Libraries

Mao "on hold" as library poster-boy in Minneapolis

David Rothman writes "The good folks at the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library have dropped Mao Tse-tung from a fund-raising campaign, at least for now. So says Dawn Flinsch, campaign coordinator, who tells me Mao is “on hold� out of sensitivity to citizens’ concerns.

Let's hope he stays purged from the campaign serving up the images of famous librarians. Public libraries face enough challenges and don't need wacky campaigns like this one from the "buzz"-fixated Andrews/Birt agency. Mao was a butcher. Imagine A/B pushing Coors by showing Adolph Hitler as a happy beer-drinker. Is Mao harmless because he killed yellow-skinned people--not Caucasians--by the millions. Besides, if A/B wants to take on civil liberties issues for real, there's always the ever-so-deserving Patriot Act.

The good news is that the A/B effort shows real flair and could do much better simply by substituting Bunny Wilson, played by Katharine Hepburn in Desk Set. Who would you rather get homework or job-hunting help from--Kate or Mao Tse-tung? More at TeleRead."

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Libraries increase DVDs collections for thrifty movie watchers

Associated Press Writer John Seewer reports Libraries nationwide are loaning out and investing more money in DVDS and videos. Many people say they are turning to libraries for free movies and bypassing video stores along with rental fees and late charges. The majority of libraries don't charge for movies, but it is allowed in some states, said Clara Bohrer, president of Public Library Association. Fees, she said, can hinder some from using the library.

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Library Cat: Dewey Readmore Books

Here's an Aw, Gee story about Dewey Readmore Books, the resident library cat at the Spencer Public Library (IA), who has made the news around the world and helped raise thousands of dollars for the library. Also in the article is a note that filmmaker Gary Roma has made a documentary about library cats called Puss in Books.

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2006-2007 ALA Prez: Savvy library-booster--with a blog

David Rothman writes "Leslie Burger, director of a New Jersey library with a spiffy, community-oriented Web site, is the 2006-2007 president of ALA as reported earlier. Her election could be good news for the library world. At least from afar, this new blogger seems well equipped to reduce the PR damage from blog-hating Michael Gorman, an anti-ebook Lud. I won't confuse a library director with a Webmaster, but positively or negatively, library Web sites often reflect the organizations behind them. More at TeleRead."

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Festival features book crawl

There's just a cornucopia of library oriented stories coming out of Michigan today for some reason. Here's One More from The Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Chelsea area. 23 book and comic book stores that have signed up for the Bookstore Crawl, part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival this month.

The book festival ushers in the season of outdoor reading with a bibliomaniacal street fair and a book crawl that moves through three cities.

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Guinness World Record For "Highest Library In The World"

Anonymous Patron writes "The 60th floor Library at the JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai recently received a certification from Guinness World Records certifying it as the “Highest Library in the World�.

Towering at 230.9 metres (60 storeys) above the downtown Puxi area of Shanghai, the Library at JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai is 57 square metres in size and holds over 1,500 bilingual books of English literature, novels, Chinese poetry and coffee table pieces. More Here."

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Andy Carnegie, please come back we need you!

Cortez writes "In this day of Amazon, the Internet, hundreds of cable channels and ubiquitous computing, what is the role of the institutions Andrew Carnegie thought were so important that he devoted himself and a good bit of his fortune to propagating them? In the era of the Internet, will we still go to libraries to borrow books and do research? The answer seems to be a resounding yes, because libraries are more than just a place to keep volumes on dusty shelves. Carnegie’s goal was one shared by many thinking people today: to empower working people to improve their lot, as he had improved his by using the personal library of Colonel Joseph Anderson of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania."

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Significant works of art @ your library

From today's New York Times:

Libraries are, as conventional wisdom suggests, about books rather than art objects. Nevertheless, significant works of art have found their way into many libraries, some acquired by purchase but most by donation.

A large case in point is the main building of the New York Public Library, which over the years has received an impressive array of art from important donors. But maintaining that it is not a museum, the library has from time to time put works up for sale, and recently announced that it would dispose of the cream of its art collection to raise money to buy books and manuscripts and to pep up its endowment ...

Recent visits to some of these institutions reveal that while their holdings may not be in depth, they cover a wide range. Lively murals by W.P.A. artists at the public libraries, portraits by earlier American painters at two private libraries, a collage by the New York School painter Esteban Vicente at the Cooper Union, and works by New York contemporary artists at the City College of New York are among them.

Complete article (registration required).

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Students free books into the 'wild' for literacy

The Lexington Herald-Leader is the latest place to cover BookCrossing. A few clicks on the Internet, and one can discover the original owner of a particular book and where it has been by typing in the code on its inside cover. There is also an opportunity to give feedback on its contents, letting the owner know the book has been "caught."
"I am so excited about the way it's catching on with my students," said Turner. "They are having so much fun without even realizing that they are promoting literacy by sharing their thoughts about these books, and the actual books themselves, with their community."

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Salinas to cut library hours

Hrere's A New SPin on the ongoing Salinas Saga. Salinas officials are cutting library hours starting next week because so many employees have resigned in anticipation of library closures.

Beginning Tuesday, John Steinbeck Library, the city's largest branch, and the Cesar Chavez branch in East Salinas will be open four days a week, for 18 hours a week at each site. El Gabilan Library, the city's smallest branch, will be open three days a week for a total of 13 hours. Each branch is currently open 32 hours a week.

"I know this is difficult for the public and this is difficult for the staff too," said Jan Neal, manager of the Steinbeck Library. "We really have squeezed as much public service out of the staff as we can without being unrealistic as far as our staffing works."

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