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Drug paraphernalia closes Burlington library restrooms

“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)

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Bing in the Classroom Now Available to All Schools in the US

“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 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 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 searches on a school network can be ad-free within a few days of registration.” (via Search Blog)

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UIC Online portal offers access to area libraries, museums

“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)

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Urban Libraries Become De Facto Homeless Shelters

“San Francisco’s library system has hired a full-time social worker to help find housing and other services for the homeless men and women who’ve set up camp among the stacks.” (via NPR)

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Will books survive as libraries turn the page in the digital age?

“You might think that with the growth of the Internet and the rise in e-books that libraries might become obsolete.

However, it turns out that libraries are simply changing to meet the new reality. Ken Roberts is a specialist on library and technology issues. On April 28 he is giving a lecture called The Future of the Book.” (via MSN CA)

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Charleston County Public Library releases proposal to modernize, renovate

“Charleston’s Main Library on Calhoun Street isn’t a bibliophile’s dream, but it’s no nightmare, either. It’s clean, relatively new-looking, quiet. It’s got a good fiction selection and a decent reference section, plus interesting extras like the South Carolina Room, the Jerry and Anita Zucker Holocaust Collection, and the Charleston Archive, where you can find bits of history like old maps of the city and records from the Charleston Orphan House that go all the way back to 1790. One would think that the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) system is a fairly good one, at least for South Carolina. But according to standards set by the S.C. State Library, that’s not the case. “We’re way, way below,” says Jamie Thomas, CCPL public relations and marketing manager.” (via Charleston City Paper)

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DC plans public meeting on MLK library renovation

“Architects and library officials want to hear from the public about what they would like to see in a major renovation of the central Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington. The library is holding a public meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the central library for the public to share ideas. Library officials want to know what services, facilities and technology that patrons would like to see in the renovated library.” (via AP)

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77,000 Images of Tapestries and Italian Monuments Join the Open Content Program

“The Getty Research Institute has just added more than 77,000 high-resolution images to the Open Content Program from two of its most often-used collections. The largest part of the new open content release—more than 72,000 photographs—comes from the collection Foto Arte Minore: Max Hutzel photographs of art and architecture in Italy. Foto Arte Minore represents the life’s work of photographer and scholar Max Hutzel (1911–1988), who photographed the art and architecture of Italy for 30 years. In recent years, the interdisciplinary use of these photographs has exposed their historiographic significance and their unrealized research potential. Yet to this day, the majority of these photographs remain unknown to scholars.” (via The Getty Iris)

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As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools

“Many professors and students gravitate to Google as a gateway to research. Libraries want to offer them a comparably simple and broad experience for searching academic content. As a result, a major change is under way in how libraries organize information. Instead of bewildering users with a bevy of specialized databases—books here, articles there—many libraries are bulldozing their digital silos. They now offer one-stop search boxes that comb entire collections, Google style.That’s the ideal, anyway. The reality is turning out to be messier.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries

“In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $200 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers (PCCs) throughout the United States.  More than 2,000 of those centers are operated by public libraries, from Maine to Arizona.  These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments that have allowed BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 1,300 libraries nationally with ultra-fast broadband, providing a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative. Today we are releasing the first three of 15 PCC and broadband adoption case studies.  These focus on the impact of grants in Delaware, Texas and Michigan.  The release coincides with an important hearing on libraries and broadband, sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, or IMLS.   The case studies were conducted for NTIA by an independent research firm, ASR Analytics, which analyzed the impact these PCCs are having in their local communities.  (via MTIA)

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