Police groups object to ‘Don’t Shoot’ art piece in Madison

“Police advocacy groups in Wisconsin on Friday objected to a painting displayed at the Madison Public Library that shows an African-American boy pointing a toy gun at three riot police officers who have their weapons aimed at the child, calling it inflammatory and biased. Artist Mike Lroy said the piece — acrylic and spray paint on canvas, entitled “Don’t Shoot” — is meant to stir emotion and provoke reflection.” (via AP)

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Supporting a seamless learning environment

“This week, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released new data (pdf) showing that the most powerful demographic predictor of library card ownership is poverty—more than 60 percent of children living below the poverty level did not have a public library card. Impoverished children often fall behind in school as they face challenges obtaining reading materials, accessing high-speed Internet and finding reliable information online.” (via Direst Dispatch)

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National Library of Ireland to make parish records digital

“Ireland’s national library will make its massive collection of Catholic parish records accessible for free online starting this summer. The National Library of Ireland announced Wednesday it will be digitizing about 400,000 black-and-white images of microfilm reels and launching a website to display them by July 8. “This is the most significant ever genealogy project in the history of the NLI,” library spokeswoman Ciara Kerrigan said.” (via NY Daily News)

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France’s libraries discovering a new lease of life beyond just books

“Back in the 1950s Juliette Gréco sang Je hais les dimanches (I hate Sundays), but would she have found them quite so dull if public libraries had been open? It is still an open question in France, where museums and cinemas welcome the public on this day of rest, but not yet libraries.

Things may finally be changing, thanks to a bill originally more concerned with shopping than the arts. An amendment, put forward by former arts minister Aurélie Filipetti, to the “growth, business and equal economic opportunities” bill currently grinding through the French parliament, seeks to oblige local councils to organise a debate before introducing Sunday opening for libraries and shops. Her successor, Fleur Pellerin, has endorsed this proposal and asked a member of the upper house to look at how library opening hours could be adapted.” (via The Guardian)

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City, county libraries partner on digital content

“A city-county rivalry over digital library services has eased with the announcement of a new partnership between the San Antonio Public Library system and the all-digital Bexar County BiblioTech. Mayor Ivy Taylor and County Judge Nelson Wolff disclosed the pact with vows to improve cooperation between the SAPL and the new county library system, which at times appeared to be competitors. BiblioTech, the nation’s first all-digital public library system built from the ground up without physical books, has been praised globally as an innovator. Yet its 2013 debut raised concerns at SAPL. The city’s similar but less glitzy digital services haven’t garnered the same attention as BiblioTech.” (via San Antonio Express-News)

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New Coumbia University Librarian and Vice Provost announced

“University President Lee Bollinger sent an email to the Columbia community today, announcing the appointment of Ann D. Thornton, formerly of the New York Public Library, as University Librarian and Vice Provost. She replaces James Neal, who left the post last year.” (via Columbia University)

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Oh, Those Clever Librarians and Their #Bookface

“How complicated can it be to take a photograph of a book cover for the purpose of posting it on Instagram. Fairly complicated, particularly for those trying to create an image in what has become known as “bookface” style. Bookface involves strategically lining up your face or another body part alongside a book cover that features a matching body part so that there appears a melding of life and art. Librarians and other book lovers post these photos weekly on visual apps like Instagram, using the caption #BookfaceFriday. (via NYTimes.com)

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Penn Libraries Launches ‘OPenn’ Digital Resources Online Platform

“Some rare books and manuscripts from Penn Libraries can now be accessed online through the new OPenn digital resources website, http:/openn.library.upenn.edu. The site provides digitized cultural heritage materials available as free cultural works that are accessible for use by anyone. The launch of OPenn is a major step in the Libraries’ strategic initiative to embrace open data and democratize access to information.” (via Penn News)

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What Librarians Can Learn From SXSW

“Everyone will tell you how overwhelming South by Southwest (SXSW) can be. It’s easy to dismiss this as an exaggeration until you’ve actually set foot in the Austin Convention Center for the SXSW Interactive Festival. This year’s event was held March 13–17 in Austin, Texas. With hundreds of sessions, more than 10 official venues, and plenty of meetups and special events, the SXSW experience is best compared to a trip to Walt Disney World: Be ready to walk everywhere, wait in long lines, and make peace with the fact that you can’t possibly do everything. Despite the crowds and numerous programming choices, plenty of activities can be accomplished in the 5 days of Interactive, during which technology companies and industry leaders show off the newest tech and trends. It’s no wonder libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) are a growing presence at the conference. The lib*interactive group (lib-interactive.com), originally called sxswLAM, hosts its own meetups and rents a house to serve as its home base. There were 11 LAM-focused sessions in 2015, and someone at the EveryLibrary-sponsored meetup remarked that this year’s event was the largest LAM gathering yet. Here are some highlights from conference sessions that LAM attendees could use to bring fresh ideas back to their institutions.” (via SXSW)

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The Plan To Give E-Books To Poor Kids

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? I see a blue horse, a purple cat, and a new program — unveiled today by President Obama — with one goal in mind: To put good books in the hands of low-income kids. More specifically, $250 million worth of e-books available to young, low-income readers — free. The effort will work through a new app, being developed by the New York Public Library, that has the buy-in of all the major publishers.” (via NPR)

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