International

Brisbane's Libraries Prepare

Art galleries and libraries in Brisbane, Australia, are shifting their collections to upper levels as floodwaters that struck rural areas move toward the city as reported by CBC News.

Waters are rising close to the city's major cultural institutions, including the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum and the State Library.

The library, Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery are close to the Brisbane River, which is expected to reach a flood peak at 5.2 metres sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday.

The art galleries and library have closed and the performing arts centre has cancelled performances. A car park for the cultural institutions is already flooded.

GoMA is currently hosting a summer exhibition, Art In The 21st Century, featuring contemporary art from 40 countries. Doyle said the art in the blockbuster show is not at risk because it is displayed on an upper level.

State librarian Rory McLeod said staff at the library have been quietly preparing for the flood for weeks and have moved collections out of the basement and ground floor.

However, he said, he is concerned that days of prolonged power cuts amid Queensland's summer humidity could result in damage to books and other collections.

"All of us have got climate controlled repositories where they are stored which will retain their ambient temperatures for a while, but after a few days there may be some humidity," McLeod said.

Cycling for Libraries

Librarians on bikes, unite! From the website:

We (Finnish librarian Kai Halttunen, Tampere University) – me with a team of keen library lovers – will arrange this tour supported by library associations and collaborators in different countries and I am sure it will be an unforgettable experience for all you who like cycling, get-together and passionate and visionary conversations about a variety of library topics.

Our aim is also to bring libraries, their highly proactive staff and the work all librarians do more to publicity and media. We mean to make this public by using internet and social media and making a documentary about how we handle this challenge of cycling 650 km --from Copenhagen to Berlin in spring-summer 2011 (We leave Copenhagen 28.05.2011 and arrive in Berlin 05.06.2011; 6th and 7th of June we have programme in Berlin).

We all know that good ideas are generated in cafes and hallways and not so much on lecture halls’ benches or somewhere we expect them to generate. That is why we go to this courageous venture of cycling about 10 days together – to see what kind of spectacular performances the library staff can reach if they just wish to. This is a challenge for you, and I hope that you accept it. Let’s go cycling for libraries! The participation is open to all librarians and everybody interested in the field of libraries.

Stay tuned by following this site or our Facebook page.

Kenilworth (UK) Police to Move into Library

Kenilworth is a small and historic town in the "green heart of Warwickshire". But they can't afford to keep the front desk of their police station open, so the police are moving into the library.

On Monday February 28, the force is teaming up with Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council to provide the services currently available from the front desk enquiry office at Kenilworth police station, from the Warwickshire Direct facility next door. There you will be able to report crime, anti-social behaviour incidents and place lost and found property enquiries.

And borrow books...

New Zealand Librarians Meet...and Eat

With 6500 meals to prepare this week for the largest conference to be held in Dunedin for about three years, University of Otago (NZ) catering staff are busy. Otago U website reports on culinary preparations for the Conference.

They are catering for about 630 at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand's centennial conference - more than 500 delegates and about 90 exhibitors - producing breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas, lunches and cocktail event food.

That included catering to more than 80 vegan, lactose-intolerant and gluten-intolerant people with specialised dietary requirements, University Union general manager Stephen Baughan said yesterday.

The conference, spread over several university lecture theatres, began on Sunday and finishes today.

Another article on the conference profiles a former New Zealand national librarian, Mary Ronnie, now in her eighties, and still doing her Scottish dancing. Ms Ronnie emphasised she was optimistic that public libraries - and books - would still be going strong in New Zealand in another 100 years.

A recent visit to a city public library had confirmed that it was filled with members of the public, and this was a good sign for the future. -- Read More

Library Cuts Are An International Issue

News from the mother country, the UK: Writers Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse and Will Self have criticised government cuts that could see up to a quarter of librarians lose their jobs over the next year. Widespread library closures are expected as councils cut their services and look to volunteers in an attempt to balance budgets hit by the coalition's spending review.

Mosse said "frontline support for literacy" was being cut, while Pullman declared that the librarian "is not simply a checkout clerk", and Self condemned the "crude calculus of cost-benefit analysis" involved.

North Yorkshire is considering reducing its 42 libraries to 18 over four years, while Leeds is proposing to axe 20 smaller libraries. Cornwall, Brent, Lewisham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Barnsley and Warrington are also planning closures. In Buckinghamshire, 14 libraries could become volunteer-run; in Gloucestershire, 12 will be closed if volunteers do not step forward. Camden, Westminster, Oldham, Southampton and Cambridgeshire are among the councils whose plans include greater use of volunteer staff.

Guardian UK reports.

A Prize-Winning New Library

Portsmouth's UK university library has won a top award for being the best-designed new building.
The eco-friendly building, in Cambridge Road, beat stiff competition to win the first Solent Design Awards.

The inaugural awards scheme tracked down buildings or spaces which have been well-designed and also add value to the community.

One of the city's most eye-catching buildings, Admiralty Quarter, in Queen Street, Portsea, was highly-commended at the award ceremony in Winchester.

University staff received their accolade from famous designer Wayne Hemingway

Katie Price is BIG in Certain Parts...of Britain

Katie Price dresses up as a 'sexy librarian' at a book launch at Selfridge's in London (video & pics).

At the launch for her 547th autobiography (really?) the glamour model really toned things down, opting for a sort of sexy librarian look (sorry if we’ve offended any real librarians out there with this comparison) with a demure blouse, pinstripe pencil skirt, large belt and a funny little fascinator thing on her head. She even wore natural looking make up. And the finishing touch to convince us that she’s proper smart and everything, and that she totally wrote the book all by herself.... she donned a pair thick rimmed glasses. How very faux intellectual.

The poor woman is having a hard time having her fourth baby and finds she needs to tell all in her book. Fans gloat adoringly.

Is this the UK version of Angelina Jolie?

A Library Designed for the Post-Print Era

From Fast Company Design:

The defining decorative element of a library has always been the books themselves. But now that institutions ranging from the University of Texas at Austin to ultra-traditional Cushing Academy are tossing their stacks in favor of digital collections, the question arises: How do you design a library when print books are no longer its core business?

At the University of Amsterdam, Dutch designers Studio Roelof Mulder and Bureau Ira Koers converted an existing 27,000-square-foot library into a massive study hall -- without any visible books -- to accommodate the 1,500 to 2,000 students who visit daily.

It’s a clever way to adapt to the post-print era. Libraries are expensive to operate. As books increasingly go digital, it makes sense for libraries to either downsize or, in the case of the University of Amsterdam, shift the focus of operations from books to people.

Check out the link for photos.

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