Not all libraries are free and open to the public, and for much of modern history, private subscription libraries with paying patrons were the norm. While most libraries in the United States are now public institutions, a few specialty subscription libraries remain....more
Posts Tagged: libraries
One of the great challenges of libraries and archives is preserving the collections. Not all materials decay at the same rate and while some items can last thousands of years, other items are much more fragile. Now, scientists studying hundreds of European archival documents have developed a formula to predict the end of library materials....more
Public libraries should not be run like businesses, argues Linda Holt over at the London Review of Books. They serve as a critical resource for a variety of marginalized populations:
…libraries became far more than an intellectual version of the mythical sweet shops of childhood.
The New York Public Library holds more than 16 million volumes, making it the 4th largest library in the United States. Many of those volumes are stored in the Milstein stacks, two levels of the library directly under Bryant Park. To maximize the storage capacity of these facilities and allow for patrons in the main library above ground to request volumes on site, the NYPL turns to some interesting technology....more
A unique library project in India is helping people who are blind access books. Printed books are converted in audio formats so blind readers can listen to them, with the target audience students between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five....more
Fifty years ago, a kid named Haruki Murakami borrowed books from his school library in Kobe, Japan. This week, the Kobe Shimbun, a local paper, published a list of the books he checked out, as compiled on book checkout slips—and Japanese librarians are up in arms, accusing the paper of violating Murakami’s right to privacy....more
Why stuff your body with Thanksgiving leftovers when you could be stuffing your bag with used books?
It was another reminder that I will surely die before I read all of my books, that my descendants will one day be forced to shovel through it all, skeptically asking one another, “Did he actually read all these?”
(On second thought, go ahead and finish those sweet potatoes.)...more
For Slate, Jacob Brogan suggests that despite “shrinking book racks,” libraries play an important political and social role. This is particularly true in low-income areas, as libraries provide computer access for job searchers and entrepreneurs:
Libraries are powerful precisely because they’re spaces of potentiality.
Libraries find a way. Some libraries are squeezed into a vending machine while others are placed on the backs of animals. The Times of India has a rundown of some of the more unique libraries around the world....more
For JSTOR Daily, Allana Mayer writes about what it means to master visual literacy. Mayer specifically addresses the idea that libraries and galleries digitizing their content will instantly make people more literate with visual art. Instead, competency with visual art should be measured by the ability to contextualize and analyze work made available in these open collections....more
The Oakmont Carnegie Library outside of Pittsburgh hosted Booktoberfest, a celebration of books and Bavarian beer. The event not only merged the two great pastimes of reading and drinking, but also helped raise $9,000 for the library....more
Travis McDade writes for Lit Hub on the theft of primary source documents from libraries and how the precarious state of our archives affects our nonfiction narratives and memory....more
The Prelinger Library in San Francisco is small—just three shelves of volumes. But it’s the unique collection of ephemeral that defines this collection. Megan Prelinger founded the library eleven years ago as an attempt to “catalogue items not meant for posterity.” Hoodline takes a look inside this small library and the collection of trade periodicals, maps, monographs, and even government studies....more
The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire had been offering patrons Tor software used to anonymize Internet usage. Then, the Department of Homeland Security contacted the library last week and requested the service be turned off, and the library complied....more
Public libraries have been growing into much more than just repositories of books. The New York Times finally gets in on the action and examines the various changes the public library system has undergone, especially the growth of libraries dedicated to specialty items or catering to the needs of niche hobbyists....more
As part of austerity measures, the University of Akron eliminated its university press. The director and two staff members were both let go as part of budget-trimming layoffs. The press focused on regionally significant publications that chronicled Ohio history, culture and poetry....more
American libraries have always been a place for ideas and the exchange of knowledge. In recent years, libraries have invested in computers and other new technologies. One of those popular technologies has been 3-D printers. Now, libraries with those tools are operating at the forefront of modern manufacturing techniques....more