International

French Librarian Arrested for Stealing from National Library

French authorities arrested librarian Michel Garel, charging him with stealing rarities from the very collection he's managed for more than 20 years. Police claim that Garel, 58, head of the French National Library's Hebrew-language archives, has been lifting items, some dating back to the 14th century, from the collection for several years. Read all about it.

RFID Opens Library's New Chapter

"The National Library of Australia is seeking a new book-detection system, preferably one that uses radio frequency identification. Libraries worldwide, including the Vatican Library, are turning to RFID to track their collections. The national library has issued a request for proposals to replace a book security system for its collection of more than seven million items.
The collection's security is foremost, but the library also hopes a new system will include features such as automated stocktaking." Read More.

Iran to reconstitute libraries in Afghan capital

Anonymous Patron writes "A Real Short One says According to Iran's Official News Agency (IRNA) Iran and Afghanistan have signed an agreement to reconstitute the libraries of 10 schools in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Iran is to reconstitute the libraries based on an agreement earlier reached between Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mohammad Reza Bahrami and Afghan Ministry of Education Administrative Deputy Seyed Eshraq Husseini. Iran has allocated $25,000 for the project.

The Iranian side is to donate 10,000 volumes of books on poetry, fiction and biography to reconstitute the libraries which will be made available to the public in September.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has also pledged to construct four technical and vocational complexes in the Afghan cities of Balkh, Herat, Nimrouz and Kandahar."

Russian Librarians Visited MD - Study Disabled Patrons Service

search-engines-web.com sends us this story about what was a fun and informative trip. From the story:

"A small group of Russian librarians visited Maryland last week for a lesson in how to help the disabled - and a little history of Edgar Allan Poe. Touring such locations as the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the State Disabilities Law Center, the librarians were trying to learn more about how libraries in the United States serve the disabled and help them learn about their legal rights.
After their visit, each of the four librarians is expected to return to Russia and tackle a project for the coming year."

Pakistan Library Steps Into the Digital Age

"While many libraries in Pakistan wither for the lack of funds, Dyal Singh Trust Library, a century old institution and the second largest repository of books in Punjab, proudly continues to provide quality services to the book reading community of Lahore. However, while the numbers of visitors remain high, Chief Librarian Abida notices a decline in visitors. She blames this trend on the increasing use of computers for reading books and journals on the Internet."
More from the Daily Times.

One-day Library Strike Suspended

Here's one from the BBC about a series of
one-day walkouts taking place by library staff in Kent (UK). The issue is over the County's plan to restructure library services, a move intended to improve the library's effriciency. The most recent strike was suspended as managers postponed the first stage of restructuring. It's not over yet though. According to their union spokesman, the strikes will continue into July if it's not resolved. Read More.

Beetles Eat Books at Israel's National Library

Beetles (more specifically Anobium punctatum) love books, but can be picky eaters (they don't like the ink).

Members of this species were recently found in the Judaica section among the collections in Israel's National Library in Jerusalem, but luckily did not find the letters of Albert Einstein (donated to the National Library by the great scientist) to their taste.

More here: from CNEWS .

Library Seeks High-rise Resident: Feathered, with Appetite

A library versus nature story out of Paris, France about some dirty birds who keep running afoul and messing things up at the National Library. They've decided to employ a peregrine falcon to handle the situation accordingly.
Read It.

Vandalism at Malaysia National Library under control

News From Utusan Malaysia Online, Malaysia says The National Library has received 8,000 complains about damages on books and printed materials in a four-year period between 2000 and 2004, but only one percent of them were due to vandalism.

Its deputy director, Dr Wan Ali Wan Mamat, said in most cases, the damages were due to the environment, books' old age and low binding quality.

"We know that any printed material will be damaged after a while even if they are used carefully," he told Bernama here recently.

However, there were a few cases of vandalism where materials were cut deliberately for personal use, he added.

Egyptian librarian pushes for 'tolerance, openness'

The Daily Star Has This Article on the Alexandria Declaration. Some 160 members of civil society from across the Middle East composed the declaration at the Arab Reform forum at the Alexandria library in March. The declaration calls for free elections, rotation of power, freedom of expression and a changing of social attitudes. Serageldin calls it "a truly revolutionary document."

"Democracy, reform or development is like a tree," he says. "You can make it grow by feeding its roots, not by pulling on its branches."

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