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From The New York Times:
TOKYO — Japan on Friday promised to begin an investigation into the mysterious mutilation of hundreds of copies of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” and other books related to her at public libraries across Tokyo.
Local news media reports said 31 municipal libraries had found 265 copies of the diary by Frank, the young Holocaust victim, and other books vandalized, usually with several pages torn or ripped out. The reports said some libraries had taken copies of the diary off their shelves to protect them.
Officials said they did not know the motive for the vandalism, the first cases of which were discovered earlier this month.
Shown above: Bosnian security worker passes by old books on display during opening ceremony of Gazi Husrev-bey library in Sarajevo, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Sarajevo reopens the 477-year old library on Wednesday, that contains the biggest collection of oriental books and manuscripts in Southeast Europe, after it was rebuilt with the financial donation from Qatar. Dodging bullets and bombs during the 1992-95 Bosnian war and the city's siege, Sarajevans moved the manuscripts eight times to different locations to save them from destruction. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Letter received via Facebook message to Save Libraries and reprinted its entirety:
In our effort to continue meeting the research needs of our students of EASTERN SAMAR STATE UNIVERSITY GUIUAN CAMPUS, we knock at your kind heart to assist us financially, provide or donate us with books or others reading materials to restart what has been ruined by super typhoon “Yolanda”, in our campus!
Our Campus Library accommodates an average of 3,000 students (undergraduate and graduate) distributed to the different programs of the campus: education, engineering, technology, hotel/restaurant and entrepreneurial management programs.
At present, the Campus Library was vastly devastated by the wrath of super typhoon on November 8, 2013, damaging around P15M of our library building, equipment, and collection. Hence, this appeal for your benevolent assistance so we can help restore our library, attend to the research needs of our clientele and start resume our library services the soonest possible time.
You may visit our Facebook account ESSU GUIUAN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY for the complete photos to see the extent of damage typhoon Yolanda has ruined our Library.
Your assistance for this purpose will be highly and gratefully appreciated. If our prayer finds favor in you, please visit our campus or you may contact us at this cell number 09158717354/09199738753.
Thank you. May God return the blessings to you a thousand fold.
EVA H. ABLETES (Sgd)
The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s.
Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library's holdings.
By law, "all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway," so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people's language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years.
The whole story is at The Atlantic.
Originally posted by Birdie -- technical problems were causing embed not to work. She had the following comment with original post -- Hilarious response by Waterstones to Amazon's "Prime Air" concept of drone book delivery. Got to love the closing line.
Big story from Naples Italy via The New York Times. Here's the perp, Marino Massimo De Caro, now on trial.
It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes — including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo and Machiavelli — from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. Now, prosecutors at a trial here are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place.
The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked. Apart from Mr. De Caro, 13 others are charged, including a priest.
This week's episode is a news miscellany since the federal government shutdown rolls ever onward and we have no public service announcements to play.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Throw a paperback at us via this Amazon picklist.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.5:10 minutes (2.99 MB)
Fascinating piece in the New Yorker about an ancient Chinese library in Dunhuang, unearthed about one hundred years ago, and where scholars are now in the process of digitizing thousand year old Chinese manuscripts.
A portion of the article equating print with prayer...
"The paper items preserved in the Library also shed light on the origins of another information technology: print. The Diamond Sutra, one of the most famous documents recovered from Dunhuang, was commissioned in 868 A.D., “for free distribution,” by a man named Wang Jie, who wanted to commemorate his parents. In the well-known sermon that it contains, the Buddha declares that the merit accrued from reading and reciting the sutra was worth more than a galaxy filled with jewels. In other words, reproducing scriptures, whether orally or on paper, was good for karma. Printing began as a form of prayer, the equivalent of turning a prayer wheel or slipping a note into the Western Wall in Jerusalem, but on an industrial scale."
From The Telegraph, UK:
Louise Brown, 91 (NOT the first IVF baby), has read up to a dozen books a week since 1946 without incurring a single fine for late returns.
She borrows mainly large print books because she is partially sighted, and has almost worked her way through her local library's entire stock.
Library staff in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, say the pensioner's rapacious reading habits over 60 years could earn her a place in the record books. Mrs Brown, a widow, said: "My parents were great readers and I've always loved books. I started reading when I was five and have never stopped. I like anything I can get my hands on." She said her favourite genres are family sagas, historical novels and war stories, but added: "I also like Mills and Boon for light reading at night." She said she had read too many books to have a favourite or top five, but if she had to choose a preferred genre it would be family sagas or historical novels.
Louise Pride, her daughter, said: "She has aids to help her sight and usually borrows large print books. But the trouble is she has read nearly all of them in the local library. She still finds time to ready a newspaper every day and to watch TV."