New York City Public Library Branches Need $1.1 Billion in Repairs: Report

“New York’s public library branches need $1.1 billion in repairs to fix leaky roofs, broken air-conditioning systems and a host of other problems, according to a report released Monday by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based think tank. The report argues that the city has a “broken funding system” in which libraries rely too much on discretionary funds from City Council members. It calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a citywide capital plan for libraries and double capital spending on libraries over the next 10 years.” (via WSJ)

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Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly

“When John Ashbery, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, first learned that the digital editions of his poetry looked nothing like the print version, he was stunned. There were no line breaks, and the stanzas had been jammed together into a block of text that looked like prose. The careful architecture of his poems had been leveled. He complained to his publisher, Ecco, and those four e-books were immediately withdrawn.

That was three years ago, and digital publishing has evolved a lot since then. Publishers can now create e-books that better preserve a poet’s meticulous formatting. So when Open Road Media, a digital publishing company, approached Mr. Ashbery about creating electronic versions of his books, he decided to give it another chance.” (via NYTimes.com)

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LAUSD’s students need better libraries, not iPads

“Like Supt. John Deasy and others in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I am concerned about the educational civil rights of the district’s students. While the iPad-for-every-student controversy has gotten much media coverage lately, a long-term problem has gotten very little attention: the lack of equal access to a quality school library. A 19-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights concluded in 2011 that thousands of LAUSD students were being denied equal educational opportunities, which included libraries with sufficient books and staffing.” (via LA Times)

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Senator demands US courts recover 10 years of online public records

“The head of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee is urging the federal bureaucracy to restore a decade’s worth of electronic court documents that were deleted last month from online viewing because of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) said the removal of the thousands of cases from online review is essentially erasing history.” (via Ars Technica)

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Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons’ electronic privacy

“Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications — and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.” (via Boing Boing)

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Find A Grave Celebrates 100 Million Photos On Site!

“When Jim Tipton launched FindAGrave.com in 1995, little did he know the impact the site would have over the next 19 years. What began as a site to record graves of the famous has turned into a resource to share and discover the graves of everyone from paupers to presidents. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of volunteers have created millions of memorials, many with photos of the tombstones. And thanks to the contributions of people around the world, we just hit a pretty exciting milestone on Find A Grave.” (via Ancestry)

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Queens Library chief Thomas Galante placed on paid leave pending results of city and federal investigations

“The story of embattled Queens library chief Thomas Galante entered a new chapter Thursday night after he was put on indefinite leave by the board.< Galante, who has headed up the Queens public library since 2003, will get full pay while he is out on leave, board members said after a heated session behind closed doors. But he’s banished from the library pending the results of a full financial audit by City Controller Scott Stringer and the outcome of a probe of the library’s construction projects by the FBI and the city’s Department of Investigation." (via NY Daily News)

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IMLS Awards $9.2 Million to Improve Library Services in the U.S.

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced grants for 51 library projects, totaling $9,291,441, that will advance library and archives practice by addressing challenges in the field and by testing and evaluating innovations. The projects were selected from 212 applications through the IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries and Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries programs, requesting more than $14.6 million and matched with $7,154,135 in non-federal funds. This announcement includes three grants through the Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program, which total $647,821.” (via IMLS)

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Reanimation Library Breathes New Life Into Old Books

“There exists a book, published in 1955, called A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates, which is exactly what it sounds like. Aside from the front matter — copyright materials, the publisher’s name — it contains nothing but lines of numbers, arranged into columns. Its creator, the RAND corporation, explains the text’s initial function: physicists, cryptographers and the like often need to use random strings of numbers for “experimental probability procedures.” But now, with the existence of online password generators and sites such as random.org, the thought of any scientist manually copying text from a physical book into an equation is laughable. Thus, the text has been deemed obsolete. For that reason, Andrew Beccone, creator of the Reanimation Library, had to have it. (via Huffington Post)

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Anyone Can Pivot: What The Changing Role Of Librarians Means For You

“While students were in love with EasyBib when we first introduced it in 2001, we also had some no-so-happy opponents. As a service that saved time by automating the process of creating citations and bibliographies, many librarians and English teachers initially weren’t thrilled. They believed we were indirectly taking away the learning process of creating citations, and were apprehensive of the idea of software generating accurate citations. I remember, as part of guerilla marketing tactics, cold emailing a librarian about EasyBib. She responded, coldly, that she would never consider using a product like ours with her students, and that it encouraged student laziness.” (via Forbes)

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