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Wow, it looks like libraryland has been quite a happenin place lately. Where do I begin? I\'ll spare you all the details of my great vacation and just get down to business. I\'ve reported a few times on the woes at the Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore. Today the numbers were released. One branch only circulated 15,261 items in the last fiscal year. It doesn\'t stop there. According to the article, \"in 1993 the county library system was in the Top 5 nationwide and had the largest use per capita. Today, it doesn\'t even have the highest per-capita usage in the state.\" more... from SunSpot News.
The Vodka Library is situated 200 miles north of Moscow in the Russian town of Uglich on the Volga, hometown of Pyotr Arseneyevich Smirnov, founder of the Smirnoff brand. No books, just thousands of bottles of vodka encased in glass. It aims to celebrate the national drink but also to educate on the problems its consumption can cause.
\"Vodka has never done anything good, but without it, Russia would not exist\"
So you can get a taste test but also a lecture on responsible drinking. The full shot glass from The Boston Globe.
As with all large projects, they are dealing with years of delay, budget overruns and controversy over its warehouse-style collection policy.
\"We want to give maximum freedom to allow it to be an interlocutor\" with the world\'s great academic and research institutions, said Serageldin, The library director. \"One of the benefits is that it churns up intellectual activity in Egypt.\"
From The Times Union, Douglas Filaroski writes...
\"A coffee shop with latte and cappuccino. Big overstuffed chairs near the John Grisham novels. Internet portals for laptops. Walls of artwork. This is not the newest trendy cafe, or one of those warehouse bookstores. This is today\'s modern public library, in this case a 300,000-square-foot building in Nashville, Tenn., that is part museum, part cafe, computer center, conference hall, theater and a place to borrow books.\" [more...]
After suffering through what Director Herb Elish describes as \"nearly a century of neglect,\" the Carnegie Library System of Pittsburgh is kicking off a $76 million capital campaign to renovate 19 facilities. One necessary area of improvement is compliance with ADA standards. [more...] from The Pittsburgh Business Times.
I can remember my first visit to a law library. I was amazed at how how voluminous everything seemed (bad pun). Well, not anymore. This library is going bookless. They recently auctioned off their books and shelving for pennies on the dollar and will be relocating to a more suitable location on the fourth floor where there will be a computer, printer and a few books in a small room.
I wonder what they\'ll do with all that space. [more...] from St. Joseph News.
As has been reported here, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD has been forced to close five of its branches. The announcement came yesterday on which five are to get the axe on September 1 of this year. The collections from each branch will be divided up among local schools and other community organizations. [more...] from SunSpot.
For The Anchorage Daily News, Tim Pryor writes...
\"Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch on Tuesday reached a legal settlement with exhibitors of a gay pride display at the Z.J. Loussac Library, cutting short a court battle and agreeing to pay $10,000 of the exhibitors\' attorney\'s fees. The agreement brings to an end a more than month-long struggle over a gay pride exhibit at the library, but it doesn\'t resolve a larger question of what kind of displays from outside the library will be held there in the future. A temporary city ban on exhibits from outside the library will continue for now, Wuerch said. That means a six-city exhibit of Appalachian photographs and other arts and crafts will remain unassembled. It was supposed to be on display for about two months, beginning Monday. I\'m convinced we did what was right for the citizens of Anchorage, Wuerch said from his home Tuesday evening. The judge has made his ruling, and we\'ll comply with the judge\'s ruling. There\'s no debate. [more...]
Is it me or does this seem to be happening quite a bit lately? The Chicago Tribune is reporting that \"In an informal poll of the City Council on Monday, aldermen voted 8-4 to reject the Library Board\'s recommendation that an $18 million, 80,000-square-foot facility be built on the site of the current library.\" They won\'t be talking about a new facility for awhile. [more...]