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From Doctor Who to Buffy to Borges' Babel, we visit some notable libraries in popular culture.
Two rare volumes stolen by an employee from Sweden’s Royal Library will be returned today in New York after the antique book seller in Baltimore who purchased them agreed to hand them over to the FBI.
The chief of the Royal Library’s Manuscript Department, Anders Burius, stole at least 56 rare or one-of-a-kind books in his 10 years of employment, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement stamped July 17. The books to be returned “contain early depictions of the United States by explorers,” the attorney’s office said.
While most of us see librarians sitting and talking to people or moving quietly about the facility, they are, in fact, quite an active group. One is training as a competitive barrel racer. Others are belly dancers. There are several long-distance runners. These individuals are committed to improving their fitness, which will help them maintain their focus on the demands of research and data management that are part of a modern librarian’s daily life.
Post by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing
Excerpt: In a 2010 interview with The Book Page, Neil Gaiman neatly set out the case for libraries and librarians in the 21st century; the remarks are even more relevant today, as libraries fight for a fair deal from publisher for ebooks, and with austerity-maddened local governments for their very survival.
Hundreds of people gathered at a public vigil tonight to say goodbye and honor the memory of Lori Bresnahan, the school librarian who was killed in the Town of Clay three months ago, after she left a class at the mall.
For years, thousands of children throughout the world have been studying a poem about sunflowers believing it to be the work of the 19th-century poet William Blake.
Reading lists have included it for study, websites have included it in lesson plans and four US state school boards have recommended it to students. There is even anecdotal evidence of one of Britain’s Ofsted inspectors accepting “the fact” of Blake’s authorship of the poem when it was presented to her by a group of young students via a project on their display board.
Now though, after a 12-year misunderstanding which illustrates how effectively the internet can spread misinformation, the record could finally be put straight thanks to the diligence of a Hertfordshire librarian and blogger.
Thomas Pitchford, aka “The Library Spider”, has verified that the poem – “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room” – was written by a 1980s US poet, Nancy Willard, and published in an anthology of hers dedicated to Blake’s work, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.
Story from The Independent.
Source: State Journal Register
Dateline: Urbana IL — Some Urbana residents are upset and calling for the library director's resignation after thousands of books were mistakenly removed from the shelves.
(See two previous articles below)
Director Debra Lissak says the removal at the Urbana Free Library was a "misstep" and some of the titles are being returned.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette says workers removed art, gardening, computer science, medicine and cooking books from the stacks when they were culling the collection to remove volumes that were more than a decade old.
About half the library's 66,000 adult non-fiction books meet that threshold, but not every older book was removed because the process was halted.
The Boston Herald reports on a project undertaken by Greenfield, MA Community College Librarian Hope Schneider.
On a wall in the corner of Greenfield Community College's Nahman-Watson Library, 128 artifacts from the library's card catalog hang preserved in a glass case — signed by the authors who penned the very books to which the cards once led.
The project has been 14 years in the making for librarian Schneider, who wanted to memorialize the cards after the library's catalog went digital in 1999. In the years that followed, Schneider sent cards to local authors and artists, asking if they would sign their card and make some contribution to the display. A decade later, after GCC's library was expanded, she resumed her quest — sending letters across the country to novelists, poets and politicians.
Library Director Deborah Chown said Schneider's project captures a time when people would find new books through serendipity — simply because it was next to another book or classified through a similar subject matter. Chown and Schneider don't deny the advantages that new library technology offers — the opportunity to search rapidly through online databases and access books, journals and newspaper articles.
But there was also some surprise and sadness when a tour of prospective students came through the library, saw the display and didn't recognize the cards.
Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.
The heart of this talk is about creating a shared collection of open source plans to benefit people. A way to maximize this idea is to have librarians involved facilitating knowledge transfer.