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Man returns statue 43 years overdue

“Nearly 43 years ago, a young boy borrowed a small marble sculpture from the Rochester Central Library to help him through dark times. This weekend, the statue came full circle when it returned to its original home. The childhood of Scott Stewart, 52, of Rochester was plagued with abuse, but he sought refuge at the downtown library. In 1971, the nine-year-old spent his days perusing items on the shelves and often borrowed art pieces to adorn his home. “The house I lived in was really horrendous and I wanted to surround it with the comfort of the library,” said Stewart. “I would always take things back, except this one piece. I felt like I couldn’t part with it.” (via Democrat And Chronicle)

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Archiving Shakespeare, Dickens, R. Crumb

“It may not say much for my literary tastes. But among the 35,000 items and 2,000 linear feet of archives in the New York Public Library’s Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, the one that excited me most was a copy of underground cartoonist R. Crumb’s “Zap #1” from 1968. For Crumb enthusiasts, that should come as little surprise. After all, the inaugural work in the “Zap Comix” series included such iconic characters as Mr. Natural, Schuman the Human, Whiteman and two full pages of “Kitchen Kut-Outs,” featuring such lovable characters as “Dick Tater,” “Beatrice Bread Slice” and “Clever Mr. Ketchup.” That’s also the artist’s exuberant “Keep on Truckin’” visual riff.” (via WSJ)

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Can Wikipedia Disrupt News As It Did Encyclopedias?

“Wikipedia revolutionized the way people amass information. It provides a free, one-stop shop for the Internet’s collective knowledge on any given topic. Now, one of the site’s founders, Larry Sanger, is launching a ‘Wikipedia for news’ called Infobitt. Infobitt says it will be “the world’s first crowdsourced front page news site.” It calls on users to post news events and aggregate summarized facts for each story. The importance of each fact is determined by votes, which take the form of dragging and dropping the piece of information into a ranking of 10 slots. The collection of facts under each story is called a ‘bitt.’ The importance of each bitt is also voted on in this way.” (via Newsweek)

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New Films Added to National Registry

“The horrors of war, the heroism of sacrifice, a vaudeville pioneer, the devil and a master of the macabre represent the diversity of an elite selection of films that have been recognized as cultural, historic or aesthetic cinematic treasures. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selection to the registry will help ensure that these films will be preserved for all time. “The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant,” said Billington. “By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.” (via Library of Congress)

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Libraries without physical books find a niche in San Antonio

“Next summer Bexar County (Texas) will open a library in a housing project on the West side of San Antonio. There will be iMacs, iPads, laptops and hundreds of e-readers, but no physical books. This is the second library to be exclusively digital in San Antonio. Visitors can check out an e-reader for two weeks and pick from a selection of 25,000 books, or surf the Web on one of the library’s computers. The first branch — what Bexar County is calling a BiblioTech— opened in September 2013 and had more than 103,000 visitors in the first 12 months it was opened. Nearly 68,000 e-books were checked out during that period.” (via The Washington Post)

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The future of libraries – no books, no knowledge

“The Carnegie UK Trust has published its final report in its Enterprising Libraries series, a project aimed at making libraries more fundable by having them offer services that promote ‘economic wellbeing’. The report, Beyond Books: The Role of Enterprising Libraries in Promoting Economic Wellbeing, is the culmination of this project and offers recommendations for best practice.” (via spiked)

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Kentucky appeals court considers cases that threaten funding for dozens of libraries

“Most of the state’s public library systems could be forced to roll back their tax rates and collectively refund millions of dollars to local taxpayers under a pair of lawsuits heard Monday by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The suits, filed by taxpayers in Kenton and Campbell counties, argue that many library districts have improperly raised taxes for decades without the 51 percent voter approval required by a previously obscure 1964 state law.” (via Kentucky.com)

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Calling all library patrons! Reflecting on 18 years of change

“Linda Cook will retire next year after 18 years leading the Edmonton Public Library. How long have we been saying books are on their way out? Leading a library must be a bit like leading a newspaper. Neither are dead yet!

via Edmonton Journal)

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SAHA, Bexar County partnering to build the library of the future

“Bexar County and the San Antonio Housing Authority have forged a new partnership to establish the first digital public library in a housing authority community. The details of the partnership will be announced this afternoon at the Gardens of San Juan Square community at 2003 S. Zarzamora St.” (via San Antonio Business Journal)

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Coleman vetoes council effort to expand [St. Paul] library hours

“St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Monday vetoed the City Council’s move to extend evening hours at seven branch libraries, saying that the funding source the council would tap isn’t “steady and permanent” enough to support more hours in the long run.“While I understand the appeal of adding even more hours to libraries, this goal must be achieved while maintaining a bedrock principle of my administration — structural balance,” Coleman wrote in his veto letter to the council.” (via Star Tribune)

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