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Bomb Threat Closes Ohio State Library

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bomb threat targeting Ohio State University was e-mailed to the FBI Tuesday morning, prompting the school to evacuate four academic buildings, including the main library. An initial search turned up nothing out of the ordinary, officials said.

The threat was in a message received Tuesday at FBI headquarters in Washington, said Paul Bresson, an agency spokesman based there. Campus police said they were alerted at 8:19 a.m. Tuesday that the threats involved the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and three laboratory buildings.

"This is still in our assessment a threat, and there have been no suspicious package or devices found at this time," university Police Chief Paul Denton said at a news conference.

Authorities did not identify the source of the bomb threats at Ohio State, one of the nation's largest universities, with more than 56,000 students at its main Columbus campus. The FBI's Bresson declined to provide information about where the e-mail appeared to come from or whether the bureau believed the threat was real.

More info & photos from the CBS local affiliate.

Possible higher demand for IRS tax forms at libraries this year

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The IRS won't be mailing tax form booklets to individuals this year, and they are referring people to libraries as a source for paper forms. See IRS Notice 1400-- http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1400.pdf "Going to your local post office or library (if they participate in the federal tax products program)."

More Election Day Library News From LJ

Election Day brought good news to library supporters around the country as local tax levies to support libraries won strong support in key Ohio communities, and radical propositions in Colorado that would have crippled library services were categorically rejected.

Story here.

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

Literary Tattoos

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Yesterday, WBUR's, <a href="http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/10/literary-tattoos">On Point program</a> had an hour on Literary Tattoos. "Tattoos were once for sailors and wayfarers — exotic souvenirs of adventure and romance. Now, they’re mainstream. Walk into any college gym – any gym, anywhere – and you know. But literary tattoos – now there’s the high frontier. And even it is becoming wildly populated. Rimbaud on the forearm. Kafka on the whole arm. Sylvia Plath across the chest. Kundera on the abdomen. A big back covered in Proust.

Heathman Hotel library is one of a kind

<a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/09/heathman_hotel_library_is_one_1.html">Oregonlive.com</a> relates this story about a unique library and one enthusiastic librarian. "Guests who wander up to the <a href="http://www.heathmanhotel.com/">Heathman Hotel's</a> mezzanine discover one of the most exclusive libraries in the country: 4,000 volumes, all signed by the author and most of them first editions.

Lying Librarians and Honest Journalism.

The south Florida paper, the Sun Sentinel has a problem with public libraries.

"Some day in the future, boys and girls might read on their electronic devices about cavernous, well-air-conditioned, book-loaning storehouses from the past. They were called libraries.
...
Book reading devices such as the handheld iPad, the Amazon Kindle, or even a computer laptop, allow readers to download free library books without ever setting foot in a library."

So here is a newspaper, itself an industry on the brink of extinction, bitterly distracting its few final readers from that fact by attacking the local libraries as dinosaurs. Libraries, I should say, account for many of the print editions that the newspaper is still able to sell. Our library probably receives 40 copies of the daily Sun Sentinel. And yet you need to go down 27 paragraphs to get to this:

"The past five years in Palm Beach County have seen staggering growth: Circulation is up 36 percent, visitors 50 percent, and computer users 83 percent, according to the system's statistics."

You can almost hear the "wink, wink" that piggybacks onto the words, "according to the system's statistics," like libraries are making this stuff up. Thanks for the support.

Really, what does it cost to read an ebook, I mean a bestseller?

The Kindle is a minimum $139, but for that price you need a place with wifi to download a book. Add 3G for another $50 to truly be independent.

LISNews In the Forefront of Journalism

Saw "How to Open a New Book" in Boing Boing today...

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/09/06/how-to-open-a-new-bo.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_med...

via the "submitterater"

Link: http://lisnews.org/how_open_new_book (posted here on September 1; I found this on a facebook post by the Dusty Bookshelf)

New York's Mayor Suggests To a Reporter That He Visit the Library

...to read the Bill of Rights.

New York Times Cityroom Blog: On a campaign blitz on Tuesday, NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg was dogged by questions about the Islamic Community Center project near Ground Zero.

In Philadelphia, where he endorsed the Democratic candidate for Senate, Joe Sestak, he tersely told off a critic. “Look, I would suggest you go from here directly to the library. Get a copy of the Bill of Rights and you’ll realize that everybody has a right to say what they want to say.”

Mr. Bloomberg also fielded questions about the Islamic center, known as Park51, in Washington, where he traveled to back the re-election campaign of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. He ended the day with an appearance at a fund-raiser for Michael N. Castle, the Delaware Republican vying for a Senate seat.

The Islamic center is a thorny issue for national politicians, with recent polls showing that most Americans oppose its construction. [ed- I like what one commenter says about it - "As someone who lives and works in lower Manhattan, I’ve noticed that one’s hysteria over Park51 seems to be inversely proportional to one’s proximity to it."]

According to their website, the Park51 facility will include a library.

The economic impact of libraries

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Governing magazine has a good column this month on the positive economic impact of libraries: http://bit.ly/ajf6Eh

July 30, 1935: Penguins Invade Britain, Readers Rejoice

Todays <a href="http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/07/0730penguin-paperback-books/">This Day in Tech blog</a> from Wired relates how today Penguin publishes the first paperback books of substance, bringing the likes of Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie to the masses. "Allen Lane, then with publisher The Bodley Head, had spent the weekend at the country estate of celebrated mystery writer Agatha Christie.

JFK Library archives will go digital

According the <a href="http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2010/07/jfk_library_arc.html">Boston.com</a>, the digital archive will be launched on January 20, 2011, the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration. The Library is the first one to go from hard copy to digital. Of the 13 presidential libraries only two, Clinton’s and Bush’s, were “born” digital.

Chicago Library Responds To Fox News Story

Response from Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey to the so-called Fox news story by Anna Davlantes inquiring if libraries were no longer necessary.

Here's a snip: "I am astounded at the lack of understanding of public libraries that your Monday evening story, Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money? revealed. Public libraries are more relevant and heavily used today than ever before, and public libraries are one of the better uses of the taxpayers’ dollars. Let me speak about the Chicago Public Library which serves 12 million visitors per year. No other cultural, educational, entertainment or athletic organization in Chicago can make that claim.

The Chicago Public Library, through its 74 locations, serves every neighborhood of our city, is open 7 days per week at its three largest locations, 6 days per week at 71 branch libraries and 24/7 on its website which is filled with online research collections, downloadable content, reference help, and access to vast arrays of the Library’s holdings and info."

Experts To Russia: Forget Spies; Read The Newspaper

From an information literacy angle comes this story about Russia sending spies to find info that arguable could be easily found in other sources. Excerpt from story: "This reflected the mentality of the institution that is willing to spend millions and millions of dollars to get readily available information," Cohen says.

Maybe they need to hire a librarian.

Full piece on NPR

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Superman could fly into your town

Rather than traveling the galaxy defending the universe from dark forces, Superman may soon arrive in your hometown in a very pedestrian way.
As part of the Grounded story line that kicks off in July with issue No. 700 of DC Comics' Superman series, the Man of Steel will walk across the USA to reconnect with the everyday people he is committed to protecting.

The story may be fictional, but many of the places and people that Superman will visit are real. DC Comics is asking readers to write in and campaign for their towns and residents to be depicted in the 13-issue Superman series.

Series writer J. Michael Straczynski and DC's editorial team will select the featured locations.

"Because Superman is a symbol of hope, I wanted folks to have a chance to bring Superman into their town, into their neighborhood, in the pages of the book," Straczynski says.

Full article

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"Condiment Vandal" Busted Pouring Mayo into Book Drop

Via The Huffington Post:

"Authorities say a 74-year-old Boise woman arrested after pouring mayonnaise in the Ada County library's book drop box is a person of interest in at least 10 other condiment-related crimes.

Joy L. Cassidy was picked up Sunday at the library, moments after police say she pulled through the outside drive-through and dumped a jar of mayo in the box designated for reading materials."

[full story at the Huffington Post]

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Library of the Year: Columbus Ohio

Columbus’ public library system is getting the cover story treatment in an upcoming edition of Library Journal after being named library of the year by the trade publication.

Library Journal and educational publisher Gale disclosed Monday that the 21-branch Columbus Metropolitan Library system won the annual honor. The award will be presented at a June 27 reception at the ALA Annual in Washington, DC. The library also wins a $10,000 award and will be featured on the cover of the publication in its June 15 issue.

The publication said the honor goes each year to the library that “most profoundly demonstrates service to community, creativity and innovation in developing specific community programs and leadership in creating programs that can be emulated by others.” Singled out were the Columbus library’s homework help and job help centers, expanded in recent years as more unemployed Central Ohioans turn to the free service to help in the employment hunt.

Congratulations to the winning library!

LOC as Concert Hall and Sir Paul McCartney as Headliner

Paul McCartney confessed he was "slightly nervous" in the leadup to Wednesday's big concert at the White House, where President Barack Obama was presenting McCartney with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

An all-star cast lined up to perform at the East Room tribute concert, including the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Stevie Wonder and Jerry Seinfeld. Also to appear: Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, White Stripes singer and guitarist Jack White and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. McCartney himself was to perform as well.

McCartney, 67, is the third recipient of the Gershwin prize, awarded by the Library of Congress. It is named for the songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin, whose collections are housed at the library. Previous recipients of the Gershwin award are Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

McCartney played a private concert at the library on Tuesday, and said he'd grown up listening to music by the Gershwin brothers. Librarian of Congress James Billington credited McCartney for "symbolizing and humanizing the global soundscape," with his music and his activism around the world.

Those not lucky enough to snag tickets to the East Room gig can catch the concert July 28th, when it's televised on PBS' "In Performance at the White House." AP story.

Student Found Dead in Northwestern Library

Details about the death of School of Continuing Studies student Brian Tsay remained murky Monday, the day after a library staffer discovered the 25-year-old's body in a University Library bathroom according to a report in the Daily Northwestern.

The Northfield, Ill. native’s cause of death was unclear and pending toxicology results after an examination by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office Monday morning. A spokesman at the office said no determination would be made on the student’s death until test results are released; those reports usually take six to eight weeks, according to another spokeswoman. Both declined to be named.

Spokesmen from the Evanston Police Department, which investigates deaths on NU’s campus, were unavailable Monday, Memorial Day.

The library, 1970 Campus Drive, was closed Sunday and reopened Monday at 8:30 a.m.

May 25: Towel Day Honors Hitchhiker Author Adams

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Wired's <a href="http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/05/0525first-towel-day/">This Day in Tech blog</a> reminds us that today is Towel Day in honor of the late Douglas Adams; "Two weeks after the death of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, fans get together and celebrate May 25 as “Towel Day” in his memory. The tradition continues each year since." You also might want to take a look at the <a href="http://www.towelday.org/">Towel Day site.</a>

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