Libraries

Library: the most powerful tool on the planet

Someone passed along This Fine Story from over at Kuroshin.

\"In short, I would like to say that perhaps I would be happier if I had never been to a public university with a proper library of 2 million volumes, with good databases and interlibrary loan. I would never know that I was missing anything, I would have no conception that the rich people in large cities have access to actual research facilities that the poor and the distant could only dream of. I would have no knowledge of the brutal and disgusting disparity between those who think it is OK for them to decide everything for the rest of us, who hoard the truth for thesmelves, and the poor schleps who must live with whatever goggle eyed elitist decisions they come up with, while we sit around blabbering with half baked ideas that we can only research so far before we run up against \'copyright: you cannot view this\' or \'this material is unavailable to you\'.

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Bodleian urged to hand back holy manuscripts

Charles Davis writes \"
The Bodleian Library is the latest target of a group
campaigning for the return of treasures taken from
Ethiopia by the British Army in the 19th century.

The Association For the Return of the Maqdala
Ethiopian Treasures (Afromet) is calling for the
return of a number of holy manuscripts held by
the Oxford University library.

Afromet is lobbying the Government to return a
range of artefacts brought to Britain after a war in
Ethiopia in 1868.

The treasures include 34 illustrated ecclesiastical
manuscripts of particular importance to the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which are held at the
Bodleian.

Full Story
\"

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NYT Remembers Old Astor Library Building

Ryan writes:\"Here\'s a great article from the NYT about the original Astor library building in New York, now housing the Public Theater, in the bowels of which I\'ve heard that Christopher Walken can be seen gliding from light to cone of dusty light during the summer months.

The writer includes some wonderful recounting of the crochety library staff, who complained about the patrons, who \"read excellent books,\" said the original librarian, Joseph Green Cogswell, who went on: \"except the young fry, who employ all the hours they are out of school in reading the trashy, as Scott, Cooper, Dickens, Punch and The Illustrated News.\"

I\'d love to see something like this, perhaps in more detail, about the Cooper Union and its library, which are right up the street. Anyone know of something?
\"

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Independent Cuban libraries are gaining momentum

Sun-Sentinel.com has a Story on independent lending libraries, one of the fastest-growing sectors of Cuba\'s limited civil society.

They say Fidel Castro unwittingly inspired the independent library movement when he declared at a Havana book fair in February 1998 that there were no censored books in Cuba, only limited funds for public libraries.

\"The revolution has given us a high level of education, but it also censors a lot and determines what people read.\"

Gary Price also pointed to Private libraries turn page in Cuba over at The Chicago Tribune, a strangely similar story.

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Books Returned, 100 Years Overdue

Harold Bugbee found books of speeches by the Hon. Henry Clay
in his basement that had been checked out from library formed in Montpelier, VT in 1886.

They happily waived the late fees, which, if calculated for 100 years at 10 cents a day, six days a week, would exceed $3,000 in fines.

Full Story passed on By Bob Cox.

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A Sticky Situation

Bob Cox passed along This One on a person who has destroyed nearly $10,000 worth of library books, videotapes and CDs by pouring sticky syrup down book drops in Tacoma.
Three Pierce County branches and several branches in Seattle also have reported similar incidents and they think it\'s the same guy.

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New Women\'s Library in London

The
Women\'s Library
opened on Monday in its
redesigned London building. It is the \"largest collection
of women\'s history in the UK\". It began as part of the
London Society for Women\'s Suffrage in 1926 and was
previously known as the Fawcett Library. The redesign
started just before I left the UK so I\'ll be visiting the new
library when I return in a couple of months. The BBC and The Guardian both have features
articles on it.

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Another Darn Cat

Ryan passed along This Story on another library cat.
This one in, Leicester, England.
It seems someone complained, so the poor thing doesn\'t have the run of the place any more. Apparently they need to be Sued to do something about it.

There is a poll at the bottom of the story with 85% of voters siding with the cat.

\"We are not actively encouraging the cat to stay, but neither are we rejecting it. Our main intention is to suit everybody.\"

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The House Newspaper Built

Lee Hadden writes: \"Annanova has an article about a house made from old newspapers.
Literally. The house and furniture is made from 100,000 newspapers, and was
constructed between 1922 and 1941.

Perhaps this is a solution to the problem Nicholson Baker described in
his recent attack on libraries, \"Double Fold.\" Because public libraries
weren\'t keeping old newspapers because of problems of staff, space and
money, Mr. Baker bought some old runs of newspapers up and started his own
private library. This is certainly one way to handle the library problems
of staff, space and money. Make the library collection _into_ the library,
so to speak!\"

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To The Shredder

Lee Hadden writes: \"Michael Orey has an article in yesterday\'s (January 30, 2002) Wall Street
Journal front page, \"Why We Need a National Association for Data
Destruction: Paper-Shredding Firms Thrive as Businesses Guard Secrets;
Enron isn\'t the Half of It.\"
As a federal librarian, I have had to oversee and witness the
destruction of classified documents (dusty and noisy); as a state employee
I had to witness the actual burying of documents at a trash pit (smelly) by
a bulldozer; as a public librarian, I have had people dig things out of the
library\'s trash bin and come back to me with \"Why are you throwing away
this valuable twenty-year old Japanese language encyclopedia? I can\'t read
Japanese, but I\'m sure it must be to valuable to throw away!\"
So librarians see the need for destruction of documents. This article
discusses the industry that supplies that need, and how the machinery for
destruction has improved over the years.
Read more about it at: WSJ.com or your local library.
\"

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