All I want in a Library is Books

Old Fashioned sends us this essay from the Guardian (UK) from some person who yearns for the libraries=books model of yore.

"Vast tracts of my waking life, calculation insists, have been passed in libraries. First there were those adolescent evenings spent in the branch library eyeing up the salacious jackets of old Dennis Wheatley novels. Next came school and university, fighting for the last copy of books with unappetising titles like Revolt and Reform: Europe in the Sixteenth Century. And then there was a whole catalogue of London establishments - odd little crannies tucked into backstreets."



The hell that's homework today

Are public libraries being marketed enough to school children today? Are primary schools (in Australia and overseas) relying too heavily on parent intervention when it comes to research for assignments? Read the full story here and have your say!!


Your Library Online

Martin writes "This is the title of a nice article in PC Magazine touting the nifty things you can find through your local library's website. The author, a librarian, says, 'You've probably visited your public library's Web site to see whether it has a particular book in stock, but you may not realize that library Web sites offer free and easy access to an incredible array of online reference materials that would otherwise be too expensive or otherwise inaccessible to most of us.'"


LOC wants people to know about films

InfoWhale writes " Now in its 16th year, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress is seeking greater public understanding of how it decides to declare a movie a "national treasure."
see story here.

Personal note - My good friend Les Blank had his masterpiece, "Chulas Fronteras," selected early, thus proving LC is more than Hollywood. Now the question is - how can anyone see the hundreds of films selected so far?"


Indian Govt shuts its eyes to Braille Library

The Delhi Public Library (DPL) set it up 50 years ago with a vision of catering to the reading needs of the blind. Today, the Braille Library — still the Capital’s sole public library for the visually impaired — lies in a state of severe neglect.

The library’s services are stuck in a time warp and its board is sitting on an unused grant of Rs 14 lakh for a decade now. The librarian’s post too is vacant for over a year, and the membership is dwindling (see box). The library staff, transcribers, copy holders and proof readers, follow an archaic process — taking over a month to prepare a single Braille copy.

Full Story


Ill. firm checks out updated eLibrary

Gary D. Price sent in an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal about the relaunch of HighBeam eLibrary Research. The piece presents the company's current plan, some historical information, as well as their long-term plan. They've got high goals, such as, 'Our overall to become the place where individuals can go to do online research,' said Patrick Spain, chairman and chief executive officer of HighBeam Research LLC."


Selling to corporate libraries

Steven M. Cohen submitted This One that says corporate America is literally closing libraries. Instead of corporate libraries and individual executives, purchases are now being made by a new power in content purchasing -- people Corcoran calls portal managers.

"Your sales rep used to be able to call up and ask to speak to the person who runs the library. It's a lot tougher now. You don't have a receptionist anymore, and there's no physical place your call can be sent to. They've thrown away the librarian title."


OCLC Environmental Scan report

Dennie writes "OCLC just released an environmental scan on what will shape the libraries of the future. Very thorough, very interesting reading.
Read it at"

The entire report is long, but no doubt worth the read.

"This report seeks to discern patterns in the twilight zone and to serve as a tour guide through the landscape that chaos and order inhabit together."


Tool lending library revives home improvement projects

Here's One out of Oakland, CA, where Ty Yurgelevic works as the Oakland Tool Lending Library chief tool-lending specialist.
The center sits tucked away at the library's Temescal branch on Telegraph Avenue. Upstairs, inside the historic red-bricked Carnegie-era building, is a grandiose room, with a cathedral ceiling, hardwood floors and perpetual hush.

In the basement, with the entrance round back, sits the inconspicuous tool center. There, the workshop buzzes like a small-town saloon, a hub where do-it-yourselfers chatter while library technicians two-step around each other.


Indian Libraries struggle to preserve books

The Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal has 20,000 rare manuscripts dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, hundreds of miniature paintings, maps, 25,000 texts, 35,000 documents in Farsi and Modi scripts and numerous documents from the Peshwa era.

What the institute does not have is funds to preserve the rare treasure for posterity by micro-filming or digitising them, a standard practice the world-over.

The state of affairs at the mandal, established in 1917, is similar to that at the 182-year-old Deccan college and many other institutions housing valuable manuscripts, paintings, books and ancient artefacts.
Full Story



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