International

Funding Cutbacks & More on Australia's TV Show 'The Librarians'

Any LISNews readers down under? On this season's premiere of Australia's TV show The Librarians there's a gay wedding and of course talk of slashing budgets.

The motley bunch of characters working in Middleton Library — sorry, ‘Interactive Learning Centre’ — will experience some big changes.

Head librarian Frances O’Brien is faced with the threat of funding cutbacks unless she turns the library into a ‘profitable exercise’. Her husband Terry continues denying the existence of middle age by reforming his tragic Midnight Oils cover band, Oils Ain’t Oils.

And librarian Ky Lee, played by Keith Brockett, marries his partner Darren in a wedding ceremony that veers from the hilarious to the disastrous — mirrorballs and Cyndi Lauper tunes make an appearance before it all goes tits up.

Australians, please let us know what you think of the show...

Sierra Leone Deputy Librarian in Corruption Scam

There are so few corrupt librarians, but every so often, you do hear about one...or two. Here's a story from Sierra Leone:

Leaked information connecting the Deputy Chief of Sierra Leone Library said 46,650 books donated to Sierra Leone by Children International was diverted and sold to Guinea.

Investigation by this press exposed Sallieu Turay (in middle of photo above) and people unknown’s sad over-indulgences in the misappropriation of containers of books presented to school going children by ‘Children International’ in the United States. Sources say four containers of books were shipped into Sierra Leone for distributions to 300 schools in Sierra Leone.

The Deputy Chief Librarian, Sallieu Turay, was in charge of the distribution of the books, but unreasonably converted 70% of total number of books to his use or benefit. It could be recalled that Sallieu has a post graduate diploma in library studies and a master’s degree in education and administration. Findings say he was refused pursuing his master’s in library studies because of poor performance after completion of the forenamed diploma.

Two versions of the story from Sierra Express Media, here and here.

Was it the librarian? Was it the education minister?? The plot thickens.

UK Petition to Save the Library

An idea that just might work...the citizens of the London Borough of Barnet in the UK want their library to stay open.

Save our Libraries in the London Borough of Barnet
Published by Roger Tichborne on Sep 25, 2010
Category: Culture
Region: United Kingdom
Target: London Borough of Barnets Conservative Party
Web site: http://barneteye.blogspot.com
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Petition text:

We the Undersigned, are totally opposed to the closure, sell off or downgrading of the Library service in the London Borough of Barnet.

We believe that Libraries are a vital part of the Borough and recognise the importance of having trained Libraries run by trained librarians. We believe that it is vital to have "quiet space" for students to study.

We believe that closure of the service would cause untold damage to the citizens of Barnet and is totally opposed by the vast majority of the population.

Want to start your own petition? Here's how.

If you do nothing else, at least join us on Facebook at "Oprah, Libraries Need You!". Over 1,000 have signed up in the first week alone!! C'mon over for the birdie's sake.

Chinese Author Released After Being Arrested by Authorities

Story from Global Times: A popular political author who was arrested after he published a book that claimed officials in Weinan, Shaanxi Province, embezzled funds intended for residents who were forced to relocate has been released.

Xie Chaoping was accused of "illegal trading" after his book came out.
The procuratorate in Linwei district, Weinan, announced Friday that the arrest was not approved because of insufficient evidence, according to News Cnxianzai, a website operated by the Hubei Changjiang Publishing Group.

The report said Xie and his wife, Li Qiong, returned to Beijing Friday night. Xie was arrested August 19. His book accused the local migrant bureau officials of embezzling funds intended for residents who had to relocate because of the decades-old Sanmenxia reservoir project.

The book, which was ruled an illegal publication by the provincial press and publication bureau, described how the residents were forced to leave their land in Weinan for the reservoir.

Xie paid 50,000 yuan ($7,340) to Flash Magazine to publish the book in May. Some 10,000 copies of the book were inserted into the magazine as a supplement.

The writer was quoted in the report saying that he did not regret writing the book. "I am fighting against some corrupt officials in the capacity as a journalist," he said.

Bangkok Librarians Visit Ohio Librarians and It's All Good

Dateline Lancaster OH: Anchalee "Lee" Tumthong works in an eight-story, 500,000-book library in the largest city in Thailand, but all she can talk about is a library she traveled about 20 hours by plane to see.

Sitting inside a conference room in Ohio University Lancaster's student library, "space" is the first word to come to mind when Tumthong describes her current surroundings. "There is so much space here," Tumthong, 40, said of OU-L's library. "In this library there are a lot of books and materials for the students."

Her praise is echoed by Phapada "June" Noikhamyang, 37, who also is from Thailand. The two are part of a exchange program at OU-L for librarians from another country to come to Lancaster and learn about how libraries in the U.S. operate.

OU-L's library is one of several that Tumthong and Noikhamyang will visit during their 18-day stay. They have visited the library at Ohio University's Athens campus and plan to visit the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the libraries at Ohio State University, OSU-Newark and Mount Carmel Hospital.

In addition, the two have done their share of sight-seeing; Lancaster, they've observed, is full of both "friendly people" and "a lot of trees."

Beth Fish: Discovering Book Bloggers Around the Globe

Today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010! This yearly event of giveaways, blog hopping, blogging, and awards is all about you! And you and you and you and me. It is the brain child of Amy from My Friend Amy.

Each day this week blogger Beth Fish Reads is hosting an international giveaway (winners announced on Monday), so please come back to see what she has in store.

Beth Fish Reads says: I'm taking today's blogging theme and putting my own twist on it. One of the best things about book blogging is getting to know readers from around the world. Daily, I read blogs from across the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Pacific.

Read more about the book blogging community and Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) at BookPage's The Book Case.

Home From the US, Indian Couple Sets Up Children's Library in Their Own Country

A little over a decade ago, if anyone had told Vimala and Umesh Malhotra that their mission in life would be to set up libraries for children, they would probably have laughed. But then, they wouldn't have accounted for boredom.

The Malhotras were a typical IT couple and had just moved back to Bangalore in 1999 with their four-year-old son Tarutr, after nearly eight years at Infosys in California. But little Tarutr was bored. What he and his mother missed the most was a good library. Vimala says, "We used to go to the library for my son, and it had so many activities; back in India, the lack of a good library where children could have their space, where no one tells them to keep quiet, and it is their hangout zone was lacking."

That got her thinking about setting up a library. More from Forbes.com.

Dublin gets UNESCO City of Literature status

Following a bid led by Dublin City Libraries, Ireland's capital has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature, only the fourth city to be so designated.

www.library.ie has the story.

School Librarians Called On To Fast for 24 Hours in S. Africa

What is the 24 Hour Fast for School Libraries?

Equal Education (EE) calls on everyone to join our Fast for School Libraries from 6:00 pm on Thursday 29 July until 6:00 pm on Friday 30 July to show government that all children deserve a quality education which includes properly stocked libraries, managed by librarians.

Why is Equal Education fasting (not eating) for 24 hours?

As a result of EE's consistent campaigning a National Policy recognising the need for a library or library stocks in every school was published by government on 11 June 2010.

In addition, School Libraries Guidelines have been drafted, but these must be improved to give schools a clear instruction to establish libraries and must be accompanied by a budget allocation. It is crucial that post for school librarians are established.

Most importantly, Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure must be finalised for all schools. All these document will only be implemented when government has a budget, plan and timetable to ensure that all schools in South Africa have libraries with a librarian.

The campaign is working but there is a long way to go!

Prison Library Wins Praise and an Award

Scotland’s only library with a waiting list has been given a top award for the impact it has had on the lives of its readers – the inmates at Saughton Prison.

The prison came first in the Libraries Change Lives Awards on Tuesday, after judges heard the purpose-built facility had welcomed more than 12,500 inmates through its doors in its first year.

The extension, which opened in November 2008, has now become the only library in Scotland, public or private, to have attracted a waiting list. Since the new facility opened, staff say the number of books being damaged has also reduced from 80% to zero.

One prisoner commented: "When I first came into jail I found it really hard to read because I wasn’t good at concentrating and I would have to read the same paragraph over and over but after persisting with it and practising all the time, I find reading just as easy as breathing. I have to admit that reading is now a hobby for me. I love it and I would be lost without it as it’s helped me through my sentence."

The library, run by experienced librarian Kate King, aims to address social inclusion issues amongst prisoners and provide education and employment opportunities to ease the transition back to life on the outside.

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