Boston Public Library...in Lego!

Stop by Boston's Central Library in Copley Square by April 5 to see this Lego masterpiece before it moves to its permanent home at the Legoland Discovery Center in Somerville.

The model is a result of the BPL winning a contest sponsored by Lego. It received more votes than any other landmark in the city.

Attacking Academic Values

http://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/2014/03/27/attacking-academic-values/
"This last point is why I have moved, in the past few days, from laughing at the bumbling way NPG seems to be fighting its battle against OA policies to a sense of real outrage. This effort to punish faculty who have voted for an internal and perfectly legal open access policy is nothing less than an attack on one of the core principles of academic freedom, faculty governance. NPG thinks it has the right to tell faculties what policies are good for them and which are not, and to punish those who disagree."

The Big Plot Twist That Doomed San Diego’s School Libraries

San Diego’s school libraries will be open at least one day a week next school year. That’s actually the good news.

Some schools’ libraries have been closed for years. Even worse: Many of the libraries sitting empty are gleaming new facilities filled with comfy sofas, rows of computers and shelved full of books.

http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/03/27/the-big-plot-twist-that-doomed-san-diegos-school-libra...

The EFF's 404 Day: A Day of Action Against Censorship in Libraries

404 Day: A Day of Action Against Censorship in Libraries

Join EFF on April 4th for 404 Day, a nation-wide day of action to call attention to the long-standing problem of Internet censorship in public libraries and public schools. In collaboration with the MIT Center for Civic Media and the National Coalition Against Censorship, we are hosting a digital teach-in with some of the top researchers and librarians working to analyze and push back against the use of Internet filters on library computers.

For over a decade public libraries and public schools have been censoring the Internet by blocking and blacklisting websites to be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The law was passed to encourage public libraries and schools to filter child pornography and obscene or “harmful to minors” images from the library’s Internet connection in exchange for federal funding.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/03/404-day-day-action-against-censorship-libraries-and-sc...

Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan

Literary City, Bookstore Desert
The rising cost of doing business in Manhattan is driving out many of its remaining bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe.
“How can Manhattan be a cultural or literary center of the world when the number of bookstores has become so insignificant?” he asked. “You really say, has nobody in city government ever considered this and what can be done about it?”

Human flesh-bound volumes R.I.P. on library shelves

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2006/2/2/the-skinny-on-harvards-rare-book/

Langdell’s curator of rare books and manuscripts, David Ferris, says of his library’s man-bound holding: “We are reluctant to have it become an object of fascination.” But the Spanish law book, which dates back to 1605, may become just that.

Accessible in the library’s Elihu Reading Room, the book, entitled “Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias...,” looks old but otherwise ordinary.

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints Former Reporter Greg Lucas as State Librarian

From the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he has appointed Greg Lucas, a former San Francisco Chronicle political reporter who has, most recently, been a political blogger and host of a television interview show, as the state librarian.

Lucas, son of former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas, is also the husband of Donna Lucas, who runs a political public relations firm in Sacramento and is a former adviser to Republican governors.

The new librarian, who will earn $142,968 a year, is a Democrat. He left the Chronicle in 2007 after 19 years with the newspaper and has been an editor for the Capitol Weekly newspaper in recent years. He also hosted an informal political discussion program for the California Channel.

In his new job, Lucas will manage the California State Library, which is located near the Capitol. It houses historical books and documents, provides research to the governor and Legislature and acts as a liaison with local libraries.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/03/brown-appoints-former-reporter-lucas-as-s...

St. Paul Public Library's Workplace Program

Check out this amazing video from the St. Paul MN Public Library about their Mobile Workplace program. Libraries have a long history of serving their communities by providing access to resources and information. When the St. Paul Public Library saw a growing need for computer and job search skills, it created a new way to bring its community the tools and access they were searching for. The program primarily caters to newcomers of the Somali, Hmong and Karen (Burmese) populations. Hat tip to Stephen Abram Stephen's Lighthouse.

 

 

The most important part of public libraries isn’t the “library”; it’s the “public.”

I hang out at libraries, even when I’m not looking for a book :
"Libraries are information warriors fighting the digital divide that can be caused by age and income. As I travel up and down the province for work I'm always certain to check out the frequently old, frequently brick buildings in many places too small for much else. I have now been to most of them, and they have more in common than what sets them apart---invaluable access to programs and information that can shape the communities they sit in. "

New York Public Library partners with Zola to offer algorithmic book recommendations

Visitors to the New York Public Library’s website will have a new way to decide what to read next: The library is partnering with New York-based startup Zola Books to offer algorithm-based recommendations to readers. The technology comes from Bookish, the book discovery site that Zola acquired earlier this year.
http://gigaom.com/2014/03/24/new-york-public-library-partners-with-zola-to-offer-algorithmic...

Other uses found for library card catalogs

They are nearly extinct in their natural habitat.
“The card catalog is back,” she said. “It’s a beautiful piece of furniture, and it’s a part of history.”

People Battle to Regain Online Privacy

Internet Users Tap Tech Tools That Protect Them From Prying Eyes
But all of these privacy products come with trade-offs. Blocking social-network posts or contact information from showing up on a Google search might protect people's privacy, but it could also mean old friends they'd like to hear from might not be able to track them down either. Deleting cookies means people may miss out on some targeted deals or services from companies that rely on the tracking files. Using secret or encrypted messaging services means people are limiting themselves to conversations with other people who use the same services.

Local Girl Scouts' library project set on fire overnight

http://www.jrn.com/kgun9/news/Theyre-just-being-mean-Local-Girl-Scouts-library-project-set-o...

"Reading is really important, and we worked really hard on these," said 7 year-old Anna Twilling.

It was the kind of project her troop, Troop 4, had searched for.

"You could learn in a book," said 5 year-old Sadie Twilling.

A Very Rare Book Opens 6 Different Ways, Reveals 6 Different Books

A Very Rare Book Opens 6 Different Ways, Reveals 6 Different Books
Book binding has seen many variations, from the iconic Penguin paperbacks to highly unusual examples like this from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens six different directions, each way revealing a different book. It seems that everyone has a tablet or a Kindle tucked away in their bag (even my 90 year old grandma), and so it sometimes comes as a surprise to remember the craftsmanship that once went along with reading.

Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/2014/01/24/rare-book-opens-6-different-ways-reveals-6-different-bo...

American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers

http://www.npr.org/blogs/theprotojournalist/2014/03/22/290928679/american-libraries-learn-to...

Today teens and young adults are using libraries, Shannon says, "in a variety of ways: from homework help and school support, to accessing print and downloadable books, and engaging in creative and innovative programs which help them pursue interests, connect to mentors and other teens and expand learning in the after-school hours."

In other words, libraries and librarians are teaching teens a valuable lesson: Know thy shelves.

American Libraries Learn To Read Teenagers

Way, way back in the 20th century, American teenagers turned to the local public library as a great good place to hang out. It was a hotspot for meeting up, and sharing thoughts with, other like-minded people – in books and in the flesh. It was a wormhole in the universe that gave us tunnels into the past and into the future. It was a quiet spot in an ever-noisier world.

The library was a gentle mentor. It accepted us as we were and let us grow at our own pace – as teens are wont to do. It taught us about sports and sex. About fashion and finance. About life and death.

It showed us how to search for information. How to bring intelligent, like-minded people together. Even how to build and program computers.

Full story here

Friends of the Juneau AK Libraries Have Fun Donating One Million Dollars

From The Juneau Empire: Amid a slew of ordinance approvals and introductions, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly got to have a little fun, accepting a big — in every sense of the word — check from the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.

“This is so much fun, to give away a million dollars,” Friends of the Library board President Paul Beran said before presenting the oversized check. “Can you imagine how many books at a nickel, a dime, a quarter and a dollar it takes?”

He said the group made the donation possible by staffing its Amazing Bookstore (pictured above) with 70 volunteers per week, some of which have been working in the store for 30 years.

Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct?

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/says-libraries-going-extinct-73029/
This is not to say that Americans who love libraries—nearly all of us apparently—shouldn’t be alert to the threats to those libraries. The recession catalyzed several consecutive years of budget reductions, which in turn were aggravated by the automated federal cuts that came in last year’s sequestration, a particularly big hit to libraries, especially those in schools. With its library threatened by closure in 2012, one city in Michigan was left to host a “Book Burning Party”—a clever hoax that is credited with saving a vital community resource. Eight states don’t give a single penny to public libraries.

Miami-Dade Children's Books Budget Cuts

This is a tragedy.

From The Miami Herald: Squeezed by tax cuts, Florida’s largest library system can’t buy nearly the number of children’s books it used to.

Countywide, Miami-Dade libraries budgeted about $90,000 for children’s books this year, a fraction of the $1.3 million the system spent in 2005 and about 60 percent below the $210,000 budget in place just three years ago.

If libraries can't make it here in NY, can they make it anywhere?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/18/save-the-new-york-public-library

The virtual destruction of the New York Public Library rests on faulty premises. In a world of cheap personal computers, ubiquitous internet access and vanished book stores, libraries will always be special. For in addition to preserving manuscripts that may never be digitized, providing services to communities, and lending e-books to remote users, library collections entice citizens to meet in public spaces – and not just for the experience of reading on paper. Readers come for the ageless experience of browsing the shelves and commenting on one another’s dust jackets. Should the plan here in New York go through, the 42nd Street Library may soon find that its terminals are as empty as the ethernet ports carved into the tables of the Main Reading Room.

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