Follow us on
Connect

Library

National digital library endowment proposal makes Education Week
May 13, 2015 | 6:25 pm

edWeekEndowmentLibraryCity’s proposal for a national digital library endowment has now made the leading publication in the field of K-12 education---not just philanthropy (Chronicle of Philanthropy) and libraries (Library Journal). Education Week has published a 1,300-word essay with a home-page link. Also to be reproduced in the print edition, the article is a collaboration between me and Jim Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Library Consortium. Jim is offering his personal views. The beginning: As a boy, Warren Buffett is said to have read book after book on money. Thankfully, he did not live in Los Angeles and rely on the library at Roy Romer Middle...

Budapest’s beautiful libraries
May 9, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Budapest, where I live - and love - has some amazing libraries, as it turns out. Showcased courtesy of Welovebudapest.com, here are just a few of them. Probably the most stunning is the Szabó Ervin Library, a family-friendly venue which just happens to house the most incredible neo-Baroque interior imaginable. Or for something a little more austere, but still magnificent, how about the National Technical Information Centre and Library at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (above). Or, similarly monumental, the Library of the School of English and American Studies and the Library of the Institute of German Studies at...

The last online library you will ever need: Borges’s Library of Babel lives
April 28, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Flavorwire has just published an interview with the creator of the ultimate library - of a very particular kind. That's Brooklyn author Jonathan Basile, who has taken it upon himself to recreate online the actual library in the classic Jorge Luis Borges fiction from 1941, “The Library of Babel.” That enigmatic parable deals with a universe made up entirely of hexagonal rooms, each with four walls of bookshelves, containing volumes filled with every possible combination of 22 letters, plus period, comma, and space. As described, the Library of Babel could never exist as a real location - in fact, it essentially...

Yale gets into the VHS age
April 20, 2015 | 10:25 am

vhs The Yale University Library and its Information Technology Services division has now assembled, as part of its Film Study Center's Video Collection, an archive of over 6500 VHS tapes that form a homage to the age of scuzz. Thanks to the diligent work of Yale librarian David Gary, scholars and students can now delve into such cultural treasures as I Spit On Your Grave or Toxic Zombies, or others that first helped define the category "straight to video." What's more, these films are not simply being digitized, but are actually being preserved as physical artifacts, in homage to what Gary defined...

The ALA’s latest list of shame – no, not that kind of shame
April 15, 2015 | 10:25 am

Book_Challenges_infographic-2000 The American Library Association (ALA) has just released its latest The State of America’s Libraries Report , which as well as much other useful and valuable pro-library information, includes its annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books. I'd go into considerable detail on this Top Ten, but the ALA has spared me the effort with this wonderful infographic. Beautiful artwork, but sobering reading - except that reading is the last thing that the challengers would want you to be able to do with these titles. "In 2014, the OIF received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials...

Phoenix Public Library shows how wonderful public libraries are – pay your fines in food
April 14, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Phoenix Public Library seems to have gone out of its way to re-energize the spirit of public service in public libraries, for another year running. For the next fortnight, it's arranged for library users to pay their library fines in non-perishable food instead of cash, with the ... ahem ... proceeds to go straight to local food banks and poor relief charities. Under the "Food for Fines" scheme, "Library customers can pay overdue fees and help restock the pantries of Valley food banks during Phoenix Public Library’s annual 'Food for Fines,' April 11-25. During 'Food for Fines,' 50 cents will be deducted...

Simon & Schuster, Brian Grazer announce ebook giveaway for libraries
April 11, 2015 | 2:25 pm

The American Library Association has just shared the news from Simon & Schuster "that it will donate a free ebook copy of Brian Grazer’s new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life to libraries for every ebook or hardcover book sold at retail, up to 5,000 copies," hailing this as "a momentous move for libraries." The book, coauthored by journalist Charles Fishman, details "the weekly 'curiosity conversations' that have inspired Grazer to create some of America’s favorite, iconic movies and television shows—including 24 and A Beautiful Mind." The promotion will continue through National Library Week (April 12–18). “From our first...

ALA awards Lemony Snicket Prize to Ferguson public librarian
March 26, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The American Library Association has announced the award of the the second annual Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity to Scott Bonner, director of the Ferguson Public Library in Missouri. The award, co-founded by Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket books, and "co-administered by ALA’s Governance Office and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, annually recognizes and honors a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact." Bonner was honored for his work in keeping the Ferguson Public Library open in August 2014 during the riots and other unrest which followed the shooting of unarmed teenager Mike...

Toronto Public Library Scraps Used Book Buying Program
March 26, 2015 | 10:25 am

toronto public libraryI reported in January about a Toronto Public Library program which was attracting some controversy---they were trying to buy used best-seller books off of patrons in an effort to affordably meet the demand for these popular titles. The Toronto Star is among several media outlets reporting that this program is now being scrapped---but not from the controversy alone, apparently. Rather, it is in part because patrons did not have enough books to sell them. From the article: Bowles said the program’s inefficiency, and not the ire of writers, was the deciding factor in shuttering the pilot project. Members of the public sold...

Britain’s disgrace – James Patterson is UK’s most borrowed author
February 18, 2015 | 10:25 am

Just when I thought the British Isles could serve up no deeper, more bitter cup of ignominy and disgrace, I have to reveal - to my undying shame - that the UK's most borrowed author from public libraries, for the eighth year running, is James Patterson. That's according to the latest data from the UK Public Lending Right scheme at least. Administered by the British Library, the PLR "gives authors the legal right to receive payment from government each time their books are loaned through the public library system" - a payment currently running at 6.66 pence (10 cents) per book. Only,...

Leeds Central Library hosts Hogwarts
February 17, 2015 | 10:25 am

In an event that recalls the grand relocation of Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute; at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Hogwarts comes to Central Library" in Leeds on February 17th, in time for the UK schools half term. "Experience something magical at Central Library this half term," says the announcement. "Join us for a Harry Potter themed afternoon where you will take a trip around this historical building and explore its creepy corridors. Learn to brew potions and play Quidditch with some very special guests." Leeds Central Library, with its Grade II listed building status and late...

National Libraries Day cites decline in UK libraries
February 11, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The UK's National Libraries Day on February 7th passed off with some sad testaments to the protracted collapse of the British library sector, as well as events and statements in favor and defense of libraries from across the country. As children's author Cathy Cassidy says on the National Libraries Day blog, "sadly, many of us no longer have a local library to visit or celebrate. Over 300 libraries have closed in the UK in the last four years; hundreds more have been passed out of council control and into the hands of private ‘partners’ or community volunteers. With promises that the next...