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Oxford debates the role of its librarians and libraries | Inside Higher Ed

Oxford debates the role of its librarians and libraries | Inside Higher Ed | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Large bright badges offering help to customers may have become a common sight in coffee shops.
But the wearing of them by librarians at the University of Oxford has been seen as the latest insult in a row over changes taking place among the dreaming spires' famous research collections.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/11/26/oxford-debates-role-its-librarians-and-libraries#ixzz2DOWsxdPV
Inside Higher Ed

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Librarysoul
The search for reinvention of libraries from the deepest belief in the social relevance of a save harbour in the public domain
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Toy libraries in public squares Argentina

The public space as ludic activity! The toy library has the aim of fostering the ludic practice and the creative use of free time, enabling the public space as a place of meeting and inhabiting this space with ludic experiences. This is a place that fosters new meaning to the pleasure of playing with others.
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The 8 most beautiful new libraries in the world

The 8 most beautiful new libraries in the world | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

On April 6, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA) announced this year’s picks for the best new libraries in the world.

The facilities were honored for their multi-use and environmentally-friendly designs — not to mention their stunning appearance.

One caveat: While projects could be located anywhere in the world, only architects licensed in the US could enter the competition.

From Boston to Latvia, here are the winners of this year’s Library Building Awards.

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Doug Mirams's curator insight, May 6, 6:55 AM
What one design element are clearly displayed in these photographs? Space, lots of space, where books are pushed into the periphery. 
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15 Most Unique Libraries in the World

15 Most Unique Libraries in the World | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Who says that amidst modernity reflected in gadgets and the Internet there is no room in our world for any hardcopy of books and documents anymore? The following are unique sanctuaries that provide us an exceptional experience of gaining knowledge that neither gadgets nor the Internet could offer.

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Ancient Fez undergoes massive renovation

Ancient Fez undergoes massive renovation | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Behind Fez's secret library door 01:08
(CNN)"A wise man without a book is like a workman with no tools."


Rare color images from 1899 offer glimpse into a lost North Africa
So goes an old Moroccan proverb. For centuries, wise men have flocked to the city of Fez seeking knowledge from the books held within its ancient library at al-Qarawiyyin. Scholars and students at the adjacent university, as well local artisans, have long drawn from its carefully curated manuscripts, providing a touchstone to Morocco's past as pioneer in Islamic arts and science.
Nestled within the city's medina, the institution is only 30 years younger than Fez itself. The oldest university in the world, according to Guiness World Records, al-Qarawiyyin opened in 859 AD under the patronage of Fatima al-Fihri, a wealthy Arab woman who also commissioned a mosque and madrasa. Its library came along in 1359 AD and contains manuscripts that are among the earliest in Islamic history. A ninth century Quran, a 10th century account of the Prophet Muhammad's life, as well as formative scientific and medical textbooks can all be found here.
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11 Facts About NYPL for #AprilFactsDay

11 Facts About NYPL for #AprilFactsDay | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman building opened on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in 1911. One of NYC's iconic landmarks, it welcomes millions of visitors a year to discover its inspiring public spaces, unparalleled research collections, and vibrant programs and exhibitions. But that's not the whole story about the building behind the Library Lions.
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How Libraries Are Fighting Fake News

How Libraries Are Fighting Fake News | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Less than seven miles from the White House, where President Trump has popularized the term "fake news," residents in a suburban Maryland library gathered recently to learn how to not be duped themselves.

“Social media is a common theme here because you see things being shared over and over again,” Ryan O’Grady, media producer and director of the Maryland State Library Resource Center, told the audience. “Just because something is popular doesn’t make it true.”

The program, which O’Grady is running at several libraries in Maryland’s Montgomery County, is in response to the recent explosion of unverified, unsourced and sometimes untrue information that purports itself as news. The program aims to educate residents about how to spot fake news.

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King Salman launches library at Peking University

King Salman launches library at Peking University | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Beijing: King Salman today launched the King Abdulaziz Public Library at Peking University, which granted him an honorary doctorate.
Upon arrival, the king was received by Chinese Education Minister Chen Baosheng and a number of officials.
The university president delivered a speech in which he welcomed King Salman, saying the library opening enhances bilateral relations.
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A Comparison of Traditional Book Reviews and Amazon.com Book Reviews of Fiction Using a Content Analysis Approach

A Comparison of Traditional Book Reviews and Amazon.com Book Reviews of Fiction Using a Content Analysis Approach | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Research Article: “A Comparison of Traditional Book Reviews and Amazon.com Book Reviews of Fiction Using a Content Analysis Approach” Via Gary Price at LJ InfoDocket http://www.infodocket.com/2017/03/15/research-article-a-comparison-of-traditional-book-reviews-and-amazon-com-book-reviews-of-fiction-using-a-content-analysis-approach/ "The following article appears in the latest issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Title A Comparison of Traditional Book Reviews and Amazon.com Book Reviews of Fiction Using a Content…
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An Elegy for the Library

An Elegy for the Library | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

By MAHESH RAOFEB. 17, 2017
Credit Josh Cochran
MYSORE, India — It’s an unseasonably hot winter day in this southern city, and the midmorning sun is turning the crumbling yellow stucco of the 100-year-old City Central Library a shade paler. A hawker is yelling on the busy road, trying to drum up business for his collection of old coins and medals. As I take the stairs to the main level, I can see a bit of a line at the water fountain.

The occupants of the small reading room are all middle-age men poring over newspapers in at least three languages. The ceiling fans whir. Pages rustle. Not one man is looking at his phone. Overhead a framed poster features a paraphrase of a line from the novelist Neil Gaiman: “Google can bring you 100,000 answers but a librarian can bring you the right one.” Fighting words.

In the larger reading room the crowd is mixed. An elderly woman looks up from her notebook; a lanky boy is mouthing the words he reads. Every seat is occupied, and I wander between the stacks: Astronomy, Home Economics, Satire in Kannada Literature.

Every so often, there are rumblings, among students gathered on the front steps or in the local press, that the library will close: the predatory gaze of developers is never far. And I’m more conscious than ever of the many things we would lose.

Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve used the library. When I was growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, I would sometimes go to a tiny community library run by a church organization. It was a stronghold of stalwarts; there were hardly ever any new faces. The dust was thick. Branches of a jacaranda tree pressed against the single large window. The place had a vaguely medicinal smell, as though along with tonic for the mind, it administered tinctures and liniments.

One evening a few minutes before closing, the librarian and I were packing up at the same time. He glanced over at one of my books and did a cinematic double take.

“That’s not from this library?” he asked.

“No, it’s mine,” I said, telling the truth but sounding cagey. I was in early adolescence, and everything I said seemed like an admission of guilt.

Mahesh Rao is the author of “The Smoke is Rising” and “One Point Two Billion.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

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Big Read in the Big Apple: NYC Launches Reading Initiative

Big Read in the Big Apple: NYC Launches Reading Initiative | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

At the end of January, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment announced One Book, One New York, a reading program that urges residents of all five boroughs to read the same book, starting in early March. If successful, this will form the largest reading community in the country. But can New Yorkers agree on the same book?  Fifteen years ago, as the New York Times reported, a similar initiative collapsed because the organizers were unable to pick a title. This year, city officials asked an advisory panel of public library heads, publishers, and academics to suggest possible candidates, which they then winnowed down to five books. The public have until February 28 to vote online for the winner.
The main branch of the New York Public Library will host an event in June with the winning book’s author. [This might be a bit tricky as Betty Smith, the author of the nominated A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, died in 1972.] 

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The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility

The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, is highly motivated to make this library, and all libraries, a favorite object of the people. Hayden is the first person of color, and the first woman, to lead the Library of Congress; she is also the first actual librarian to lead it since 1974. Her predecessor, Dr. James Billington, a distinguished Russia scholar appointed by Ronald Reagan, was beloved for his intellect but criticized for mismanagement; he neglected, for many years, to appoint a chief information officer, which was required by law, and he also didn’t use e-mail. Hayden, a former head of the American Library Association, revitalized and modernized Baltimore’s twenty-two-branch Enoch Pratt Free Library system. President Obama nominated her, in 2010, to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, and, last year, to become Librarian of Congress.

Hayden met a bit of opposition on her way to confirmation—the usual resistance to Obama’s later appointments, for one, and a tempest in a teapot about the use of Internet filters at public-library computers. More significant, some Republicans didn’t like Hayden’s firm resistance to the privacy encroachments of the Patriot Act when she was head of the  A.L.A. Her opposition to what she saw as potentially McCarthyite government intrusion into citizens’ privacy earned her a Ms. Woman of the Year distinction in 2003. (“When the FBI came snooping, Carla Diane Hayden proved librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers,” Ms. wrote.) Mention her name to a New York Public Library staffer, and there’s a frisson of excitement; at her raucous and bustling sendoff in Baltimore, a high-school librarian, quoted in the Washington Post, called her a “rock star.”
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Libraries are Forever: E-Books & Print Books Can Coexist [Infographic] | Daily Infographic

Libraries are Forever: E-Books & Print Books Can Coexist [Infographic] | Daily Infographic | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
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Library of Congress Card Catalog

Library of Congress Card Catalog | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

For decades, an elegant card catalog occupied a central spot in the Library of Congress Main Reading Room. Before computerization, it was as central to the research process as a search engine in the present day.

When the Main Reading Room was closed for renovation in 1987 the Library returned the room to its original form with desks in a full circle. This meant moving the card catalog to desks adjacent to the Main Reading Room on the first floor of the Jefferson Building. No cards have been added since 1980, but the catalog is still used by researchers and librarians.

The Library of Congress card catalog system dates back to 1898. By 1901 the LC Card Division was producing vast quantities of them for sale to libraries across the country. Every book in the collection had a standardized card listing, relevant metadata, and cross-referenced topics.

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ALA President-Elect Loida García-Febo: Holding On To ALA’s Core Values

ALA President-Elect Loida García-Febo: Holding On To ALA’s Core Values | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2018–19 presidential election closed on April 5, with Loida García-Febo winning the role of president-elect. A total of 9,123 ballots were cast among the candidates— García-Febo, Terri Grief, and Scott Walter—significantly down from last year’s 10,230.

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5 reasons Trump needs a personal librarian: Column

5 reasons Trump needs a personal librarian: Column | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
I'm just the person for the job. It doesn't exist but it should be created.
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Libraries in Balance | Office Hours

Libraries in Balance | Office Hours | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
One of my students was telling me about her public library job: “It just breaks my heart some days…. There is such a disconnect between the technologies our management wants us to explore and implement and what our patrons need and want. Our patrons are the city’s most vulnerable citizens.” She went on to describe requests for fine forgiveness because of an eviction with library books locked inside the apartment.
Her question came down to this: When people are asking for help so their basic needs can be met, how do we balance that with emerging technologies?
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The Handmaid's Tale is a best-seller again ahead of Hulu miniseries

The Handmaid's Tale is a best-seller again ahead of Hulu miniseries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Must-read TV! Copies of 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale fly off shelves thanks to upcoming TV series - with more than 456 PEOPLE currently on the New York Public Library's waitlist
The Hulu miniseries, which stars Elisabeth Moss, will premiere later this month 
Author Margaret Atwood's novel is currently number two on the Amazon best-seller list and number seven on the New York Times best-seller list
There are currently 456 outstanding holds for it at the New York Public Library
Atwood, 77, said recently that her book's message is 'more relevant than ever.

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'Inhaling knowledge in the library' - BBC News

'Inhaling knowledge in the library' - BBC News | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Scientists at University College London are working on a project to capture aromas for their historic value.
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Skype Translator...Speak With Students & Teachers In Their Own Language!

Skype Translator...Speak With Students & Teachers In Their Own Language! | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Using Skype in the library to connect to others around the world made such a difference in the students lives.  It gave them the opportunity to connect with authors, illustrators, experts and places like never before. 

It also let them connect with other children around the world.  We learned about New Orleans and Mardi Gras; learned about going to school in Australia; and learned favorite things to eat in Ireland.  

There were times with our Skype connections, that the language differences made it a little difficult.  

Well, now Skype has created something that makes it possible for our young people to connect with others around the world regardless of the language they speak
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'Little libraries' to encourage reading among kids and adults pop up around Hawaii

'Little libraries' to encourage reading among kids and adults pop up around Hawaii | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A popular trend that encourages reading among kids and adults on the mainland has made its way to Hawaii.

It's an idea that brings back an old past time — actually reading a book in your hand.

They're for the young and older and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. But all "little libraries" have a common mission: to promote and encourage literature.
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New York Public Library's Digital Resources Are Now Free For Everyone -

New York Public Library's Digital Resources Are Now Free For Everyone - | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The New York Public Library has made it a little easier to bring an interactive historical experience to the classroom by making their out-of-copyright resources available for high resolution download — a digital archive of 708,516 documents and images, and growing. They’ve also streamlined the process of sifting through this historical treasure trove with several intuitive search options including a visual viewer that allows you to sort by century, genre, collection or color.

Even more compelling, the NYPL Labs team has provided some innovative opportunities for exploring certain collections, like a game that allows you to walk through floor plans of turn-of-the-century real estate, compare and contrast New York’s Fifth Avenue in 1911 and 2015, or plan a trip using travel guides from 1936 to 1966 that featured places black travelers were welcome. The sheer volume of historical material available promises a wide variety of interesting options for research.
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Libraries Resist: A Round-Up of Tolerance, Social Justice, & Resistance in US Libraries

Libraries Resist: A Round-Up of Tolerance, Social Justice, & Resistance in US Libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Libraries are not, nor have they ever been, neutral spaces. They are political. Every decision made in a library, from books to be included in the collection, to displays created, to special populations to reach, is political. Many believe that libraries and librarians are apolitical, but it’s simply not true. It’s impossible to be a neutral space with the goal of reaching a community, be it the public or the academic or the special population the library serves. By inviting all in a community to be in a shared space, libraries embrace the idea of encouraging education, encouraging acceptance and tolerance, and on a much smaller scale, they create policies that ensure these very things happen in their spaces.

No act in the library is too small to foster tolerance and acceptance.

That said, some libraries can and do, thanks to their own policies, embrace their non-neutrality in much louder ways than others. Here’s a look at some of the recent actions taken by libraries of all shapes and sizes and specialties around the USA. The selection of libraries here were submitted by librarians and friends of libraries; in these instances, I’ve included some of the comments received, too, about the ways their communities or administrations have or have not criticized their efforts.
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Librarians across the country protest, resist, and persist » MobyLives

Librarians across the country protest, resist, and persist » MobyLives | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
We’ve already written about the incredible work that librarians are doing on the front lines of the fight against fake news. But their resistance against the current administration is also more immediate, more direct, and more far-reaching than that effort. Elizabeth Flock at PBS NewsHour took a look at what libraries across the country are offering their communities, from protests to sanctuary.

Librarians found the executive orders aimed at immigrants particularly offensive, because, as Massachusetts librarian Elizabeth McKinstry told Flock, “We are huge resources for newcomers to this country, whether it’s for connection to this country, legal resources, testing preparation, citizen tests, services like storytimes or homework help. We are there for the most vulnerable folks in our communities, people on the other side of the digital or language divide.”
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Do Libraries Need Ebooks? - Digital Book World

Do Libraries Need Ebooks? - Digital Book World | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
At the American Library Association’s mid-winter meeting in Seattle last week, discussion swirled around libraries and ebooks – as it has in the library community for several years now.
 
Access to ebooks for patrons is still a high priority and librarians are “frustrated with the pace of change,” according to Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library and co-chair of ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Working Group. Librarians are also unhappy with library ebook licenses that are limiting or when ebooks are more expensive for libraries to purchase and the “ALA anticipates that continued, or stepped up, advocacy will be necessary in 2013.” So look forward to that.
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Jane Cowell's curator insight, February 18, 11:41 PM
Digital requires libraries to rethink delivery - radical collaboration between libraries needed
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The (Nearly) Perfect Training Room

The (Nearly) Perfect Training Room | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Training Rooms in Libraries

Library space, where librarians teach information literacy, should not look like an old-fashioned classroom or a computerized training room which might be found in a computer centre. In a traditional information technology training room or a computer laboratory.  The furniture and its arrangement convey messages to occupants: don’t move, don’t discuss, don’t feel comfortable! Tables are usually placed in rows. There are rarely windows that allow views of the outside world. The computers and large monitors dominate, there might be some digitized displays – but there is limited space for the learners. The students using the facility will become tired very quickly. The following images of traditional training rooms typify the stereotyped and stultifying atmosphere which develops, even if the colours are bright.
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