Online Learning: Why Libraries Could Be the Key to MOOCs’ Success

Libraries are a perfect setting for Learning Circles for several reasons: they already serve the local community; they are equipped with meeting spaces; many have computer stations, and most importantly, librarians know how to help people find answers.    “Most people take online classes in solitude and that’s when you put on the headphones,”  said James Teng, a CPL librarian at who facilitated a course on public speaking. “Sometimes you feel alone. Learning Circles bring people together to work together and develop teamwork.”
From Online Learning: Why Libraries Could Be the Key to MOOCs’ Success | MindShift | KQED News

Who’s protecting valuable libraries from terrorism?

A couple of weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry declared the acts of Daesh, otherwise known as the Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, as genocidal. He specifically cited the killing of Christians, Yazidis and Shiite Muslims. Yet the concept of genocide encompasses more than just the obvious act of killing, and it is not an act of convenient appropriation to say so. The term “genocide” was invented by Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer, in 1943 to describe the crimes he witnessed in his native Poland.

The Oldest Libraries Around the World

their collections, stunning designs, and sometimes playful interiors. After reading news this week about the restoration of Morocco’s Al Qarawiyyin Library, featured below, we knew it was time to take a trip around the world to highlight some of the oldest libraries in existence — repositories of ancient art and architecture, history, and prized books. Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorites.
From The Oldest Libraries Around the World – Flavorwire

The Rise of Pirate Libraries

All around the world, shadow libraries keep growing, filled with banned materials. But no actual papers trade hands: everything is digital, and the internet-accessible content is not banned for shocking content so much as that modern crime, copyright infringement.
From The Rise of Pirate Libraries | Atlas Obscura

Beyond books: Eight things you may not know about libraries

As people become more reliant on devices and less likely to crack open a paperback, libraries have been forced to adapt. Most modern libraries offer e-book and e-magazines, plus movies on DVD and other digital items. But did you know that many also provide such services as free Wi-Fi, used bookstores, and even unique items borrowing. Coming off of National Library Week, here's a look at eight things you might not know about your local library:
From Beyond books: Eight things you may not know about libraries

Morocco: one of the world’s oldest libraries is renovated

The settling dust from renovations and the banging of tools aren’t ideal sights and sounds for a library — but this is no ordinary library. Founded 12 centuries ago by a pioneering woman and nestled in the old medina of Fez, Morocco’s University of al-Qarawiyyin library is one of the world’s oldest libraries, home to unique Islamic manuscripts treasured by historians. Yet it’s been largely hidden from the public. The architect leading its restoration, Fez native Aziza Chaouni, didn’t even know it existed until she was asked to work on it.
From Morocco: one of the world’s oldest libraries is renovated | The Seattle Times

Fewer Americans Using Libraries

From the Atlantic, reports of a Pew study that show that library use is slowing. It seems that as investment in libraries is declining due to budget cuts, that also diminishes their use.
  • "We found that as investments, such as revenue, staffing, and programs, increased, so did critical use measures, such as visitation and circulation. In the same way, as investments were reduced, mostly in reaction to post-recessionary budgetary reductions, we saw decreases in library use. Another important finding is that even though investments might have declined, any decreases in use did not drop by the same magnitude. People continue to use their local public libraries—for access to books and information and for gathering as a community."
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    Alice Crawford: The Meaning of The Library

    I’ve asked elsewhere previously, if everything is downloadable and deliverable then what use is a library? The Meaning of The Library suggests that is the wrong question. To see libraries purely as a vehicle for content is to mistake the purpose of the library, which is to be whatever its society needs it to be. Freedom of thought, freedom of expression and intellectual curiosity, these are not downloadable or deliverable. Alice Crawford’s book reminds us of this and for that alone it is quite a beautiful piece of work.
    From Alice Crawford: The Meaning of The Library | Quadrapheme

    Cornerstone laying ceremony of new Israel National Library

    A copy of the National Library of Israel Charter, a declaration signed by leaders and public officials which marked the launch of the National Library renewal project in 2011, was buried under the cement stone at the ceremony. The library is located between the Israel Museum to the South and the Knesset to the East, and will serve as a link between the cultural and civic buildings around it. “The concept of the renewal of the library will allow us to place the National Library in the proper perspective in the country’s cultural fabric,” said David Blumberg, chairman of the National Library. “The National Library will be the most important cultural institution in Israel and the Jewish world.”
    From Cornerstone laying ceremony of new Israel National Library | ISRAEL21c

    Library Times Are A-Changin’

    Our second annual assessment of library hours in New York shows that 40 percent more branch libraries in NYC are open at least six days a week than this time last year. But while city libraries are open an average of 4 hours more per week than a year ago, they still lag behind many of the largest library systems in the state and nation in hours of operation.
    From Library Times Are A-Changin’ | Center for an Urban Future


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