International

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."

Egyptian Librarian Pushes for 'Tolerance, Openness'

Ismail Serageldin says he's "very proud to be the first person in over 1,600 years to bear the title of librarian of Alexandria," His hope is that the opening of the $200 million library will "Revive the great tradition of Alexandria; the tradition of tolerance, openness, dialogue, learning, and rationality." Read More.

Upturn in visits to UK libraries

CIPFA shares this bit of good news from the BBC: "The number of visits made to UK libraries has leaped by almost five million in a year, a report reveals. The increase in visits between 2001-2 and 2002-3 - to 323 million - was the first rise since official records began in 1995, and accompanied a record £1bn investment."

It just goes to show that investing in libraries isn't a waste of money.

Goethe Institute opens library in N Korea

An Anonymous Patron writes "This One From The Beeb says Germany's cultural Goethe Institute has opened a branch in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang - the first of its kind in the secretive communist state.
Under the deal, Pyongyang is required to guarantee free access for its citizens to uncensored German-language books, videos, CDs and newspapers.

Goethe Institute president Jutta Limbach hailed the move as "a major success in cultural politics".

Until now, Western media and literature have been banned in North Korea.

Correspondents, however, say it is open to question how many ordinary North Koreans will be able to benefit from the new centre in a city dominated by a privileged elite."

Internet translates into success

The business of translation has taken off with the rise of the Internet, globalization and international conflicts, reports The Pioneer Press. These linguistic quirks can give translators headaches:

There are 137 languages spoken in Tanzania.

Finnish has 15 grammatical cases — changes in a pronoun or adjective depending on the use. English has three.

Hebrew and Arabic are written right to left, but numbers within a text read from left to right.

Chinese and Japanese use ideographs to represent ideas, but Korean has a phonetic alphabet with letters arranged in clusters to form words.

Lao and Thai do not always use spaces between words.

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