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Maine library declines Rick Hautala archive, citing resources
April 18, 2014 | 6:05 pm

You'd think that birthing American horror's favorite son would give a U.S. state a broad institutional commitment to supporting the horror genre and honoring its local exponents. Well, apparently not. Because a library in Maine has declined the bequest of the archive of local horror writer Rick Hautala, citing lack of resources to properly support and maintain it. As reported in the Portland Press Herald, Stephen King's home town journal, Hautala's widow is upset that his gift of his archive has been turned down by the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, Maine. "Holly Newstein-Hautala offered Rick’s archives—manuscripts, letters, etc.—to the Walker Memorial...

The limits of “Hack the library”: Don’t aim for too much more with too much less—and try harder for more
April 18, 2014 | 10:25 am

Hack the LibraryLess than 12 percent of U.S. public library spending goes for books and other items. Doubt the need for “hacking the library” through ingenious tech upgrades and reinvention of processes, missions and plenty else? I don’t. Nor do the organizers of the 29th Computers in Libraries conference named after the magazine. Much to their credit, this Information Today event borrowed from the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and made “Hack the library” the theme at a gathering of well over 1,000 library professionals at the Washington Hilton. A keynoter, the ever-stimulating David Weinberger, lab co-director, told them April 7: “Libraries are getting squeezed a...

UK Shadow Culture Minister plays Robin Hood against Lincolnshire library cuts
April 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Helen Goodman, UK Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, has joined Minnie Driver and others in the campaign in Lincolnshire against closure of two thirds of the county's libraries. As reported in the Lincolnshire Echo, she condemned the plans of Conservative-led Lincolnshire County Council as "disgraceful." Dressed in Lincoln green, or something like, Helen Goodman reportedly declared that "Local libraries are central to our societies, offering a safe place for all ... They are investments in our future through the communities they nurture and skills they foster." A full video of her appearance is available here. Helen Goodman came at the...

Telephone box libraries in UK unite two obsolete services – or not
April 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

telephone boxWhatever your feelings about the future prospects of print book libraries, there is no doubt that they are anything but the cutting edge of library services. And the same can be said of public telephone call boxes. So it is a tad heartening to see several instances in the UK of people repurposing the iconic red telephone box, now just about as dated as the original Dr Who Tardis, as miniature local libraries and book exchanges. The latest is in Lewisham in London, making it the smallest library in the capital, but others have been sighted in Essex and Derbyshire, and...

CILIP confirms libraries endorsement of new UK intellectual property rules
April 2, 2014 | 10:30 am

copyrightThe Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) has just added its overall endorsement to the new changes to UK copyright law, confirming the overall positive reception of the new rules from library professionals. In a CILIP-hosted briefing on the issue, Annie Mauger, CILIP Chief Executive, said: "The Libraries & Archives Copyright Alliance, supported by CILIP, have worked tirelessly for over twenty years advocating for much-needed reform ... The reforms are extremely good news for the library and information profession and all the people that use our services. We will continue to work closely with the Intellectual Property Office...

British Library IP head details impact of new UK copyright rules
March 31, 2014 | 6:25 pm

librariesBenjamin White, Head of Intellectual Property at the British Library, has produced an extremely detailed guide to the implications of the changes of UK copyright law for libraries and for the general public in Britain. And this guide has been made available through the website of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), who have of course an immediate professional interest in the topic. "The proposed drafts go a significant way towards making UK copyright law 'format neutral', meaning that the law will now recognise for example that those doing research and personal study are just as likely to...

Harvard uncovers its (human) hidebound collections
March 29, 2014 | 12:30 pm

The Harvard Crimson, college newspaper of Harvard College, shared a report that may make some more anxiously await the final ebook takeover. Because there's always the risk in a print library of one day laying your hands on a book bound in human skin. The practice of binding books in human skin is known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, and is definitely recognized, though rare. Ivy League schools, for some reason, are especially associated with it - which perhaps explains something about those Skull and Bones urban legends. The book illustrated here, though, is from England, bound in the skin of Father Henry Garnet,...

Stellar Libraries head calls for more promotion for UK libraries
March 28, 2014 | 6:26 pm

Amid all the bad news about the UK library system, an article has appeared in The Guardian arguing that "The survival of libraries lies in positive promotion." Good sentiments - although in this case they come from the head of a creative agency that apparently exists for the express purpose of promoting libraries. "The way we market and promote our national library service is one of the areas that drastically needs to change if we are to give libraries any sort of long-term future. But it's not the only area that needs improvement," asserts Andy Ryan, director of Stellar Libraries CIC and...

CILIP warns UK Sieghart review of “postcode lottery” in library services
March 24, 2014 | 3:50 pm

The UK's Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has just announced the completion of its submission to the panel chaired by "philanthropist, entrepreneur and publisher William Sieghart" tasked with producing an "independent report on England’s public library service." And the announcement warns that: "the current service is in England is becoming a 'postcode lottery' and a patchwork of provision is evolving depending on where you live." CILIP is obviously deeply concerned about the de facto retreat from established - and statutory - obligations for free and universal library services in the UK. "The government must identify a roadmap for...

NYPL launches new book recommendation tool online
March 24, 2014 | 1:53 pm

book recommendation toolThe New York Public Library has introduced a book recommendation tool for its online catalog. The recommendations will factor in searches by the user using tags and keywords, according to Gigaom. The NYPL has partnered with Zola Books’ Bookish. The recommendations will be based on book data instead of user data. If a user searches for a specific book, they will get a list of recommendations based on factors of that book (not the user) The NYPL had offered recommendations based on titles other users were interested in. This change will gear books more toward the individual user rather than what’s popular now. This...

Lincolnshire libraries campaigners secure judicial review of spending cuts
March 20, 2014 | 2:45 pm

librariesThe campaign to save Lincolnshire libraries, which secured the support of Minnie Driver and other illustrious figures in the UK, appears to have won a major victory in its attempts to stop Lincolnshire County Council from cutting library funding by up to £2 million ($3.32 million). As reported in the Lincolnshire Echo, "the judge decided that there is sufficient evidence for the case to go to the High Court for a full judicial hearing and has issued an order giving permission for the case to be heard." Following the decision, Phil Dilks, spokesperson for Save Lincolnshire Libraries said: "The attack on...

CILIP gets behind campaign to open up UK library ebook lending
March 6, 2014 | 4:26 pm

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), the UK's professional librarians body, has issued a release and a call for action under the heading "Strict limits on library ebook lending must end," which calls for the UK to bring regulations on library lending of ebooks into line with those governing printed books. According to the announcement, "libraries do not have the right to lend ebooks. Out of the six major trade publishers in the UK only three – HarperCollins, Random House and Hachette – offer some of their ebooks to libraries. Research conducted in February 2013 by Shelf...