International

British Library closing Indian library

Matt Eberle
writes \"The British Council library in Patna, India is
closing. The library is reportedly being closed because
it has only 1,400 members. Members say this is
because the library has only 8,000 books and only 80
people can occupy the reading room at once.

Full Story

Membership (bclindia.o
rg
) appears to be 400
Rupees annually \"

Indian state campaigns to keep British library

The decision of the British government to close the British Council library in the Indian state of Bihar has led to widespread protests and the creation of an Association to Save the British Library. Bihar has the lowest literary rate of all Indian states (47.53 per cent) and the library\'s supporters feel the loss of the library would only make things worse. However, the British government argue that the library is not viable. The the full story from the Khaleej Times.

Open letter from librarians protesting the police violence in Genoa, Italy

There is an open letter from librarians, written by Mark Rosenzweig, protesting the police violence at the anti-globalization demonstrations in Genoa, Italy, on the web and ready for your signature. I signed it, not because I am opposed to globalization per se, but I am opposed to the way it is happening and definitely opposed to the police response in Genoa, which has been incredibly brutal. The signable letter is at http://libr.org/PLG/Genoa.html, on the PLG site. It is also copied inside if you follow the internal LISNews link. You may also be interested in the Library Juice feature issue on what has happened in Genoa and it\'s coverage in the media. Apologies to those who object to anything non-library related, but as professionals we exist in the larger world. -- Read More

Gates gives $4.2 million to UK libraries

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $4.2 million to British libraries, reports this story from the Times (UK). The money will be used to provide information technology learning centres in 350 libraries serving some of the most deprived areas in the UK. It will be very welcome as the government wants all 4,300 of Britain\'s libraries to be online by next year, no easy task.

New Library Promps Hopes for Intellectual Revival in Egypt

Doesn\'t sound too bloody likely, however:

[As] the new library\'s credentials grew -- and $200 million poured in from Persian Gulf states, the United Nations and other international donors to finish the building -- the book collection expanded slowly but with no guiding principle. There is no set budget for acquisitions, and the previous director was criticized for his willingness to accept any donated tome that came through the door. His policy, detractors warned, threatened to create an 8 million volume attic of castoffs instead of the \"lighthouse for thought\" spoken of by its chief patron, Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak. As of now about 200,000 \"so-so\" volumes are in hand, Serageldin said, including outdated travel and investment guides and old copies of the Guinness Book of World Records.

[More from the Washington Post .]

Afghanistan bans internet

The ruling Taliban in Afghanistan have implemented a country-wide ban on using the Internet as it seeks to control \"those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral and against Islam\". The full, sad story from Newsfactor.

A History of the National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia is celebrating 100 years down under. They\'ve set up a Nifty Website [The Text Version is nice too], that details the full history.

No Worries Mate!

Belgium at the Cuban National Library

A short piece on \"Belgium: Two Looks,\" a newly opened photography exhibit at the Cuban National Library:

Klaude Kacking, director of the newspaper Cuban Review, which is sponsoring the exhibition, noted that two years of professional work had gone into the display and that it had received support from the Kingdom of Belgium’s embassy in Cuba, the National Library and a group of other sponsors. He noted that the exhibition had first been displayed in Brussels before moving to Havana, allowing the two cities to get to know each others’ cultures and peoples, through a display that characterizes the now traditional ties of friendship. He also noted that it was significant that the exhibition was opened on February 14, the international day of lovers. [More from Granma Internacional.]

More on Cuban\'s expanding relationship with
Belgium, also from Granma

First national conference of the APA

Alistair Kwun was kind enough to pass along This Story from asianweek.com
on the First national conference of the Asian
Pacific American Librarians, that was held in San
Francisco back in June.
It was the combined forces of the APALA and the
CALA.

It\'s library week in Botswana

Today marks the beginning of Library Week, hosted by the Botswana National Library Service reports this story from the Botswana Press Agency. The theme is \"Libraries - Gateway to an informed and educated nation\", to link in with Vision 2016, by which Botswana aims to be an informed and educated nation. It will be celebrated in public, special and education libraries and village reading-rooms.

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