Libraries

Too Poor to Afford the Internet

All summer, kids have been hanging out in front of the Morris Park Library in the Bronx, before opening hours and after closing. They bring their computers to pick up the Wi-Fi signal that is leaking out of the building, because they can’t afford internet access at home. They’re there during the school year, too, even during the winter — it’s the only way they can complete their online math homework.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/opinion/too-poor-to-afford-the-internet.html?_r=0

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New Book on the "Bad-Ass" Timbuktu Archivists

The heroic story of the men who saved thousands of manuscripts from being destroyed by al-Qaeda from the Times Literary Supplement, London.

Librarians, of all groups, may not usually be associated with “bad-ass” fearlessness in the face of extreme violence. Yet in 2012, two of them secretly evacuated about 340,000 early Islamic manuscripts from archives in Timbuktu, when the ancient city was occupied by a coalition of al-Qaeda jihadists and Tuareg separatists. Joshua Hammer, an American journalist, has written a pacy and engaging account of this risky act of cultural salvation. Acting calmly and cannily, the heroes of the story loaded manuscripts into metal trunks and shipped them to safety up the River Niger under the noses of al-Qaeda. It is an inspiring story. The manuscripts had been gathered from private homes and mosques across the Sahel by an enterprising archivist starting in the 1970s and later by his librarian son, Abdel Kader Haidara. These documents formed a detailed record of a humanistic, West African strand of Islam. Here's info on the book:

Joshua Hammer THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS of Timbuktu And their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts 288pp. Simon and Schuster. $26. 978 1 4767 774

40-year overdue library book incurs no fee – but gratitude inspires donation

Michael Kelly checked out 'So You Want to Be a Doctor' in 1970. Since then, libraries have changed – dramatically, in some cases – to keep pace with changing reading habits and technology.
From 40-year overdue library book incurs no fee – but gratitude inspires donation - CSMonitor.com

The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help

Library anxiety is real. The phenomenon, which involves feeling intimidated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed by libraries and librarians, was first identified by Constance A. Mellon in 1986. Her paper, "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development," reported that college students in particular are prone to library anxiety because they believe their research skills are inadequate, which makes them feel ashamed and unwilling to talk to the very librarians who might be able to ease their worries.
From The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help | Atlas Obscura
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Harry Potter's 20th birthday to be marked with British Library show

Ideally positioned in King’s Cross, just a stone’s throw from the mythical beginning of the journey to Hogwarts on Platform 9 3/4, the British Library has announced it will be marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone next year with a new exhibition about JK Rowling’s wizarding world.
From Harry Potter's 20th birthday to be marked with British Library show | Books | The Guardian

How Quiet Should a Library Be?

The library where I work just received an irate letter from a patron who complained that we weren’t quiet enough, citing crying babies, ill-behaved children and library staff talking too loudly with patrons and with each other. Because I’ve always thought of my workplace as happily bustling rather than noisy, I logged onto Facebook, where I shared my story, then asked my fellow librarians, “Do you work in a quiet library? How quiet should a public library be?”
From How Quiet Should a Library Be? | ZestNow
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A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity

Highlights • Book reading provides a survival advantage among the elderly (HR = 0.80, p < 0.0001). • Books are more advantageous for survival than newspapers/magazines. • The survival advantage of reading books works through a cognitive mediator. • Books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education, or health.
From A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity
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Publishers' Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor's Gut?

"Data is better than your gut — yes, I have said that," says Dominique Raccah, publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, a company that's been described as "data driven" — a description she does not dispute. She says sales data has been available for a while but now she has access to a different kind of information.
From Publishers' Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor's Gut? : All Tech Considered : NPR

Beautiful libraries in all 50 states

Libraries are timeless treasures. Even as pulpy paperbacks get swapped out for electronic ink, we still crave a physical space where we can surround ourselves with knowledge. When done right, those spaces can be works of art. To find the most beautiful libraries in each state, Tech Insider looked at past and current award-winners as judged by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association awards, and relied on our own judgment for states who have never won. Make sure to give these a look on your next road trip.
From Beautiful libraries in all 50 states - Tech Insider
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