Renovation or Wreckage?

A library which underwent a £430,000 revamp has had to close after less than a week after cracks appeared in the building's ceiling.

The library in Euxton, Lancashire (UK), had reopened last Monday, but was forced to shut on Friday to enable essential repairs to take place.

Users have been told they can access services at other county libraries.

Julie Bell, from the Lancashire County Library and Information Service, said the closure was "regrettable". BBC reports.

Here's a press release announcing the improvements and re-opening before the cracks appeared.

No Images of Muhammad in New Book

The forthcoming book from Yale University Press, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” will NOT contain the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. A panel of diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism unanimously decided not to include the cartoons that are the main subject matter of the book.

New York Times reports.

One Country (New Zealand), One Story (a Kiwi Tale)

Cross-legged and hushed, 146 children waited for South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop to sit in his throne-like chair and read to them.

The pupils from Hawera and Mokoia Primary schools and other guests had gathered at Hawera Library to hear the mayor read to them as part of New Zealand's Biggest Storytime at Hawera Library.

At 10.30am yesterday special guests in libraries across the country simultaneously read Itiiti's Gift, written by Kiwi author Melanie Drewery.

Librarian Kaye Lally told the eager listeners they were taking part in something really special.

"There are lots of children listening to the same story all over New Zealand." Story about storytime during New Zealand Library Week from Stuff NZ.

New Chief for the New Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Interview with Dr. Sohair Wastawy, the new chief librarian, from Documentation Magazine. Below are some of the questions she is asked:

Dr. Wastawy, you have a privileged position as Chief librarian at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, could you tell us a little about yourself?

The New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is committed to evoking the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is much more than a library... What does it contain? What are the most important activities? What is your role as Chief Librarian?

Festival de la Cancion de Miami. MIAMI INTERNATIONAL SONG FESTIVAL 2009

Miami International Song Festival todo un éxito musical.
Miami se vistió de Gala para abrir sus puertas al Primer Festival Internacional de la Canción, el cual resultó ser todo un éxito musical. Los mejores cantautores del momento, de más de doce países, se reunieron en la Capital del Sol, para competir en una misma tarima, haciendo lucir sus voces y sus composiciones inéditas.
Entre las favoritas, la afamada chilena Carolina Soto, quien con su mágica y potente voz, obtuvo segundo lugar con el tema “Ahora” escrito por su compatriota el Dr. Alejandro Afani. Otro de los premiados fue el veterano Osvaldo Rodríguez, popular cantautor cubano quien se llevo dos trofeos, en composición y voz respectivamente y quien fue acogido con fuertes aplausos por la interpretación de su tema “Puesta de Sol”.
La sorpresa de la noche estuvo a cargo de un joven de solo 23 años, el español Juanjo López, originario de Lanzarote, Islas Canarias. El novato impresiono al público, con un estilo muy particular, fue comparado por muchos con Camilo Sesto o Rafael, reviviendo así la época en que los festivales hacían nacer nuevas estrellas. Juanjo arraso con los premios, Primer Lugar en voz, premio a la popularidad, otorgado por el público y Premio a la Mejor Canción con el tema “Vivo” del compositor cubano Alfonso Llorens.
Entre los expertos del jurado: Amaury Gutiérrez, quien presidio la votación, Malena Burke, Guillermo Albelo (creador del Festival Universong de Tenerife) y otros grandes de la música.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Lebanese Librarians Publish Book to Encourage Children to Read

BEIRUT, LEBANON: The Monnot Public Library just celebrated its first anniversary; a year dedicated to the promotion of reading among children. A textbook was released for the occasion, intended for librarians and teachers, “99 Recipes to Spice Up the Taste of Reading” (in Arabic I presume?).

The book aims at sharing a librarian’s experience with students. “I quickly realized that the sole presence of books wasn’t enough to get the pupils to read. The librarian plays a crucial role, [they are] the indispensable link between books and children,” explained Nawal Traboulsi, one of the authors.

But at first, it was difficult for her to find her place in the school’s hierarchy. “Librarians don’t have a defined role. They are neither teachers nor parents. Their relation with children is fundamentally different.”

A Solar Powered Library in Taipei

Taiwan has begun construction on a solar-powered library in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei and could benefit from new incentives designed to offer solar energy providers above-market prices for the energy they generate. Rooftop solar panels will provide electricity to the two-story building. Library users will also be able to enter the building and return and borrow books on a 24-hour basis using Easy Cards, a smartcard system used primarily to pay fares on Taipei's public transport system. Construction started last week and is expected to be finished by June 2010.

No Spitting @ Your Library

The unfortunate incident reported by Leigh Reporter (Southern Lancashire UK).

Oldest Christian Bible- Now Online

The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest surviving Christian Bible, dating from around 1,600 years ago. For all but 100 of those years, it sat in a monastery in Sinai.

800 pages of the book, written in Greek on parchment, are now available online for the world's perusal.

More on this story from the BBC site which includes an audio report about how the Codex was discovered and what it took to put it online.

Cuba Education Tours for Librarians

Marcel Hatch writes: We've just launched the website for our second annual Librarians, Writers and Bibliophiles Havana Book Fair Tour from February 13 to 20, 2010.

The tour attracts friends of the written word from North America and beyond and reviews all aspects of Cuban libraries, and literary and cultural production. The Havana book fair is the most important in Latin America.

Read what other librarians say about the tour at

This program is limited in size. Consider early registration in order to ensure your participation. The website is

Cuba Education Tours has six other island programs for 2009 and 2010.

They are among the few learning and cultural tours to Cuba of interest and licensable for American librarians.

Elaborate itineraries and details are available at

The tours are open to all, however our August program is nearly full.

EDUCATORS Teachers Introduction to Cuba Tour from August 1 to 8, 2009 is a comprehensive look at the island's education system and includes many cultural components as well as a look at ecology in Cuba. It is a favorite with educators and their partners.

BOOMERS Elder Cuba Friendship Tour from November 20 to 29, 2009 crosses the island from Havana to Santiago de Cuba. It's ten days to really get to know Cuba and its people. It's geared to the boomer generation, but is also an occasion for family travel.

The Decline and Fall of Books

The article is from May, but the discussion about the 'demise of books' is far from over.

From Times Online UK, writer Nicholas Clee [joint editor of the book industry newsletter BookBrunch and the author of Eclipse (Bantam Press)] examines the recent phenomena (e-books, the Espresso Book Machine, the closing of many traditional bookstores, etc). that has lead to what some may consider to be 'the decline and fall of books' (or 'tree books' as I like to call them).

A Father's Day Display in the U.K.

Talk about bad taste.

The Bookseller (UK)reports that two large British bookstores, W H Smith and Tesco have both been criticised for promoting a book on Josef Fritzl in their Father's Day selections. WHS has apologised, while Tesco has now said it was a "mistake".

The Evening Standard reports that high street chain WHS apologised after shoppers at the Lewisham branch were shocked to see The Crimes of Josef Fritzl (Harper Element) in a Top 50 Books for Dad display. A spokeswoman for WH Smith apologised saying it was "a mistake by one store". She added: "It is not national policy. We will rectify this immediately."

Don't forget Dad this Father's Day...what are you getting him? A tree book? An audio book? A Kindle? Reading glasses? Give us your ideas.

Ontario Proposal For Library Filters

A private member's bill has put forward at Queen's Park, home to the provincial legislature for the Canadian province of Ontario. The bill by Gerry Martiniuk is said to propose requiring Internet filtering at libraries in the province. The summary note prepared by staff at the provincial legislature discusses in simplified terms what the bill proposes. According to the status report on the bill, it has only had its first reading in the legislative process. Martiniuk's statement upon introducing the bill is available online.

(h/t Connie Crosby)

United Nations Launches "University of the People"

The UN Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology and Development announced recently the launch of the University of the People. In a quiet launch missed by some, the new institution will be a distance learning provider. As a new institution, it is presently working towards accreditation.

(h/t National Review Online)

Angels & Demons Banned In The Independent State of Samoa

In the Independent State of Samoa, not to be confused with the Territory of American Samoa where the First Amendment comes into play, the country's lead censor has banned the screening of Angels & Demons in the capital Apia. The censor's reason for doing so, according to Radio New Zealand International, is that the film is critical of the church so to prevent discrimination against the church by others the ban is put into play. This is in contrast to the Associated Press reporting that L'Osservatore Romano, the newspaper of the Vatican city-state, had deemed the film "harmless".

In other news from the Samoan archipelago, Radio New Zealand International reports that television reality series Survivor will be filming in the Independent State of Samoa next month. For contestants wanting to escape to a US jurisdiction, ferry service is available on Wednesdays.

Govt college libraries lack buildings and librarians

News out of India: More than 50 per cent of the government first grade college libraries in Karnataka are functioning without librarians. Not just this, many of these libraries do not have their own buildings. “A few racks of books are kept inside the principal’s chamber and the college clerk maintains the books,” a student from another government college said.

Ruth Padel, First Woman Chosen As Oxford Professor of Poetry

First a filly wins the Preakness, and now, a 301-year male only streak is broken with the appointment of Ruth Padel as the new Oxford professor of poetry, the first woman to hold the post since it was established in 1708. Ms. Padel, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, was chosen on Saturday following a controversial contest for the position.

The controversy surrounding the contest was the withdrawal of another candidate, Derek Walcott, after news surfaced about sexual harassment claims made against him by a Harvard student in 1982. A dossier containing the details had been sent anonymously to 200 Oxford academics. Mr. Walcott’s withdrawal left Ms. Padel and the Indian poet and critic Arvind Mehrotra in consideration.

Story from The New York Times.

World Digital Library Mentioned on BBC Radio 5's "Pods & Blogs"

The crew at BBC Radio 5 Live's program "Pods & Blogs" had a representative from LC appear on their current program to talk about the World Digital Library project.

The episode can be downloaded here:

At this point, they do not have a show notes post up. Then again, their program just aired less than 24 hours ago. No transcripts are known to be available.

Fijian Censorship Update

Following up on the discussion in LISTen 68, reporting by Radio New Zealand International notes that military-backed censors are supervising newsrooms in Fiji.

A territorial delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is now advising US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the matter.

Chinese writers fail to find global voice

Hobbled by censorship at home and ignorance of China abroad, Chinese writers are failing to make a major impact globally, 90 years after a landmark literary revolution.


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