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Libraries

Getty Makes 250 Virtual Art Books Free Online

gettylibraryGood news for art history students. Getty Publication’s virtual library has just made 250 backlist art book titles available for free online.

The free collection includes titles from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. The collection includes books on Cezanne, Rubens & Brueghel, as well as titles on ancient metals and urushi, Japanese wood lacquer.

Most of the titles are available to read for free online. Some of the are available to be downloaded as PDFs. Follow this link to explore the collection.

Unreturned Books Are Shrinking the Collection at Brooklyn Libraries

brooklynlibraryBrooklyn Public Library’s collection is shrinking because of unreturned books. According to a report in The Daily News, the library systems counted 70,144 books unreturned books in 2012 across the system’s 60 branches. This was up from 61,543 books that weren’t returned in 2011. (Numbers for 2013 have not yet been calculated).

These unreturned books are leading to smaller collections. In 2009, the library housed about 4.1 million books. As of 2012, the system only had 3.3 million titles.

Here is more from The Daily News: “GED prep guides, nursing and other professional exam cliff notes were high on the list of frequently filched books — but so too were graphic novels, library officials said. “Those are always going missing,” a librarian at the Brooklyn Heights branch told the Daily News Thursday.”

 

University of Rochester to Host ‘Human Library’ Event

humanlibraryThe University of Rochester in New York is hosting an event that will turn real people into books. It’s called the Human Library event and will take place on the college’s campus tomorrow.

The idea of the event it to get people who would not likely meet in their everyday lives to sit down and talk. Library patrons will be able to ‘check out’ a human for 30 minutes where they can sit together and listen to that person’s story. ‘Human Books’ are volunteers that have signed up to tell their stories to others in the library environment.

Check it out: “A Human Library is a way for people to reach out and connect with individuals in their community with whom they might not normally interact. Visitors to a library have an opportunity during a planned event to borrow and engage in conversation with a Human Book. Human Libraries promote tolerance, celebrate differences and encourage understanding of people who come from varied cultural or lifestyle backgrounds.”

OverDrive Plans to Distribute DRM-Free Audiobooks

overdrive304Digital book distribution company OverDrive will discontinue the sale of audiobooks to libraries in the WMA format, and will only sell MP3 files.

This is a big deal because OverDrive is the largest audiobook distributor in the U.S. and it essentially means that most audiobooks in libraries going forward will be in a DRM-free format.

Here is more from the OverDrive blog: “This is in response to user preferences, widespread compatibility of MP3 across all listening devices and the fact that the vast majority of our extensive audiobook collection is already in MP3 format. This includes the audiobook collections from Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media and dozens of others. Our publisher relations team is working closely with the very few remaining publishers who require WMA to seek permission to sell their titles in MP3 for library and school lending.” (Via BoingBoing).

Simon & Schuster eBooks Now Available in Select Libraries

simonSimon & Schuster has partnered with digital book distribution company OverDrive to create a pilot program in which the publisher is making its eBook catalog available to select public libraries in the United States.

Simon & Schuster’s entire eBook catalog is available through this program. Participating libraries can purchase these titles to lend them to patrons. Just as with a print title, library patrons can check out these eBooks one copy at a time an unlimited number of times for a period of 12 months. There will even be an option for library patrons to purchase the eBook titles themselves through their library’s website with the new Library BIN (Buy It Now) option.

At launch there are 31 libraries participating. Titles include: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King;  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin; and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, among others. As new eBooks come out this year, they too will be available to the program.

Library & School Digital Book Checkouts Hit 102M in 2013: OverDrive

overdrive304eBook checkouts reached 102 million in 2013, up 44 percent from 2012, according to a new report released by OverDrive the digital content distribution company that facilitates checkouts for libraries and schools.

To put this in perspective, it took 10 years to reach the first 100 million digital checkouts from 2003-2012, and the next 100 million took place within a year.

OverDrive also revealed a 46 percent increase in eBook checkouts in 2013, reaching 79 million checkouts. In addition, readers checked out 22.9 million audiobooks in 2013, up 37 percent over 2012. Mobile checkouts went up 147 percent over 2012 in mobile checkouts reaching 49.5 million. OverDrive also registered 4.3 billion page views across the websites that it powers. In fact, mobile platform checks now make up almost half of the company’s checkouts and represents 2/3 of site traffic.

Earn a High School Diploma at the Los Angeles Public Library

laplThe Los Angeles Public Library has formed a partnership with a private digital learning company. Together, they will launch a program to help residents, who are secondary school dropouts, earn accredited high school diplomas.

For this inaugural year, the organizers aims to aid 150 adults obtain their high school diploma. They project that this endeavor will cost $150,000.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “It’s the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age as they move to establish themselves beyond just being a repository of books to a full educational institution, said the library’s director, John Szabo…Szabo believes this is the first time a public library will be offering an accredited high school diploma to adult students, who will take courses online but will meet at the library for assistance and to interact with fellow adult learners.” What do you think?

Morgan Library to Open ‘The Little Prince: A New York Story’ Exhibit

424373_372116869474802_157819423_nThe Morgan Library has organized an exhibit called “The Little Prince: A New York Story.” This special art show explores Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s time in New York writing and publishing his beloved children’s book.

The items that will be on view include manuscript pages, early drawings, rare printed editions, photos, and letters. It will open on January 24th and run through April 27th.

Read more

New Public Library in Texas Has No Print Books

bexarlibraryBexar County, Texas has opened a new library that has no books inside. Instead the library is outfitted with iPad stations and iMacs loaded with digital books available to check out, making it the first digital library in the country.

The library is called the BiblioTech. Patrons can check out eBooks, audiobooks, and software training databases, as well as eReaders. The library also hosts computer classes and patrons can use laptops, tablets, and desktops at the branch.

The Associated Press points out that the library looks like an Apple Store but is located in a part of town which wouldn’t appeal to the tech company. “BiblioTech is on the city’s economically depressed South Side and shares an old strip mall with a Bexar County government building,” explains the AP.

Library in Lebanon Burned Down

books304The Al-Saeh library in Tripoli, Lebanon was burned down, and most of the library’s collection was lost. The fire was an act of arson spurred by allegations of anti-Islamic sentiments at the library.

According to reports, there are varying viewpoints on why the fire was started. One theory is that the arsonist started the fire after finding an anti-Islam pamphlet in the library. Another expert suggests that the library’s owner could have written and published a criticism of Islam online.

RT.com has more: “Firefighters struggled to subdue the flames as the decades-old Al-Saeh library went up in smoke on Friday in the Serail neighborhood of Tripoli. Despite firefighters’ best efforts, little of the trove of historic books and manuscripts was recovered from the wreckage. ‘Two thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts housed there,’ a security source told Agence France Press, referring to the items destroyed. The source added that the blaze was started after a manuscript insulting the Prophet Mohammed was found hidden in the pages of one of the library books.

 

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