International

United Kingdom Public Libraries Face Legal Threat

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has a press release out noting that the legal duty for local authorities to maintain libraries in the United Kingdom may be under threat. This was brought about by a deregulatory push by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government's Department of Communities and Local Governments to seek comment on the over one thousand mandates by central government upon local authorities in the UK. CILIP President Brian Hall is urging members of that organization to contribute their views to the review being undertaken by the department.

Photos of Stricken Japanese Libraries

Library staffers and patrons across Japan sent in photos and reports.

From Galley Cat: If you want to help, the Authors for Japan site just launched yesterday, as writers and publishing professionals have donated some great prizes to raise funds for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. We also created a Twitter list of writers living in Japan.

Also, here's disaster relief information from the Japanese version of Save the Libraries

En Route To or From Taiwan? Borrow an e-book at the Airport

From PC World: Taiwan's international airport has opened what it calls the world's first in-transit e-library, offering 400 e-book titles to ease waiting-hall boredom while showcasing the island's high-tech capabilities. More info on the library's offerings at China Post.

The e-library at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport allows passengers to consult the Chinese and English-language books, and around 2,000 books on paper, in a special waiting area in the larger of the airport's two terminals. The terminal commonly handles stopovers between North America and Southeast Asia.

The e-books are stored on around 30 devices, a mix of iPads and e-readers with e-ink screens. The e-books are stored in the ePub and Zinio formats. The airport is loaning out the devices on a first come first served basis. Passengers can't download the books to their own e-reader, limiting the usefulness of the service.

The duty-free shop manages the library, which was proposed by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. The shop worked with Taiwan's government-funded Institute for Information Industry and the project cost more than NT$3 million (US$102,000).

Growing Knowledge: The British Library launches its strategy for 2011-2015

Always interesting reading....

The British Library has launched its new strategy, setting out how it plans to develop its collections and services over the next four years.

Growing Knowledge: The British Library’s Strategy 2011-2015 outlines the UK national library’s key objectives and strategic priorities to the middle of the decade, and emphasizes the need to deliver more for less in a challenging economic climate.

The new strategy follows the publication last September of the Library’s 2020 Vision, which highlighted the key trends and opportunities for the next decade. The 2020 Vision was based upon twelve months of extensive research and consultation; it presented five themes that would help deliver the Library’s ten-year vision of becoming “a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through its collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life.”

The Library’s strategy for 2011-2015 contains five strategic priorities, based on the 2020 Vision’s themes:

1. Guarantee access for future generations
2. Enable access for everyone who wants to do research
3. Support research communities in key areas for social and economic benefit
4. Enrich the cultural life of the nation
5. Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base

Read the details here.

Egypt's Jewel Of A Library Reopens, Thanks To Demonstrators

Story from NPR about the reopening of the Library of Alexandria. It was closed for the last few weeks during the demonstrations, both to protect it from vandalism, and to protest the army's curfew.

And the library's director, Ismail Serageldin says that in all the protests, not a stone was thrown at the library, and not a pane of glass was broken.

"What happened was pure magic," he says. "People from within the demonstrations broke out of the demonstrations and simply linked hands, and they said 'This is our library. Don't touch it.'"

The ancient library has been destroyed several times by vandals and conquerors — most notably by a fire, several centuries ago.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Unnumbered Special Edition (23 February 2011)

Celebrate Valentine's Day on a 'Blind Date With a Book'

Interesting (cheeky even!) concept in New Zealand:

Queenstown librarians are playing matchmaker again this Valentine's Day as the library gets set to repeat last year's Blind Date with a Book literary liaisons.

Monday's event pairs borrowers with specially wrapped mystery books, chosen by library staff as being particularly deserving of a hook-up with a willing reader, Queenstown library manager Robyn Robertson said.

"We are choosing books we personally enjoyed or feel passionate about. The books are all gift-wrapped, with only a barcode on the outside, so it really is a blind date with a book and there's no telling what you might get.

"There's a cheeky mix of fiction and non-fiction, with a nod towards the day that inspired the whole initiative. There's bound to be some romance in there - it is Valentine's Day after all - but there's also a real mix of other genres."

Difficult Situation For Libraries In United Kingdom Continues

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has issued a media advisory calling on cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt to act to preserve libraries in the United Kingdom. A full statement by CILIP President Brian Hall is available as a PDF document that was released as part of Save Our Libraries Day on Saturday, February 5th. The Voice for the Library coalition also has a report posted on Save Our Libraries efforts that took place Saturday.

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