People N Patrons

The Great Failure of Andrew Carnegie's Simplified Spelling Lobby

Despite his embarrassing loss on the phonetics front, Carnegie kept funding the Simplified Spelling Board for nearly a decade afterwards, stopping only after it became inescapably clear that his attempt to influence the country to spell differently had failed.
"I think I hav been patient long enuf," he wrote as he cancelled the funding in 1915. "I hav a much better use for twenty-five thousand dollars a year."

From The Great Failure of Andrew Carnegie's Simplified Spelling Lobby | Atlas Obscura

Video of Josh Hanagame of the Salt Lake City Library

KUER's VideoWest/RadioWest's intro to the video Ties the Room Together. "Josh Hanagarne is a writer and a librarian in Salt Lake City who's written beautifully about his experiences with Tourette syndrome. We had him on RadioWest to talk about his 2013 book The World's Strongest Librarian. We want to thank Josh for letting us tag along and pry into his life."

Here's a photo of Josh holding an "In My Book, you're quite a character" card in the beautiful SLCPL .

Shipping is free during December, visit www.inmybook.com for more details.

Librarians in uproar after borrowing record of Haruki Murakami is leaked

Librarians in Japan have ditched their traditional regard for silence to accuse a newspaper of violating the privacy of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s best-known contemporary writer, after it revealed his teenage reading habits.

As a schoolboy in the western port city of Kobe, Murakami delved into the three-volume complete works of the French writer Joseph Kessel, according to library cards leaked to the Kobe Shimbun newspaper.

From Librarians in uproar after borrowing record of Haruki Murakami is leaked | Books | The Guardian

Sacramento's Library of Things

From today's New York Times:

(as we know quite well...) Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls etc.

With No Fixed Address, Two Men start Toronto's only Underpass Library

From the CBC:

Al is an avid reader. He estimates he reads a different book every two days. He reads so much, people give him new books all the time. He had so many books, he and a friend decided to start their own library.

Only Al has no fixed address. He lives on the street, and so his upstart library is also on the street, under a small bridge on Lower Simcoe Street in Toronto.

"Passersby who noticed my interest in literature began to bring me books. As I have many, I decided to create a library," said Al, an armed forces veteran who did not want to divulge too much about his identity or past.

Lower Simcoe Street has heavy foot traffic - people who now stop and peruse the underpass library's selection of books. (Stephane Blais/CBC)

Al lives on the west side of the Simcoe underpass. His library partner is Elwin Murphy, who lives on the east side.

Information Please Librarian

From The Guardian, a selection of queries addressed to NYPL librarians including "Is this the place where I ask questions I can’t get answers to?" - Phone question, September 13, 1947

The library card - The Lancet

Thanks to Lee for passing this one along!

I keep coming back to the library card. Why did he have it? What did he do at the library? Did he surf the Internet, or check out books? Did he look at newspapers? Or did he just go to the library to escape the elements, to sit in a quiet place, where everything was calm?

From The library card - The Lancet

Homeless People Need Libraries and Libraries Need Homeless People Too

From the AP:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jeffery Bailey spends nearly every day at his public library. It's not just that he loves books. For the 43-year-old who sleeps in a tent outside a local church, the library is pretty much the only place he can go that won't charge him to provide safety, warmth, useful services and entertainment.

Many public libraries discourage homeless people from hanging around all day. "It could be the way you dress, the way your hair is," says Bailey, whose scruffy denim jacket could use a good wash.

But just as Bailey needs his library, the library needs him: In this digital age, many people who used to depend on libraries can find what they need online without leaving home. Menaced by budget cuts, many public libraries are effectively failing to justify their relevance, reducing their hours year after year.

Nice Story for a Monday; VT Janitor Bequeaths Savings to Library & Hospital

Reuters reports:
Everyone thought he was practically penniless, but he managed to save up $8 million dollars and bequeathed it in his will.

Perhaps the only clue that Ronald Read, a Vermont gas station attendant and janitor who died last year at age 92, had been quietly amassing an $8 million fortune was his habit of reading the Wall Street Journal, his friends and family say.

It was not until last week that the residents of Brattleboro would discover Read's little secret. That's when the local library and hospital received the bulk of his estate, built up over the years with savvy stock picks."Investing and cutting wood, he was good at both of them," his lawyer Laurie Rowell said on Wednesday, noting that he read the Journal every day. Most of those who knew Read, described as a frugal and extremely private person, were aware that he could handle an axe. But next to no one knew how well he was handling his financial portfolio.

In South Florida, A Lover and Donor of Unique Books

It all started with his work as a library volunteer. From The Sun Sentinel:

For Arthur Jaffe, books weren't just to be read. They were to be treasured as works of art. Jaffe, who donated a lot of money and his vast collection of hand-crafted books to Florida Atlantic University, died Sunday. He was 93.

Though he passed away this week, his legacy will live on through the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU's Wimberly Library, where he spent 13 years as curator before retiring in 2011. The collection has grown from Jaffe's original donation of 2,800 handmade books to 12,000 today.

The Jaffe collection includes children's pop-ups, wood cuts and lithographs. There are several versions of the Bible, classics like "Moby Dick" and "Hamlet," and more unusual volumes, such as "Ghost Diary" by Maureen Cummins, a rare book made of glass. Even after retiring in 2011, he continued to visit the center on a regular basis. In 2012, he launched a project that seemed unusual for the book arts center: a documentary on the tattoos of FAU students.

"Here was a 91-year-old looking at all these tattooed kids and saying, 'they're all walking books,'" Cutrone said. "Sometimes you think of older people as being set in their ways, but that was not Arthur. He was willing to see the other side of things."

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