A blog post about a very unique gift inscription in a book.
Welcome to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, NOW with SUPER SHAKY CAM (TM). This tour will show you around the public areas of the library. A simple video introduction, and a big welcome to every single human being in the city of Ferguson, Missouri!
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has given a thumbs down to a Duluth seed-sharing program that allows members to borrow vegetable seeds from the library in the spring and later return seeds they collect from their gardens.
State agriculture regulators say the exchange — one of about 300 in the United States — violates the state's seed law because it does not test seeds.
That could jeopardize the popular program, which attracted 200 members who borrowed 800 packets of seeds in its first year, manager Carla Powers said.
In September, the library got a surprise visit from a Minnesota Department of Agriculture seed inspector. He informed the library it was likely violating Minnesota's seed law, which regulates the selling of seeds.
Cites & Insights 15:1 (January 2015) available
When one of the bookmobiles at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL), WA, wore out, spending a quarter of a million dollars to buy a new one was not an option. Yet patrons in remote, rural locations in Clark County still needed library service. The innovative solution was the Yacolt Library Express (YLE): a building that is open to the public nearly 70 hours a week, yet staff only spend about ten hours there during the same period.
It's a robot unlike any other: inspired by the world's fastest land animal, controlled by video game technology and packing nifty sensors — including one used to maneuver drones, satellites and ballistic missiles.
The robot, called the cheetah, can run on batteries at speeds of more than 10 mph, jump about 16 inches high, land safely and continue galloping for at least 15 minutes — all while using less power than a microwave oven.
Annoyed Librarian comments on the news story that the library in Ferguson was open during the protests and that it has been receiving donations.
Although it has "boring" in the title the post is a good read:
Novelist Kent Haruf chased writing in his youth, but it wasn't until he was 40 that he'd developed his skills enough to be published. He's best known for National Book Award finalist "Plainsong."
Two minute audio story at NPR:
As if the work of Japanese fiction master Haruki Murakami weren't strangely beautiful by itself, his American publisher has just put out a stand-alone edition of his 2008 novella The Strange Library, in a new trade paperback designed by the legendary Chip Kidd.
"The library was even more hushed than usual," we read in the opening sentence (the entire book is set in a typeface called, appropriately, Typewriter), calling attention to the fact that we're in for a special event. Murakami sets his story — newly translated from the Japanese by Ted Goossen — in a realm of words, an unnamed city library. An inquiring schoolboy stops by on the way home from class returns some library books (How to Build a Submarine and Memoirs of a Shepherd) and asks for reading on a subject he says has just popped into his head: Tax Collection in the Ottoman Empire.
An unfamiliar female librarian sends him down to room 107, "a creepy room" where yet another strange librarian (a bald man this time) hands him the requested volumes — then conducts him to a secret space, behind a locked door and down a hall to a labyrinth of corridors where a small man dressed in a sheepskin puts him in a cell under lock and key.
A very strange library indeed!
In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in Philadelphia public schools. This year there are 11 and only five are known to be actually doing what they were trained to do. Five librarians for the nation's eighth-largest school district.
Leaving Philadelphia's public school libraries without professional staffing is a grave mistake. It will have consequences for the students for the rest of their lives. Study after study shows a clear link between school libraries staffed by certified librarians and student achievement.
Read more in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Annoyed Librarian -- Whenever I write about self-published authors, the comment section seems to erupt into a melee between self-published authors talking about how great self-published works are and librarians talking about how awful they are. One solution to the problem would be for the ALA to create an award for self-published books to go along with popular awards like the Newbery Award and all the other awards I can’t remember right now. Then the librarians in the trenches would know what books to buy and wouldn't have to read any of them.
Four minute audio story at NPR
British mystery and crime novelist P.D. James, whose best-known works featured poet and Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh as a protagonist, has died at age 94, her publisher says.
Phyllis Dorothy James, a baroness and award-winning writer of such books as Shroud for a Nightingale, The Black Tower and The Murder Room, was born in Oxford began writing in her late 30s and published her first novel, Cover Her Face, in 1962.
Omaha Public Library director Gary Wasdin has officially accepted a library director position with King County Library System. His last day with OPL will be Jan. 16.
Listen to Madison tell it like it is!! from the Washington Post.
Annoyed Librarian --
Over the years there have been lots of calls to make libraries into something other than libraries. That’s especially true of public libraries, but even librarians in academic libraries sometimes want to change things up, to turn libraries from a silent haven for research into community centers or places to play video games.
In some ways it’s understandable. The most likely people to be bored with libraries are the librarians who have to work in them every day. They show up, day after day, and perform the same tedious functions.
After a while, they get jaded. The library is a boring place for them, and they want to make it hip or relevant or something like that. Most of all, they want action.
And what they’re most trying to fight against is the stereotype of the shushing librarian. We don’t shush!
It turns out that in some libraries there is a group that yearns for a shushing librarian: the patrons of the library.
Check out this story from Cerritos College, a community college in California: ‘Shhhhh’: Noise an issue in library, Student Center.
Ferguson is in turmoil, but one community safe haven is getting a lot of attention.
The federal and provincial governments install lots of plaques; plaques about inventors, plaques about canoe routes, even historical plaques about historians. You’ve surely seen a plaque or a hundred in your day, but what you may not know is you can look up and locate many of Ontario’s plaques at ontarioplaques.com.
The website is one-man project by Alan Brown, a retired librarian from Toronto who says he’s had an interest in plaques since he was a kid. Brown started his website in 2004 with the goal of photographing and making a page for each of our province’s Ontario Heritage Trust plaques. In 2009, he started on the Federal government’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaques.
Ursula K. Le Guin accepts the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014.