanctioned conference they had in mind has a slightly different name: Entomology 2013 (without the hyphen). The one they had signed up for featured speakers who were recruited by e-mail, not vetted by leading academics. Those who agreed to appear were later charged a hefty fee for the privilege, and pretty much anyone who paid got a spot on the podium that could be used to pad a résumé.
Josh Hanagarne, blogger at The World's Strongest Librarian, "might be the only person whose first three-hundred-pound bench press was accompanied by the Recorded Books production of Don Quixote." This is just one of his remarkable singularities. A gentle giant who tears phone books for fun, at 6'7" he tends to catch the eye at the Salt Lake City Public Library, even when his Tourette Syndrome is not acting up. His memoir explores these contradictions and oddities, and his remarkable journey from idyllic childhood to painfully jerky young adulthood to a contented family and work life.
The authors own site explains why he isn't reading reviews of his book.
Celebrate National Library Week - April 14-20, 2013
More info at ALA.org
Theft claims more victims and causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet theft law is enigmatic, and fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved—especially misappropriations of intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property.
More about book here.
New York Times Op-Ed on how new legislation on imported copies of American authors works affects issues of copyright.
LAST month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties.
This may sound like a minor problem; authors already contend with an enormous domestic market for secondhand books. But it is the latest example of how the global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams. It seems almost every player — publishers, search engines, libraries, pirates and even some scholars — is vying for position at authors’ expense.
First it was Goodreads....then...
(be sure to watch the video's gruesome climax!)
A positive story identifying services in NH libraries covered by a prominent NH newspaper.
This week's program brings a telephone interview with author Dan Flynn of FlynnFiles.com who wrote a piece at The American Spectator that was commented upon by The Annoyed Librarian. After that there are a couple examples provided by federal agencies of how not to do public service announcements. There is no news miscellany this week and there is a bit of an explanation as to what went wrong one way or another.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Matériel purchasing needs including subsistence support selections can be found via Amazon.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
As we may appreciate, library buildings are nowadays as fascinating as their book collections. Often the appearance of a building outside gives us some insight of what to expect inside. What really makes a library building fascinating? The size of the building, the shape of the building, the age of the building? Perhaps the architecture of the building is groundbreaking, or perhaps it is simply a very expensive building!
Back in 2003 and again in 2006, during research work for the first and second edition of Library World Records, the author sent out e-mails to several Internet-based bulletin boards for librarians around the world, asking for a vote on the most fascinating library buildings in the world they had visited or seen at home or abroad. The categories voted for were:
1. 10 most fascinating national library buildings.
2. 10 most fascinating university library buildings.
3. 10 most fascinating public library buildings.
4. 10 most fascinating special library buildings.
The results for both the 2003 and 2006 votes on the most fascinating library buildings in the world, with photographs of all the winning library buildings voted for, were published respectively in the 1st and 2nd edition of Library World Records.
Now with a much bigger 3rd edition of Library World Records almost finished, it is time once again cast your vote. The results of this current survey on the most fascinating library buildings in the world, with photographs of all the winning library buildings voted, will be published in the forthcoming 3rd edition of Library World Records
To vote, go to
Your votes are very much appreciated.
Library World Records
In a Wired opinion piece, Jonathon Keats argues that this year's Nobel Prize for literature should be awarded to Google.
"Given that literary fame is so fickle, it might make more sense to anoint a work that’s mutable—an all-encompassing text that changes at the pace of society itself. Today there is such a work. And that is why, in 2013, the Swedish Academy should award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Google.
Is Google literature? As a search engine, of course, it lacks a conventional narrative. But a traditional bildungsroman would hardly suit our era. Not even James Joyce could capture the fractured nature of 21st-century life, let alone the nearly unlimited interconnectedness among people and events these days."
Two new lions are awaiting their names at the Riverdale Library in the Bronx.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Andy Ihnatko has an initial reaction posted to the death on 4 April 2013 of Roger Ebert.
Q. Why a national digital library endowment?
A. U.S. public libraries now spend roughly $1.3 billion a year on books and other content in all formats, around 12 percent of operating expenditures. The figure in the 2010 fiscal year was $1.42 per capita in Mississippi and nationally just $4.22. As reported by the Economist, library sales are approximately 5 percent of those of U.S. book publishers (no wonder the ALA can get only so far in talks with the big publishing conglomerates).
Q. Why should the endowment focus on e-books and other digital content?
A. Costs and greater ease of sharing resources at a national level--while still compensating publishers fairly. Not to mention other possibilities such as reliable interbook links and extensive annotations. Librarians should curate annotations and other user content. The Amazon buyout of Goodreads is an example of the perils of libraries NOT updating their mission.
E-books can efficiently help libraries honor S. R. Ranganathan’s classic Five Laws of Library Science--such as “Books are for use” and “Every reader his book” (or her book). Even academic libraries at well-off universities have limited resources. As for the typical U.S. public library branch, it carries just 4,350 books, a fraction of Amazon's more than 1.7 million, according to the Economist.
The endowment would at least indirectly free up a bit more money for possible spending on paper books at the local level while still responding to readers’ burgeoning interest in e-books.
Q. How would the plan work? -- Read More
Recently, the Houston-based Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library (previously) traveled to Odessa to debut the bookmobile-for-hire component of its services, and to help the Ector County Library celebrate its 75th anniversary. This blog post details the different stops they made on their two-day trip and provides some analysis on the successes and shortcomings of the venture.