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In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its plan to turn part of its research flagship on 42d Street into a circulating library and instead will renovate the Mid-Manhattan library on Fifth Avenue, several library trustees said.
“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Tony Marx, the library’s president, said Wednesday in an interview.
The renovation, formerly known as the Central Library Plan, would have required eliminating the book stacks under the building’s main reading room and was to have been paid for with $150 million from New York City and the proceeds from the sale of the Mid-Manhattan, at 40th Street, and the Science, Industry and Business Library in the former B. Altman building, on Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.
Libraries are great. But are they just about books? No! To highlight this we'll produce a visual A to Z of what makes libraries so fantastic.
At Library Camp East Gary from Voices for the Library proposed a session to crowd source an A to Z of words that reflected the positive activities and values of libraries, as well as positive representations in books, songs, films and other media.
We've a great illustrator (Josh Filhol) lined up to take the A to Z list that attendees at the Library Camp and Voices for the Library helped pull together and turn it into a series of brilliant images.
Once we have a series of 20+ images (we may need to combine some letters due to lack of "words" - we'll decide as we get suggestions in!), they will be put together in a few different ways:
As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library — a design by Norman Foster that would radically overhaul the stacks and other features of the historic Beaux-Arts building — we are looking at some of the city's less visible libraries. The NYPL has an incredible branch system around the boroughs, but it's only a part of New York City's literary resources. From private clubs, to nonprofit societies, to pop up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city.
Feel good story via American Profile.
Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan.
“It definitely made me proud,” says Mason, a junior at Louisburg (Kan.) High School. Matthew’s mother, Jennifer Shields, noticed last fall that her son’s birth defect was making the third-grader self-conscious and affecting him socially. But even with health insurance, the single mother knew she couldn’t afford a professionally made prosthetic.
Researching online, Jennifer found Robohand, the mechanical hand invented by South African carpenter Richard van As, who lost four fingers in a circular saw accident, and theatrical props maker Ivan Owen, in Bellingham, Wash. The pair posted the free digital design last year on thingiverse.com. “I looked at the plans, but had no idea how to do it,” recalls Jennifer, 43.
Her teenaged son Mason, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. A straight-A student who aspires to be an engineer, he previously had read about three-dimensional printer technology. “I downloaded all the files and spent about three hours scaling the hand to fit Matthew,” Mason says.
Going to the library gives people the same kick as getting a raise does — a £1,359 ($ 2,282) raise, to be exact — according to a . The study, which looks at the ways "cultural engagement" affects overall wellbeing, concluded that a significant association was found between frequent library use and reported wellbeing. The same was true of dancing, swimming and going to plays. The study notes that "causal direction needs to be considered further" — that is, it's hard to tell whether happy people go to the library, or going to the library makes people happy. But either way, the immortal words of ring true: "Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!"
MADISON, N.J. — THE graduate student thrust the library book toward me as though brandishing a sword. “This has got to stop,” she said. “It isn’t fair. How can I work on my dissertation with this mess?” As she marched out of my office, leaving the disfigured volume behind, her words stung — for the code of civility on which libraries depend had been violated. She was the third Ph.D. student in less than a year to bring me a similarly damaged volume, and each had expected me as the library director to turn sleuth, solve the mystery, and end the vandalism.
Someone had been defacing modern books containing translations of 16th-century texts. With garish strokes, the perpetrator had crossed out lines, then written alternate text in the margins. It did not take a Sherlock Holmes to observe that it was the work of a single hand, a hand wielding a fountain pen spewing green ink. The colorful alterations were not limited to a few pages but crept like a mold, page after page.
Some months later, in a faculty meeting, I noticed that the colleague sitting next to me was taking notes with a fountain pen. And the ink was telltale green.
More from The New York Times.
At the turn of the century a library without books was unthinkable. Now it seems almost inevitable. Like so many other time-honored institutions of intellectual and cultural life—publishing, journalism, and the university, to name a few—the library finds itself on a precipice at the dawn of a digital era. What are libraries for, if not storing and circulating books? With their hearts cut out, how can they survive?
The recent years of austerity have not been kind to the public library. 2012 marked the third consecutive year in which more than 40 percent of states decreased funding for libraries. In 2009, Pennsylvania, the keystone of the old Carnegie library system, came within 15 Senate votes of closing the Free Library of Philadelphia. In the United Kingdom, a much more severe austerity program shuttered 200 public libraries in 2012 alone.
Ours is not the first era to turn its back on libraries. The Roman Empire boasted an informal system of public libraries, stretching from Spain to the Middle East, which declined and disappeared in the early medieval period. In his book Libraries: An Unquiet History, Matthew Battles calls such disasters “biblioclasms.” -- Read More
“We’re trying to bring together and make openly available to the world the contents of America’s archives, libraries and museums,” Mr. Cohen said. “As much material as we can get online and made available, the better.”
Dive into the world of home libraries
Is the book you are looking for too expensive or always unavailable in your local library? Would you like to save both money and nature and rather buy a used one?
BiblioFair helps you find publications available for sale, donation or lending in home libraries located close to you!
News story via Lancaster Online, about State Librarian Stacey Aldrich's address to Pennsylvania librarians about modifying the focus away from technology in libraries.
Last year, she spoke mostly the future — advancing technology, and the changing ways that libraries can store information and provide it in new ways to patrons. This year, Aldrich was more reflective. She talked a lot about her travels — to libraries around the state as well as other countries — and she took the group on a visual tour of State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
She still had a few things to say about technology, though — including the way many people are looking for ways to get away from electronics, even if it’s only for a short break. “A lot of people are looking for ways to disconnect to reconnect,” she said. “They’re turning off the electronics.”
Libraries, which have been scrambling to go high-tech with advanced computer and Wi-Fi options, are also trying to meet the need for patrons to decompress sometimes, Aldrich said. Sometimes, that means sponsoring “digital detox” nights, she said — hosting board games, for instance, and providing opportunities for conversation.
“Look around you. See what people are doing in your community,” she urged.