Thursday, May 14, 2015

Literary Links: Libraries in the news

This April 26th marked the 114th anniversary of steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie's gift of 60 library branch buildings to the New York Public Library. Carnegie donated 1,679 library buildings throughout the United States. We feel honored to be part of the library tradition in this country!  Here's some links to recent articles about libraries:

At This Fashion Library, You Check out Clothes Instead of Buying Them [Co.Exist]
"The library currently has 1,200 items in stock at any moment, and another 500 checked out to customers. Eventually, they hope to expand to other cities around the world. 'Our dream is to go on holidays with some hand luggage and your library card, and have access to a big LENA wardrobe wherever you are,' says Smulders."

Baltimore Libraries Stay Open Through Riots, Because 'The Community Needs Us' [MTV]
"With a state of emergency declared and schools closed citywide Tuesday morning, the Enoch Pratt Free Library has chosen to stay open, providing a hub of comfort and community to all Baltimore neighborhoods, including the ones most affected by the mayhem."

A Long Way From Wax Cylinders, Library of Congress Slowly Joins the Digital Age [NPR]
"The Library of Congress has a trove of online content. You can hear Louise Bogan recite a poem... Or listen to a recording of a former slave, Fountain Hughes, recalling his life."

Libraries Make Space for 3-D Printers; Rules are Sure to Follow [NPR]
"And in an age where digital and technical literacy is stressed alongside traditional reading and writing, libraries are setting up plenty of space for the unexpected."

Denying New York Libraries The Fuel They Need [New York Times]
"So the city’s libraries have more users than major professional sports, performing arts, museums, gardens and zoos — combined. No one who has set foot in the libraries — crowded at all hours with adults learning languages, using computers, borrowing books, hunting for jobs, and schoolchildren researching projects or discovering stories — can mistake them for anything other than power plants of intellect and opportunity. They are distributed without regard to wealth."

'Improbable Libraries' Beautifully Depicts the Fun Side of Libraries [Huffington Post]
"Whether it's a bicycle delivering books or a serene literary retreat, these institutions remind us of the ineffable power of holding a book in your hands and seeing the signs left by previous attentive readers -- a power digital texts can never replicate."

Libraries help close the digital divide [Washington Post]
"The people in the 25 million households without Internet access may not know they can get online at their local library. Books are important, but computers are necessary. For people without Internet access at home, libraries fill the gap."

Unusual Library Collections Around the World [Flavorwire]
Includes the Cornell University Witchcraft Collection, the New York Public Library's collection of vintage Valentines, the Betsy Brown Puppetry Collection, and more!

Librarians Versus the NSA [The Nation]
"By 2003, librarians around the country had launched a revolt. Librarians in Paulding County, Ohio, among other places, posted signs warning computer users that 'due to national security concerns,' their 'Internet surfing habits, passwords and e-mail content' might be monitored by law enforcement. Others distributed informational handouts or organized community hearings about the government’s new surveillance powers. Libraries began to destroy computer-use wait-lists, hard- drive caches, and other records."

In the Memory Ward [New Yorker]
"It is a library like no other in Europe—in its cross-disciplinary reference, its peculiarities, its originality, its strange depths and unexpected shallows. Magic and science, evil eyes and saints’ lives: these things repose side by side in a labyrinth of imagery and icons and memory."

Do We Really Need Libraries? [NPR]
"Today's libraries still lend books, he says. But they also provide other services to communities, such as free access to computers and Wi-Fi, story times to children, language classes to immigrants and technology training to everyone."

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