Spanish classes @ your library

Students aged from 8 to 67 are learning Spanish at the classes offered by the Neighborhood Library, Fairmount (TX). In a population which was 55.3% Hispanic in the recent Census, the library is doing something really valuable for the community, as the participants in this story testify [from the Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas].

Dickens letter sells for GBP5,000

Fourteen letters written by Charles Dickens between 1849 and 1854 were sold at auction today in Tavistock, Devon (UK). The most expensive of them sold for 5,000 pounds sterling (about $7,500) and they will all stay in the UK, with many being bought by public institutions and museums. More from the BBC News.
These letters were found tucked inside a book owned by a direct descendent of Georgina Morson, governess of a women\'s refuge founded by Dickens in 1847.


Trustees seek help solving library space problem

The trustees of Epsom Town Library (NH) are holding a public form tomorrow to try to figure what to do about the cramped, inaccessible, century-old building in which the library is currently located. They have found it very difficult to get support for a plan to build a new library and office complex, despite the fact that volunteers have been raising money for a new building since the 1980s, reports this sad story from the Concord Monitor.

\"In the meantime, when a reader wants The Grapes of Wrath or The Great Gatsby, librarian Nancy Claris heads out to a trailer beside the library where adult fiction written before 1980 is stored. She carries a flashlight because the trailer does not have electricity [...]\"

Oklahoma libraries to filter all internet use

Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System has voted to filter Internet access for adults as well as children at its 19 libraries, reports this story from ChannelOklahoma. Library staff will be able to provide unfiltered access to certain \"legitimate\" sites that may be \"inadvertantly blocked\" by the filters, such as one including breast cancer information.
There is a survey on this story, where readers are encouraged to vote on whether they think adult access should be filtered in libraries. At the time of writing, the \"no\" voters are slightly in the lead.


A library burns in Gormenghast

Andy Breeding writes \"Last night, in PBS\'s airing of Gormenghast, a library burns, driving Lord Groan mad. Read about the set and the scene on the PBS web site:\"

The library set

The library burns


Librarians Lead The Way

uible passed along This CSMonitor Story on a librarian who had a lasting and positive impact on the authors life.

\"I have never known a librarian I didn\'t like, but Tee-hee made himself extra-special by
finding me, each time, a book I didn\'t ask for, but which he had included over and above
the call of duty. He\'d lay out my requests one by one, and then say, \"And this one is for
you to read.\" Wasn\'t that nice?


Learned to read at age 97, passed away at 103

Dallas resident George Dawson, who learned to read at age 97, has died at age 103, reports MSNBC. In less than seven years of literacy, he wrote an autobiography and inspired many other people to pick up a book.

If, as Borges said, paradise is a kind of library, then Mr. Dawson is probably glad he learned to read.


Library of Congress\' Collaborative Digital Reference Service

Federal Computer Week profiles the emerging Collaborative Digital Reference Service this month:

Most baseball fans know that New York Yankee Don Larsen pitched a perfect game — allowing no batters to reach base — against the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1956 World Series. Although the game has been well documented, one man walked into the National Library of Canada with a certified stumper: Did Larsen go to a \"ball-three\" count against any Dodger batter?

It’s a reference librarian’s job to try to find answers to patrons’ questions, no matter how arcane. In this case, library staff members couldn’t find the answer using their own print and electronic resources, so they turned to a new resource, the Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS), and waited for another library somewhere in the world to provide the answer. [More . . .]

The Perfect Book Machine

Here\'s A Nifty One from Business 2.0 on a cool machine that takes a digital file, from which it can print, bind, and trim a book of any size in a matter of minutes. It\'s about the size of an industrial photocopier, and uses regular paper.

Instant, cheap books!

\"Book binding has always been a black art,\" says Marsh. \"If you put those processes into automotive plants, the whole industry would die. They\'re dangerous, and they can\'t be replicated reliably. I mean, you got people sticking their hands under moving blades.\"


Librarian Posts Not Easy to Fill

From The News Gazette (Champaign, IL), Diane Haag writes...
\"Mahomet-Seymour Superintendent John Alumbaugh counts himself lucky to have been able to fill the two school librarian positions he had open for next year ... It turns out the stereotype of the gray-haired keeper of books has some truth to it. In 1998-99, 60 percent of Illinois librarians were 50 or older, meaning they will all soon be eligible for retirement ... At the same time, the state\'s only two ALA accredited schools have a total of about 175 students enrolled – all they were meant to have. That\'s the problem, it\'s difficult to get the degree.\" [more...]


Wanted Library Director, No MLIS needed

Tanya writes \"I\'m so
disgusted by this that I can barely think of anything to
write. The Salt Lake County Library System has been
without a Director for eons. So, in a bid to fill the
position, the County has decided that a MLIS is not
necessary for the job. They will also consider people
with MBAs or Masters of Public Administration. And
who came up with this brilliant idea? None other than
the Library Board. Aargh!!!!

The story is in Sunday\'s Edition of the
Deseret News and will be available for for free for one

You can check out the employment ad here .
Beware, it might make you ill.\"

Librarian Makes Baseball History

A New York University librarian has discovered two 19th century newspaper articles that shed light on the origins of baseball:

It is as elusive as the search for Atlantis, as tangled in legend as the quest for the Holy Grail. For nearly a century, historians have trolled stacks of dusty tomes in hopes of unearthing the origins of baseball. . . Now, two newspaper references to baseball have turned up that show that an organized version of the game was being played even earlier in New York City. The articles, discovered by a librarian at New York University, George A. Thompson Jr., bolster a growing consensus that baseball emerged gradually, by evolution and not by invention. [More from the New York Times]


See the Declaration of Independence!

On July 4th, television producer Norman Lear announced that his copy of the Declaration of Independence would be taken on a tour of presidential libraries [see this LA Times story]. However, residents of North Texas don\'t have to travel any further than Dallas to see a copy this weekend - Dallas Public Library already has one on display. Apparently, it\'s in excellent condition after being \"found\" (there\'s that word again) in the basement of a Philadelphia bookstore in 1968. It\'s also the only copy permanently displayed west of the Mississippi. The full story from the Star-Telegram, which I think is from Arlington, TX.


$1.4 million bequeathed to Vancouver Library Foundation

The motto of this story is, always be nice to your patrons because you never know when they might leave you a million. A Vancouver library patron, who always felt \"well-treated\" by the staff, left $1.4 million to the Library Foundation, reports this story from the Seattle P-I


Pioneering map of Japan found in Library of Congress

Almost 200 years ago, Japanese geographical surveyor Ino Tadataka made the first detailed map of Japan. The original was lost in a fire, but now an almost complete copy has been found in the Library of Congress. The full story from the Japan Times. (It\'s so cool that it\'s actually dated tomorrow [Saturday]).
I\'m always intrigued by these stories, like the Lincoln flag, of things being \"found\" in libraries. Where were they? Didn\'t anyone know they were there?


Public Libraries & E-Books: Links

Thinking of offering e-books to your patrons? Wondering who to contact for advice? Here\'s a fairly extensive list of links to public library e-book programs around the world from the Kansas State Library.

Suicide Book Challenged in Schools

Thanks to Sue for sending the link to this one from Excite News. For the Associated Press, (Denver, CO), author Colleen Slevin writes...

\"In a world where twins are illegal, a baby twin boy is \"released\" from life with a fatal injection. A girl, overcome with painful memories in a utopian society in which strong feelings are frowned upon, administers the fatal needle herself. The topics in Lois Lowry\'s \"The Giver\" have created controversy in libraries and classrooms across the country since it was first published in 1993. Parent opposition to the book\'s treatment of suicide and euthanasia helped it reach No. 11 on the American Library Association\'s list of most challenged books of the 1990s. The Newberry Medal winner was No. 10 on the last year\'s list, which was headed by \"Harry Potter.\" Lowry\'s book has been challenged in schools in at least five states since 1999, sometimes more than once.\" [more...]


Books by the Byte

The Washington Post has a Story on an e-book lending program being rolled out at public libraries across the country.

Of course publishing houses worry that the lending programs will hurt the bottom line, to say nothing of copywrite.

Speaking of copyright, there\'s more on the Adobe eBook Cracker over on

Tasini, Round 2

The National Writers Union plans to file suit over the terms of the New York Times\' recently rewritten contract with its freelancers:

National Writers Union president Jonathan Tasini asserted yesterday that a Times contract - crafted in the wake of the Supreme Court decision - that seeks freelancers\' permission to keep their work in the paper\'s archives without additional compensation is illegal and unenforceable. \'\'They\'re demanding people sign away all their past and future rights to those articles,\'\' Tasini said in an interview yesterday. \'\'We would rather negotiate this and they\'ve just taken a very hard line.\'\' He said that unless the Times changed its policy within 24 hours, a suit would be filed today in New York. An attorney representing the writers union said the likely venue would be federal court.

[More from the Boston Globe]

Ohio Libraries are Extending Lending to One Another

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sarah Hollander writes...

\"Public and school libraries throughout Ohio should be able to share material with next-day delivery service starting this fall. The State Library of Ohio finalized a delivery contract last week. The computer hardware and software for locating and reserving the materials should be available in a few months. The service will allow patrons to check out books and, in some cases, videos, CD-ROMs and other material from any participating library when those items aren\'t available at their home library. \"At some point in the future, we\'re hoping any Ohio resident will be able to borrow a book from anywhere in the state,\" said Roger Verny, deputy state librarian. The state library paid for the technology with $1.2 million in federal funds. It will cost libraries about $2,800 a year to participate, which will cover the cost of deliveries.\" [more...]



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