Posts Tagged: libraries

Libraries Are Essential

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Libraries are not “Netflix for books,” Kelly Jensen argues over at BookRiot, but serve as centers of their communities. Corporations like Netflix are driven by profits, while libraries, at least in North America, are free for their users. The real danger is in training people to think of libraries not as essential public services, but as services users pay for:

The biggest issue with equating the library with a Netflix for books is that it sends a false message that libraries are worth little more than $8 or $12 or $20 a month.

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A Book Voyage with No Guide

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As the number of Americans who read books has declined, those who do read have begun wearing t-shirts, carrying tote bags, and sticking magnets on their fridges declaring their love of reading. Some book lovers even perform “book stunts,” reading through the encyclopedia or the dictionary over the course of a year.

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Book Deserts Threaten Vulnerable Readers

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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.

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Green Branch Library to Branch Out with Bookmobile

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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!

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Go to the Library Without Leaving Your House

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Italian Librarian Steals and Deals Rare Books

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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.

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Our Future Depends On Reading!

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“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.

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The Cutest Librarian

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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.

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The Card Catalog Is Mightier than the Sword

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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.

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The Good News and the Bad News About Libraries

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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.

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When Banning a Book Is Good

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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.

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Biting the Hand That Stamps Your Library Book

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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.

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A Library Without Books

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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.

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A NEW KIND OF NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY

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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.

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