Is this the library of the future?

"The word library is set to fade from our vocabulary - but not because we've fallen out of love with books. Today's libraries are being made over as "idea stores", complete with cafés, crèches and multi-media offerings."

"In an unlovely High Street in east London comes the query "can you tell me the way to the library?"

"You mean the Idea Store - turn right at the clock, can't miss it." And indeed you can't - instead of a Victorian-era pile or a squat 60s block, the new library in Bow brings colour and light to a corner of the capital still largely untouched by the forces of gentrification." (from The BBC)


Biblored, Colombia's Innovative Library Network

"This report describes Biblored, the library network in Bogotá, Colombia, that received the 2002 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award."

"Biblored is a network of 19 libraries that attract about 200,000 users per month and serve some of the poorest neighborhoods in Bogotá. The network's success in making information and information technology accessible to city residents, and in developing services and programs geared toward users' special needs and interests, earned it the award, which includes a one-million dollar grant to expand services." (from CLIR)Read the full text in English or Spanish (both in PDF, sorry Don)


Md. libraries to connect with patrons via the Internet

"Libraries across Maryland are scheduled to begin offering a service today that combines the 24-hour convenience of the Internet with the professional expertise of a reference librarian. Maryland AskUsNow! will be the second program of its kind in the nation."

"The program will be launched at 10 a.m. at the Towson Library."

"Although similar services are available in other states, "the uniqueness of the Maryland program is that it is 24 hours and virtually every public library in the state is involved. We're the second state ... that has managed to pull together a consortium of libraries that can provide information at the speed of light," said Bob Hughes, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Public Library." (from Sun Spot)


Library Club gives teens a low-key way to connect

Bob Cox shares This Story on the Library Club at at West Roxbury High School, in Boston.
Although the club's roughly 25 members attend to library responsibilities from reshelving books to watering plants and helping users with computer glitches, Sisco sees the club as a way for students to connect.

Several students who have recently immigrated to the United States say the club has helped them make friends. Others say the Library Club offers support for academic interests.

In other Boston Library news... Don Saklad points to This One that says it took only a resourceful lawyer and a trip to the Boston Public Library to clear the Rev. Ronald L. Bourgault of molestation charges.


Fire damages Egypt\'s new Alexandria library

Robert Teeter, and Rochelle Hartman noticed The Associated Press Says -- A fire broke out Sunday in the sleek, new Alexandria library, sending thick smoke swirling through the building that opened to international fanfare in October.

The fire, which lasted about 45 minutes, appears to have been caused by a short circuit in the fourth-floor administrative area of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina -- the waterfront site of what was the most renowned library of the ancient world.

There\'s pictures at Yahoo!, Another, and One More.


Lebanon National Library project tries to recover once-glorious past

Bob Cox pointed to This One from Lebanon, where they are working on the reconstruction of Lebanon’s National Library.
They say it's a daunting task. The books, all 145,000 of them, are currently sitting in 3,400 bursting cardboard boxes in the Free Trade Center in the Beirut Port. The boxes haven’t been opened for some 20 years, the contents are uncatalogued and many of them damaged.
A quayside warehouse is an unlikely place for a nation’s library, and the story of how it got there is equally unlikely.


Online Library Wants It All, Every Book

Carrie shares This NYTimes Story with us on plans at the library of Alexandria which has joined forces with an American artist and software engineers in an ambitious effort to make virtually all of the world's books available at a mouse click. Much as the ancient library nurtured Archimedes and Euclid, the new Web venture also hopes to connect scholars and students around the world.
They say the project, called the Alexandria Library Scholars Collective, could ultimately revolutionize learning in the developing countries, where libraries are often nonexistent and access to materials is hard to come by.


Death and Rebirth of the Sarajevo National Library

NPR's The Connection has a Report On the Sarajevo National Library, which was engulfed in flames following shelling by Serb Nationalist forces, Wednesday, August 26, 1992.
They say since those days in late August of 1992, librarians and philanthropists have worked to restore not just the documents, the manuscripts and the books, but the memory that was attacked at that time. Physically, psychologically and spiritually re-stocking the shelves of Sarajevo.


Pataki's budget plan a threat to libraries

"Gov. George Pataki's proposed 8.5 percent budget cut to public education spurred loud and widespread opposition from lawmakers, schools, parents and local governments."

"But barely a word has been said about the governor's decision to offer $ 13.3 million less for libraries -- an almost 15 percent cut. Librarians predict a reduction in services statewide, from a slimmer book selection to shorter hours of operation, if the state Legislature doesn't restore their funding."

"The total funding we would receive is one-tenth of one percent of the state budget -- one tenth of a penny, that's all the state is willing to spend on libraries," said Susan Lehman Keitel, executive director of the New York Library Association." (from The Times Union)


Vast collection could boost Nova library

\"Nova Southeastern University could acquire nearly 350,000 books -- the lion\'s share of the Florida State Library collection -- under a proposal that would make NSU\'s fledgling library a major destination for government researchers and scholars.\"

\"If the Broward university gets the books, its holdings will increase to approximately 836,000 volumes. NSU\'s library, which is open to the public, would have a collection larger than those of either the main Florida Atlantic University library or the main Miami-Dade library.\" (from The Miami Herald)

See also: Library defenders consider court



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