International

Benches Shaped Like Open Books Will Pop Up in London this Summer

News from the UK

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says: “We are very excited to be bringing a collection of BookBenches to London this summer to spread the love of reading across the capital. From Conan Doyle’s Sherlock to Cressida’s dragons, there will be plenty in store for visitors to celebrate reading for enjoyment and the UK’s rich literary culture.”

Lovely to think about Londoners having lunch and a read on one of these. Better than those silly cows & sheep.

Russian court demands U.S. Library of Congress hand over Jewish texts

Good Shabbat.

Via Reuters: A Russian court demanded on Thursday that the U.S. Library of Congress hand back seven precious Jewish texts to Moscow - and, in a tit-for-tat ruling, said it should pay a massive fine for every day it delays.

The so-called Schneerson collection, claimed by both Russia and the New York-based Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group, has become a bone of contention in Russia-U.S. ties, at their lowest for decades due to the Ukraine crisis.

The Library of Congress has seven books of the collection, Interfax reported. Russia has 4,425 texts, including editions of the Torah and the Talmud, some of them dating back to to the 16th century. A Moscow arbitration court ruled that the Library of Congress should pay $50,000 in fines for every day the seven books are not handed over.

It's World Book Day...and Night!

The International Publishers Association released a document on how the day is celebrated around the world.

Since 1995, the 23rd of April (birth date of Shakespeare and Cervantes) has been designated by UNESCO as World Book & Copyright Day, with many events taking place to celebrate books, authors and reading.

In Madrid, the Premio Cervantes, the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish language, will be awarded by the King of Spain to Elena Poniatowska, a Mexican writer and journalist. In Budapest, the International Book Fair will open. In the United States, volunteers will distribute 500,000 books provided free by publishers, with one third going to school pupils. In many other countries, World Book Day events take place on March 6th.

You can read about the different traditions and events associated with World Book Day in a specially commissioned IPA report, available here as a pdf.

It's also World Book Night USA! I'm giving away copies of Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet at my Brooklyn subway plaza. Any other givers out there? Chime in!

Right-Wing French Politician Protests Childrens Book "Everybody Get Naked"

Here's the story via Melville House about a three year old childrens book that is ruffling some French feathers.

In a country where the banning of books is rare and mostly unheard of, France has recently experienced a spate of attacks by its politicians on the most liberal of French children’s books. Right-wing and even mainstream politicians have begun calling for the censorship of certain books in a trend that seems to reflect that “the domestic political system in France is under strain”, as Olivia Snaije noted for Publishing Perspectives.

In the most public example, the leader of the UMP, France’s main opposition party (which was previously led by President Nicolas Sarkozy), Jean-François Copé, appeared on French TV holding a copy of Tous à Poil (Everybody Gets Naked). Surely one of the sweetest ideas for a children’s book, Tous à Poil is a story in which everyone, the baby, the babysitter, the neighbour, the teacher and even the CEO get naked. The book’s authors, Claire Franek and Marc Daniau, explained they had written it in in order to show:

“Real bodies in natural situations from a child’s everyday life to counter the numerous images of bodies, often undressed, altered by Photoshop or plastic surgery, that are shown in ads or on the covers of magazines.”

Hundreds of Ann Frank's Diary Copies Vandalized in Tokyo's Libraries

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.

Sarajevo Reopens 477-year old library After Wars Destruction

Via Boston.com:

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)

Help Us Please Requests Filipino College Librarian

Letter received via Facebook message to Save Libraries and reprinted its entirety:

Dear Sir/Madam:

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.

Respectfully yours,

EVA H. ABLETES (Sgd)
College Librarian

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