Submitted by birdie on March 1, 2010 - 7:17pm
Learned about the February 22 opening of the new "EPFL" Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne here in Book Patrol, and researched further to find the website, here.
Light is brought in through the Swiss-cheese holes in the roof, and the pristine whiteness of the concrete surfaces creates a snowy plane, airy, bright, and infinite. The result is a communal space without fixed function. A softly curvy, feminine expanse without hierarchies or straight lines. A series of calm and silent connected spaces created to nurture collaboration, communication, and cooperation over competition. Library, offices, restaurants, and auditoriums are harmoniously linked between a cloud-like canopy above, and a floor that gently rises and falls like a living organism as it inhales and exhales. "Human movements are not linear like in a train, but curve in a more organic way," said architect Ryue Nishizawa, one-half of the Japanese architectural team SANAA, explaining his vision. "With straight lines we only create crossroads, but with curves we can create more diverse interactions."
Submitted by birdie on February 28, 2010 - 6:34pm
Have you read an e-book yet? Do you think it means the end of bookshops and libraries as we know them? Will book people have to turn into e-book people to meet the brave new world? It's all a bit early to say.
I [Philip Harvey, see below] haven't read an e-book and when asked by borrowers if I feel that my profession of librarian is under threat, I ask them if they themselves have used an e-book. No, is the consistent reply. But they know chapter and verse about the developments, usually from what they have seen on the internet. The new slimline gadgets can display everything a text maniac wants to get their hands on. Or so it seems.
More on ebooks, Google, digitisation, and the Information Revolution from Philip Harvey, President of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association in Australia's Eureka Street.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on February 26, 2010 - 7:53am
From the article:
Six book publishers have gained an injunction against file-hosting company, RapidShare. The Swiss-based ‘cyberlocker’ service must monitor user uploads to ensure that around 148 titles, many of them textbooks, are never made available to its users. Failure to do so could result in $339,000 fines, or even jail time for company bosses.
For those who don't know, RapidShare is site where one can upload files for off-site storage and distribution. It's that "distribution" that it's well known for as thousands of people upload larger files to the service with the intention of allowing others to download. Though it's well known in certain circles for hosting pirated content, it's strange that the first shot fired against it should come from the publishing industry rather than the recording or motion picture industries.
More from TorrentFreak.
Submitted by birdie on February 25, 2010 - 11:36am
Decades of civil strife have left their mark on Jaffna, the heartland of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. Bombed-out buildings are a reminder of the fierce battles waged over the historic city.
The most potent symbol of the struggle, and the uneasy peace since fighting ended last May, is Jaffna’s public library, which was torched in 1981 by an anti-Tamil mob. Nearly 100,000 books and manuscripts, including irreplaceable palm-leaf Tamil texts, went up in smoke. It was an act of cultural vandalism that fed the Tamil resistance movement.
Eventually the library was rebuilt by Sri Lanka’s government and reopened in 2003. It has plenty of new books in Tamil and English on its wooden shelves. But restoring the spirit of the library presents a far greater challenge, says the chief librarian, S. Thanabaalasinham.
C.S. Monitor has the full story.
Submitted by birdie on February 19, 2010 - 12:21pm
...the definitive sexy librarian...
PARIS — France's national library has acquired the memoirs of Casanova, a moving narrative written in French by the 18th century Venetian-born lothario. Times Online reports.
The memoirs, "The Story of My Life," had been in the hands of one of Germany's most prominent publishing families for nearly two centuries.
The manuscript was acquired by the Brockhaus family in 1820, hidden by Frederic-Arnold Brockhaus during World War II, then carried by an American military truck in 1945 out of Leipzig. It was finally published in 1960.
...it seems there's quite a bit he scratched out...
The manuscript was donated to the French National Library. Casanova, who was born in 1725, wrote his memoirs between 1789 and 1798, the year of his death. Here...a bit excerpted:
"(I have had) exploits with 120 women and girls, including a nun. As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it."
Submitted by birdie on February 17, 2010 - 8:08am
BBC reports: Sculptor Martin Jennings has been chosen to produce a bronze statue of the poet Philip Larkin for the Paragon Interchange in Hull.
Jennings was one of three sculptors invited by the Philip Larkin Society to submit designs for the artwork. Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years before his death in 1985, combined a celebrated writing career with his role as librarian at Hull University.
Designs by sculptors Graham Ibbeson and Jemma Pearson were also considered.
Jennings' work includes the statue of poet St John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London. He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been commissioned to make this sculpture of one of Britain's greatest poets.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on February 16, 2010 - 12:32pm
IREX announces a unique opportunity for three Library and Information Science graduate students with an international orientation to take part in a fellowship focused on impact assessment and community building in two national library development programs in Romania and Ukraine.
The selected fellows will serve for three months during the summer of 2010 in the Washington, DC headquarters office of IREX and visit one of the participating countries for one to two weeks during the summer for hands-on research.
Submitted by birdie on February 10, 2010 - 12:26pm
Dewey was a great one, but he will not be the only cat to be remembered in a book. Such a fellow was Plymouth U.K.'s Casper, who sadly was run over by a car while crossing the road to queue up for his daily bus ride last month.
Casper was an amazing cat who fancied himself a daily commuter. His life on the buses came to international attention last year. It turned out that for four years he had been riding the no 3 bus, passing the Devon city's historic dockyard and naval base, en route. He tended to curl up on a seat or sometimes purr around fellow passengers' legs, all the way to the final stop, stay on and make the return journey. Drivers got used to letting him off at the correct stop.
Owner Susan Finden, 65, said she would be donating any money she makes from the book to animal charities. She said: 'It's lovely to think he will go on in memories - and with this book his story will live on forever. The book will be published by Simon & Schuster next summer.
More on Casper in The Guardian and The Bookseller UK.
Submitted by birdie on February 9, 2010 - 3:34pm
Dateline JOHANNESBURG: Here's an update from News 24 about the burning of the Balfour Library.
Protesters have torched a library in an impoverished area of South Africa in what began as a march to call for more jobs. The South African Press Association says Tuesday's attack came on the third day of violent protests in Siyathemba, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Johannesburg. Story from AP.
This article from Spero News lends some detail to the situation in South Africa, where refugees and immigrants, particularly Ethiopians, are the object of attack by the local population.
Submitted by birdie on February 6, 2010 - 9:11pm
Political espionage author and journalist Henry Porter solemnly points out: "To begin to write a book these days seems more than the average folly. Publishing appears to have been hit by a storm similar to the one that tore through the music industry a few years ago and is now causing unprecedented pain in newspapers We are told that fewer people are reading, that book sales are down, that the supermarkets which sell one in five copies of all books care more about their cucumber sales, that the book is shortly to be replaced by the ebook and electronic readers sold by, among others, Amazon, which seems bent on reducing publishers to an archipelago of editorial sweatshops and the writer to the little guy stitching trainers in an airless room.
Publishing seems to be one of the great mysteries of commerce. Despite the large numbers involved – a total of £1.752bn was spent on 235.7m books in 2009 in the UK, that's nearly four books for every man woman and child – the business today is a testament to self-deprecation, with only a few people willing to assert the unique value of books and their content."
More from the Guardian Observer.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on January 26, 2010 - 5:10pm
Police captured fugitive former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo in the northern part of the country on Tuesday, a day after U.S. prosecutors indicted him on charges of laundering money stolen from foreign donations meant to buy children's library books. <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122991021&ft=1&f=1001">NPR</a>
Submitted by birdie on January 25, 2010 - 2:27pm
After the earthquake that struck the Port-au-Prince region on Tuesday, January 12, Libraries Without Borders affirms its solidarity with the people of Haiti. LWB and its French affiliate, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, are involved in a number of projects in the capital and throughout the country. A new container of academic books was scheduled to make its way from France to the Université d'Etat d'Haïti in mid-January.
Many buildings have been destroyed. The Ecole Normale Supérieure, a main partner of Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, is reported to have collapsed. After the relief deployed by various countries and humanitarian organizations reaches Haiti, the country's need to rebuild its educational and cultural structures will be enormous. Libraries Without Borders is prepared to support the reconstruction effort.
More information about their partnership programs and events at the website.
Submitted by Lee Hadden on January 19, 2010 - 9:10am
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/16/AR2010011602583.html?sub=AR">The Washington Post has an interesting article </a>about rescued Jewish books and other materials from Iraq. "Iraq reclaims a Jewish history it once shunned." By REBECCA SANTANA, Sunday, January 17, 2010; 12:16 AM
BAGHDAD -- It was seized from Jewish families and wound up soaking in sewage water in the basement of a secret police building.
Submitted by birdie on January 17, 2010 - 8:47am
From the embattled frontline of the Anglo-American books world there seems to be nothing but bad news. Borders has fallen. Waterstone's, once a mighty citadel, is beseiged. Well-known literary agents are scurrying round town in search of life-saving mergers. Advances have hit rock bottom. The celebrity memoir is going the way of the dodo. The ebook is the future. Libraries, comprehensively digitised by Google, have become mausoleums of an ossifying tradition.
But in his column in Guardian UK, columnist Robert McCrum finds the upside of publishing in 2010. He tells us that all is not lost; that the magic of the English language has gone beyond all those locations where the sun never sets and has completely encircled and embraced the globe. The emergence of English as a global communications phenomenon with a supra-national momentum that gives it an independence from its Anglo-American roots is at once thrilling and decisive.
Submitted by Jay on January 16, 2010 - 4:42pm
The aim of ROAR is to promote the development of open access by providing timely information about the growth and status of repositories throughout the world. Open access to research maximises research access and thereby also research impact, making research more productive and effective.
Submitted by birdie on January 14, 2010 - 3:19pm
Enter exhibition here. Enjoy the elaborate virtual reality exhibition, and follow Yeats development as a poet, a playwright and writer of prose. The National Library of Ireland has the largest collection of Yeats manuscripts in the world, many contributed over the years by his widow and by his son.
Submitted by birdie on January 12, 2010 - 5:01pm
The Gates Foundation will help the University of Illinois train librarians from around the world. The two-year $484,000 contract with the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will support a training program for public librarians in other countries.
The Mortenson Center has already worked with librarians from more than 80 countries, and the money will expand that work to two more nations selected by the foundation, said Barbara Ford, director of the Mortenson Center. Report from The News Gazette.
The Global Libraries initiative works with countries that demonstrate a need and a readiness to help public libraries provide free access to computers and the Internet, and training on how to make use of these tools.
For the current project, the foundation is looking at Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Chile, Mexico and Botswana.
The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs is the only one of its kind in the world and was established in 1991. It is a nondegree program that seeks to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians, regardless of geographic location or access to technology.
Submitted by Lee Hadden on December 15, 2009 - 2:25pm
<a href="http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article6956510.ece">The Times has an interesting article today</a> on British soldiers in Afghanistan who read stories to their children back home. December 15, 2009. "In Afghanistan, our boys are reading from the front;
Fighting overseas doesn’t stop British soldiers telling their children bedtime stories." by Helen Rumbelow.
Andi Gray is married to the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
Submitted by Jay on December 5, 2009 - 11:54pm
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on December 3, 2009 - 5:16pm
The incoming chair of the Petroleum & Energy Resources Division [DPER] of SLA dropped us a link to an interesting librarian.
<blockquote>This is the story of a struggling librarian from Uganda, Africa and how the Petroleum & Energy Division [DPER] of SLA has sponsored his membership in SLA and now DPER is fundraising to help bring Stephen Kizza to the 2010 SLA meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The division board members feel that this very positive story demonstrates the power of SLA networking and how SLA members help one another.