International

Growing Knowledge: The British Library launches its strategy for 2011-2015

Always interesting reading....

The British Library has launched its new strategy, setting out how it plans to develop its collections and services over the next four years.

Growing Knowledge: The British Library’s Strategy 2011-2015 outlines the UK national library’s key objectives and strategic priorities to the middle of the decade, and emphasizes the need to deliver more for less in a challenging economic climate.

The new strategy follows the publication last September of the Library’s 2020 Vision, which highlighted the key trends and opportunities for the next decade. The 2020 Vision was based upon twelve months of extensive research and consultation; it presented five themes that would help deliver the Library’s ten-year vision of becoming “a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through its collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life.”

The Library’s strategy for 2011-2015 contains five strategic priorities, based on the 2020 Vision’s themes:

1. Guarantee access for future generations
2. Enable access for everyone who wants to do research
3. Support research communities in key areas for social and economic benefit
4. Enrich the cultural life of the nation
5. Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base

Read the details here.

Egypt's Jewel Of A Library Reopens, Thanks To Demonstrators

Story from NPR about the reopening of the Library of Alexandria. It was closed for the last few weeks during the demonstrations, both to protect it from vandalism, and to protest the army's curfew.

And the library's director, Ismail Serageldin says that in all the protests, not a stone was thrown at the library, and not a pane of glass was broken.

"What happened was pure magic," he says. "People from within the demonstrations broke out of the demonstrations and simply linked hands, and they said 'This is our library. Don't touch it.'"

The ancient library has been destroyed several times by vandals and conquerors — most notably by a fire, several centuries ago.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Unnumbered Special Edition (23 February 2011)

Celebrate Valentine's Day on a 'Blind Date With a Book'

Interesting (cheeky even!) concept in New Zealand:

Queenstown librarians are playing matchmaker again this Valentine's Day as the library gets set to repeat last year's Blind Date with a Book literary liaisons.

Monday's event pairs borrowers with specially wrapped mystery books, chosen by library staff as being particularly deserving of a hook-up with a willing reader, Queenstown library manager Robyn Robertson said.

"We are choosing books we personally enjoyed or feel passionate about. The books are all gift-wrapped, with only a barcode on the outside, so it really is a blind date with a book and there's no telling what you might get.

"There's a cheeky mix of fiction and non-fiction, with a nod towards the day that inspired the whole initiative. There's bound to be some romance in there - it is Valentine's Day after all - but there's also a real mix of other genres."

Difficult Situation For Libraries In United Kingdom Continues

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has issued a media advisory calling on cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt to act to preserve libraries in the United Kingdom. A full statement by CILIP President Brian Hall is available as a PDF document that was released as part of Save Our Libraries Day on Saturday, February 5th. The Voice for the Library coalition also has a report posted on Save Our Libraries efforts that took place Saturday.

Google Art Project

Google has done search, email, documents, video, and now...

Art.

From the Alte Nationalgalerie of Berlin to the Metropolitan in New York to the National Gallery of London, Google has taken extremely high resolution images of some of the most famous artwork and put it online. View the artwork online and create your own gallery of favourites.

Learn more at the Google Art Project.

Situation at the Library of Alexandria - Photos

From the Library's own website, the Director's Statement, eight photos and video of youth guarding the library.

Saving the New Library of Alexandria

From the New York Review of Books:

Located near the site of its ancient predecessor, in the heart of historical Alexandria, the remarkable Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria, which opened in 2002, has been uncomfortably close to the turmoil that now wracks Egypt, and especially Egypt’s cities. First a suicide bomber attacked one of Alexandria’s Coptic churches on New Year’s Eve, killing 21 Egyptian Christians and injuring a hundred (including several Muslims worshipping at the mosque across the street). Now, for the past week, tens of thousands of young Egyptians have taken to the city’s streets, calling for more freedom, more jobs, lower prices, and democracy, unfazed by a harsh government crackdown and episodes of violence in which some three dozen Alexandrians have been killed. So it was a great relief to read the message “To our friends around the world” from Ismail Serageldin, the director of the Library, who reports that when unrest broke out on Friday, a cordon of young people rushed to surround the Library complex (which includes conference halls and a planetarium) and protect it from vandalism.

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