Burn a Country's Past and You Torch Its Future

While out hunting for a Thomas Jefforson quote this evening I found Burn a Country's Past and You Torch Its Future, a Washington Post Column by Robert Darnton, the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History at Princeton University.

"Time and accident are committing daily havoc on the originals deposited in our public offices. The late war has done the work of centuries in this business. The lost cannot be recovered, but let us save what remains: not by vaults and locks which fence them from the public eye and use in consigning them to the waste of time, but by such a multiplication of copies, as shall place them beyond the reach of accident."


St. Paul (MN) development will combine library with housing

Genghis John writes "According to the business daily Finance and Commerce ,'If all goes according to plan, residents at a proposed mixed-use housing development in St. Paul won’t have to look far for some good reading material. In fact, an entire library will be literally under their noses ... The development ... would combine a new Lexington Library with retail space and housing.'"


From Wired News - technology to restore waterlogged books

Ellen McCullough writes "It Sucks, but That's a Good ThingA very absorbent powder called Super Slurper is useful beyond diapers and oil filters. The new product will restore waterlogged books and will likely hit a library near you sometime next year.See Wired For The Full Story."

Nicholas Yeager, co-developer of Super Slurper for the book industry and president of Artifex Equipment, a California company that designs equipment for book conservation, agrees that flooding is one of the major difficulties libraries have to face.


President Signs Bill Reauthorizing Museum and Library Services Act

Darci Chapman writes "At a ceremony today in the White House President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 13 the Museum and Library Services Act of 2003. The legislation reauthorizes federal support provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Thousands of U.S. libraries and museums receive IMLS funds each year; the agency is the primary source of federal support for these institutions. All types of museums, art, history, natural history, science and technology centers, children's museums, botanical gardens, and zoos; and all types of libraries, public, academic, school, research, and archives are eligible for funding from the IMLS.

Here's the Full press release"


Multnomah County Library Tops List Of Nation's Busiest Libraries

Darci Chapman writes "According to a recent report issued by the Public Library Association, Multnomah County Library ranks No. 1 in annual circulation of books among all public libraries serving populations of 500,000 to 1 million. In 2002, residents checked out 16.1 million items-or over 24 books for every man, woman and child in Multnomah County, an outstanding indicator that our library system is one of the nation's busiest. "
Yes, this is the same library system where there's controversy over the newly hired director's (Molly Raphael) salary.

Entire story is here."


The Banjaxing of Scotland's National Library

Mock Turtle writes "In the wake of recent high-level layoffs and announcements of restructuring plans, staff at the National Library of Scotland are beginning to speak out. The Sunday Herald reports on the unrest, including details on how academics and politicians of all stripes are joining the outcry."

More Here on six senior staff who were told they were being made redundant.


Libraries: How they stack up

OCLC has issued a report detailing how libraries compare to other industries and professions. Who knew that we ship more than FedEx? And that there are more libarians in the world than the population of North Dakota?


Library donates 100-year-old birds to nature center

Mock Turtle writes "Since 1906, the Bill Memorial Library in Groton, CT, has prominently displayed a collection of nearly 200 preserved and mounted bird specimens, both domestic and exotic. While this kind of natural history exhibit was a common feature of public libraries around the turn of the twentieth century, the space constraints and financial concerns of the twenty-first century have spurred the Bill to find a new home for the impressive flock. Happily, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic has accepted the gift, with plans to integrate the birds with their existing collection and place them on display in the museum area of the center. Read the article from The Day."


UW-Madison benefits from literary cookbook

Mock Turtle writes "The Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries have published a cookbook pairing historically authentic recipes with fiction and nonfiction pieces by nineteenth-century female authors such as Kate Chopin, Louisa May Alcott, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Ten years in the making, A Literary Feast: Recipes and Writings by American Women Authors from History was compiled by members of the Friends, and edited by Yvonne Schofer, English Humanities bibliographer at UW-Madison's Memorial Library. Royalties from the cookbook will go to the Friends."


Edinburgh library revamp discussed

Mock Turtle writes "Plans are being drawn up to expand, modernize and preserve the historic Central Library of Edinburgh, Scotland. Reportedly one of Europe's busiest public libraries, the 1890 facility is cramped and in need of various improvements for 21st-century use. When the specifics are unveiled, the project is expected to call for at least £25 million. Edinburgh Evening News has the story."



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