Libraries

Absense of Sound --a Librarian's Story

From the July/August issue of the Saturday Evening Post a selection fron author N. West Moss's new story collection, focusing on a day in the life of a librarian at the Bryant Park NYPL .

N. West Moss was the winner of the Post’s 2015 Great American Fiction Contest for “Omeer’s Mangoes,” which, with “Absence of Sound,” appears in her first short-story collection, The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press, 2017). This story first appeared in Neworld Review. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, McSweeney’s, and Brevity, among others.

There’s a Library in Vancouver Full of Hundreds of Books That Have Never Been Published, And Never Will Be

These shelves exist because poet and novelist Richard Brautigan described a library of unpublished books in his 1971 novel, The Abortion: An Historical Romance. And 27 years ago in Vermont, a man named Todd Lockwood decided he would create the library for real. Lockwood fielded submissions from as far away as Saudia Arabia but in 1995, he ran out of money. The collection was orphaned until 2010, when John Barber, a Brautigan scholar, arranged to have the library brought to a new Vancouver home.
From There’s a Library in Vancouver Full of Hundreds of Books That Have Never Been Published, And Never Will Be - Willamette Week
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Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong

“How do you do inventory if you can’t close the library because you’re letting kids take books out for the summer?” The criticism in the other school librarian’s voice was not even trying to veil itself behind a smile. “I don’t do inventory,” I admitted. “I mean, there were some kids eating lunch in the library a couple years ago, and they asked if they could take books out for the summer, and that got me thinking…” My voice trailed off at the sight of her expression. “They eat lunch in the library?” she asked. I suddenly found myself, once again, under the weight of heavy judgment. I am always doing things “wrong” in the library. But sometimes it’s worth doing the wrong things for the right reasons–especially when our right reasons are our students Full article
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Do 20 pages of a book gives you 90% of its words?

My English teacher claimed, that if I survive the first 20 pages of any book, the reading will get much easier because the words that occurred on those pages constitute 90% of all words in the book. So after you reach this threshold you don’t have to go back and forth to the dictionary. Was he right? (TLDR: Kind of.)
From Do 20 pages of a book gives you 90% of its words? – Vocapouch
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What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us?

According to scholar Christine Jenkins, people who try to censor texts often hold a set of false assumptions about how reading works. One of those assumptions is that particular literary content (like positive portrayals of witchcraft) will invariably produce particular effects (more witches in real life). Another is that reactions to a particular text are likely to be consistent across readers. In other words, if one reader finds a passage scary, funny or offensive, the assumption is that other readers invariably will do so as well.
From What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us? - Salon.com

Company removed LNG pipeline documents from Oregon public libraries

"In my position as reference librarian, I'm completely bipartisan and can't take sides. My job is to make public information available to my community. It is my job to serve Jordan Cove and the anti-LNG community. We represent all viewpoints," he said. "What I'm most upset about is the unprofessional way the materials were taken."
From Pamplin Media Group - Company removed LNG pipeline documents from public libraries
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Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest

To that end, when designing for the future, perhaps the most important feature of all is not an architectural element, but the site itself. In recent years, both the NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library have addressed funding shortages by selling off branches in pricey neighborhoods and replacing them with smaller, partially subterranean libraries in the base of the towers that take their place. The new 53rd Street library, for example, which New York architecture critic Justin Davidson referred to as “a sleek but shrunken pit” may have many clever elements, but lacks the light and space of its predecessor.
From Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest
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Ukrainian Librarian Punished for Not Sticking to the Party Line

Interesting story from the New York Times last week.

MOSCOW — A Russian court on Monday sentenced a former director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow to a four-year suspended prison term for inciting hatred toward Russians and embezzling public funds, in a case that her lawyers described as an attack on cultural figures with ties to Ukraine.

The court ruled that Natalia G. Sharina (whose library has since been closed) purchased anti-Russian books and other materials and put them on the library’s shelves to help Ukrainian nationalists get a foothold in Moscow. Her lawyers said that they would appeal the sentence in Russian courts and also seek redress in the European Court of Human Rights.

When in Rome...

...visit a library! Not only a feast for the mind but also for the eye.

New York Times has a lovely feature on Italian libraries and their treasures, inside and out.

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