Libraries

Libraries

There’s a Library in Vancouver Full of Hundreds of Books That Have Never Been Published, And Never Will Be

These shelves exist because poet and novelist Richard Brautigan described a library of unpublished books in his 1971 novel, The Abortion: An Historical Romance. And 27 years ago in Vermont, a man named Todd Lockwood decided he would create the library for real. Lockwood fielded submissions from as far away as Saudia Arabia but in 1995, he ran out of money. The collection was orphaned until 2010, when John Barber, a Brautigan scholar, arranged to have the library brought to a new Vancouver home.
From There’s a Library in Vancouver Full of Hundreds of Books That Have Never Been Published, And Never Will Be - Willamette Week
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Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong

“How do you do inventory if you can’t close the library because you’re letting kids take books out for the summer?” The criticism in the other school librarian’s voice was not even trying to veil itself behind a smile. “I don’t do inventory,” I admitted. “I mean, there were some kids eating lunch in the library a couple years ago, and they asked if they could take books out for the summer, and that got me thinking…” My voice trailed off at the sight of her expression. “They eat lunch in the library?” she asked. I suddenly found myself, once again, under the weight of heavy judgment. I am always doing things “wrong” in the library. But sometimes it’s worth doing the wrong things for the right reasons–especially when our right reasons are our students Full article
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Do 20 pages of a book gives you 90% of its words?

My English teacher claimed, that if I survive the first 20 pages of any book, the reading will get much easier because the words that occurred on those pages constitute 90% of all words in the book. So after you reach this threshold you don’t have to go back and forth to the dictionary. Was he right? (TLDR: Kind of.)
From Do 20 pages of a book gives you 90% of its words? – Vocapouch
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What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us?

According to scholar Christine Jenkins, people who try to censor texts often hold a set of false assumptions about how reading works. One of those assumptions is that particular literary content (like positive portrayals of witchcraft) will invariably produce particular effects (more witches in real life). Another is that reactions to a particular text are likely to be consistent across readers. In other words, if one reader finds a passage scary, funny or offensive, the assumption is that other readers invariably will do so as well.
From What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us? - Salon.com

Company removed LNG pipeline documents from Oregon public libraries

"In my position as reference librarian, I'm completely bipartisan and can't take sides. My job is to make public information available to my community. It is my job to serve Jordan Cove and the anti-LNG community. We represent all viewpoints," he said. "What I'm most upset about is the unprofessional way the materials were taken."
From Pamplin Media Group - Company removed LNG pipeline documents from public libraries
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Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest

To that end, when designing for the future, perhaps the most important feature of all is not an architectural element, but the site itself. In recent years, both the NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library have addressed funding shortages by selling off branches in pricey neighborhoods and replacing them with smaller, partially subterranean libraries in the base of the towers that take their place. The new 53rd Street library, for example, which New York architecture critic Justin Davidson referred to as “a sleek but shrunken pit” may have many clever elements, but lacks the light and space of its predecessor.
From Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest
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Ukrainian Librarian Punished for Not Sticking to the Party Line

Interesting story from the New York Times last week.

MOSCOW — A Russian court on Monday sentenced a former director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow to a four-year suspended prison term for inciting hatred toward Russians and embezzling public funds, in a case that her lawyers described as an attack on cultural figures with ties to Ukraine.

The court ruled that Natalia G. Sharina (whose library has since been closed) purchased anti-Russian books and other materials and put them on the library’s shelves to help Ukrainian nationalists get a foothold in Moscow. Her lawyers said that they would appeal the sentence in Russian courts and also seek redress in the European Court of Human Rights.

When in Rome...

...visit a library! Not only a feast for the mind but also for the eye.

New York Times has a lovely feature on Italian libraries and their treasures, inside and out.

The Cruelest Cut

The Missoulian has a report on the slashing of the budget for Talking Books in Montana libraries.

The proposed cuts merge the Talking Book Library and eliminate the program’s director and one of three reader’s advisers.

What should we keep?

In which John looks at the one photograph of his 23-year-old self, considers what to keep from life, and wonders what (if anything) from nerdfighteria should be professionally archived. Also considered: Whether there will be humans for much longer, digitial archiving efforts, and what pictures do.

John was contacted by a librarian and that is one reason behind the creation of this video.

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The Denver Library--An Unofficial Homeless Shelter?

From Colorado Public Radio a piece about the main library and how staff are trying to safeguard library visitors.

One person recently died in the library bathroom from a drug overdose. That inspired the library to began a program to instruct staff how to administer the drug antidote, Narcan.

"A lot of the root causes of the behaviors that are finding their way through our doors are happening throughout Denver, and that's daunting,” said Chris Henning, communications manager for the Denver Public Library. “We're trying to do what we can do specifically for our facilities to make sure they're safe. And at the same time, help the city address these bigger problems. These societal problems however we can to try and make an impact on that, because they're just coming at us at a rate that we have not seen before."

Library Brings Drag Queens, Kids Together for Story Hour

It takes a certain something to be a good storyteller: enthusiasm, timing and a flair for the dramatic. Performers at a children's story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some — they're drag queens. About once a month since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library has been presenting Drag Queen Story Hour, where performers with names such as Lil Miss Hot Mess and Ona Louise regale an audience of young children and their parents.
From Library Brings Drag Queens, Kids Together for Story Hour - The New York Times
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NYC libraries plagued by leaky roofs, poor electrical systems, report says

A report set to be released by the three city library systems Monday highlights some of the worst conditions at branches across the boroughs and expresses hope the city will provide some relief. The 15-page report, “Time to Renew,” says despite a $300 million capital infusion from the recent budget, several branches in the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public library systems are still suffering severe infrastructure problems.
From NYC libraries plagued by leaky roofs, poor electrical systems, report says | am New York
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The Collector’s Fallacy: Why We Gather Things (like books) We Don’t Need

Buying books does not equal reading books. We all know that. Yet, so many end up victims of tsundoku anyway. Why? One problem, I think, is that collecting feels like learning. Each time we discover a new productivity toy, internet article or bestselling book, our brain sends us a jolt of dopamine (our brain’s “reward” hormone) for doing nothing at all. Ahh, says our brain, a job well done.
From The Collector’s Fallacy: Why We Gather Things We Don’t Need
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A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them

Marx is currently on the look-out for some creative ways to not fine kids, but still hold them accountable. One idea he's toying with: put a hold on a child's account until they simply return their overdue materials, no fines involved. Five years ago, Marx granted city-wide amnesty to children with fines, and he says they saw 80,000 kids return to the library over time. Now, he's trying to secure a $10 million endowment to get rid of fines in perpetuity.
From A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them - WNYC News - WNYC

Ancient Library Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last

The 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius is most famous for burying Pompeii, spectacularly preserving many artifacts—and residents—in that once bustling town south of Naples. The tumbling clouds of ash also entombed the nearby resort of Herculaneum, which is filled with its own wonders. During excavations there in 1752, diggers found a villa containing bundles of rolled scrolls, carbonized by the intense heat of the pyroclastic flows and preserved under layers of cement-like rock. Further digs showed that the scrolls were part of an extensive library, earning the structure the name Villa of the Papyri.
From Ancient Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last | History | Smithsonian
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Libraries aren't simply city buildings; they're community building blocks

Think about it: a library isn’t just a place where thousands of books are housed on plain shelves with a dusty card catalogue squeaking every time someone opens a wooden drawer. Libraries are public community centres: gathering places for all. In fact, a library is one of the most accessed free public services around anywhere … period. I’m hard-pressed to think of anything else that comes close.
From Libraries aren't simply city buildings; they're community building blocks | Commentary | St. Albert Gazette
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At San Diego's libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots

“I want people to think about the library as, ‘This is a place where I can go and there are no limits to what I can learn,’” said library director Misty Jones. “I want people to think of us first when they are looking for something cool to do on the weekend or something cool to do at night. I want people to pay attention to what we’re doing because we’re on to something.”
From At San Diego's libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots - The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Why Aren't More Big Donors Giving to Public Libraries?

Which often leads us to wonder: Why don't we see more gifts to libraries? Sure, we've seen some such gifts, but not many as you might think at a moment when so many new donors are showing up in philanthropy, looking for places where their money might make an impact. Libraries could certainly use a boost. In many cities and towns, public libraries are hurting because of budgetary cutbacks—and more cuts may be on the way with the Trump administration targeting federal library funding. 
From Why Aren't More Big Donors Giving to Public Libraries? — Inside Philanthropy
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Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral

Neutrality doesn’t encourage our critical thinking; it doesn’t ask us to question facts that are wrong, or behaviors that are prejudiced. By this measure, neutrality doesn’t necessarily reveal injustice but further entrenches it, which is ironic.
From Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral | Literary Hub
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