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Phoenix Central Library Closed Until June 2018

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:31:08 +0000

After suffering major damage during a monsoon storm, Burton Barr Library, the main library of the Phoenix Public Library will remain closed until June 2018. On July 15, 2017, high winds lifted the roof of the library causing the rupture of a fire-sprinkler pipe on the top floor. Torrents of water flooded the building before the system was shut off.

Earlier today, AZCentral released new information that city employees knew about the condition of the pipe for at least three years, but nothing was done to fix it.

Photos and more at AZCentral.







UW Librarian’s Book Reveals Business Icon’s Impact on Rural America

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 02:04:40 +0000

A University of Wyoming faculty member’s new book about James Cash Penney explores how the department store icon and his company shaped rural America throughout the 20th century.

“I wanted to wrap my mind around the scope of Penney’s extensive involvement in agriculture and rural America and, ultimately, understand why a successful department store icon would choose to pursue such activities while living and working in New York City,” says David Kruger, UW’s agricultural research librarian.

“J.C. Penney: The Man, the Store, and American Agriculture” provides a biographical account of the business mogul and a historical view of his company and rural America.

Full article



What Books Are on the Librarian of Congress' Nightstand?

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:13:07 +0000

From the New YorkTimes Books , LOC's Dr. Carla Hayden finds she needs more space than just a nightstand to keep up with her reading.

"I do have books on my night stand, but I have recently had to add three bookcases in my room because it was getting too crowded. Those are organized in three categories — fun and mysteries, because I love mysteries; books that relate somehow to what I’m doing professionally, like “The Revenge of Analog” or “The Innovators”; and aspirational — those are mostly about health and exercise."

I was pleased to see the answer to this question, "The last book that made you furious?", as I really enjoyed the same book.

  • "That is a sign of a good book — when it makes you feel an emotion so deeply. I remember reading “The Language of Flowers” and at one point being so mad at the main character I had to remind myself, “Carla, this is fiction.” But when that happens, you know a story has you hooked. I have given that book to many people."



  • During Your MTA Commute...

    Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:43:18 +0000

    ...you can now read e-books courtesy of a new program called Subway Library, sponsored by the NY, Brooklyn and Queens libraries and enabled by wi-fi throughout the NYC subway transit system.

    (image)

    A choice of pretty good selections too, many with NYC themes.




    Libraries Clear First Budget Hurdle in DC

    Wed, 19 Jul 2017 22:34:53 +0000

    From Publishers Weekly:

    Last week, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to recommend level funding for libraries in FY2018, which would mean roughly $231 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act, and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

    The vote comes after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital agencies, including the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

    ALA president Jim Neal called the subcommittee vote “one important step in the lengthy congressional appropriations process,” but a development that nevertheless shows that “elected officials are listening to us and recognize libraries’ importance in the communities they represent.”




    San Jose library remodels to stop suicides

    Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:34:20 +0000

    About 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, a 36-year-old San Jose man shocked patrons and employees of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. library by climbing over a seventh-floor railing and plunging to his death in the building’s atrium. As the second suicide in 13 months in the downtown library atrium, the grisly death cast a pall over the joint city-university building, which was closed down until the next morning. Now the coda: At the direction of San Jose State President Mary Papazian, and with the assent of city leaders, administrators are taking steps to make the soaring atrium suicide-safe. Continue reading at: San Jose Mercury News Note: The King Library is jointly operated by San Jose Public Library and San Jose State University Library.



    Phoenix's Burton Barr Cebral Library Damaged by Sprinklers

    Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:07:28 +0000

    From AZ Central an explanation and video of how the sprinkler system was set off by an atypical monsoon on Saturday.

    Phoenix Fire Capt. Reda Bigler said a pipe in the ceiling of the building's fifth floor ruptured when the storm lifted the roof and caused it to move in a wave-like fashion.

    “When (the roof) slammed back down it broke a sprinkler pipe," Bigler said. “That caused about 50 to 60 gallons a minute of water to start flowing through the building." All five stories were affected.




    Absense of Sound --a Librarian's Story

    Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:17:12 +0000

    From the July/August issue of the Saturday Evening Post a selection fron author N. West Moss's new story collection, focusing on a day in the life of a librarian at the Bryant Park NYPL .

    N. West Moss was the winner of the Post’s 2015 Great American Fiction Contest for “Omeer’s Mangoes,” which, with “Absence of Sound,” appears in her first short-story collection, The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press, 2017). This story first appeared in Neworld Review. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, McSweeney’s, and Brevity, among others.







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

    Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:26:14 +0000

    Topic: 
    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



    Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong

    Tue, 11 Jul 2017 04:30:32 +0000

    Topic: 
    “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



    What To Do With Memorial Tributes To Victims of Gun Violence

    Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:31:12 +0000

    Dallas is among the cities where archivists are curating shrines that surfaced after tragedies. The question: How to preserve a part of history? Story from The New York Times.

    The archive is not about what happened that night, but about “the outpouring of love from the citizens — from the world — that happened afterward,” said Jo Giudice, the director of Dallas’s public library system. Tributes surged into Dallas soon after a gunman opened fire during a protest last summer. Five officers — Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa — were killed; the gunman died during a standoff.




    Do 20 pages of a book gives you 90% of its words?

    Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:47:18 +0000

    Topic: 
    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



    The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project's Secrets

    Thu, 29 Jun 2017 21:04:15 +0000

    Topic: 
    Her appointment was a victory for the women on the Hill. Though women were integral to the success of the Manhattan Project—scientists like Leona Woods and Mary Lucy Miller played central roles in the creation of the bomb—none occupied leadership positions. In this respect, Serber stood alone. As the head of the scientific library, she became the Manhattan Project’s de facto keeper of secrets, a position that soon saw her targeted for an FBI probe—and almost ended in her being fired from the project.
    From The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project's Secrets - Atlas Obscura



    Survival of the smallest: the contested history of the English short story

    Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:45:33 +0000

    Topic: 
    While bitter experience has shown poetry exactly where it stands in the marketplace, and the novel has shrugged off multiple reports of its death and maintained pre-eminence, the short story is continually characterised as the neglected form that will be great again. The funny thing is, when you explore its history you find the perception of a distant golden age, an undistinguished present and a return to glory has always been around: the short story has a problem with reality.
    From Survival of the smallest: the contested history of the English short story



    Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

    Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:44:31 +0000

    The core of Elsevier’s operation is in scientific journals, the weekly or monthly publications in which scientists share their results. Despite the narrow audience, scientific publishing is a remarkably big business. With total global revenues of more than £19bn, it weighs in somewhere between the recording and the film industries in size, but it is far more profitable. In 2010, Elsevier’s scientific publishing arm reported profits of £724m on just over £2bn in revenue. It was a 36% margin – higher than Apple, Google, or Amazon posted that year.
    From Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? | Science | The Guardian



    What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us?

    Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:48:59 +0000

    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



    Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91

    Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:53:35 +0000

    Topic: 
    A statement from publisher HarperCollins said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness.”
    From Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91 | Books | The Guardian



    Company removed LNG pipeline documents from Oregon public libraries

    Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:54:33 +0000

    Topic: 
    "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



    Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest

    Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:52:04 +0000

    Topic: 
    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



    Bear is a novel about a lonely librarian in who enters into a sexual relationship with a bear

    Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:57:35 +0000

    Bear is a novel by Canadian author Marian Engel, published in 1976. It won the Governor General's Literary Award the same year. It is Engel's fifth novel, and her most famous. The story tells of a lonely librarian in northern Ontario who enters into a sexual relationship with a bear. The book has been called "the most controversial novel ever written in Canada".[1]
    From Bear (novel) - Wikipedia



    1979 Computer Store Manager Predicts Future

    Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:37:56 +0000

    Topic: 
    I recently found this interview in my archives. I was shooting a documentary called “The Information Society” in 1979 and filmed this in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Compushop had just begun selling the Apple II and this guy had a keen sense of what was coming. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eNT1L3jGjbA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

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    TSA tells travelers to take books out of carry-on bags

    Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:29:41 +0000

    Topic: 
    Federal airport security officials have begun asking travelers to take books and food out of their carry-on luggage, prompting some fliers to complain about a further invasion of the limited privacy they have left at checkpoints. Transportation Security Administration officials say they are taking the steps on a test basis at a handful of airports nationally mainly because carry-on bags are getting so stuffed that screening agents at x-ray machines are have a hard time seeing what’s in the bags.
    From TSA tells travelers to take food, books out of carry-on bags | The Sacramento Bee



    Salt Lake City Public Library hostage incident

    Sun, 25 Jun 2017 01:14:27 +0000

    20/20 did a re-enactment of the Salt Lake City Public Library hostage incident



    How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Sends You Letters about Your Medical Condition

    Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:23:27 +0000

    This is the hidden underside of the browsing experience. When you’re surfing the web, sitting alone at your computer or with your smartphone clutched in your hand, it feels private and ephemeral. You feel freed to look for the things that you’re too embarrassed or ashamed to ask another person. But increasingly, there is digital machinery at work turning your fleeting search whims into hard data trails. The mining of secrets for profit is done invisibly, shrouded in the mystery of “confidential partnerships,” “big data,” and “proprietary technology.” People in databases don’t know that dossiers are being compiled on them, let alone have the chance to correct any mistakes in them.
    From How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Sends You Letters about Your Medical Condition



    US court grants Elsevier millions in damages from Sci-Hub

    Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:14:56 +0000

    One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

    Full article at Nature.com



    Woman says Librarians Know Who Hit her Car but Can't Tell Her

    Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:08:04 +0000

    The alleged perp checked out a book and thus the staff was unable to give her the name of the driver.

    Here's the story from WSBTV in Atlanta. The woman whose car was hit feels as if she's being unfairly discriminated against.




    Ukrainian Librarian Punished for Not Sticking to the Party Line

    Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:53:50 +0000

    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...

    Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:13:39 +0000

    ...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.

    (image)