Libraries

“Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

The proceedings for the first ALA Conference can be found in the November 30, 1876, issue of the Library Journal, which is available online in HathiTrust. Dennis Thomison, A History of the American Library Association 1876-1972, (Chicago, 1978), p. 5. Smith, Lloyd P., “The Qualifications of a Librarian,” American Library Journal 1: 70 (1876/1877). “The Proceedings,” American Library Journal 1: 140 (1876/1877). Ibid, 141 Ibid, 143
From “Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world

Located in Fez, Morocco, the al-Qarawiyyin library is part of the world's oldest continually operating university, al-Qarawiyyin University, which opened in 859. The library got several small additions and renovations over its millennium-long existence, but it wasn't until 2012 that Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni decided to give it a total face lift.
From Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world - Tech Insider
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Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America

“Libraries are really gathering places,” says Jon Voss, the strategic partnerships director of Historypin. The global nonprofit is one of 14 winners of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries. “In popular thought or literature, we think of them as storehouses for materials, but that's really changed in the past 20 years at least.” In February, the Knight Foundation challenged people to reimagine libraries to fit the information needs of the 21st century. More than 600 groups submitted proposals, including some that would turn libraries into environmental monitoring hubs and spaces for children to interact with incarcerated parents. The winners will share a $1.6 million grant to realize their visions.
From Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America - CityLab
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These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind

When a big-box store skips town for wider asphalt prairies, it leaves behind a great, empty space, waiting to be snatched up by a similarly large replacement. If, like me, you hope for a good use for these spaces, these libraries built in old big-box stores will blow your mind.
From These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind | Bustle
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Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.
From Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries | 6sqft
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Smaller Replacement for Donnell Library (NYC) Opening

Via email from Save NYPL: After eight (!) years of delays, the replacement for Donnell Library will open next Monday (June 27) at 10am. If you are free that day, please join us as we remind NYPL officials that the opening of the new (significantly smaller) library is no cause for celebration. Beloved for its children’s literature and foreign language collection, the Donnell Library was one of NYPL’s most heavily used circulating branches. But in a trial run for the defeated Central Library Plan, Donnell was sold to private developers for a pittance in 2007 and shuttered the following year. The deal was hatched in secret, and no public review preceded the sale. The new replacement library is less than a third the size of Donnell and has been shoehorned into the basement of a luxury condominium-hotel, where rooms start at $850 per night. The special collections will not be returning. Unfortunately, we can’t bring back the old Donnell. But with your support, we can prevent further sales of our libraries. Let’s rally to remind library executives and elected officials that public libraries belong to all of us!

Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio

Expensive to maintain, many of Ohio’s are now gone. In Coshocton and Middletown, in Butler County, Carnegie buildings are crumbling and condemned. “It’s very sad for me,” said Armentrout, a librarian at OhioHealth. “Unfortunately, in many cases there’s nothing that can be done other than condemn the building and wait for it to collapse. It seems that both of these communities could have saved these buildings long ago had they been organized enough to do it.” Sometimes the old buildings are purchased as a way to prevent their destruction.
From Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio | The Columbus Dispatch
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Libraries halt Wi-Fi service after porn downloads

The director of the Houston County system said she took the action after the system’s internet service provider issued cease and desist notices, the Telegraph of Macon reported. An online movie distributor had demanded that the provider stop materials from being illegally downloaded. “We have safeguards in place but someone, a hacker, with the ability to get beyond our safeguards did this, and now everyone will suffer for it,” said Sara Paulk, director of the library system.
From Libraries halt Wi-Fi service after porn downloads | www.ajc.com
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Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat

A public poll for the Library of Congress to choose 65 books by US authors that had a profound effect on American life has thrown up some surprises. Herbert’s Dune, a 1965 science-fiction novel adapted into a film starring Sting, Pirsing’s cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and children’s favourite The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss – real name Theodore Geisel – all make the cut. So too does the prolific and popular Stephen King with The Stand. But literary giants such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike and Tom Wolfe do not. The library, the biggest in the world with more than 162m items, does not claim the list is a definitive rank of greatness.
From Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat | Books | The Guardian

The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

Hark is part of the Anthropodermic Book Project, a group of researchers that analyzes books rumored to be bound in human skin. He was first pulled into it when librarians at his own college asked him to investigate whether a book in the school’s collection might fall into that category. Scrawled on the inside cover of Biblioteca Politica, a Spanish political tract dating from the 17th century, was a note indicating that the binding was human in origin. The inscription became a well-known piece of campus lore, turning the title into a nuisance for Juniata’s librarians. They found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fielding questions from students about the book’s provenance, especially around Halloween.
From The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

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