Libraries

A behind the scenes tour of the Guantánamo Bay library

Guardian US correspondent David Smith was granted a tour of Guantánamo Bay prison, and a peek inside the library shows about 35,000 items available for inmates, from Harry Potter novels (very popular) to men’s health and fitness magazines, to a scratched-out copy of Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope

From A behind the scenes tour of the Guantánamo Bay library – video | US news | The Guardian

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The Footpath libraries of Mumbai

On October 21, 2013, in a post titled Of old books and dying telegrams, I wrote about the famed secondhand bookstalls of south Mumbai, located about 2 km (1.25 miles) from my office and 20 km (12.40 miles) from where I live. The following pictures are of more of these bookstalls situated outside American Express Bank at Flora Fountain, or Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs' Square). So far the municipal corporation has left them alone. Dozens of others on opposite footpaths were not so lucky; they were evicted a few years ago. 

From Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema: Footpath libraries

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Library boards need independence

The ability of a library board to act free of political influence is imperative in maintaining the local public library as a trusted community institution, one that provides information without discrimination. Libraries and their independent boards work diligently to protect the rights of confidentiality, privacy and the freedom to read.

From Midlands Voices: Library boards need independence - Omaha.com: Opinion

Check out seeds @ Your Library

Take a seed, give a seed.

In a twist on penny cups at cash registers, folks at the Little Turtle branch of the Allen County Public Library are hoping to encourage urban gardening with a new feature – a seed library.

From Check out seeds at library | Home and Garden | www.journalgazette.net

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Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together

Librarians: Stop the Book Shaming

Today, librarians who are passionate about books are increasingly like the smokers you see outside office buildings: apart, a little embarrassed, and slightly defensive. It’s hardly a surprise. Book collections? A vestige of our past, like the appendix. At conference after conference, keynote speakers argue that public libraries should be community centers, agents of innovation, knowledge creators, and makerspaces. It’s a trend made worse when LIS faculty (who really should know better) lead the charge.

From Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together

"The Future of Libraries" John Palfrey Radio Interview

John Palfrey, founding president of the Digital Public Library of America and a director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently told the Deseret News that he has “been struck by the number of times people tell [him] that they think libraries are less important than they were before, now that we have the Internet and Google. He says he thinks “just the opposite: Libraries are more important, not less important, and both as physical and virtual entities, than they’ve been in the past.” John Palfrey, author of the new book  "BiblioTECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google," joins Tom Williams to discuss the future of the library on Thursday’s Access Utah.

From "The Future of Libraries" On Thursday's Access Utah | UPR Utah Public Radio

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Maker kit program turns libraries into places for content creation, not just consumption

Librarianship is a funny profession–the day is often a mixture of hokey jokes from people who haven’t been in a library in years, and strategizing ways to implement robotics and computer coding into programs for everybody from preschoolers to seniors. When people see what libraries actually get up to these days, they’re almost always surprised. So many people in America depend on their libraries to help them forward when it comes to technology, and lots of libraries have answered that call with aplomb, learning as they go.

From Maker kit program turns libraries into places for content creation, not just consumption | KnightBlog

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The Reinvention of America's Libraries - The Atlantic

We’re still going! I have written detailed posts about many of them for TheAtlantic.com.  I’m still writing!

Here are links to the previous posts, which represent a large cross-section of towns around the country, from Maine to Mississippi to Oregon.  To me, each library showed a particular strength and focus, each one reflecting the wants or needs of the different towns.  Here they are, with links from each city’s name to the original post:

From The Reinvention of America's Libraries - The Atlantic

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libraries function as vibrant centers of America’s towns: technology, education, and community

The traditional impression of libraries as places for quiet reading, research, and borrowing books—and of librarians as schoolmarmish shush-ers—is outdated, as they have metamorphosed into bustling civic centers. For instance, Deschutes Public Library in Bend, Oregon, now cooperates with dozens of organizations, from AARP (which helps people with their taxes) to Goodwill (which teaches résumé writing). A social worker trains staff to guide conversations about one of the most frequent questions people trustingly bring into the library: Can you help me figure out how to meet my housing costs?

There are three areas where libraries function as vibrant centers of America’s towns: technology, education, and community.

From Deb Fallows on The Local Library - The Atlantic

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Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job

Google Books is still online, but curtailed their scanning efforts in recent years, likely discouraged by a decade of legal wrangling still in appeal. The official blog stopped updating in 2012 and the Twitter account’s been dormant since February 2013.
Even Google Search, their flagship product, stopped focusing on the history of the web. In 2011, Google removed the Timeline view letting users filter search results by date, while a series of major changes to their search ranking algorithm increasingly favored freshness over older pages from established sources. (To the detriment of some.)

From Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job — The Message — Medium

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