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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.
Twelve videos about librarianship that spoof movies & TV from Singaporean librarian Aaron Tay.
SWANSEA, Mass. - An outpouring of support for Penny the cat, the unofficial mascot of the Swansea Public Library, has led a Massachusetts man to give up his efforts to evict the cat from the public building.
Patrick Higgins sent an email to Swansea Public Library trustees last Saturday, which said he would file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice if Penny was not removed from the premises. According to Higgins, people allergic to cats would be unable to use the library which meant the public building did not comply with the American Disabilities Act.
As news of Penny’s potential eviction spread, supporters for the neighborhood cat began to rally creating petitions to keep the Penny on the premises. One petition on Change.org has elicited nearly 1,800 signatures.
From the über-conservative American Spectator. Posted by Daniel J. Flynn on Friday Mar 29th at 5:09am
"Today’s public library could be mistaken for a halfway house, homeless shelter, or federal penetentiary."
I write from the public library, which doubles as my city’s daytime homeless shelter. I spend four hours a day there reading and writing. Other patrons, often accompanied by all of their worldly possessions, go there to sleep, masturbate, and stare blankly at the lights. Isn’t this what the local Greyhound terminal is for?
A diversion program for juvenile delinquents apparently meets daily on the first floor. Since the building’s architect imprudently designed the library as a giant open space without walls, their promiscuous use of the “f” word and spirited imitations of famous rappers travel unimpeded to me on the third level — more of a platform two stories above the ground than a separate floor. To encourage such misbehavior, a local library — thankfully not the one I visit — begged its town’s government for $2,000 to buy video games. Libraries once served as refuges against noise. Now the library’s cacophony makes an iPod necessary equipment to drown out the din.
Openness yields to secretiveness elsewhere. Computer cubicles double as makeshift peep-show booths. To protect privacy at the public library, staff has generously equipped computer screens with a tinted gloss that makes the visuals invisible to all save those who look upon them at a direct angle. I mostly glimpse social media and computer games on the screens when I pass. Occasionally, pornographic videos jump out at passersby. Noticing the behavior, rather than the behavior itself, is terribly offensive, so I make it my business to mind my business around pervs who make their business everybody’s business.
Via MediaBistro GalleyCat: A Chicago Public Library patron wrote a book about his relationship and proposed in the library last weekend. As you can see by the lovely photograph in the story, she said yes.
Where in the library would you get engaged? Here’s more about the library marriage proposal, the most romantic use of the stacks we’ve ever seen.
Jason and Molly both love books and libraries. So Jason decided the library was the perfect place to pop the question… after he wrote a story about how they met, had it illustrated and bound into a book, and then placed on the shelves in the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library. He and Molly “found” the book on Saturday and we are happy to report she said YES! Congratulations to you both – we wish you a long, happy, and book-filled life together!
Libraries & Peeps, inseparable. What is your library doing with Peeps this week?
Please add & update this modest listing with your comments!
And in other news, "how to make Peep infused vodka" (we needed a recipe for that?)
Lynne O’Brien, director of academic technology and instructional services at Duke University, said the “rapid uptake” of MOOCs had taken many people by surprise. As she put it, “These courses don’t seem to fit anything of the model that we have for how to do online education well.” She’s been hearing from instructors that “the process of preparing courses for this environment made them rethink” how they teach their on-campus courses. “Faculty have said it’s a huge amount of work but that it’s also a wonderful opportunity,” she said.
seattlepi.com: Welcome to The Richie Perez Radical Library, a new library created by the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective. The library, which was named for a South Bronx educator and activist who died in 2004, features "works by influential thinker-agitators, such as Angela Davis and Malcolm X, with writings by hip-hop luminaries including KRS-One, the RZA and Jay-Z."
The collective partnered with Bluestockings, an independent Lower East Side bookstore, to gather 300 mostly donated books to get things started.
This week's program starts off with a brief essay talking about the disintegration of having a coherent "popular culture" in the United States then turns to the strange case of the Harlem Shake in Oxford. After that the episode wraps up with a news miscellany.
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