Libraries

Library Offers Homeless People Mental Health Services, And It's Working

Libraries have long served as havens for homeless people. But it’s only recently that these institutions have started taking advantage of their unique position. Those who live in shelters typically have to vacate during daytime hours and use their free time to find jobs. And libraries are an optimal place to go since admittance is free and it’s often the only spot in town that has gratis Internet and computers. In fact, nearly two-thirds of libraries provide the only free computer and Internet access in their communities, the Associated Press reported last year. 
From Library Offers Homeless People Mental Health Services, And It's Working
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Librarians Who Lend Out More Than Books

Cool story from Mental Floss on many of the things that can be borrowed from a library other than books, tapes, etc. Among the objects for loan are neckties, kitchen equipment, guitars and puppets. Let us know if your library loans non-book objects in the comments section.
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Don't mourn the loss of libraries-the internet has made them obsolete

We can, and should, still love books, but we should not be sentimental about libraries, because they are a means to an end. Access to information is now widely available via smartphones: three quarters of us have one, it was one in five in 2010. Library and information services have to be designed with that reality in mind. The true inequality remains access to books and reading. Children who grow up with and around books do better educationally than those who don’t. That is where childcare, nurseries and schools are the key. Libraries must adapt to the changing habits of adults, where there is a clear and irreversible trajectory there. But they must never abandon children. As Groucho Marx once said: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
From Don't mourn the loss of libraries – the internet has made them obsolete - Telegraph
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Defund libraries. Create a nation of fools.

Libraries are a final safety net. People use libraries to search for jobs, read newspapers and books, take computer classes and inform themselves. They’re a particularly valuable resource for educating children. An informed and educated population would see through the Koch brothers’ goals and fight back against their enrichment at the expense of the poor and middle classes. Defunding libraries can only serve to keep the population pliant and ignorant.
From Editorial: Defund libraries. Create a nation of fools. | The Platform | stltoday.com
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The Little-Seen Maps and Stories of Women in Cartography

Which women, and when? Mapmaking spans genders, centuries, cultures, and technologies. A complete history of women in cartography would require many volumes of pages, and possibly a graduate degree. To make this series sensible for online readers, I’ve narrowed my selection to works by women mapping North America over the past 300 years. Within this “small” range is a diversity of stories, styles, and approaches that, collected together, should provoke curiosity about the many more ways women have mapped the world.
From The Little-Seen Maps and Stories of Women in Cartography - CityLab
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This Artist is Distributing Mini Libraries of Zines and Collages

He’s not too concerned about the libraries being raided by art thieves who, in keeping and not sharing the works, strip them from their social connections. “I think if you have something nice, it’s even nicer to give it away,” says Ventral is Golden. "I once made a series of illustrations for my girlfriend about how we first met in Portugal... when I gave them to her two months later, she accidentally left the originals on the Metro in Paris. I like the idea that they’re still circulating on a continuous loop underneath the city.”
From This Artist is Distributing Mini Libraries of Zines and Collages | The Creators Project
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Museums and libraries as co-creators of change | MinnPost

A new national research report [PDF] reveals the catalytic role that libraries and museums are playing in rebuilding troubled neighborhoods. These important "anchor institutions" are helping drive economic, educational and social efforts to raise the standard of living in their surrounding neighborhoods.

The Line
Published by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the research was recently shared at a meeting of Twin Cities community developers and museum and library professionals. The report captures the ways museums and libraries are leveraging their positions and resources to help fuel successful comprehensive community revitalization. It also offers best practice advice for other institutions.

https://www.minnpost.com/line/2016/03/museums-and-libraries-co-creators-change

Don't leave UK libraries to councils: ringfence their funds

The problem is that libraries aren’t treated fairly as cultural institutions. Instead councils are forced to contrast them with acute public services, such as child protection or social care. This is an impossible comparison.

Robbie Millen, literary editor of the Times, recently argued that councils are incapable of appreciating the real value of libraries as a symbol for culture, art and literature. He believes the answer is privatisation.

http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/mar/24/libraries-councils-ringfence-f...

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The libraries of Herculaneum: Not quite destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius?

It may require a particle accelerator, X-ray vision, and a highly toxic metal, but researchers believe they could soon be reading from the libraries of Herculaneum, an ancient Roman town destroyed by a volcano to the benefit of archaeology. Scientists have discovered that ancient scholars in the town which, along with its more-famous neighbor, Pompeii, was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius used a lead-based paint, which they may be able to read using X-ray technology, Sonia van Gilder Cooke wrote for the New Scientist. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0322/The-libraries-of-Herculaneum-Not-quite-destroyed-by-Mt.-Vesuvius
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CMU Speck pollution monitors now available at Carnegie libraries | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At most libraries, a person can expect to borrow books, CDs or videos but never a device. But in a yearlong pilot project, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has allowed its members to check out — literally and figuratively — the Speck air-quality monitor developed by the Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab that measures indoor air-particulate pollution levels. In fact, the trial has been so successful that all 19 libraries soon will have Speck monitors available for checkout for three weeks, with a library-system inventory now totaling 120 monitors through support from three local foundations. Pilot-project success also has inspired Airviz, the CMU spinoff that sells the device, to give free Specks to 100 libraries nationwide along with support material and training, with a 15 percent discount on additional monitors. CMU robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh led Speck’s development. http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2016/03/21/CMU-Speck-pollution-monitors-now-available-at-Carnegie-Libraries/stories/201603210015
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