June 2007

Public libraries in CA burst at seams

After missing two chances in the past year to gain state funding, libraries in Los Angeles County and throughout the state are struggling to meet a massive demand for new facilities that far exceeds available funds.

State and local officials have estimated a demand of $8 billion for new library facilities across the state, including $1 billion in Los Angeles County alone.

Information Technology Improves Public Libraries’ Performance in US

With the expansion of print and multimedia sources in American life, public libraries have had to adapt to society’s greater dependence on computers. VOA’s Mohamed Elshinnawi looks at one modern library in Fairfax County, Virginia near Washington, D.C.

“Libraries are not doing new services,†says Clay. “They are doing existing services but differently because of the technology. Technology helped us to expand our range, to expand what we are able to offer to our customers.”

Where lies the Print on Demand

One From The O’Reilly Radar: When On Demand Books, a Print on Demand (POD) device manufacturer, released news that the New York Public Library had installed an Espresso machine, a debate on POD business models broke out on a small mailing list. With the permission of the participants, the debate is reproduced there.It well reflects many of the key issues of distributing POD as a business model.

Dorothy Duncan Braille Library In Zimbabwe Needs Help

The current political situation in Zimbabwe has been difficult for many people, but, as with any humanitarian crisis, some members of society are hit harder than others. A current Zimbabwean Rhodes Scholar–recently passed along a plea for help from one of her former teachers–Catherine Jackson–who has been recognized for her work in helping the blind in Zimbabwe. She is currently trying to raise money to purchase a new building for the Dorothy Duncan Braille Library to provide care and education to blind students and adults. More Here.

Live-in librarians offer personal touch to Chester book borrowers

Interesting Profile of a couple making their home in a Canadian library: Lyne Bjornson and husband Glen MacLeod live in Zoe Valle Library, a memorial library donated to Chester in 1928 to become the community’s library.
There are no bar codes, no computers, not even any library cards. “Most of the people who come in I know by name,” so Mr. MacLeod simply writes the person’s name on a card in a sleeve at the back of the book.

Google Funds Columbia’s Digital Knowledge Ventures

The Money Continues To Flow @ Google: They have awarded Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures (DKV) a $50,450 grant to support preparation and submission of video content from Columbia for the Google Video site.

DKV will prepare up to 54 hours of new content, as well as convert 38 hours of MPEG2 content for the Google Video site. Lectures, interviews, and course content covering such diverse areas of science, economy, history and world affairs will be featured.

Wiki Vandal Unwittingly Predicts Benoit Murders

Professional wrestler Chris Benoit died this week, apparently by killing himself after murdering his wife and son. Before this happened — or at least was discovered by police — his name was removed from a WWE event lineup. This prompted someone to edit his Wikipedia page by adding information that Chris’ wife Nancy had died. Read more about this bizarre case of unjustified true belief at, where else, Wikinews.

Latin Phrases for Your Friday

Self-publishing guru Dan Poynter passes on a few Latin zingers that he adapted from the traditional curriculum he learned in school (a long time ago).

“Nescio quid dicas” –
(I don’t know what you’re talking about)

“Ita erat quando hic adveni.” –
(It was that way when I got here)

“Vescere bracis meis” –
(Eat my shorts)

“Noli me vocare. Ego te vocabo.” –
(Don’t call me. I’ll call you.)

“Canis meus id comedit” –
(My dog ate it)

“Die dulci freure” –
(Have a nice day)

“Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem” –
(Stand aside, little people! I am here on official business)

“Utinam barbari spatioum proprium tuum invadant” –
(May barbarians invade your personal space)

“Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.” –
(I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear.)

“Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant” –
(May conspirators assassinate you in the hall)

“Non sum pisces” –
(I am not a fish)

“Senito aliquos togatos contra me conspirare” –
(I think some people in togas are plotting against me)

“Perscriptio in manibus tabellariorum est” –
(The cheque is in the post)

“Non illigitamus carborundum” –
(Don’t let the b’stards grind you down)

“Nonne macescis?” –
(Have you lost weight?)

“Braccae tuae aperiuntur” –
(Your fly is open)

“In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes” –
(You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth)

“Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.” –
(It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.)