The Library of Congress wants to attract more visitors. Will that undermine its mission?

Some critics have expressed concerns that if the plan is approved, the library’s intellectual focus will be sacrificed to an avalanche of exhibitions and the increased foot traffic that would result. In an age when facts seem to be up for grabs and information flows quickly but often with little authority, they say, the library’s academic mission is more critical than ever. But Hayden and her team — which includes two senior executives with museum backgrounds — say the changes would spark renewed interest in the library’s history, its collections and its role as a research institution.
From The Library of Congress wants to attract more visitors. Will that undermine its mission? - The Washington Post

Behold, the Tiniest of Books - The New York Times

Most of the books in the exhibit are about one to three inches high and would nestle easily in the palm of your hand. Some are the size of a thumbnail. (There are also a few ultra-micro-miniatures, with no dimension greater than a quarter of an inch; one, shockingly, looks to be about as big as the period in this sentence.) The oldest is a cuneiform tablet from about 2300 B.C.; the newest was published last year. They are valued in the tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars; the rarest of miniature antiquarian books can sell in the six or even seven figures.
From Behold, the Tiniest of Books - The New York Times
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It's Time We Talk About Librarians and Money

What’s that thing they always say about if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life? I mean that’s true and all—when you love something, it can feel less like work and more like passion—but I’m also here to tell you that tenderness gets a little strained when you try to use it to pay your overdue power bill. That’s right, I’m talking about a library paycheck! That tiny little figure that gets added to your bank account after you work a 40-hour plus work week. It’s not fun to talk about money (it’s truly a nightmare), but it’s something we all understand. We need to make a salary so we can afford to live. We need to get paid.
From It's Time We Talk About Librarians and Money | Literary Hub
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The greatest of all novels: War and Peace

Just 150 years ago, in 1869, Tolstoy published the final installment of War and Peace, often regarded as the greatest of all novels. In his time, Tolstoy was known as a nyetovshchik—someone who says nyet, or no, to all prevailing opinion—and War and Peace discredits the prevailing views of the radical intelligentsia, then just beginning to dominate Russian thought. The intelligentsia’s way of thinking is still very much with us and so Tolstoy’s critique is, if anything, even more pertinent today.
From The greatest of all novels by Gary Saul Morson | The New Criterion
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My Library Card Made Me Less of a Picky Reader

Joining the library saved me money and space, yes. It also permanently changed the way I read. Where I used to heavily research books before committing to them, I now borrow indiscriminately. There’s no fear! If I hate the book, it doesn’t matter; it’s going back into circulation when I’m done. This means I can pick up volumes that previously intimidated me. I tear through books I may have overlooked in the past for lack of desire to spend money on them. Not every book I take out of the library becomes a new favorite, but the experience of reading them is enriching nonetheless.
From My Library Card Made Me Less of a Picky Reader | Book Riot
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Rural Nebraska libraries reinventing themselves in 'makerspace' movement

The results after the first two 20-week cycles indicates the "Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities" project, a partnership between the library commission, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension and the Regional Library Systems, has found an appetite for makerspaces in public libraries from Plattsmouth to Ainsworth, Loup City to North Platte.
From Rural Nebraska libraries reinventing themselves in 'makerspace' movement | Education | journalstar.com

Why California Libraries Are Ditching Fines on Overdue Materials

“Collecting fines is the single greatest point of friction between library staff and patrons,” he told the San Francisco Public Library Commission last month. The commission voted that night to make San Francisco the latest library system to go fine-free. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors needs to vote on the library’s recommendations, but Mayor London Breed has already voiced her support.
From Why California Libraries Are Ditching Fines on Overdue Materials - GV Wire
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Growing up in a house full of books is major boost to literacy and numeracy, study finds

Research data from 160,000 adults in 31 countries concludes that a sizeable home library gave teen school leavers skills equivalent to university graduates who didn’t read
From Growing up in a house full of books is major boost to literacy and numeracy, study finds | Books | The Guardian
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Overdue library magazine with Beatles on cover back 50 years later

An Ohio library says a 1968 copy of Life magazine with the Beatles on the cover has been returned by a borrower who apologized for stealing it as a "kid" and sent $100 to cover late fees.
From Overdue library magazine with Beatles on cover back 50 years later - WISC
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How the N.Y. Public Library Fills Its Shelves (and Why Some Books Don’t Make the Cut) - The New York Times

The New York Public Library has one of the largest public collections in the world. But, unlike Amazon, it does not have seemingly infinite storage. Every book must earn its place on crowded shelves. Nothing gets there by accident. With millions of books to choose from, the library often gets asked how a book gets on the shelves.
From How the N.Y. Public Library Fills Its Shelves (and Why Some Books Don’t Make the Cut) - The New York Times
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Cleveland Public Library going fine-free after 150 years

The Cleveland Public Library is ending fines for overdue materials. That announcement was made during a "State of the Library" address by executive director Felton Thomas Jr. at the City Club of Cleveland on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Thomas also laid out plans for a year-long sesquicentennial celebration that, he said, "focuses on places, programs and people."
From Cleveland Public Library going fine-free after 150 years
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UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research

As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.
From UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research | University of California
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Bill To Bring Libraries To NYC Jails Faces Opposition From The Correction Department

On Tuesday, the City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee heard testimony on Councilmember Daniel Dromm’s bill, Int. 1184, that requires the Department of Correction to provide access to the library for all incarcerated people within 48 hours of entering the jail system. The Department would be required to report on the number of books they receive, the source of those books and, if books are censored, the reason for the censorship.
From Bill To Bring Libraries To NYC Jails Faces Opposition From The Correction Department: Gothamist

School Districts No Longer Required To Have Nurses, Librarians Under Senate Bill In Iowa

School districts would no longer be required to have a school nurse and a teacher librarian under a proposal advanced in the Iowa Senate Tuesday. Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, chair of the Education Committee, said the bill would give school boards and communities more power to make decisions that are best for local students. “Do we trust those people and their teachers to make the decisions that are appropriate to their students, or not? It’s as simple as that,” Sinclair said.
From School Districts No Longer Required To Have Nurses, Librarians Under Senate Bill | Iowa Public Radio

Publishers say that the bold open-access initiative rules out proven ways of opening up the literature

Highly selective journals, in particular, argued that they have high internal costs that couldn’t reasonably be recouped in a fully open-access model, and that cutting costs would risk reducing journals’ quality. Some publishing companies also urged the initiative to reconsider its policy on hybrid journals. But their arguments have been rebuffed by Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s open-access envoy and architect of Plan S, to which 18 research funders have so far signed up.
From High-profile subscription journals critique Plan S

Libraries, museums, and universities must include hip-hop culture in their programming in thoughtful, authentic ways

Many of these institutions have begun to embrace this marriage of ideas. Hip-hop curricula, archives, conferences, and fellowships now have homes in even the nation’s most venerable academic institutions, including Cornell University, Harvard University, Duke University, and many more. Libraries across the country, from small towns to the New York Public Library, have welcomed hip-hop programming, as have storied institutions such as Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
From Legacy Institutions Must Welcome Hip-Hop Into Their Halls
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Dr. Seuss Books Can Be Racist, But We Still Keep Reading Them : Code Switch : NPR

That tension between Seuss and Seuss-free classrooms is emblematic of a bigger debate playing out across the country — should we continue to teach classic books that may be problematic, or eschew them in favor of works that more positively represent of people of color?
From Dr. Seuss Books Can Be Racist, But We Still Keep Reading Them : Code Switch : NPR
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School librarians left out of $5K pay raise proposal in TX

School librarians, who are required to teach in a classroom for two years and in many cases receive a master’s degree to qualify for the position, would be excluded from legislation offering a $5,000 pay raise to all Texas teachers. Senate Bill 3 would allocate $3.7 billion over two years to boost pay for classroom teachers but not other education employees such as bus drivers, counselors or librarians. The legislation, touted as a way to better retain teachers and recognize them for the importance of their jobs, is a priority for Senate GOP leaders, amid a renewed focus among lawmakers in both chambers and both parties on improving public education in Texas.
From School librarians left out of $5K pay raise proposal

Librarians pore over books to keep out the bedbugs

Lincoln library officials say librarians have been inspecting each item checked back into the eight branches, committed to keeping out any bedbugs. The library system discovered bedbugs in some books in 2014, amid a national rash of bedbug reports from a variety of places, including theaters and thrift stores, college dorms and apartment buildings, hotel rooms and surgical centers.
From Librarians pore over books to keep out the bedbugs | KHGI
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Oklahoma teacher, book collector makes hobby of reuniting families with meaningful bookmarks

Smreker is a French teacher at Harding Charter Prep and in her free time she loves to collect used books. But, she says sometimes it's not just the tale they are intended to tell that make them interesting.
From Oklahoma teacher, book collector makes hobby of reuniting families with meaningful bookmarks | KFOR.com
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