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.

Research Institutes, Libraries Are Dying

An Anonymous Patron writes has a story on the state of "institutions from the General Secretary of the union, Mr. Peters Adeyemi. The picture he paints is frightening. It is a gloomy picture for our youths and for the nation."
"We don't have libraries. That is the truth."

Jeddah Group to Launch Biggest Islamic e-Library

Anonymous Patron writes "A new e-library containing essential texts in English, as well as art influenced by the Muslim faith, has been launched by a cultural preservation group in Saudi Arabia. The story is found in The Arab News and the story link is elibrary."

The End of U.K. Libraries?

Anonymous Patron writes "According to a report by Libri, the UK's non-profit that promotes libraries, UK libraries will be out of use by 2020.The organization based this figure on a survey that shows that visitor numbers have decreased by 50 percent since 1984 and if patron numbers continue to decrease, UK libraries will no longer exist in next 20 years.Article here: here:"

31 Kano LGs to Get Libraries has a story that the "Gov. Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano has announced plans to establish a library in each of the 31 local councils that are yet to have any."

Library needs $93K

Guam Pacific Daily News has this story about the Barrigada library which needs $93,000 to re-open.
"Much like other village branches of the Guam Public Library System, the Barrigada library is a victim of lost government financial support and is no longer a center of village activity."

East meets West in quest for used books

An Anonymous Patron writes to share this story.

"The couple sent the Japanese crew to three stores in Brooklyn during the weekend. Today they plan to check out The Book Barn in Niantic, Conn., before heading to stops in West Hartford, Detroit, Texas, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles, where they will depart for home on Monday."

Friday April 23rd is World Book Day

Although many locales are concerned about their populations leaning away from books and towards mass media, on April 23, the world will once again celebrate "World Book Day". The day was chosen due to a significant confluence of important author dates; it marks both the day of Shakespeare's birth and his death.

Here are a few stories about how April 23 will be marked around the world: from Spain , from Lebanon , from Tanzania and from Wales .

Israeli Technology Powers World's Libraries

An Anonymous Patron points us to this interesting story about how . . . "many of America’s top universities and colleges have become hotbeds of anti-Israel thought and activity, with Israel’s very right to exist often assailed from lecture-hall podiums. But in an ironic twist, Israel21c reports that many of these very same universities and colleges have their academic libraries powered by Israeli technology."
Read full story here.


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