The Library on the QM2

Just for fun, a snippet from Simon Schama's account in the New Yorker of the Queen Mary 2's maiden voyage:

"[In 1842 when Dickens sailed] there were a few books in the saloon. Only in the second half of the nineteenth century . . . did a comprehensively stocked and magnificently panelled and furnished library become a crucial fixture. The heavily used library on the QM 2 runs the gamut from Danielle Steel to Tom Clancy; there is a wall of less intensively visited Everyman classics, and I found, improbably lurking amid the bodice-rippers and spy thrillers, Albert Camus’s 'The Plague.'"


Librarian Arrested in Periodicals Theft

Katie writes "From

A former Whitman College librarian was arrested after he allegedly tried to mail stolen 19th century periodicals to a customer of an Internet auction site, police said.

Jake J. Oelerich, 21, was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail on Wednesday for investigation of first-degree theft. He was being held Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Full Story here"


Nashville Library Shut Down by Outage

News here about a serious power outage at the Nashville City Library that not only affected the main building, but branch libraries as well.

An underground cable failure lead to a blown transformer which kept the library closed for most of Tuesday. Check out the hand-written sign in the window.


Community defined by system of libraries

Anonymous Patron writes This opinion piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, extolls the virtues of Seattle as a technology and library-savvy hub. The guest columnist, Lizabeth Wilson (director of university libraries at UW), also gives much credit to Bill and Melinda Gates.


Prisoners turn to library for escape behind bars

The Associated Press looks at prison libraries.
Last year, the state spent $1.7 million on law books for its 69 prison law libraries, according to Allen Overstreet, who oversees library services for the state Department of Corrections. Meanwhile, the general collection at Tomoka consists mainly of worn paperbacks and is dependent mostly on donations.


Library of Alexandria discovered

The BBC Reports Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning. A Polish-Egyptian team has excavated parts of the Bruchion region of the Mediterranean city and discovered what look like lecture halls or auditoria.

Two thousand years ago, the library housed works by the greatest thinkers and writers of the ancient world.


Library at the Mall

pchuck writes "New library offers `living room' feel - Southcenter branch of King County (WA) Library System is modern, colorful and waiting to be explored.

They also add a disclaimer that it isn't a day-care center.

Here is the link:"


Yet another "Libraries on NPR" story.

The DC-area Public Radio program The Diane Rehm Show, which has national distribution on a number of NPR affiliates, featured libraries in the second hour. Guests were Toni Garvey of Phoenix, ALA president Carla Hayden, and Winston Tabb, formerly of the Library of Congress, now with Johns Hopkins University.

And yes, for those of you who listened, I was "Karl from Tulsa" who called about pay equity.

Update: The show in question, the second hour on Thursday, May 6, seems to be in limbo right now. The main website (linked above) has moved on to show next week's shows, while the archive isn't showing May yet. This link should eventually get you to the right place (based on the way other URLs are written on the site), but right now it's dead. Sorry.

ReUpdate: That last link is now operational, and will take you directly to the show's section on last week's archive page.


Librarians pitted against Google

The Guardian has posted this little exercise, comparing the time it takes to answer certain questions using Google, the phone or a library (but not the helpful advice of a librarian who may have helped improve the library's times no end).

It reminded me of those reference question tests I did at library school. The memories of failed reference questions meant that I was thinking "why didn't he go straight for the Whitaker's Almanack?" on question 4.


Library's Longtime Cat-In-Residence Dies

It's been awhile since we ran a library cat story, Here's One out of K.C.
In more than 20 years as cat-in-residence at the Haysville Community Library, Libby Libra survived being run over, a catnapping, a tornado and 10 days shut up in an abandoned wing of the old library building.

But after a siege of bad health due to persisent thyroid problems, library officials had the cat euthanized last Friday.



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