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New Features Added to Congress.gov Based On Your Feedback

“Since the unveiling of Congress.gov in September of 2012, we have been constantly adding new features with each release, and many of the features in this release are based directly on your feedback.” (via loc.gov)

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British university gives gull-conquering owl ‘Yoda’ a library card

“It’s not every day you’re honoured with a library card in recognition of the work you do, especially when you’re an owl. The University of Bath, clearly recognising just how tragically under-represented our feathered friends are in the world of book-borrowing, have issued a library card to their resident seagull-scaring Eagle owl, Yoda.” (via Mashable)

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Ohio Supreme Court passes on library hair-pulling case

The Ohio Supreme Court has granted Telling Mansion activist Fran Mentch a final victory in her 22-month hair-pulling case with the city of Parma. Mentch served a 30-day jail sentence in March last year for pulling Cuyahoga County Public Library Executive Director Sari Feldman’s hair at a September 2013 library board meeting in Parma. Her conviction was later overturned in the Eighth District Court of Appeals. Parma prosecutors asked the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse the appeal in February, but Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor last week said the court will not hear the case because it was not a felony and did not involve a “substantial Constitutional question or great general or public interest.” (via Cleveland.com)

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Library advocate to visit 50 New York libraries in his ’78 Volkswagen camper

Jeremy Johannesen and his son Jack plan to visit 50 New York libraries in 10 days. It’s not exactly the top vacation trip for most families, but it is the perfect adventure for Johannesen, a Bethlehem resident who is executive director of the New York State Library Association based in Guilderland. First, it gives him the chance to visit some of the state’s 756 public libraries. Second, he gets to spend time with his 11-year-old son. And third, he wanted to put his 1978 Volkswagen camper on the road after 10 years in storage.” (via Times Union)

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Turning the page: Library district emerges stronger after years of cost reduction

“Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Executive Director Dr. Ronald R. Heezen said half of the district’s employees who were laid off due to the 2008 recession have been rehired. And increased staffing isn’t the only bright spot in the district’s future: He said the libraries are now in a financial position to better meet the community’s needs. “Years of cost reduction, expenditure management and personnel cost containment have paid off for the district,”? he said in a press release. “We are now in a position to build its capacity to meet community needs, while maintaining a prudent ending fund balance.” The district’s Board of Trustees adopted the fiscal year 2015-16 budget —?? effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016 — at its May 21 board meeting. The budget’??s general operating fund is $59.5 million.” (via Las Vegas Review Journal)

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How the NY Public Library Crowdsources Digital Innovation

“Like most public institutions, the New York Public Library is chronically underfunded. However, shoestring staffing has not slowed the breakneck pace at which NYPL Labs releases new digital projects. NYPL Labs offers a model for public institutions around the country: Trust your patrons. Thanks to shrewd application of crowdsourcing initiatives, NYPL Labs has produced innovative online projects ranging from maps to menus.” (via PC Magazine)

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With 10,699 books printed, Windsor library’s self-publishing machine is a hit

“Sue Perry likens her role at the Windsor Public Library to that of a midwife. Perry runs the main library’s self-publishing Espresso Book Machine which has produced 10,699 books in three years and she hopes to be even busier delivering professionally-bound paperback books into the hands of local authors. Windsor was the first public library in Canada to install such a machine in 2012 so it wasn’t clear how well it would be received. Three years later, the service isn’t a money-maker but its growing popularity and a proposed fee increase could help it break even.” (via Windsor Star)

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Booktrack Attracts $5 Million in Funding

“Booktrack, an e-publishing venture offering publishers the ability to add customizable soundtracks to digital titles, has secured $5 million in funding led by investments from COENT Venture Partners and Sparkbox Ventures. The new round of funding comes on the heels of $3 million in financing raised by Booktrack last year. The company plans to use the new funding to support recent overall growth, acquire more book content and support direct to consumer sales of Booktrack titles via its e-book store.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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The calamity of disappearing school libraries

“From coast to coast, elementary and high school libraries are being neglected, defunded, repurposed, abandoned and closed. The kindest thing that can be said about this is that it’s curious; the more accurate explanation is that it’s just wrong and very foolish. A 2011 survey conducted with my graduate students of 25 separate statewide studies shows that students who attend schools with libraries that are staffed by certified librarians score better on reading and writing tests than students in schools without library services. And it is lower-income students who benefit the most.” (via Houston Chronicle)

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N.Y.U. Library Acquires Archive of the Digital Art Journal Triple Canopy

“When libraries acquire the archives of an art and literary magazine, they usually do so after a magazine has been around for decades and the files arrive by truck, in dusty boxes measured in linear feet. But on Monday, the Fales Library and Special Collection at New York University announced the acquisition of the archive of Triple Canopy, the widely admired New York art and literary journal that has been published only since 2007 and only online (if you don’t count a few old-school print anthologies).” (via NYT)

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