British Library sells off rare books online

Charles Davis writes "Story from
ZDNet on The British Library. They are to beef up its online activities by selling millions of rare books from its collections in a collaboration with e-commerce
site, the library said on Monday.

The library, part of the British Museum, will make 2.5 million rare and antique titles available to the public via Amazon's Web site, including
first-edition novels and centuries-old sheet music. The library already sells rare books and manuscripts through traditional channels."


Missing Air Force History

This One has been in my inbox for a little too long.
A March 2002 audit of the Air Force museum's active inventory discovered about 2,300 artifacts were unaccounted for, the Dayton Daily News reported Aug. 24. The museum now says all but 354 of those artifacts have been found or accounted for.


Who loves you like the library?

The Rarin' Librarian pointed to Who loves you like the library? a rather nice one from The Writer Magazine that includes a suprising quote from Patricia "have a very serious issue with librarians" Schroeder, president, American Association of Publishers:
"We need [libraries] more than ever. The Internet is full of 'stuff' but ... 'stuff' doesn't give you a competitive edge; high-quality, reliable information does."

The article says If you're a writer who suspects that Google and other Web search engines have made libraries passé, either you haven't used a first-rate library lately or you've been swayed by articles calling libraries a waste of time next to Web speed and currency.
See also:10 cool library manuevers for writers.


Harvard's library bridge set for demolition

The architectural conversation piece that has connected Harvard University's Widener and Houghton libraries for over 60 years will be torn down in spring 2004.

The covered bridge was constructed in 1942, in compliance with a 1912 stipulation by Widener Library's benefactor that no "additions or alterations" could be made to the facade of the building. Thus, in order to connect Widener to Houghton, the bridge had to be constructed through a preexisting window in the stacks.

Aside from feeling the loss of a sentimental landmark, librarians say they will miss the protection the bridge provided against the Cambridge winter as they passed between the buildings.

Read more about the Widener-Houghton bridge and its history at The Harvard Crimson Online.


Libraries told 'stop lending'

Over in Japan, the Daily Yomiuri has a story about the conflicts between bookstores, publishers, and libraries.

The prolonged economic slump lies behind the sluggish book sales, but authors organizations and publishing houses feel public libraries are becoming a problem, too.

In last autumn's symposium titled "Debate Between Authors and Libraries," authors said that lending a large number of new books would lead to a violation of their copyrights.

But public libraries refuted this claim, saying that lending out new books would increase the number of readers and the public service did not undermine book sales.

Authors proposed introducing a system requiring libraries to compensate authors financially according to the number of books they lend.


New Muslim Library in Mt. Vernon, New York

stevejzoo writes:
"Gannett's Westchester county paper, the Journal News, has a story today about a new Islamic resource center and library in Mt. Vernon, New York. The library is associated with a mosque. Quoting from the story:

Syed A. Alirahi, the library's director, said the idea for the library came to him in 1998, after dissatisfying experiences at public libraries."I've been using public libraries since I came to this country 27 years ago," said Alirahi, a 47-year-old Pakistani immigrant. "I didn't find too many books about ... Islam. When we had Sunday and Saturday school ... students weren't informed about Islam, and they needed some materials and help. I said, why don't I open up something?"


Fossil dwellers try and save library

Another article (this one from NPR) about the plucky little town of Fossil, OR, where local residents are doing their best to keep their tiny library open. Even though the library doesn't meet state requirements for being called a library, local residents value what little service exists. Text, audio, and some links.


Take Your Support From Where You Can Get it

Gary Deane writes "Here's an interesting one - an "ask an expert" outfit, made up of a community of professionals and freelancers, that donates part of its fees to public libraries and also advocates for the use of public libraries in its mission statement. And not a librarian among them..."


Spirit Roamed Library Stairs

Anna writes "Is the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Public Library haunted?

Warning: The following story contains detailed descriptions of supernatural events that might shock or disturb particularly sensitive readers. Continue at your own risk.

Spirits manifest themselves in many different forms: Cold spots, hot spots, dampness, orbs of light, blood dripping from walls. Certain locations can seem to be a home to those who have died but not moved on. Such a place was the old Carnegie Library on Pearl Street.



Scottish library institutes strict child safety code

In an effort to ensure the safety of children visiting their library, the Renfrewshire Council, Scotland, has instituted a strict safety code which forbids staff to have any physical contact with children. Staff are not allowed to accompany children to the bathroom, hold hands or touch children in any way. The guidelines apply to patrons as well as library employees. According to librarian Jane Gourlay, "the increased use of the libraries by children surfing the internet had heightened the need for a new approach." More here at BBC News.



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