Writing at BookRiot, Josh Corman draws attention to yet another potential crisis facing low-income neighborhoods: book deserts. Anti-government and knowledge-fearing Congressman Paul Ryan has proposed funding cuts to the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, an agency that provides critical money to libraries, many located in otherwise underserved communities....more
Posts Tagged: libraries
Libraries without Borders unveiled its latest project at the New York Public Library. They’re shipping a “library in a box,” or Idea Boxes, to refugee camps.
The idea is that food, water and shelter aren’t enough, said Patrick Weil, the group’s founder and chief executive, and a visiting professor at Yale Law School.
Melvil Dewey: inventor of the Dewey decimal system, godfather of modern library science, and…sexist jerk?
According to this Bitch blog post, Dewey helped open the field of librarianship to women by allowing them into his classes at Columbia’s library school, but he also relentlessly sexually harassed them....more
The Green Branch Library has done amazing work providing books and other materials about social and environmental justice to kids in Oakland.
Now they’re hoping to expand their reach to kids all over the Bay Area with a a bookmobile!
Check out the extraordinarily adorable Claymation video they made for their Indiegogo campaign and make a tax-deductible donation!...more
Which book can be comprehensively defined by the keywords “married people,” “college teachers,” and “New England”?
What about “totalitarianism” and “London (England)”?
See how well you can categorize bookshelves with this quiz about Library of Congress subjects from The Toast....more
And all the other library blogs linked in this MetaFilter post, which upload pictures of all kinds of nifty stuff from their stacks, from “the original American serialized version of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House” to century-old cat postcards....more
Who says librarians can’t also be the leaders of organized crime rings?
The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books…
The New York Times has more, including the best final paragraph you’ll read all week....more
Last week, EveryLibrary reported that “Mr. Lindel Toups, chair of the Parish Council in Lafourche, LA…is orchestrating a ‘special election’ this Saturday to take money away from the library to build a new jail. Yes, literally taking money from the library to build a new jail.”
According to local newspaper the Tri-Parish Times, the reasons Mr....more
“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.”
Neil Gaiman offers strong words at The Guardian on why libraries, reading, and daydreaming is vital to our future....more
If you ask Kuzya, an assistant librarian at the State Hermitage Library in Novorossiysk, Russia, for a book recommendation, you might go home with A Tale of Two Kitties or The Brothers Kara-meow-zov.
Because he is a cat. And he wears a bow-tie and has a cat passport, which is apparently a legitimate legal document in Russia....more
Book lovers, avert your eyes: the Fairfax County Public Library in Virginia took a quarter million books and threw them in the trash.
It’s common for libraries to prune their collections, getting rid of outdated or unpopular books in favor of ones that circulate more widely, but this is an unusually high number thanks to budget cuts....more
Rumpus readers already know librarians are heroes, but it’s nice to see other people get it too.
Here’s io9′s list of 20 heroic librarians who save the world in books, comics, TV, and film.
From Rachel Weisz’s Evie Carnahan in the Mummy movies to Luna Moth in the comic books based on the ones in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, these pop-culture librarians remind us knowledge is power....more
Bad news first: There are 49 libraries in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. Twenty-two of them are about to be closed. Some last-minute budget rearrangements might save six of those, but that will leave sixteen—one-third of the county’s libraries—on the chopping block.
A tax hike would have saved the libraries—along with several emergency rescue vehicles and the jobs of a few hundred county employees—but it proved too unpopular....more
Novelist Dennis Miller was participating in a panel discussion about censorship at Mansfield University’s campus library, when he joked that his book should be banned: “It has sex, violence, and adult language.”
Library director Scott DiMarco’s response? Done and done.
Find out why a librarian committed to free speech would ban a book in DiMarco’s account of the events....more
“The more you read, the iller you’ll be as an emcee…”
In the Bronx, the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective has turned a former candy factory into the Richie Perez Radical Library for Youth. The objective of the library is to promote literacy through radical and political literature that isn’t usually taught in typical academic settings....more
Last week, British children’s author Terry Deary (famous for his Horrible Histories series) declared that public libraries are unnecessary relics of a past age; they cheat authors of their rightful earnings and “are doing nothing for the book industry.”
A few days later, Julia Donaldson, another British children’s author, fired back:
…libraries are the places where our readers and book-buyers are created.
This should be interesting: a judge in San Antonio, Texas, is opening a library without books.
Or rather, there will be books, but only digital ones, which patrons can read on e-readers in the library or at home.
Since “[t]he community around the proposed location currently has no public library and is home to a lower income population,” a few e-books could go a long way, publishing industry controversy notwithstanding....more
Rumpus interviewee/contributor Scott Hutchins on the importance of libraries: “I’m from a town with no bookstore, so there would have been no option for books except for the library. The library was pretty much everything.”
There are significantly fewer maternal librarians on Amazon, that’s for sure....more
The New York Times writes about community-generated libraries that are popping up on sidewalks across the country.
Little Free Libraries are small wooden boxes full of books with latched glass doors, slanted roofs and a sign that reads “Take a Book and Leave a Book.” You can purchase the posts directly from Little Free Library or build your own; each new library is asked to pay $25 to register with the nonprofit organization....more
The website catalogues two types of subjects: people who read on trains, and the visibly disgruntled strangers who sit next to them, many of whom seem displeased or bemused at the prospect of their picture being taken....more
“A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.”
How do we value libraries? Novelist Zadie Smith writes an essay about the imminent closure of her local library, articulating the roles libraries serve beyond their utilitarian functions, and the political implications of their dismissal....more
Inspired by last year’s video by Melissa Jackson, librarian at Ballou Senior High School in Washington DC, Guys Lit Wire held two book fairs that helped Ballou move from having a library with “less than one book for each of its 1,200 students at the beginning of 2011 to a ratio now of two books per student.”
Hoping to further decrease the school’s “literary deficit,” GLW is kicking off another book fair....more
“What started as a tough situation – staff members worried about people washing up in the bathrooms, or acting badly – turned into an opportunity. The library, which has always thought of itself as a resource, found it had nothing to offer people who came in asking for help finding housing or places to sleep....more
The recently launched Libraries as Incubator Project seeks to broaden the public’s notion of libraries “by celebrating the ways that they nurture arts communities around the country.” Check out the LIP website, which features “the work of artists who have relied on the support of libraries during their careers, as well as libraries that have supported the arts through unique collections or initiatives.”
(Via The Book Bench)...more
The entirety of LA’s 73 public libraries will be running in full force—the first time this kind of operational simultaneity has happened since August 2010, when budget cuts enforced some immediate cutbacks.
You can thank Measure L, the ballot which passed last March, that allots money to the public library system....more