The Library of Congress, the world’s largest repository of knowledge and information, began a multiyear “Celebration of the Book” with an exhibition on “Books That Shaped America.” The initial books in the exhibition are displayed below.
“This list is a starting point,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.”
We hope you will view the list, discuss it with your friends and family, and most importantly, choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting America’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world.
"[A] Harris poll of 2,244 US adults was released in July, revealing that, in the space of four years, the percentage of Americans believing that some books should be completely banned has increased by more than half. In 2011, 18% of those surveyed wanted some books banned; in 2015, 28% agreed with the assertion. Just under a half, 48%, said that no books should be banned, compared with 56% in 2011."
It’s not everyday you see a book that can be read in six completely different ways, and this small book from the National Library of Sweden is definitely an anomaly. According to Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel, this 16th century text has a special sixfold dos-à-dos (or “back to back”) binding with strategically placed clasps that makes it possible for six books to be neatly bound into one. This particular book contains devotional texts, including Martin Luther’s Der kleine Catechismus, which was printed in German between the 1550’s and 1570’s.
According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 136,000 students at 380 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the school at which students gave their professors the highest marks was Swarthmore College (PA). "Best College Library" – Yale University (CT)
Submitted by Bibliofuture on August 4, 2015 - 3:50pm
The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'
ount Holyoke College has just digitized some 2,000 rare and beautiful photographs that document life at the College from 1899 to 1939. The entire collection is now available for research and enjoyment online.
The images were originally captured on glass-plate negatives by Mount Holyoke botany professor and photographer Asa Kinney.
The fallout from Pennsylvania's rules requiring Department of Human Services child abuse background clearances and state police criminal records checks for employees and volunteers who have “routine contact with children” is being felt in churches, libraries, playgrounds, swimming pools and on Little League and soccer fields across the commonwealth.
Librarians understand the context in which books make sense, how they go together, what are the canonical readings, and what are the dissenting works worth reading. Library information systems may not know as much about users’ behavior as Amazon does, but even highly anonymized usage records can say a lot about what a community values: which works people are reading, which ones they like or think are important, and even the relations they see among the works. In essence, the library can hold a mirror up to the community, allowing it to get a clearer and stronger sense of itself.
Launched two decades ago, years before Wikipedia existed, the site led the way in academic information sharing. It now includes 1,478 authoritative and vetted entries about all manner of philosophical topics. It is updated almost daily, thanks to about 2,000 contributors.
The encyclopedia averages more than a million Internet hits per week. Users include students, scholars, librarians and even military officials.
But Delany believes that, as women and people of color start to have “economic heft,” there is a fear that what is “normal” will cease to enjoy the same position of power. “There are a lot of black women writers, and some of them are gay, and they are writing about their own historical moment, and the result is that white male writers find themselves wondering if this is a reverse kind of racism. But when it gets to fifty per cent,” he said, then “we can talk about that.” It has nothing to do with science fiction, he reiterated. “It has to do with the rest of society where science fiction exists.”
So why is the number of history majors diminishing? "Experts blame anxieties about the job market for steering students into fields they think will translate to jobs quickly after graduation," the Columbus Dispatch story observes. "Often that's the STEM disciplines that politicians have championed — science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
A postal carrier has delivered more than the mail to a Sandy, Utah boy. KSL in Salt Lake City reports that his request for books for the child to read has unexpectedly spread around the world.
Ron Lynch was delivering the mail when he spotted 12-year-old Mathew Flores fishing advertisements and newsletters out of a junk mail bin. The boy told the mail carrier that he was looking for something to read.
Reading, he says, is interesting. "Plus, it gets you smarter," Flores said.
"A young man was standing here reading junk mail and asked me if I had any extra," Lynch told KSL.
Lynch started a conversation with the boy. Flores told the mail carrier that he reads the advertisements because he doesn't have books of his own and that bus fares made it difficult to get to the library.
If Flores couldn't get to the library, Lynch decided to bring the library to him.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 28, 2015 - 12:49am
When Leanne Brown moved to New York from Canada to earn a master's in food studies at New York University, she couldn't help noticing that Americans on a tight budget were eating a lot of processed foods heavy in carbs.
"It really bothered me," she says. "The 47 million people on food stamps — and that's a big chunk of the population — don't have the same choices everyone else does."
Brown guessed that she could help people in SNAP, the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, find ways to cook filling, nourishing and flavorful meals. So she set out to write a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day.
The result is Good and Cheap, which is free online and has been downloaded over 700,000 times since Brown posted it on her website in June 2014. A July 2014 Kickstarter campaign also helped her raise $145,000 to print copies for people without computer access. And on July 21, the second edition was published with 30 new recipes.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 24, 2015 - 12:00am
Lots of colleges have these reading programs; some are just for freshmen, and for others, the entire campus or local community joins in. The idea is that books will stir discussion — and unite a class or campus around a topic. Some schools even have the author speak on campus, or weave the book's content into the year's curriculum.
Although those fighting Amazon can and will point to what they consider to be situations where Amazon takes unfair advantage of its marketplace position, there are two aspects of what has transpired over the past 20 years that the critics who plead for government intervention will almost certainly ignore.
Most of Amazon’s success is due to their own stellar performance: innovating, investing, executing, and having a vision of what could happen as they grew.
Most of what Amazon has done to build their business — almost all of what they’ve done until the past few years of Kindle dominance — benefited most publishers and helped them grow their sales and their profitability. (In fact, book publishing uniquely among media businesses didn’t fall off a cliff in the decade surrounding the millenium and a strong case could be made that Amazon actually saved them.)
Though the story’s librarian-narrator believes in the possible triumph of reason, the principle force underlying the library is irrationality. Any expression, even the most elegant or undeniably true, is nonetheless possible without sincerity, or even any intention towards signification.
This free and easy program has everything you need!
Imagine if all your library’s users were registered voters? Well, on September 22nd, 2015, librarians have a great opportunity to offer a “program” to register voters on site complete with volunteers and marketing. A large number of libraries around the country will be participating in the event and we want you to participate too. All you have to do is go to the national website and click on the link to become a partner to allow volunteers to come to the library and sign people up. The NVRD will send you marketing materials, teach your staff how to register voters (if you go that route), and the volunteers will take care of all of the paperwork. This is a non-partisan effort supported by organizations like; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.
Signing Up is Easy
You still have time to register as a partnered organization and it’s very easy to do through their website. If you sign up before September 4th, they will provide training and marketing materials for free! You can then use these materials to start planning a voter registration event on National Voter Registration Day on September 22th.
What Will You Have to Do?
We are asking you to sign up as a partnering organization through the website. This is easy to do and requires very little from the library. There are a couple of ways that we are asking you to partner with them and get involved.
You can organize a Voter Registration effort on September 22.
You can allow their volunteers to set up a booth in front of your library to get people registered to vote.
You can simply promote voter registration and/or volunteerism through marketing and communication efforts.
Why Is This So Important?
Plan and simply, the more registered library users in your community, the better your chances of winning an election come election time. Imagine if every library user in your community was a registered voter that your ballot committee could engage with and ask to vote for the library? It is also so important that library staff, from pages to directors get familiar and comfortable with the political process. A well-trained and comfortable staff is a huge asset during your library’s election. You are still the front line on library advocacy and as such, those staff members are all, in a way, candidates.
Is This Legal?
Yes. And it’s basic library work. While it is true that staff can never tell the public that they should vote yes or no on any piece of legislation, especially library ballot measures, they can help members of the public to get registered to vote and give them information about elections.