Librarysoul
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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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How to Work out of a Library (No Matter What Size Town You’re In)

Whether your local library is in the heart of a big city or nestled in a small town, it is likely a great place to get some work done.

Libraries are open to all, they come equipped with wifi and business amenities that freelancers, independent professionals and entrepreneurs need, and they provide a quiet place to focus.

Here’s an overview of working out of your local library, no matter what size town you’re in:

Libraries have Wifi

Regardless of your profession, chances are good that you need wifi access. From emails and social media to website development, graphic design and consultation, reliable wifi is a must-have. It has become a core part of library offerings around the world.

Workspace Variety

Some days you may want to work at a community table, while other days you may be heads-down and focused on a project or meeting with a client in a sitting area. Libraries offer a variety of workspaces, depending on what you need on any given day.
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Charter Schools, Segregation, and School Library Access

Charter Schools, Segregation, and School Library Access | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

While budget cuts in education over the last decade have had a major impact on the numbers of school libraries and librarians, decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. Prioritizing spending on certain activities over others reflects values related to the purpose of schools, revealed by policy decisions over several decades.

Public education policies that have devalued school libraries and librarians include the expansion of choice policies and charter schools, linked to gaping inequity resulting from a lack of desegregation policies. Research shows that choice reforms, such as charters, have perpetuated a deeply inequitable system where students are increasingly segregated by race and socioeconomic status.

The expansion of charter schools and segregation informs the national trends in school libraries—but how? A close data analysis unpacks some of the reasons. In addition, two regional case studies, in Chicago and California, indicate serious racial gaps in access to school libraries, also related to charter policy and school segregation.

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7 Insidious Myths About Libraries and Reading (the first two kill me)

A list of untruths about libraries and reading that even library lovers believe.
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It's the library users without gloves I worry about | Ian Anstice | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian

It's the library users without gloves I worry about | Ian Anstice | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images


In this cold weather, public libraries are warm and open to all. The idea of them no longer being here gives me the shivers

Ian Anstice- Librarian- Sat 3 Mar 2018 10.09 GMT Last modified on Sat 3 Mar 2018 

In this cold weather, public libraries are warm and open to all. 
There are a lot more homeless people using libraries these days. They will come in and stay in for hours and hours. Those who are dressed warmly are doing comparatively OK, but I wonder what those without gloves will do after the library closes. I hope they have a homeless shelter or somewhere else warm. We do what we can to help – sometimes we’ll phone the council hotline to try and find somewhere for them to stay. Many are so grateful when something is arranged.

The great thing about libraries is that everyone can sit down and be part of our community. The homeless people that visit us will see families, the young and old and, hopefully, feel part of normal human life. That’s just as important as the books and computers we offer.

Library closures mean lonely people will be left out in the cold.

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Libraries Are a Space Where Everyone Belongs

Libraries Are a Space Where Everyone Belongs | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert.”
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How Being a Librarian Makes Me a Better Writer

How Being a Librarian Makes Me a Better Writer | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Every year, thousands of hospital patients die due to bloodstream infections introduced by the very central venous catheters that were inserted to help keep them alive. Central venous catheters are the rubber tubes attached to chests or necks that feed medicine and nutrition to critical patients, the floppy boughs between human and machine that telegraph the gravity of a character’s illness in medical dramas. The ports through which the catheters attach to the human body are also perfect little hell-mouths for infection, welcoming in, like baby birds, anything—sustenance or contagion—dropped in for them to feed on, often by medical personnel who didn’t make it through two rounds of the Happy Birthday song when washing their hands after their Panera breaks.

I know this not because I’m an epidemiologist but because I’m an academic librarian, and many of my patrons are panicked nursing students working on the capstone papers standing between them and the career that will immediately land them in a higher tax bracket than me upon graduation. I’m also a fiction writer, which is why I’m as interested in the human fallibility that those central venous catheter infections represent as I am on prevention strategies.
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Must-see objects at the Bodleian Treasures

Must-see objects at the Bodleian Treasures | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
This exhibition contains 21 pairs of carefully selected items. Most of these are manuscripts, but there are also a few other objects; together, they feature some of the Bodleian Libraries’ best collections.
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To Fine or Not To Fine » Public Libraries Online

To Fine or Not To Fine » Public Libraries Online | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
On and off, I see discussion about charging late fines to patrons.  I know many argue that not charging late fees, but putting out a donation jar nets greater profit. I have often wondered if the libraries that  pursue a no fine option are libraries in which it is known that the money collected goes straight to town coffers and not to the libraries themselves. Regardless, I am not in favor of the donation or no fine approach.

My reasoning is not based on any fiscal basis. With my library’s fines set between $0.05 and$1.00, and individual items capping at $3.00, this is not and never will be a revenue stream. My reasons for keeping a fine based system have more to do with psychology. When I was a child, having fines for library books was a means of teaching responsibility and consequence for my actions (or inaction). For me then, and now, the cents per day fee was a gentle way to remind me that library borrowing should not be taken for granted. It was not merely a repository, kept available for my pleasure only, but a valuable service that others used besides me
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L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library to switch to "fine free" system

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library to switch to "fine free" system | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

A local library will start 2018 with a clean slate as they go to a "fine free" system. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is eliminating late fines on nearly all of their materials starting on January 1st. The library says they will waive existing fines too.

Fines will still be charged for certain items and people will still be fined for damaged items.The libraries programming manager says by waiving the fees-- they are hoping to reduce unnecessary barriers that prevent people from accessing critical information.
The library is committed to reducing unnecessary barriers that prevent residents from accessing critical information needed to succeed in today's world," says Library Director, Pamela Westby. "We are grateful for the support of our library Board of Trustees, which has endorsed this opportunity to welcome back thousands of residents to the library by waiving fines on library cardholder accounts." The move is also in step with the City of Eau Claire budget process, which recently added a guiding principle to "directly benefit persons with low and moderate income.

"Fines are not a reliable or sustainable income source," continues Westby. Revenue from fines represents only about 1.2% of the total library budget. Meanwhile, there are approximately 8,000 library cardholders blocked from checking out to accrued fines of $10 or more. Research shows no difference in the rate of overdue materials between the libraries charging fines and those that don't.

The "fines-free" movement has been gaining traction in public libraries across the country. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library belongs to the MORE consortium of 49 libraries, located in the central northwest region of the state. Four other libraries in the consortium have already opted to reduce or eliminate late fines, including Rice Lake and Augusta.

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A Welsh Library Where You Can Stay the Night

A Welsh Library Where You Can Stay the Night | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Falling asleep in a library is typically the hallmark of an overstressed student, slumped over a desk piled with books in a fit of exam-induced exhaustion. But at this library in a small Welsh village, sleeping among the books is part of the appeal. Top Places in Wales Gladstone Library is the only residential library in the United Kingdom. After browsing the more than 150,000 items in its collection and spending the day snuggled atop the plush chairs, stayover guests can retire to one of the 26 boutique bedrooms on site. Guests have access to the reading rooms until 10 p.m., a full five hours after they close to the public. They can even bring a book back to their room with them (except for those in the Gladstone Foundation Collection) for a bit of bedside reading.

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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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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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A Conversation with Author Jeffrey T. Davis | American Libraries Magazine

A Conversation with Author Jeffrey T. Davis | American Libraries Magazine | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

The library card has come to signify much more than just access to the local library. For some libraries, it provides a link to the community, allowing patrons to enjoy local museums and cultural institutions or ride the bus. In his recent book, The Collection All Around: Sharing Our Cities, Towns, and Natural Places (ALA Editions, 2017), Jeffrey T. Davis explores how libraries are using the library card to establish close bonds with their communities.

Davis is branch manager at San Diego Public Library. An excerpt from his book was published in the July/August issue of American Libraries.

What made you want to write this book?

When I first saw what Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library was doing with its Discover and Go ticketed pass program, it seemed like such a big deal; a qualitative leap from circulating physical museum passes. I wanted to tell my colleagues about it. I thought more people should be talking about it. I still do. This collided with some other interests—community calendars and library participation in neighborhood placemaking, especially.

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What Does a Library Technician Do - Job Description

What Does a Library Technician Do - Job Description | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

A library technician is one member of a library's staff. He or she may work in public, academic, school, medical, law, or government agency libraries.

Working under the supervision of a librarian, this paraprofessional acquires and organizes materials, lends resources to patrons,  and organizes and reshelves items after patrons or users return them.
The scope of a library technician's duties varies according to the size of the facility.
In some libraries, he or she may answer routine questions, teach patrons or users how to use resources, and plan programs. Many also have clerical duties including answering telephones and filing.

Quick Facts
Library technicians earn a median salary $32,890 annually or $15.81 per hour (2016).
This occupation employs approximately 99,000 people (2016).
Employers include public, school, university, law, medical, and corporate libraries.
About two out of three jobs are part-time positions.
Library technicians can expect a good job outlook according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This government agency expects employment to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.

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Do not be silenced. How opinion formers gives the library debate diversity and more voices

Do not be silenced. How opinion formers gives the library debate diversity and more voices | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

The Danish Union of Librarians has made a bold and important move, which I want to share with you. But first, let me tell you a story some of you might already know:

President John F. Kennedy was visiting NASA headquarters for the first time, in 1961. While touring the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”

I like this little story because it reminds me that we are all ambassadors for telling the purpose and value of our institutions, from top management to the janitor who mops the floor. However, it is not enough to know the vision and the value of libraries or whatever institutions you are a part of – it is crucial that we also got the skills and the tools to communicate it to the surrounding world. In the daily tsunami of information and a jungle of communication channels, that does not necessary come easy. It takes courage, awareness and a certain skill-set to stand up and communicate a case so people listen and understands your message.

The Danish Union of Librarians has taken responsibility for trying to bridge their members with methods and skills to influence the public debate by establishing an “Education for Opinion Formers” (sorry, no English version of the program available at this time that I can link to).

The Education for Opinion Formers is a three-day course aiming at giving librarians and library workers the skills, tools, insight and courage to participate and interact in the public debate on behalf of libraries. The Opinion Formers will learn to:

Write piece of debate to newspapers and other medias with clear points and language
Get tools to communicate to others from the standpoint at one’s own profession and values
Tell stories so people listen
Grow a network of peers who want to join the voice for libraries
The education is developed in collaboration with the Think Tank Cevea that also facilitates the program.

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An unquiet realization about libraries - CSMonitor.com

An unquiet realization about libraries - CSMonitor.com | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

FEBRUARY 28, 2018 —The irony didn’t dawn immediately. Only on the way home. The book I had just returned to our local library was called “Unquiet Landscape: Places and Ideas in 20th Century English Painting,” by Christopher Neve. He ranged across his subject and widened my view.

But the ironic word for me in his book’s title, I realized, was “unquiet.” It applied not to the landscape but to our local urban library. I have visited again since then, and my conclusion is much the same: This is no longer a quiet place.

On both of my visits the library was packed with small children, and they were doing rather a lot of small-children things, such as dancing in circles, chattering, singing, chanting nursery rhymes, jumping up and down, and so forth. Various adults dotted around were clearly not discouraging them – rather the opposite.

I wasn’t exactly shocked. But I have to say that my perception of library behavior and purpose shifted somewhat.

All my upbringing vis-à-vis libraries was that they were sanctums, monastic in their reverence, silent escape places in a noisy and riotous world. If one so much as cleared one’s throat in a library, one was likely to be subjected to an inundation of purse-lipped librarians dramatically shushing – not to mention the disapproval of fellow library users profoundly enjoying their post-lunch nap (sometimes known as “research”) and now rudely and indignantly awake.


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The Art of Unpacking a Library

The Art of Unpacking a Library | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

By Alberto Manguel February 1, 2018 ARTS & CULTURE

THE HOME LIBRARY OF WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST.

I would argue that public libraries, holding both virtual and material texts, are an essential instrument to counter loneliness. I would defend their place as society’s memory and experience. I would say that without public libraries, and without a conscious understanding of their role, a society of the written word is doomed to oblivion. I realize how petty, how egotistical it seems, this longing to own the books I borrow. I believe that theft is reprehensible, and yet countless times I’ve had to dredge up all the moral stamina I could find not to pocket a desired volume. Polonius echoed my thoughts precisely when he told his son, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” My own library carried this reminder clearly posted.

I love public libraries, and they are the first places I visit whenever I’m in a city I don’t know. But I can work happily only in my own private library, with my own books—or, rather, with the books I know to be mine. Maybe there’s a certain ancient fidelity in this, a sort of curmudgeonly domesticity, a more conservative trait in my nature than my anarchic youth would have ever admitted. My library was my tortoise shell. 

Sometime in 1931, Walter Benjamin wrote a short and now famous essay about readers’ relationship to their books. He called it “Unpacking My Library: A Speech on Collecting,” and he used the occasion of pulling his almost two thousand books out of their boxes to muse on the privileges and responsibilities of a reader. Benjamin was moving from the house he had shared with his wife until their acrimonious divorce the previous year to a small furnished apartment in which he would live alone, he said, for the first time in his life, “like an adult.” Benjamin was then “at the threshold of forty and without property, position, home or assets.” It might not be entirely mistaken to see his meditation on books as a counterpoise to the breakup of his marriage.

Packing and unpacking are two sides of the same impulse, and both lend meaning to moments of chaos. “Thus is the existence of the collector,” Benjamin writes, “dialectically pulled between the poles of disorder and order.” He might have added: or packing and unpacking.

Unpacking, as Benjamin realized, is essentially an expansive and untidy activity. Freed from their bounds, the books spill onto the floor or pile up in unsteady columns, waiting for the places that will later be assigned to them. In this waiting period, before the new order has been established, they exist in a tangle of synchronicities and remembrances, forming sudden and unexpected alliances or parting from each other incongruously. Lifelong enemies Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, for instance, will sit amicably on the same expectant shelf while the many members of the Bloomsbury group will find themselves each exiled to a different “negatively charged region” (as the physicists call it), waiting for the wishful reunion of their particles.

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The Library Lifecycle - NEA Today

The Library Lifecycle - NEA Today | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
From young children at story hour to retirees learning second career job skills, the library “ecosystem” serves the needs of our community members throughout their lives. NEA Today spoke with John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary — the only national organization dedicated to building voter support for libraries by promoting public, school, and college libraries — to talk the ecosystem about school and public library partnerships.

What is the library “ecosystem” and how do the parts work together?

John Chrastka: The ecosystem includes different ages and stages of people using public, school, and university and college libraries. It has no beginning or end. In Pre-K, public libraries play with parents and care givers as a place for stories and music and movement as well as play. The children’s librarian at a public library is one of the first educators for our children. As children enter elementary school, the school library along with the public library supports children learning to read and reading to learn. The wraparound of literacy support continues throughout the school year and break time
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Brattleboro library to host program on contributing to Wikipedia

Brattleboro library to host program on contributing to Wikipedia | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Ever start research with Wikipedia? Learn to contribute the footnotes and references which increase the reliability and accuracy of Wikipedia articles.

Wikipedia’s strength is in the references that support it. Librarians, researchers and information seekers can help improve Wikipedia and make it a better resource for everyone. The annual #1lib1ref campaign (1lib1ref.org) asks every librarian and information seeker to add a reference to Wikipedia, to help ensure that Wikipedia’s information is backed by reliable research.

Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St in Brattleboro, will host a #1lib1ref session, for librarians and information seekers alike. The hashtag #1lib1Ref was a Wikipedia publicity drive that asked librarians to mark the 15th anniversary of the foundation in 2016. Particiants can learn how to add a reference to Wikipedia and discuss the role of Wikipedia in research on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

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Revive the library of the University of Mosul

Revive the library of the University of Mosul | Librarysoul | Scoop.it

Help us to cover the cost of shipping books to the library of the University of Mosul.

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Library closures mean lonely people will be left out in the cold this Christmas time

Library closures mean lonely people will be left out in the cold this Christmas time | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
n my eight years working in libraries across the country, I have known librarians trudge nearly ten miles through the snow because the roads were closed rather than leave library visitors stranded in the cold.

Librarians across the country are pulling together to make positive changes out of challenges
I have seen library staff cancel their plans to meet a friend or get a haircut in order to cover their sick colleagues and ensure that it is business as usual at the library. And I have kept my family waiting at home, with my dinner going cold, to detour from my evening commute to the doorstep of a lady who said, “without my books I am just sitting around waiting to die”. For many people in the communities we serve, the library service is a lifeline.

That is why we who work in the libraries are so passionate about providing the best, most accessible service we can. Yet there will be people this Christmas for whom the local library doors will be closed. And there will be isolated individuals sitting at home longing for a mobile library or home library visit that will never come.
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Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans

Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Well-trained librarians can help improve low literacy rates, improve education for thousands, and promote community development. However, Africa's librarians lack support. This project will train 20 librarians in leadership, innovation, and information, communications, and technology (ICT) through the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators-Sub-Saharan Africa (INELI-SSAf) program. This program has the potential to impact 100,000 individuals and advance libraries in Africa.
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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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Rebuilding Mosul's libraries book by book - BBC News

Rebuilding Mosul's libraries book by book - BBC News | Librarysoul | Scoop.it
Old media meets new as a blogger in Iraq seeks to restore collections of literature destroyed by IS.
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