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Design for New Donnell Library by Enrique Norten

Design for New Donnell Library by Enrique Norten | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The Donnell branch of the New York Public Library has been reconceived to fit at the base of a high-rise hotel and designed to emphasize places to congregate rather than those for books.
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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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Introducing the Minneapolis Art Lending Library

Introducing the Minneapolis Art Lending Library | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Founded in 2013, the Minneapolis Art Lending Library is a collection of about 110 pieces of original artwork that are available to the public for free, three-month loan periods. We aim to provide a new model for artists to showcase their work and build a following, while also cultivating a new audience of art supporters. Below, some more details in an interview with co-founder, Larsen Husby. 

Amelia Foster for the LAIP (AF): Tell us about the Minneapolis Art Lending Library– what’s the goal of it? 
Larse Husby (LH): Our mission is to “provide exposure for artists, build ongoing support for the arts, and share the joy of art with all members of our community through the free lending of artwork.” We believe that there is value in living with a work of art, observing it over a long period of time and seeing it interact with the environment of the home. This kind of long-form viewing is hard to come by unless you can afford to buy lots of original art. We hope to provide access to this particular form of art engagement with a wider audience by making it free to borrow original works of art. Additionally, we aim to provide a unique and beneficial form of exposure for artists, allowing them to showcase art in a new format. Through our project, we hope to build support for the arts by connecting artists and art lovers, and introducing our community to the joys of living with art. 

Trudy Raymakers's insight:
In Holland there are many art lending centres (kunstuitleen) since 1955; they are not called libraries. Strange that this is apparently new in America.
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Libraries Are Not Neutral Spaces: Social Justice Advocacy in Librarianship | ALA Annual 2017

Libraries Are Not Neutral Spaces: Social Justice Advocacy in Librarianship | ALA Annual 2017 | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
For Cory Eckert, doing social justice work in libraries is not radical. “It’s what we’ve always been doing, but now we’re thinking about it through a different lens.” Eckert, a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker, reminded attentive listeners on Sunday, June 25 that libraries are not neutral and have never been so.
Before embarking on her current role as a librarian at the Post Oak School (TX), Eckert worked at the Houston Public Library and the Octavia Fellin Public Library (NM). In this latter role, she served a primarily Navajo community where children rarely saw themselves positively represented in literature. Eckert asked the audience to consider whether their libraries perform outreach in English (or other languages), and which parts of town they advertise in (or don’t).
Collection development, organizing displays and shelving, labeling materials with stickers, and taking a stance for or against legislation such as the PATRIOT Act are other common library decisions that may appear neutral but lack objectivity. For those interested in further reading, she cited April Hathcock’s blog At the Intersection. “These are our patrons,” Eckert asserted. “If we can’t make the library nice for them, what are we doing?”
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Bookstores holding their own against digital onslaught

Bookstores holding their own against digital onslaught | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Amid the ongoing dirge for businesses the internet has decimated, books occupy a special place. From the parchments of the ancient Greeks to the Gutenberg Bible to the worldwide spread of lending libraries, books were arguably one of the primary engines of civilization's growth, spreading knowledge and delight to humanity. 

So laments about their decline resonate deeper than the nostalgic regrets inspired by, say, the demolition of a beloved local sports stadium. The number of paper-bound books bought has tumbled over the past decade as bookstores have closed down. Robert Gleason, executive editor of Tor Books, last month stood in the middle of Book Expo America, the largest U.S. book fair,  and remarked, "This used to be so much more crowded."

But there's some evidence that the long, sad slump in book purchases has hit bottom. Sales are creeping upward. And, yes, there may even be a rebound taking shape, however modest, among independent booksellers, whose ranks have been pared harshly. Of course, in addition to digital competition for people's time, another factor in books' slide may have been increased consumer thriftiness in the aftermath of the Great Recession. So an improving economy should be a help to book sales.  

"This is a tough business," said Otto Penzler, who founded a small publishing house called Mysterious Press and also runs the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City. "But everybody's business is better than five years ago," referring to booksellers.
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Tattoos and baseball caps: This is What a Librarian Looks Like – in pictures

Tattoos and baseball caps: This is What a Librarian Looks Like – in pictures | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
From Gucci to Prada, so-called librarian chic is huge in fashion. But a new book by Kyle Cassidy reads between the lines to challenge the stereotypes of librarian style – and look at the ways in which they are the champions of our communities
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City of Sydney shelves library fines for four years after 70,000 overdue items returned

City of Sydney shelves library fines for four years after 70,000 overdue items returned | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Gone are the days of heavy-handed deterrence. People can now return overdue library books - without being fined.
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This 400-year-old Jewish library survived Hitler and the Inquisition

This 400-year-old Jewish library survived Hitler and the Inquisition | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Livraria Ets Haim is the world’s oldest functioning Jewish library. As such, it is no stranger to the prospect of imminent destruction.
Founded in 1616 by Jews who fled Catholic persecution in Spain and Portugal, the three-room library is adjacent to Amsterdam’s majestic Portuguese Synagogue in the Dutch capital’s center.

The 30,000-volume collection mostly contains manuscripts written by people who fled the Inquisition on the Iberian Peninsula or their descendants. The oldest document is a copy of the Mishneh Torah, the code of Jewish religious law authored by Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, or Maimonides, that dates to 1282. Ets Haim’s volume is pristine but for the scars left behind by an Inquisition censor, a Jew who had converted to Christianity and singed away entire passages of the book.

Ets Haim as a whole faced a similar fate — or worse — in 1940, when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and had 75 percent of its Jews murdered. Yet the Nazis left the Portuguese Synagogue intact, and instead of burning the library’s collection, they shipped the books to Germany. The collection was discovered there, with light damage, after the war, and returned to Amsterdam.

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A summer reading list fit for a certain U.S. President

A summer reading list fit for a certain U.S. President | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Okay, put away that Dick Francis novel, so deliciously redolent of basement mildew, and that James Patterson paperback you took from the Little Free Library under cover of night. It’s serious summer reading time now.

At least it is for the intellectual heavyweights who release their reading list to the public. Bill Gates has put his weighty recommendations online – three memoirs, one novel and a book about the future of humanity (I like to think he’s got a Sidney Sheldon or two on his Kindle).

For years, Barack Obama gave hope to the readers of the world by talking about books seriously and passionately. Every summer, he would stop on his way to Hawaii or Martha’s Vineyard and pick up a collection of interesting new titles (I like to think he had a Danielle Steele or two on his Kindle). He would read fiction and biography, history and poetry. Reading fiction, he told his novelist friend Marilynne Robinson, made him not just a better president, but a better person: “When I think about how I understand my role as citizen. … the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of greys.”
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Authors' Love Letters to Public Libraries

Authors' Love Letters to Public Libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
In 2011 I was the Teen Librarian in a public library in Nova Scotia, Canada. That same year, the library was poised to celebrate its 10th birthday.

I had recently read an article about a librarian who had written to authors in 1971 asking them to write to the children of her library and explain why reading is important.

I decided to steal that idea and write to as many authors as I could, asking them if they’d write me back to wish our library a happy birthday and tell the teens in our area why libraries are so important.
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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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Tumblr: The New Commonplace Book

Tumblr: The New Commonplace Book | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Technology has changed, but commonplace books have stayed the same. One of Tumblr's greatest gifts is to help readers save and share their favorite quotes.
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I’m Glad I Went to Library School: A Personal Perspective on On-Site Education

I’m Glad I Went to Library School: A Personal Perspective on On-Site Education | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Two years ago, in the summer of 2015, my husband and I quit our jobs, packed our bags, and left our hometown for Iowa City, where I would be attending library school that fall. Librarianship had been my dream career since 2008, when I started undergrad. Now after years of planning and several library jobs,…
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Amazon’s first bookstore in New York City sucks the joy out of buying books

Amazon’s first bookstore in New York City sucks the joy out of buying books | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The joy of the bookstore lies in what might be called the analog experience of the physical space: Hushed page-flipping; the sound of two covers sliding against each other as a book is returned to its spot on the shelf; the quiet murmur of, “Have you read this one?” Luddites and Twitter junkies alike need insulation from the glare of screens and the sounds of speakers.
Tomorrow (May 25), Amazon will open its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City. The store is on the third floor of a shopping behemoth in Columbus Circle, where a Borders closed its doors in 2011, just blocks away from where a massive Barnes & Noble sold books for 16 years before it, too, closed. A second Manhattan location will open on 34th Street this summer, adding to the 13 total bookstores planned to be open by the end of the year (currently, there are six stores open).
The cashless Columbus Circle store is founded on Amazon’s belief that people will want to discover (and buy) books that are rated highly on Amazon.com, with a barrage of in-person signs and data-driven shelving choices. But buying a book in the store is actually more expensive than purchasing on the site if you’re not a Prime member. The upshot is that, while the physical store succeeds as an ad for a Prime membership, it fails to be joyful, or even effective, as a bookstore.
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The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First?

The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from? Not so many information would have been lost if not so many libraries were destroyed.

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A tribute to librarians, heroes of modern times

A tribute to librarians, heroes of modern times | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

What would we do without librarians? Although very discreet, librarians have had a pivotal role in the information society and in the world at large, a proof that true heroes of modern times are not those who first come to our mind. Both traditional and digital libraries are extensively covered by the media, but what about all those who work there, especially librarians in small or underfunded libraries?

Since the 15th century, after the birth of the printed book, librarians have worked hard, with great conviction and little means, in all kinds of general and specialized libraries. At first, librarians were local historians and had other volunteer roles. After decades of discussions at many levels – local, national, regional, international -, being a librarian has become a job and even a profession.

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Catch 'em young: The new 'mantra' to revitalise public libraries

Catch 'em young: The new 'mantra' to revitalise public libraries | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

NEW DELHI: Once a favourite spot for learners and scholars, most of the 70,000 plus public libraries in India have now turned into haunted houses with few visitors to grace their premises. This depressing image of the vital institutions ......Leading the programme is Indian Public Library Movement, supported by the Global Libraries initiative of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and hosted by NASSCOM in the Capital. 

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Millennials are the public library system’s biggest customers

Millennials are the public library system’s biggest customers | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Welcome to the weekly Vox book link roundup, a curated selection of the best online writing about books and related topics. Here’s the best the internet has to offer for the week of June 18, 2017.

Millennials use public libraries more than any other generation, the Huffington Post reports. This feels correct to me, as libraries combine millennials’ two favorite things: immersive, escapist pop culture and free stuff. (Millennials are broke because they inherited a broken economy, is the joke here.)


An actual, real live teenager has registered some complaints regarding the books adults write for her. 

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Belonging, and libraries as empathy engines?

Belonging, and libraries as empathy engines? | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
The discussion was based around the question “What does it mean to belong in Australia ?”. Tim Costello was CEO of World Vision and writes about equity issues. Isabelle Li was born in China, but came to Australia voluntarily to resettle in 1999 after living for five years in Singapore. Abdi Aden was a Somalian refugee who came to Melbourne at 17 and now works as a youth worker.

The most library-relevant part of the talk was Isabelle Li describing her annoyance at being asked “but how could you understand what it was about?” when she revealed that she had read Dicken’s David Copperfield several times as a teen because she loved it so much; the presumption being that a 20th Century young woman in China would not have anything in common with a young lad in Victorian times. But, “of COURSE I could empathise with the characters. That’s the POINT of literature”.

It made me think of libraries, particularly public libraries, as “empathy peddlars”. By providing a wide range of literature, much of it people would not come across for themselves, do we provide more chance for people to put themselves in each others’ shoes? Do our programmes for such a wide cross section of the community give people exposure to ideas and people that they would otherwise avoid ? Does the common purpose of using wifi or a comfy workspace, and the fact that NO ONE IS FORCED TO BE THERE, mean that people get to understand that other people  with whom they think they have nothing in common, actually make similar choices to themselves?
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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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