- LISWire: Brill and Semantico announce Brill's Primary Sources platform
- LISWire: Top Ranked International University Chooses EBSCO Discovery Service
- LISWire: OCLC and Yelp increase visibility of libraries on the Web
A recent article at the tech news blog, Gigaom, provides food for thought for libraries. In the piece, the author describes the value of simplicity and delivering what users want in terms of content, using the example of a news service called Evening Edition. One of the quotes from this post that stands out is "Of course, sifting through vast quantities of information in order to show people the important stuff is what newspapers are supposed to do..." Substitute the word 'newspapers' for 'librarians' and we are talking the same language.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama: Jeff Bogart wouldn't let a Colorado gunman who shot 70 people, 12 fatally, during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in a movie theater spoil his 4-year-old son's chance for his favorite comic book character, Batman.
The father and son were among about 300 people who attended a Batman event at the Hoover Public Library celebrating this weekend's release of the latest Batman movie. The 10:30 a.m. event included library personnel dressed up as Batman, Batgirl, The Riddler and other characters from the popular comic book series.
"You still need to live life to the fullest and not let people like that crazy gunman stop you," Bogart said. "Our prayers are with those families who went through that unimaginable horror there."
Hoover Public Library director Linda Andrews said she and other library officials toyed with canceling their event, which had been planned weeks before the tragic shooting shortly after midnight Friday at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. But in the end they felt there was no need stopping the kids from having their fun. -- Read More
As content is increasingly digitized, one might ask whether the library is even a viable building type for the future. “My guess is that most libraries will cease to exist,” says David Bell, a professor at Princeton’s Department of History who writes on the subject. For all their supposed obsolescence, libraries remain vital places, and many of them are more crowded than ever. Printed material, however, is not always the primary draw. The pressure to accommodate “other needs” is especially strong at public libraries, which are increasingly taking on civic functions that far exceed the historical mission of serving books to readers. “Libraries are the new cathedrals of our society. They’re very important sanctuaries,” says the architect Bing Thom. Read this Metropolis Magazine article on why libraries not only still matter, but are more important than ever.
What Malians fear more is the condition of about 300,000 ancient manuscripts. For centuries, Timbuktu hosted thousands of students who came to learn about Islam. Books on religious and other subjects were written, copied and traded.
Libraries and institutions there such as the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research still preserve and use many of them. If these precious documents meet the same fate as the monuments, the loss would be irreplaceable.
Sadly, the World Heritage Convention and the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two additional protocols have turned out to be toothless. They could not bind the radical militia.
Hope now lies in two places. The statute of the International Criminal Court includes as war crimes the deliberate destruction of cultural properties. Such legal provisions could be improved in scope to become effective deterrents.
A proactive empowerment of local communities to care for and guard their heritage during conflict is another avenue to explore. UNESCO's assistance to local guards in Congo during the time of conflict (2001) to save the world natural heritage sites there was reassuring.
Read more about it at: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article3646625.ece
Anthony D. Smith, Institute of Museum and Library Services Senior Program Officer, writes about the way libraries were refuges and support systems for citizens displaced by the recent storms in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland area.
Libraries were called upon to provide a level of comfort and stability to many of the millions of citizens who had their lives dramatically disrupted by widespread electrical power outages, brought on by a recent sudden storm. More than three million customers lost power, many for as long as a week. The lack of air conditioning during a time of record-breaking temperatures created a volatile situation and serious health threat for many, especially the elderly.
With the publication of the Freeh report relative to the child abuse scandal at The Pennsylvania State University, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrisey is calling for the outright physical destruction of many campus monuments to coach Joe Paterno. Not mentioned in the piece by Morrisey is Paterno Library on-campus which otherwise bears the coach's name.
A chorus of opposition is lining up against massive fee hikes by the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District that are threatening to bring down the curtain on local community theaters' use of library theaters.
Patrons and employees of the public library in Robbins, IL are outraged that someone vandalized the building's air conditioner.
"Libraries are metadata specialists and many librarians are metadata search specialists. Our training for users too often tries to turn them into mini-librarians too, as though being a specialist at finding things in the library is or should be a crowning achievement in life. So I really do think libraries are NOT experts at search. In fact, compared to Google I think we pretty much suck at it. I also think most librarians are specialists rather than experts at search. But what I don’t understand is why this seems to be such a challenge to librarians."
"Beerbrarian" Jacob Berg, director of a small, academic library in the Washington, D.C. area, has a humorous and thought-provoking article about how his library is coping with the recent and continued power outage caused by last weekend's severe storms in the area.
He contrasts their experience from the last extended power outage during Hurricane Irene:
...library staff were relocated to a basement classroom in another building. It seemed that nobody missed us. We had a few e-mails, but no walk-ins, nobody asking about reserve books, even. It looked like a failure; a library goes dark and nobody notices.
to what they're trying this week:
I have a laptop, a smartphone, and some swag (thanks, vendors!), and I'm walking around campus offering research assistance to all who ask for it. I'm also showing initiative by asking.