International

Finnish Proud of their Libraries

An article from the Finnish paper Helsinki Sanomat titled Helsinki spring - they are marching again details the daily demonstrations in Finland\'s capital city. One of the issues which was being addressed was the closing of some Helsinki branch libraries. Allegedly, funds that could have gone to libraries were going to be used to build a roof over their Olympic Stadium. The article is quite inspirational. It details the coming together of politicians, professors, students and children to save a library. When questioned about the demonstrations he attends, one Finn said,

\"For peace, for animal rights, and against nuclear power. And of course for the libraries, since the public library system and our health care net are two things of which this country can be proud.\"

Mexico passes freedom of information law

Courtesy of the National Security Archive:

On April 30, after weeks of debate, negotiations, and some last minute grandstanding, the Mexican Senate unanimously approved the country’s first freedom of information law. The 86-0 vote followed six days after a unanimous vote in the House, and ushers in a landmark piece of legislation aimed at guaranteeing the public’s right to request and receive information from all three branches of government . . .

More.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina and fostering Arab dialogue with all nations

Gary Price sent along Another Story on the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, they call it one of most important Egyptian cultural accomplishment of modern times.

The library promises an unlimited potential of cooperation between Egypt, the heart of the Arab World, and the West, Such library is worthy of becoming a live embodiment of cultural dialogue between East and West.

On World Book Day, libraries are still short of book

Charles Davis writes \"Today [Thursday March 14] is [was] World Book Day, but throughout the United Kingdom libraries
are still desperately short of the books needed by children, students and
readers. In a research based statement, released today by the National
Book Committee (NBC), it is revealed that spending on books in many
public libraries is well below the level of £2.01 per resident stipulated by
new government standards, with some library authorities expending as
little as 90p, 60p or even 20p per resident.


Full Story \"

Women\'s Library Opens in London

The new Women\'s Library, once known as the Fawcett Library, is in London\'s East End. The focus of the library is \"the 19th century campaign by women to get the vote and on the fight for equal pay and better health care.\" Originating from the London Society for Women\'s Suffrage, it was first a library in 1926. More from Yahoo!

In Debt? Sell the Library

With Germany in a recession, cities are selling off public services, including libraries. Some clinics have apparently been privatized, but no word on whether the same is happening to the libraries or if they are just being closed. More from the Times.

Africa\'s best 20th century books

This story from BBC News reports that the Zimbabwe International Book Fair sponsored an initiative to choose Africa\'s \"finest books of the 20th century\". A panel of 16 African scholars and critics narrowed down the 1,500 nominations to a list of 12.

Stories From Around The World

Cavan McCarthy writes \"Nigeria has the distinction of being one of just 11 African nations to have more than 20,000 internet subscribers. South Africa has by far the highest proportion of surfers with Algeria, Egypt and Kenya also in the group.Home internet access is for the well off. The average cost of dial-up access is about £40 per month and cyber cafes, internet access is between 30p and 60p hour.Full Story
\"


Lee Hadden writes: \"The Saudi News has an article about the banning of St. Valentine\'s Day
cards, toys, candy, etc., in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Red more about it at ArabNews.
While, The Scottish Episcopal Church is marking Valentine\'s Day by launching a book about sex. Read more about it at
Ananova.\"

Kabul University needs books

Kathleen writes \"This NY Times story (requires registration) is a brief but interesting article about Kabul University in Afghanistan, which has opened its doors to women for the first time since the Taliban took power. The library was decimated by Taliban censors -- who had a habit of shooting books of which they disapproved -- and a plea for texts is at the end. \"

There is actually a picture of a book that had been shot in the story.

China net use soars

Cavan McCarthy writes \"The number of people in China using the internet has grown by almost 50% over the past year.
More than 33 million Chinese are now online, compared to 22 million in January 2001, according to the figures by the China Internet Network Information Centre.

Full Story from The Beeb \"

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