Rare Books Feared Lost in German Fire

ChuckB writes "From ABC News:

WEIMAR, Germany Sept. 3, 2004 — Thousands of irreplaceable books were feared lost or damaged in a fire at one of Germany's most precious libraries, though some 6,000 historical works including a 1534 Martin Luther Bible were saved by a chain of people who spirited them away from the flames, officials said Friday.
Officials were surveying the damage caused by the Thursday night fire in Weimar's Duchess Anna Amalia Library, housed in a 16th-century rococo-style palace. The fire broke out in a top floor and raged for two hours before firefighters put it out.
The cause is under investigation.



Dog Days @ the Library

The dog days of summer took on a whole new meaning at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library (Williamstown MA)Monday as a dalmatian, a husky, a pomeranian and several yellow Labrador retrievers were among the four-footed patrons that stopped by. The dogs and their owners participated in the library's "Foto Mutt" event, as children's author Elizabeth Winthrop took pictures of them for a "dog and owner look-alike contest." North Adams Transcript has the story.

The photos will be submitted to Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for a fall release promotion of Winthrop's latest children's book, "Dog Show."


Human Chain Moves Last Book to New Library

About 650 people lined up on a two-mile route for a ceremonial move of the last book from the old Tinley Park (IL) Public Library to the new one. The book that made the journey was "The Library," a children's story. Retired Tinley Park librarian Mary Lou Seery who had the honor of being the first in the chain commented

If you think about what a library costs in taxes, it's minimal in comparison to the resources that you get for it. The people who work here are dedicated and work for less money than they could make in the private world. On the whole, I think that libraries are the most important resource we have.

More here from the Daily Southtown.


Office Depot promoting library cards

Walt writes "Library Journal sez Office Depot's doing a nationwide promotion for library cards as "the smartest card."

No, I'm not going to go into a rant about corporate-ALA tie-ups. I think this one's a winner all around. From what I can tell, OD falls in the relative "good guy" category for national chains.

Office Depot's also been doing a considerable good deed in cooperation with HP through this summer's PC-recycling program: I know I was able to get rid of a 17" display and a long-unused PC, without having to pay dumping fees and with the expectation that salvageable parts will be reused."


Libraries in Unlikely Places

Anonymous Patron sends "this story from the Christian Science Montior about the growing phenomenon of placing mini libraries in malls. This is about one such library in the Seattle-area King County Library System.

And Bob Cox sends us this one about an informal lending library that's been paired with a hair salon in Columbia, Tennessee. Salon owner Ginger Bryant, a voracious reader, whose clientele prefers book chat over gossip, set up an informal lending library when she relocated to a larger space.

'It's so much better to talk about literature than to talk about people or gossip,' said Bea Curry, a retired Columbia State literature and English teacher. 'And Ginger also keeps up with cultural events, and that keeps us stimulated.'

More from The Tennessean.


Library Says No to Contoversial Program: Must Remain "Neutral"

Here's an editorial from CounterPunch from author Dave Lindorff who tried to arrange for a book signing and discussion at his local library. He received an answer from a librarian who initially declined his offer, saying "we are concerned that a discussion of topics that people feel so passionately about could quickly become inflammatory." The librarian also said that the library needed to remain "neutral." But she did ask for references or contacts for previous libraries where he might have done similar programs, leaving the door open for a program. Lindorff comments

Still, if a librarian is afraid of controversy in a community like mine, one shudders to imagine how her counterparts are handling controversy in really conservative communities in the South or the Midwest.

The title of Lindorff's book? This Can't Be Happening: Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy.


September Project Gains Global Momentum sends "updated links to information about The September Project, which according to the website, "is a collection of people, groups, and organizations working to create a day of engagement, a day of conversation, a day of democracy." The project is looking for more libraries to participate in this programming. Find out more about the project, and learn how you and your communities can help shape it. More information here."


Ottawa to Get Drive-Through Library

As reported in the Ottawa Citizen , a drive-thru window is coming to the new Ottawa Public Library in the fall of 2005.

Library management and members of the union are currently in discussions concerning how the service will be manned; management would like a volunteer but the union would like a librarian (but of course!) . The hope is that motorists will be able drop off materials and collect orders they've pre-selected on the Internet.

The article states that the $7.7-million South Central District Library on Lorry Greenberg Drive -- to begin construction in October and to be completed in September 2005 -- has designed into it this Tim Hortonsesque feature (ed: let's hope they also serve those iced coffees).

"It will look just like a McDonald's window," said Baseline Councillor Rick Chiarelli, chairman of the Ottawa Public Library.


Something New to Check Out at the Mall: Library Books

Typically, people go to malls to shop and to socialize. They may meet a friend for a quick lunch and then hunt for a new outfit. But at two malls in the greater Seattle area, they can also pick up a copy of the latest bestseller, do a computer search for a new job, and listen to a Spanish- language CD, all for free.
The freebies aren't some enormous give-away by the malls, but typical library services in a not-so-typical location. Read all about it.


Court Says Providence Athenaeum Can Sell Its Audubon

Fang-Face writes "There is
an article at American Libraries Online that one of the oldest private libraries in the U.S. will be allowed to auction off a rare book. It hopes to raise eight million dollars from the auction. When it first announced its intentions, some of the members and patrons sued, but Judge Michael Silverstein has ruled that such a move was not a violation of the library's mission. His ruling can be found here in .PDF. The Providence Journal covers the story."



Subscribe to Libraries