The American public library system has been one of the earliest victims of conservative austerity. But while the public library system slowly collapses, a new modern iteration of the members-only lending library has risen. These specialized libraries collect fees from members and curate specific types of boutique collections....more
Posts Tagged: libraries
3D printers are the latest accessory arriving in modern public libraries. However, just like when libraries introduced technologies such as the Internet, 3D printers raise concerns over what the public should be allowed to do with the equipment. NPR takes a look at the challenges, guidelines, and goals of adding 3D printers to public libraries....more
Libraries are under threat, and those that want to survive will need to modernize. But what does the world look like if libraries change too much, or cease to exist at all? Over at Huffington Post, Lindsey Drager examines what a future without books might look like by defining what libraries do:
What concerns me about this shift in the ontological status of library-hood is what might be lost in transition.
A scathing indictment from Jim Dwyer at the New York Times this week accuses city leaders of depriving funding from the library system, and its mayors of holding the NYPL hostage for leverage in budget negotiations. As Dwyer points out, city libraries draw more annual visitors than the museums, sports stadiums, and performing arts institutions combined—and the funding just doesn’t add up....more
Twenty homeless shelters serving NYC families will be getting their own libraries as part of a new initiative from the Departments of Education and Homeless Services. The project, supported by Scholastic and a number of literacy organizations, aims to address the needs of the city’s growing population of homeless children; last year there were over 76,000 homeless students in K-12 schools....more
New Jersey is about to get Poststructural, thanks to Princeton’s recent acquisition of Jacques Derrida’s library. The collection contains nearly 14,000 books, many of which bear marginalia from the celebrated critic and philosopher. The collection will be available to scholars at Princeton’s Firestone Library....more
A library is rarely ever just a library, often evolving alongside the community it serves. The Lacuna Project is taking this idea literally by building a library made entirely of books for this year’s Bay Area Book Festival. Festival-goers will be able to remove (and keep) books without damaging the structure, whose lighting and acoustics will change in response to their collective impact....more
Napa Valley is one of the most bountiful producers of wine so perhaps its unsurprising that it’s also home to a comprehensive collection of writing about wine. Founded in 1962, the non-profit Napa Valley Wine Library has 3,500 volumes including books, periodicals, newsletters, and oral histories....more
The future of the Warburg Institute, one of London’s most influential and strangest libraries, is examined at length in this week’s New Yorker. Adam Gopnik covers the history of the center, from its founding in pre-Nazi Germany through the height of its influence on the world of art history, and attempts to articulate the particular properties of Warburg, the philosophy and aesthetics and modes of scholarship, that make it unique....more
Bestselling author James Patterson is giving school libraries $1.25 million in grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for books, reading programs, and technology, reports the Washington Post. Patterson has previously pledged $1 million to 175 independent bookstores. His generosity is all part of a broader goal to encourage more reading nationally....more
A new interactive documentary called Cold Storage invites viewers to peer beyond Harvard’s flagship Widener Library—the tip of the iceberg in terms of the university’s massive collection—and into the vault where more than 9 million books and artifacts are stored. Gizmodo reports on the viewing experience, describing a world designed for the convenience of the machines in charge of storing and retrieving items, and oddly removed from the typical culture of reverence for books as a category of uniquely valuable objects....more
Camden County, New Jersey could become the newest location for a tool library. These libraries aren’t filled with books—instead, their contents include hand tools, like The West Philly Tool Library, a non-profit organization with more than 3,000 tools for loan. There are about 20 tool libraries around the US and a few more in Canada....more
An online joke at Rutgers University became a reality when library officials converted the main library into a nightclub. During the semester, students studying at Alexander Library joked they were at Club Alex. Library officials decided to make those jokes a reality by converting the space into a temporary nightclub for seniors, including House music and bartenders....more
Following the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, protests shut down local civic institutions like schools. However, the local public library continued to serve as a beacon of hope, providing area residents with access to books, Internet, and entertainment. Last week, YA author John Green sent the library signed copies of his books....more
A French public library has discovered that the institution possesses a rare ‘first folio’ of the works of William Shakespeare. There are many first folios, but these earliest anthologies all contain variations in the texts. (The writing we have come to know as the definitive works have actually been pieced together by scholars who’ve researched and compared the various versions of first folios.) For example, the newly discovered folio has changes in Henry IV:
In one scene in “Henry IV,” the word “hostess” is changed to “host” and “wench” to “fellow” — possibly reflecting an early performance where a female character was turned into a male.
New audio preservation technology just opened a treasure trove at Harvard: thousands of recordings of influential poets reading their work, once feared too deteriorated to salvage, are now being recovered. As WBUR reports, the IRENE program takes high-res 3D photographs of old records deemed too fragile to play with an ordinary needle, which can then be digitally converted into audio without the risk of damaging the original vinyl....more
You’re assuming that first of all you’ll finish the book, which is a big assumption, and then that somebody will publish it — even more optimistic — that somebody will read it — better still — and that they will like it — the very best thing of all — so it’s all based on optimism, isn’t it.
At Co.EXIST, Jessica Leber pits the algorithms of digital giants Amazon and Goodreads against the ultimate recommendation engine: librarians. Leber details her experience with the Brooklyn Public Library’s BookMatch program, in which real librarians respond to patron’s requests for reading recommendations based on other books they’ve enjoyed....more