International

Cambridge U. Librarian Mourned by Colleagues

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Cambridge University librarian who died after being hit by a train. Richard Savage, of Greville Road, off Mill Road, Cambridge, died at Royston station on Friday morning.

Colleagues at the university’s Department of Plant Sciences in Downing Street have spoken fondly about the 59-year-old who worked there for 20 years.

Howard Griffiths, professor of plant ecology at the department, told of how his friend had “hidden depths” and a keen sense of humour.

He said: “Richard seemed to embody the layman’s view of a librarian. He was well-read, had a keen sense of humour, and hinted at an interesting past by using off-beat literary references when sending reminders and messages ‘from the librarian’s cage’.

The Race Against Lord Mandelson

While you might not think so, the starter's pistol has metaphorically gone off. -- Read More

Haiti's Libraries: History At Risk

Haiti's Libraries: History At Risk
The earthquake in Haiti, aside from killing a couple of hundred thousand people in the space of a heartbeat, has put so many survivors' lives in danger that even now, two months after the cataclysm, it is difficult to think about any thing else. It's hard to imagine worrying much about artifacts and archives when so many human lives have yet to be saved.

O Canada! Amazon seeks permission to open a 'new Canadian business'

Amazon is seeking to set up a physical base in Canada, The Bookseller has revealed, and has applied to the government to open a a "new Canadian business".

The move could lead to a huge shake-up of Canada's book trade. Amazon.com does not have a physical operation in the country, but sells books through its domain Amazon.ca. Moving into the country would mean the company could ship to Canadian consumers more quickly and cost-effectively. But to operate there, Amazon must receive permission from Canada's heritage ministry.

The application is subject to a confidential inquiry by the Canadian government, which will assess whether it breaks Canada's tough cultural protection rules, which are designed to prevent American influences from overpowering Canada's culture.

The move could prove to be a boon to Canadian publishers, but it would also hit the country's retailers. Dominant Canadian bookseller Indigo declined to comment.

Amazon launched its Canadian site in June 2002, amid protests from Canadian booksellers who argued that the online store violated regulations that prohibit foreign ownership. The Canadian government ruled that this was not the case since Amazon.com did not have a physical business in the country.

Story from Bookseller UK.

Fabulous New Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne Switzerland Opens

Learned about the February 22 opening of the new "EPFL" Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne here in Book Patrol, and researched further to find the website, here.

Light is brought in through the Swiss-cheese holes in the roof, and the pristine whiteness of the concrete surfaces creates a snowy plane, airy, bright, and infinite. The result is a communal space without fixed function. A softly curvy, feminine expanse without hierarchies or straight lines. A series of calm and silent connected spaces created to nurture collaboration, communication, and cooperation over competition. Library, offices, restaurants, and auditoriums are harmoniously linked between a cloud-like canopy above, and a floor that gently rises and falls like a living organism as it inhales and exhales. "Human movements are not linear like in a train, but curve in a more organic way," said architect Ryue Nishizawa, one-half of the Japanese architectural team SANAA, explaining his vision. "With straight lines we only create crossroads, but with curves we can create more diverse interactions."

Libraries Lead the eBook Revolution

Have you read an e-book yet? Do you think it means the end of bookshops and libraries as we know them? Will book people have to turn into e-book people to meet the brave new world? It's all a bit early to say.

I [Philip Harvey, see below] haven't read an e-book and when asked by borrowers if I feel that my profession of librarian is under threat, I ask them if they themselves have used an e-book. No, is the consistent reply. But they know chapter and verse about the developments, usually from what they have seen on the internet. The new slimline gadgets can display everything a text maniac wants to get their hands on. Or so it seems.

More on ebooks, Google, digitisation, and the Information Revolution from Philip Harvey, President of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association in Australia's Eureka Street.

Online Storage Site Ordered To Filter Books

From the article:

Six book publishers have gained an injunction against file-hosting company, RapidShare. The Swiss-based ‘cyberlocker’ service must monitor user uploads to ensure that around 148 titles, many of them textbooks, are never made available to its users. Failure to do so could result in $339,000 fines, or even jail time for company bosses.

For those who don't know, RapidShare is site where one can upload files for off-site storage and distribution. It's that "distribution" that it's well known for as thousands of people upload larger files to the service with the intention of allowing others to download. Though it's well known in certain circles for hosting pirated content, it's strange that the first shot fired against it should come from the publishing industry rather than the recording or motion picture industries.

More from TorrentFreak.

Library Signals Hope for Tamil Minority in Sri Lanka

Decades of civil strife have left their mark on Jaffna, the heartland of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. Bombed-out buildings are a reminder of the fierce battles waged over the historic city.

The most potent symbol of the struggle, and the uneasy peace since fighting ended last May, is Jaffna’s public library, which was torched in 1981 by an anti-Tamil mob. Nearly 100,000 books and manuscripts, including irreplaceable palm-leaf Tamil texts, went up in smoke. It was an act of cultural vandalism that fed the Tamil resistance movement.

Eventually the library was rebuilt by Sri Lanka’s government and reopened in 2003. It has plenty of new books in Tamil and English on its wooden shelves. But restoring the spirit of the library presents a far greater challenge, says the chief librarian, S. Thanabaalasinham.

C.S. Monitor has the full story.

Casanova Memoirs Donated to the French National Library

...the definitive sexy librarian...

PARIS — France's national library has acquired the memoirs of Casanova, a moving narrative written in French by the 18th century Venetian-born lothario. Times Online reports.

The memoirs, "The Story of My Life," had been in the hands of one of Germany's most prominent publishing families for nearly two centuries.
The manuscript was acquired by the Brockhaus family in 1820, hidden by Frederic-Arnold Brockhaus during World War II, then carried by an American military truck in 1945 out of Leipzig. It was finally published in 1960.
...it seems there's quite a bit he scratched out...

The manuscript was donated to the French National Library. Casanova, who was born in 1725, wrote his memoirs between 1789 and 1798, the year of his death. Here...a bit excerpted:

"(I have had) exploits with 120 women and girls, including a nun. As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it."

Artist Chosen for Philip Larkin Statue

BBC reports: Sculptor Martin Jennings has been chosen to produce a bronze statue of the poet Philip Larkin for the Paragon Interchange in Hull.

Jennings was one of three sculptors invited by the Philip Larkin Society to submit designs for the artwork. Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years before his death in 1985, combined a celebrated writing career with his role as librarian at Hull University.

Designs by sculptors Graham Ibbeson and Jemma Pearson were also considered.

Jennings' work includes the statue of poet St John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London. He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been commissioned to make this sculpture of one of Britain's greatest poets.

Syndicate content