News

2010 I Love My Librarian Award Winners

FYI - Just released today
http://www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian/2010/10winners.cfm
Congratulations to the 10 winners of this year's I Love My Librarian Award! Thank you to the 2000 library supporters who sent in nominations. Read on to learn more about this year's winners.

Library of Congress Blocks Wikileaks

From The Guardian:

The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.

Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.

Smithsonian Censors Itself at the Behest of the Government

The Smithsonian Museum has been under pressure from Catholics and congressmen to pull pieces of an exhibit focusing on homosexuality and homosexual Americans. From NPR:

At least one critic has accused the Smithsonian of caving in to pressure from Catholics and from two Republican members of Congress. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money." A spokesperson for incoming House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January."

More from NPR.

Bomb Threat Closes Ohio State Library

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bomb threat targeting Ohio State University was e-mailed to the FBI Tuesday morning, prompting the school to evacuate four academic buildings, including the main library. An initial search turned up nothing out of the ordinary, officials said.

The threat was in a message received Tuesday at FBI headquarters in Washington, said Paul Bresson, an agency spokesman based there. Campus police said they were alerted at 8:19 a.m. Tuesday that the threats involved the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and three laboratory buildings.

"This is still in our assessment a threat, and there have been no suspicious package or devices found at this time," university Police Chief Paul Denton said at a news conference.

Authorities did not identify the source of the bomb threats at Ohio State, one of the nation's largest universities, with more than 56,000 students at its main Columbus campus. The FBI's Bresson declined to provide information about where the e-mail appeared to come from or whether the bureau believed the threat was real.

More info & photos from the CBS local affiliate.

Possible higher demand for IRS tax forms at libraries this year

The IRS won't be mailing tax form booklets to individuals this year, and they are referring people to libraries as a source for paper forms. See IRS Notice 1400--

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1400.pdf
"Going to your local post office or library (if they participate in the federal tax products program)."

More Election Day Library News From LJ

Election Day brought good news to library supporters around the country as local tax levies to support libraries won strong support in key Ohio communities, and radical propositions in Colorado that would have crippled library services were categorically rejected.

Story here.

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

Literary Tattoos

Yesterday, WBUR's, On Point program had an hour on Literary Tattoos.

"Tattoos were once for sailors and wayfarers — exotic souvenirs of adventure and romance. Now, they’re mainstream. Walk into any college gym – any gym, anywhere – and you know.

But literary tattoos – now there’s the high frontier. And even it is becoming wildly populated. Rimbaud on the forearm. Kafka on the whole arm. Sylvia Plath across the chest. Kundera on the abdomen. A big back covered in Proust. Oh my."

Do any LISNews folks sport literary tattoos?

Heathman Hotel library is one of a kind

Oregonlive.com relates this story about a unique library and one enthusiastic librarian.

"Guests who wander up to the Heathman Hotel's mezzanine discover one of the most exclusive libraries in the country: 4,000 volumes, all signed by the author and most of them first editions.

What's more, there's only one way to get a book in the collection: The author must spend a night in the hotel -- no exceptions.

And now, thanks to a 20-year-old librarian, the books are more accessible than ever."

Lying Librarians and Honest Journalism.

The south Florida paper, the Sun Sentinel has a problem with public libraries.

"Some day in the future, boys and girls might read on their electronic devices about cavernous, well-air-conditioned, book-loaning storehouses from the past. They were called libraries.
...
Book reading devices such as the handheld iPad, the Amazon Kindle, or even a computer laptop, allow readers to download free library books without ever setting foot in a library."

So here is a newspaper, itself an industry on the brink of extinction, bitterly distracting its few final readers from that fact by attacking the local libraries as dinosaurs. Libraries, I should say, account for many of the print editions that the newspaper is still able to sell. Our library probably receives 40 copies of the daily Sun Sentinel. And yet you need to go down 27 paragraphs to get to this:

"The past five years in Palm Beach County have seen staggering growth: Circulation is up 36 percent, visitors 50 percent, and computer users 83 percent, according to the system's statistics."

You can almost hear the "wink, wink" that piggybacks onto the words, "according to the system's statistics," like libraries are making this stuff up. Thanks for the support.

Really, what does it cost to read an ebook, I mean a bestseller?

The Kindle is a minimum $139, but for that price you need a place with wifi to download a book. Add 3G for another $50 to truly be independent. -- Read More

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