Posts Tagged: libraries

Home-Turned-Library Brings Japanese Literature to Community

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For the Los Angeles TimesKelly Corrigan spoke with Mitsuko Roberts of Glendale, California about The Okanoue Library, a collection of over 700 works of Japanese literature, film, and other media donated by Glendale’s Japanese community. Roberts hosts this collection a few times a month in her home-turned-library, lending out materials and offering Japanese reading classes.

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The Past and Present of Banned Books

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‘Banned books’ sounds like a thing of the past. But over at Lit Hub, Amy Brady details the ways that the fight against censorship continues in libraries and schools today:

If school administrators are attempting to limit even elective reading, what does the future hold for students who want access to all books, classic and contemporary—books that might broaden their understanding of the world?

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Our New Librarian-in-Chief’s Favorite Children’s Book

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Last week, Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress, making her the first woman and the first African-American in the position. Hayden talked with Jeffrey Brown of PBS Newshour about the challenges of her new position, and her favorite children’s book, Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli, a story about a young girl who experiences racial discrimination.

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Pura Belpré: New York’s First Puerto Rican Librarian

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Pura Belpré began her long, luminous career as a librarian, storyteller, author, activist, and puppeteer when she moved to New York in 1921. Not only was Belpré NYC’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Neda Ulaby reports for NPR, she was the first to perform story times in English and Spanish (with puppets), opening up a world of reading for her community’s Spanish-speaking youth, and also the first to have a Spanish-language children’s book published by a major US press.

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Stable Decline

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According to an article by Alison Flood in the Guardian, library use in England has fallen almost 31 percent over the past decade, with one notable exception:

Adults in the least deprived areas of England saw their library usage decline the most over the decade, from 46.3% to 31.4%, while according to the report, library usage in the five most deprived areas of the country ‘remained reasonably stable.

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When the Libraries Got Desegregated

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While Brown vs. Board of education immortalized schools as the site where the historic shift to desegregation happened, few would remember the other locales of everyday life that were also once segregated spaces. For Lit Hub, Cynthia R. Greenlee writes on the importance of libraries being desegregated and the fights that had to be fought to make access to libraries free and equal for all.

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Gimme Gimme JSTOR

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The question of access continues to plague the academic community—if academia is truly about knowledge and discovery, why are there still so many barriers to the unfettered sharing of information? The architects of digital “pirate libraries” around the world are trying to resolve that contradiction, violating copyright laws to bring expensive scholarly materials to the researchers (and data-hungry laypeople) who need them.

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The Psychic Sasquatch

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Most libraries have limited physical shelf space, so if they want to purchase new books for their collections, often they have to remove some old ones. Two librarians, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, know this can be a tough pill for book lovers to swallow, so they’ve been working to bring attention to the issue through their blog, Awful Library Books:

They often feature books with outlandish titles, like “Little Corpuscle,” a children’s book starring a dancing red blood cell; “Enlarging Is Thrilling,” a how-to about—you guessed it—film photography; and “God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents.”

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Better Funding Boosts Library Usage

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Library use has been declining, but that decline probably isn’t due to a decreasing interest in reading. Plenty of pundits blame the rise of digital technology, but even libraries that offer digital services like ebook lending have seen declines. The real culprit is the same crisis afflicting all of American infrastructure: a lack of investment.

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MLS vs. NYC

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Former librarian Michelle Anne Schingler is tired of people questioning her credentials. At Book Riot, she argues that an MLS isn’t required for the most important parts of a librarian’s job:

Library theory isn’t at the fore when you’re helping someone navigate the computer for an online application, or when you’re putting together a display to feature underloved books.

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The Many Libraries of the New York Public Library

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Not every library can be a grand palace. Consider for a moment the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library, a far less glamorous workhorse than the more famous cathedral of books located at Bryant Park. Over at the New Yorker, Ada Calhoun recounts her experiences in some of the smaller library branches around the city.

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The Library in a City’s Time of Crisis

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Libraries are major hubs that serve the community, and even more so in times when people are looking for help. Over at the Atlantic, Deborah Fallows details the efforts to preserve the San Bernardino library, which has seen an increased sense of community after the tragic shootings last year:

When I asked people what felt different in [San Bernardino], some of the language was new.

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No More Book Shaming

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It’s no secret that libraries have had a rocky relationship with publishers since the ebook boom began in the late aughts. Publisher’s Weekly suggests three ways the two could work to heal the rift, but one of the suggestions is surprising: librarians need to stop “book shaming”:

What today’s library elite seems to forget is that reading is a maker activity—and a profound one.

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