Today in library history - Dec. 24

In 1851 on this date, fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes (Associated Press).


Backlog woes dog Indian National Library

Bad News Out Of Kolkata where : Language titles have taken a backseat in the country's largest book repository — the National Library. Research fellows here have little access to valuable documents and books in various Indian languages.
The backlog has piled to a whopping 2,86,392 Indian titles including government documents in English.
Although officials keep on whining about dearth of competent librarians, some of them don't even do their minimum job. "Despite a vacancy, one group C staff has cleared all the backlog in the Gujarati section," said one of the officials.


Architect says library should be 'seductive'

A Quotable Article on the design inspiration for the renovation and expansion of the Central Branch of the city's Free Library at 19th and Vine Streets.
architect Moshe Safdie:
"I have a passion for libraries," Safdie told a group of about 75 people who had gathered in the center hall of the library's ground floor. "They are potentially real community centers."

Safdie said the library "must be extroverted, it must reach out, and, if I may use the word, it must be seductive."


Berlin Library Woes

Lee Hadden writes "There is an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal (Dec.
9, 2003). "Berlin's Bitter Land Dispute: New Library May Further Test
Family's Fight for Prime Plots."
A bitter battle over prime Berlin real estate taken from a
prominent Jewish family during the Holocaust may be coming to a head now
that the German government has given up its claims to the land. The easing
of tensions, however, will be tested this week by the opening of a new
governmental library built on one piece of the land.
The case involves about 15 acres in the heart of Berlin, now valued
at hundreds of millions of dollars, whose ownership came into question
after German unification in 1990.

Read more about it at: (subscription required), or through many
other library services, such as ProQuest."


UK Library's anti-religious poster policy met with disbelief

Bucks Free Press Reports the High Wycombe library would not allow an advert for a carol service at All Saints Church, in Castle Street, to be displayed because it was too religious.

One vicar in High Wycombe, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a poor decision to ban it. Their decision is based on a philosophy a philosophy of equality.

"Why is that any different to putting up an advert for a jumble sale? Why shouldn't you be able to advertise carol services.

decision by High Wycombe library to ban religious material from its notice board has been met with a mixture of amazement and incredulity.


Rock & Roll Library cranks up the volumes

The Boston Globe Reports on a benefit concert, at a nightclub, for a library.
The Rock & Roll Library, where music meets academia, and things can get loud. It's the brainchild of Brighton resident Anne Fitzpatrick, who came up with the idea for a different kind of library after a childhood visit to a more traditional one in her hometown of Quincy.
In 1999, Fitzpatrick opened the Rock & Roll Library in her Lower Allston home, having abandoned the idea of an actual library building in favor of a virtual home on the Web. The library remained there for the next three years, then spent a brief exile in Arlington earlier this year before returning to Allston this past summer. Despite the difficulties of moving, and trying to raise funds in a struggling economy, Fitzpatrick says that the mission remains on course.


Scottish Libraries catching up on digital revolution

The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 [UK], enacted at the end of October, will change this. This legislation will ensure that millions of web pages, online magazines and CDs will be saved for the public. The legislation will effectively preserve the nation’s online heritage.

A series of regulations proposed by the Secretary of State, for affirmative resolution by both Houses of Parliament, will implement the change in law. This will preserve major categories of non-print material such as electronic journals, websites, microfilm or fiche publications, CD-ROMs and DVDs.

Full Story


Electronic resources of the biggest Russian libraries for all

A Short Pravda Piece says Five biggest Russian libraries are creating a virtual summary catalogue of their bibliographic descriptions and full-text electronic resources. The project was presented on Tuesday in the State Duma (the Lower House of the Russian Parliament).

The project, being coordinated by the British Council, which is financed by the British Foreign Office, is aimed at forming a consortium, which will include the Russian State Library, the Russian National Library, the All-Russian State Library of Foreign Literature, the Parliamentary Library and the Scientific Library of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The European Commission also takes part in the project.


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.



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