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Libraries

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.

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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.

 

Six Libraries Exceed a Million Digital Checkouts This Year: OverDrive

overdrive304Six libraries in North America marked more than 1 million digital checkouts this year, according to digital book distribution company OverDrive. This includes eBooks, audiobooks, music and video files.

The libraries to make OverDrive’s ”Million Digital Checkouts Club” this year include: King County Library System in Washington, which recorded 1.6 million downloads up 25% over 2012; Toronto Public Library, which had 1.5 million digital downloads this year, up 68% over last year; New York Public Library which had 1.2 million digital downloads up 16% from 2012;  Hennepin County Library in Minnesota had 1 million digital downloads in 2013, a 41% increase from 2012; Cleveland Public Library in Ohio, which marked 1 million digital downloads this year,  a 32% increase over 2012; and the  Seattle Public Library which had a million downloads, representing a 22% increase over 2012.

 

 

‘Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul’ On View at The Morgan Library

1459211_10152077816191183_2052034360_nThe Morgan Library has organized an exhibit called “Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul.” The organizers collected almost one hundred items for this display. Visitors will see manuscripts, letters, and literary criticism articles.

In addition to Poe’s own works, this exhibit also explores Poe’s role as an inspiration to other writers including Charles Dickens, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Vladimir Nabokov. A closing date has been set for January 26, 2014. Follow this link to download free eBooks by Poe.

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First Edition of ‘A Christmas Carol’ Discovered in Ohio Library

christmascarolLibrarians at a library in Ohio got a Christmas treat this year: They discovered that a copy of Charles Dickens‘ classic novel A Christmas Carol at their branch is a first edition.

The Cleveland Scene has the scoop: “CPL staffers aren’t exactly sure when the 170-year-old book was donated or by whom, but they do know they’ve unearthed a real holiday treasure. Only 6,000 other copies, originally printed in 1843 Britain, are in existence.”

The book was originally published by Chapman & Hall in 1843.

Libraries Lovers League Hosts ‘Street Theater Flash Mob’ Protest

flash mobThe Library Lovers League organized a “Books Vs. Billionaires” protest that took place on December 16th. Bibliophiles who took part in this “street theater flash mob” wore sandwich signs featuring book covers in front of the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

The protesters spoke out against a proposal that would move many items in the New York Public Library collection to a storage unit in New Jersey. Follow this link to view a news clip from Pix 11. What do you think?

Here’s more from SaveNYPL.org: “The New York Public Library is in peril…Why? So the nearby Mid-Manhattan Branch, one of the country’s busiest libraries, can be sold to billionaire real-estate developers and replaced with a luxury tower. A much smaller Mid-Manhattan library would then be crammed into the space made available by evicting the research collection.”

Norway Plans to Digitize All Books in the Library

norwaylibraryThe National Library of Norway is planning to digitize every book that exists in the Norwegian language, which includes books from the Middle Ages to the modern day.

The onus behind this move is the Norwegian Legal Deposit Act, which “requires that all published content, in all media, be deposited with the National Library of Norway.”  The vision is that the library will act as a “national memory bank by providing a multimedia knowledge centre focusing on archiving and distribution.”

Here is more from the library’s website: “In parallel with digitizing of analogue material, the National Library of Norway is working to expand the scope of publications covered by legal digital deposit legislation. The Library wishes to receive the digital source of the publication and in this way expand collection’s digital content. The digitizing programme started in 2006. It is estimated that it will take 20–30 years for the entire collection to be digitized.” (Via The Atlantic).

Neil Gaiman & Molly Oldfield to Headline a ‘Christmas Carol’-Themed Event

Neil GaimanThe New York Public Library (NYPL) has organized an event called “Charles Dickens & A Christmas Carol with Neil Gaiman and Molly Oldfield.” The event will take place on Saturday, December 15th inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

The American Gods novelist (pictured) will perform a reading of the classic story starring Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. According to the announcement, “Gaiman will read the classic tale as the great author intended, following edits and prompts Dickens wrote in his own hand for his unique readings 150 years ago.”

Oldfield, a researcher, will discuss interesting items housed in museums and libraries throughout the world. She will pay special focus to pieces owned by Dickens within the NYPL collection. Follow this link to RSVP for free tickets.

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