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Featuring: Lauren Redniss | Library as Incubator Project

Featuring: Lauren Redniss | Library as Incubator Project | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

an interview with Lauren Redniss, artist, author, educator, and creator of the book Radioactive Marie and Pierre Curie: a Tale of Love and Fallout (It Books, 2010

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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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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people uncomfortable”.

Why Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird endures to tell its tale of radical change
The Sun Herald reported that administrators in Biloxi pulled the novel from the eighth-grade curriculum this week.

Kenny Holloway, vice-president of the Biloxi school board, told the newspaper: “There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books. It’s still in our library. But they’re going to use another book in the eighth-grade course.”

A message on the Biloxi schools website said To Kill a Mockingbird teaches students that compassion and empathy do not depend upon race or education.

Published in 1960, Lee’s Pulitzer-winning novel deals with racial inequality in a small Alabama town, in the aftermath of an alleged rape of a white woman for which a black man is tried. It has sold more than 40m copies and it was made into a film in 1962, winning three Oscars.

An email to the Sun Herald from a concerned reader referred to the book’s use of the word “nigger” when it said the school board’s decision was made “mid-lesson plan”.

“The students will not be allowed to finish the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird,” the email said “… due to the use of the ‘N’ word.”

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bookofjoe: Library Sound Archives

bookofjoe: Library Sound Archives | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The incredible record libraries where you can listen to vast archives for free — the way we like it.
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Melissa Jacobs Takes Top Library Position at NYC Department of Education

Melissa Jacobs Takes Top Library Position at NYC Department of Education | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Attracting more educators into the library profession, expanding maker spaces in schools, and creating more opportunities for librarians in public and nonpublic schools to learn from one another are among Melissa Jacobs’s priorities as the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) new director of library services.

Named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2015, Jacobs has led a variety of efforts designed to encourage librarians to take leadership roles in their schools and in national organizations. .
Sue Kowalski, a librarian in the East Syracuse Minoa School District, calls Jacobs a “human connector.”

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Chris Selley: Libraries feel the heat on freedom of speech

Chris Selley: Libraries feel the heat on freedom of speech | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ position paper on intellectual freedom clearly lays out libraries’ “core responsibilities” in that regard. One is “to safeguard and facilitate access to constitutionally protected expressions of knowledge, imagination, ideas, and opinion, including those which some individuals and groups consider unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable.” Another is to “make available their public spaces and services to individuals and groups without discrimination.”

In an era when free speech scrambles for purchase on university campuses, one wonders how long it will last in libraries. In June, Toronto’s excellent public library system came under heavy fire for a paid room-booking that turned out to be a memorial event for Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer best known for representing alleged Nazi war criminals in Canada and their supporters, notably Ernst Zundel.
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Public library hosts second Black Ink book festival

Public library hosts second Black Ink book festival | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

The second Black Ink book festival, slated for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at the main branch of the Charleston County Public Library, features keynote speaker Kwame Alexander and 50 other authors, most from the Charleston area.

The mission of “Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival” is to support local black writers by “creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft and expose readers all ages to the great variety of African American authors in the area.” Though organizers say the festival has much to offer people of all ages and races.

Admission is free and includes author exhibits, featured author sessions, workshops and seminars and entertainment. A full schedule is available at CharlestonLibraryFriends.org.

Alexander won the Newberry Award in 2015 for his book of poetry, “The Crossover,” the story of a young basketball player. He is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Other authors include Bernard Powers and Herb Frazier who co-wrote, along with Marjory Wentworth, “We Are Charleston,” an examination of the Emanuel AME Church shooting set in the context of Charleston history, as well as authors of romance, young adult fiction, children's literature and more.

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Why you're probably reading the wrong books — and missing the point

Why you're probably reading the wrong books — and missing the point | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
If we limit our reading to books by writers who resemble ourselves, aren't we missing the point, asks Nicola Heath.
Trudy Raymakers's insight:
Check it and correct if if so. Libraries need to check on bias too.
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Rebecca Solnit on a Childhood of Reading and Wandering

Rebecca Solnit on a Childhood of Reading and Wandering | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

.The United States’s public libraries sometimes seem to me the last refuges of a democratic vision of equality, places in which everyone is welcome, which serve the goal of an informed public, offering services far beyond the already heady gift of free books you can take home, everything from voter registration to computer access. I’ve joked for a long time that if you walked up to people in the street and asked them whether we could own our greatest treasures collectively and trust people to walk away with them and bring them back, a lot of people would say that’s impossibly idealistic and some would say it’s socialist, but libraries have been making books free for all for a very long time. They are temples of books, fountains of narrative pleasure, and toolboxes of crucial information. My own writing has depended on public libraries and then university libraries and archives and does to this day. I last used a public library the day before yesterday

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New York Public Library Receives $55 Million Gift to Renovate Mid-Manhattan Library, 2nd Largest Gift in History of NYPL

New York Public Library Receives $55 Million Gift to Renovate Mid-Manhattan Library, 2nd Largest Gift in History of NYPL | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The Foundation’s transformational $55 million gift will support the creation of a modern, central branch to hold the Library’s largest circulating collection and offer countless programs for children, teens, and adults. In addition, it will help establish an inspiring “Midtown campus” that will reconnect the circulating library with the Library’s iconic research center, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, across Fifth Avenue.
The gift also establishes an endowment for programming at the renovated library.
The Mid-Manhattan Library renovation is expected to be complete in 2020, when the building will reopen as The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL).
In total, the Foundation has supported the Library with grants of over $60 million. The Library’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved the renaming at a recent meeting, and it was announced at the full Board of Trustees meeting this evening.
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Books. Internet. Life-Saving Shelter? Libraries, You've Done It Again.

Books. Internet. Life-Saving Shelter? Libraries, You've Done It Again. | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

U.S. public libraries often transform into shelters during emergencies.
After Superstorm Sandy, for example, the Princeton Public Library in New Jersey and the New Canaan Library in Connecticut gave the public somewhere to charge devices, contact loved ones, or even just watch movies. Other New Jersey libraries went further: The Roxbury Public Library opened early and closed late, and South Orange’s library became its primary evacuation center.

Libraries don’t just pitch in following natural disasters. In August 2014, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library became a safe space amid the unrest that followed the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb. And when local schools started the school year two weeks behind schedule, leaving students in the lurch, the library even hosted informal classes for hundreds of students.

As millions of people in cities, suburbs, and towns are reeling from Hurricane Harvey, nearby public libraries will soon play a critical role in creating a sense of normalcy for all ages — but especially for kids and teens. To help more public libraries emulate these examples with their young patrons, I teamed up with three graduate students to create a youth services toolkit to help librarians pitch in during emergencies. It will soon be available in a digital format at the Library of Michigan’s Youth Library Services website

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Save your local! Should volunteers help keep our public libraries open?

Save your local! Should volunteers help keep our public libraries open? | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Kensal Rise Library in London, where volunteers have set up a community library. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Readers checking a book out of the village library might not immediately notice much of a difference, but Congresbury is the latest public library to haven been handed over “to the community”. You may be used to libraries being run by volunteers – maybe your local is – but this structure is relatively new. Over the last decade, as many libraries began closing across the UK due to swingeing cuts to local authority funding by central government – 121 libraries closed last year alone – some have instead been handed over by councils to the community to run.

Since librarian Ian Anstice began charting the cuts to UK libraries on his campaigning website Public Libraries News in 2010, 500 of the UK’s 3,850 remaining libraries have now been taken over, at least in part, by volunteers. “I’ve been looking at the count going up steadily for the last few years,” says Anstice. “In 2010, there were a handful – perhaps 10 in the whole country. So this is quite a staggering change.”

Paid library staff fell by almost 1,000 in the year to March 2016, from 18,028 to 17,064, according to official figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa). In the same period, volunteer numbers rose by more than 3,000, from 41,402 to 44,501.

Anstice warns that the rise in volunteer-run libraries is masking how dramatic the decline in the library service actually is

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By the Numbers: Library Cards | American Libraries Magazine

By the Numbers: Library Cards | American Libraries Magazine | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Facts and statistics about library cards and borrowing in honor the American Library Association's Library Card Sign-Up Month
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After Harvey Libraries Reopen, Organizations Step Up

After Harvey Libraries Reopen, Organizations Step Up | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Over a five-day period, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast area of southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana. More than 50 inches of rain fell, killing at least 66 people, displacing 30,000 others, and causing up to $190 billion in damages.
When skies finally cleared at the end of August, cleanup efforts began in earnest. In Rockport, where Harvey first made landfall on August 25, the Aransas County Public Library sustained major damage and has not reopened, and at the Ellis Memorial Library in Port Aransas, the collection was described in a Facebook post as “a total loss.”
The Houston area, to the northwest, received more scattered damage, and by the Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend, the Houston Public Library (HPL) and Harris County Public Library (HCPL) had reopened a number of their branches. They will continue to do so on a rolling basis—but it will be months before services approach business as usual.
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Kansas City Libraries Defend Free Speech in Face of Arrests, Resignations

Kansas City Libraries Defend Free Speech in Face of Arrests, Resignations | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Two library systems in the Kansas City, MO, area have found themselves at the center of challenges to free speech. An event last spring at the Kansas City Public Library (KCPL) resulted in the arrests of a both patron who spoke at a public lecture and the librarian who defended him. And in August, at the nearby Grandview branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL), two security guards resigned in protest of a book display originally titled “Black Lives Matter,” although the library changed the title. Both incidents, while different in tenor and outcome, highlight the role of libraries as defenders of free speech and safe spaces for dissent.
ADDED SECURITY
On May 9, KCPL hosted diplomat Dennis Ross to speak at the inaugural Truman and Israel Lecture, a joint venture of KCPL, the Truman Library Institute, and the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) of Greater Kansas City. Ross’s engagement consisted of both private and public appearances—first as a private event for 200 JCF members, and continuing in the library’s large auditorium as a lecture for the general public.
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Mississippi school board pulls 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from reading list

Mississippi school board pulls 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from reading list | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

The school board in Biloxi, Mississippi, has pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" from an eighth-grade reading list after receiving complaints about wording in the book.

Last week, Kenny Holloway, the board's vice president, said there was language in the book that "makes people uncomfortable."

"We can teach the same lesson with other books," Holloway said, according to the The Sun Herald newspaper. "It's still in our library. But they're going to use another book in the eighth-grade course."

The Biloxi School District didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The book will still be available to check out from the library and is still listed on the school website as part of the eighth-grade English Learning Arts program.

The Sun Herald reported that a reader said the decision stems around the book's use of the n-word. A syllabus posted on the school system's website says questions to focus on include "What does it mean to be racist?" and "What is the difference between tradition and ignorance?"

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, written by the late Harper Lee and published in 1960, centers on racial inequality and injustices in the Deep South. In 2009 and 2011, the American Library Association listed the novel as one of the "Top Ten Most Challenged Books.

Trudy Raymakers's insight:
Unbelievable. But the book will still be available to check out from the library!!
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Louis L'Amour's Library and Reading List | Art of Manliness

Louis L'Amour's Library and Reading List | Art of Manliness | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Welcome back to our series on the libraries of great men. The eminent men of history were often voracious readers and their own philosophy represents a distillation of all the great works they fed into their minds. This series seeks to trace the stream of their thinking back to the source. For, as David Leach, a now retired business executive put it: “Don’t follow your mentors; follow your mentors’ mentors.”

When digging in to the best novels and authors in the Western genre of literature, there are a few names that pop up over and over again. Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, Zane Grey, and of course, Louis L’Amour. Over the course of his prolific career, L’Amour published over 100 books — most of them novels, but also over a dozen short story collections, and one brilliant autobiography, Education of a Wandering Man, which is more of a journal of his prodigious reading rather than a life telling (note: all quotes in this piece are from that book). Amazingly, not a single novel of his was published until 1951 when he was in his early 40s, though he had been writing poems and stories his whole adult life.

Though he’ll rarely be praised for writing beautiful or lyrical prose, L’Amour is one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time, and when you ask grandpas — yes, as a whole category — about their favorite authors, he seems to almost universally top their lists. L’Amour writes with a realistic quality that isn’t easily matched in the genre, balancing both the romance and realities of Western life. His action scenes are superb, but more striking are his lifelike depictions of the landscape, the horses and horsemanship, the movements and habits of American Indians. Few have ever researched and truly lived the West like L’Amour.
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Talking libraries

Talking libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Leigh Hobbs has been out and about in the media over the past two weeks talking about school libraries and why we still need them. First stop was ABC News Breakfast with Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland.

Leigh covered topics including what it means to be the Australian Children's Laureate, and most importantly, why we need libraries.


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Melania Trump Tried to Donate Books to a School and Was Rejected by the School Librarian

Melania Trump Tried to Donate Books to a School and Was Rejected by the School Librarian | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

An elementary school librarian in Cambridge, MA wrote a blog post rejecting a collection of Dr. Seuss books donated to the school by the First Lady. For National Read a Book Day, Melania Trump sent out ten Dr. Seuss books to one school in each state.
She seems to have picked a live one with the selection of Cambridgeport Elementary School.


Melania Trump and books have proven to be a volatile combination.
When Melania tweeted in support of National Read a Book Day, the reaction from the Internet was swift and overwhelmingly critical.

Now, the First Lady is in the news again for her National Read a Book Day decisions, this time thanks to a fiery elementary school librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro. After receiving Melania Trump’s donation of ten Dr. Seuss books for her school, Soerio posted an open letter to the First Lady on the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog, effectively rejecting the books.

“I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to ‘excellence,'” she wrote. “My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science … Meanwhile, school libraries around the country are being shuttered.

“Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school ‘choice’ … Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?”

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Volunteers rescue thousands of books from Mosul library destroyed by Islamic State

Volunteers rescue thousands of books from Mosul library destroyed by Islamic State | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

A volunteer effort to save thousands of books and manuscripts from a Mosul university library destroyed by Islamic State has renewed hope for the city after more than two years of occupation.

Volunteers help carry out books from the Mosul library destroyed by Islamic State. (Credit: ABC licensed) 
It was a reading festival. But this is Mosul, and until a few months ago it was crawling with Islamic State militants.
They occupied the city's university library, where last week festival-goers celebrated a rich culture and donated books.
The volunteer effort to save what was left of Mosul University library after it was destroyed by IS has renewed hope for the city after more than two years of occupation.

The library once contained hundreds of thousands of ancient documents, including a ninth-century Koran, before it was burned down in a deliberate attempt to erase culture.
But Mosul local and amateur photographer Ali ِAl-Baroodi, who once taught at the university, has been part of a community campaign led by independent blogger Mosul Eye to restore what remained of the library's collection.
"At the beginning when we went by the library, we couldn't hold back our tears, and we thought it was all over," Mr Al-Baroodi said.

"We thought nothing survived from inside the library. Then we found that some books have survived and some of them are old manuscripts from 100 to 200 years ago.

"So we could save 86,000 books and removed 36,000 surviving beautiful books to a safer place. It was a big accomplishment."

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The Best Library In Every State

The Best Library In Every State | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today.
No disrespect to your e-reader or anything, but nothing beats curling up with an actual book. There’s just something about the smell of dusty pages, the crack of a new spine and a bookshelf filled with old favorites. Not to mention how a real book will never run out of batteries. Even better? Get yourself a library card and the cost of a new read is totally free. Here, the best library in every state where you’ll definitely want to get lost in the stacks. 

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Rebecca Solnit on the Treasure of Public Libraries • Rhys Tranter

Rebecca Solnit on the Treasure of Public Libraries •  Rhys Tranter | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

I’ve joked for a long time that if you walked up to people in the street and asked them whether we could own our greatest treasures collectively and trust people to walk away with them and bring them back, a lot of people would say that’s impossibly idealistic and some would say it’s socialist, but libraries have been making books free for all for a very long time. They are temples of books, fountains of narrative pleasure, and toolboxes of crucial information. My own writing has depended on public libraries and then university libraries and archives and does to this day. I last used a public library the day before yesterday.”

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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Gives $55 Million To New York Public Library

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Gives $55 Million To New York Public Library | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The New York Public Library's largest circulating branch in midtown Manhattan is receiving $55 million to fund a long-awaited renovation thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
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One old minibus and 1,300 books: the mobile library for refugees in Greece

One old minibus and 1,300 books: the mobile library for refugees in Greece | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

While volunteering in refugee camps in Greece, Laura Samira Naude and Esther ten Zijthoff realised that the people they met needed more than food and shelter: they wanted to study, to work for their future and to find a sense of purpose. Naude and Zijthoff were determined to provide a quiet space, amid the upheaval and uncertainty, where people could use their time rather than just fill it. The pair decided to launch Education Community Hope and Opportunity (Echo) and open a library on wheels.

Friends in London and Belgium did the fundraising and fitted out an old minibus with shelves and computer points for internet access, then drove it to Greece. The two then appealed for books in Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, French, Greek and English, slowly filling the shelves and finally opening in November. They now have about 1,300 books – including some in storage because they don’t fit into the van – and welcome an average of 115 readers a week. So far, they have loaned out 904 books. “We have also lost many books along the way, as they inevitably go missing, and sometimes, especially with language-learning books, we let people keep them and then make copies to keep up with the demand,” says Zijthoff.

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Blood, bookworms, bosoms and bottoms: the secret life of libraries

Blood, bookworms, bosoms and bottoms: the secret life of libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Stuart Kells
Stuart Kells is an author and book-trade historian. His latest book, The Library, is out now

Saturday 26 August 2017 23.09 BST
I recently had the privilege of circling the world to write a book about libraries. My timing was excellent: after a short-lived e-books scare, physical books are back in fashion, and libraries are the place to be.

My trip was not unlike the pilgrimages made by 18th-century library tourists. On my journey I noticed two trends that are changing how we think of old books and old libraries.

The first is a stronger focus on provenance research. Through whose hands have the books passed? How did those handlers use and mark and protect their books? This branch of bibliography is helping to humanise it.

Library fauna such as bookworms, bedbugs and microbats have long been the subject of study
The other trend involves breaking away from traditional ideas of what constitutes a meritorious book, and from the traditional oppositions of high and low literature. Thanks to this, pulp novels – featuring what Allen Lane called “bosoms and bottoms” cover art – have infiltrated rare book collections. Crime pulps and sci-fi paperbacks are now prized by such hallowed institutions as the Smithsonian, the Houghton and the British Library.

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Ex Libris: New York Public Library review – the restless mind of the city

Ex Libris: New York Public Library review – the restless mind of the city | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

A treasured US institution opens itself to the painstaking view of fly-on-the-wall master Frederick Wiseman, who finds enlightenment, humour, compassion and soul within its walls

Frederick Wiseman, who can reasonably be called one of the most groundbreaking film-makers still working, has spent his entire career taking deep dives on very specific topics. It’s maybe something of a punchline that now, at age 87, his latest subject is everything. For over 50 years Wiseman’s all-seeing, fly-on-the-wall cinema has visited institutions (a psychiatric hospital, a park, a museum, a concert venue, a school), gobbled it all up and served it back in an edited form that, while avoiding a traditional three-act structure, links sequences that build to a rich, almost-transcendent understanding. Lord knows others ape the style, but few compare.

Ex Libris: New York Public Library has the drive of a vociferous reader checking out and renewing the maximum number of books their card will allow. Its running time of three hours and 17 minutes is generous enough to succeed on multiple levels. The most prominent theme is the divide between rich and poor, and what the NYPL means in different neighbourhoods. The gorgeous main branch on Fifth Avenue with its marble lions serves a different function than the outposts in the economically disadvantaged outer boroughs. On Fifth Avenue, a “Books at noon” guest like Richard Dawkins will wax about the Enlightenment; off Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, the community huddles up for job interview tips.

The only recurring characters are the caring and determined administrators (some googling puts faces to names; by and large Wiseman doesn’t care for formal introductions) who agonise over the budget and try to anticipate changes in digital technology. There are side trips to speciality branches, such as Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts, Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Mid-Manhattan Library’s fabled picture collection and the Braille and Talking Book Library in Lower Manhattan. Most of the visits focus on a community activity or guest speaker about a panoply of topics (sexual innuendo at Jewish delicatessens, the logistics of deaf interpretation at theatrical events, misguided Marxist defences of slavery among 19th-century southern intellectuals, Gabriel García Márquez) and each one is absolutely fascinating.

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Five Laws of Library Science

Five Laws of Library Science | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
FIVE LAWS OF LIBRARY SCIENCE ➨ The Five laws of library science is a theory proposed by S. R. Ranganathan in 1931, detailing the principles of operating a library system. Five laws of library science are called the set of norms, percepts, and guides to good practice in librarianship. Many librarians worldwide accept them as the foundations of their philosophy. Dr. S.R. Ranganathan conceived the Five Laws of Library Science in 1924. The statements embodying these laws were formulated in 1928. These laws were first published in Ranganathan's classic book entitled Five Laws of Library Science in 1931.

These laws are:
Books are for use.
Every reader his / her book.
Every book its reader.
Save the time of the reader.
The library is a growing organism
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