“The Library of Congress celebrates its 214th birthday today. Founded on April 24, 1800, thanks to an appropriation approved by Pres. John Adams of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.” What started with a whopping 740 books and three maps has evolved to more than 158 million items, including more than 36 million books and other print materials, 5.5 million maps, 69 million manuscripts, 13.7 million photographs, 6.7 million pieces of sheet music and 3.5 million recordings.” (via Library of Congress Blog)
Institute of Museum and Library Services Announces Recipients of 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service
“The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the recipients of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. In its 20th anniversary year, the medals program celebrates excellent institutions that have made a significant impact on individuals, families, and communities across the nation. The award will be presented by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on May 8. These ten honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a natural history museum, a children’s museum, a natural sciences museum, an aquarium, a botanic garden, public library systems, and a book center, hailing from ten states.” (via IMLS)
“250 years ago, on 23 April 1764, the eight-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrived in London with his father Leopold, mother Anna Maria, and sister Maria Anna (Nannerl). The visit formed part of an ambitious European tour, in which the Mozart children were presented as musical prodigies in public concerts and to private patrons. Their visit to London, which would last for 15 months, has special significance for the British Library, since Mozart may be counted as the first in an illustrious line of composers to have presented manuscripts to the Library. This event took place during the course of the family’s visit to the British Museum, in July 1765. On that occasion, Mozart deposited a copy of his first sacred composition (and only setting of an English text), God is our Refuge, written with the assistance of his father Leopold, together with copies of two sets of keyboard sonatas published the previous year in Paris. (via British Library)
“Administrators at University of New Hampshire’s Dimond Library have put on hold an effort to discard little-used books and periodicals, in response to complaints received this week from faculty members and students. Tracey Lauder, assistant dean for library administration, said the sight of a Dumpster outside the library filled with books may have upset some, but the “weeding out” of older titles is a necessary part of life at any library.” (via Union Leader)
“For a city that was once known as “the city that knows how,” the streets of San Francisco have become a shameful, unhealthy place. The news report of the unacceptable conditions at the San Francisco Public Library is just one example of the city’s inability to tackle the pervasive problem of street people acting badly.” (via SFGate)
“On April 23, 2014, 25,000 volunteers from Kodiak to Key West will give away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across America. World Book Night U.S. (WBN) is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially-printed paperbacks to light or non-readers. Volunteer book lovers from 258 Books-A-Million stores across the country will help promote reading by venturing out into their communities and giving away free copies of a book they love, often to those without means or access to a printed book. With the organizational support of Books-A-Million, along with other community partners and libraries, volunteers will be sharing books with non-readers in locations such as hospitals, mass transit, nursing homes, food pantries, underfunded schools and more.” (via WSJ.com)
“Library advocates urged Miami-Dade commissioners Wednesday to raise the tax money needed to avoid steep cuts at the county’s library system, and to ignore Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s call for a summer referendum on library funding. “Don’t let dismantling the library system be your legacy,” Miami resident Maggie Fernandez told commissioners during a finance hearing largely devoted to the library system’s looming $20 million budget gap.” (via MiamiHerald.com)
“Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library plans to put locks on its public restrooms as a way to discourage people from flushing hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia down the toilets.
“We’re hoping to have this done by the end of the week, as soon as the locksmith can do the work,” head librarian Rubi Simon said Tuesday. Simon said the restrooms, on the mezzanine level of the library, were closed three weeks ago after toilets became backed up with the needles and other drug materials for the third time.” (via Burlington Free Press)
“Today, we’re proud to unveil the next phase of the Bing in the Classroom program, including broad availability of our ad-free, safer, more private search to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing.com searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom.
As of today, any qualified school district or private school can go to bing.com/classroom and register for the completely free service, which is already being used by over 4.5 million students, including those in the five largest districts in the US. That means no waitlist, no installation or new settings, just one online form and all Bing.com searches on a school network can be ad-free within a few days of registration.” (via Search Blog)
“A $194,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will fund software development led by UIC for a free, easily accessible online portal to materials on Chicago history in at least 12 libraries and museums. The portal will allow one-click searching of materials at UIC, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Library, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, Newberry Library, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University and University of Chicago.” (via UIC News Center)