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John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ banned in Riverside

“One of the most popular young adult novels of recent times has been banned in Riverside. The Riverside Unified School District has forbidden John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” in its middle school libraries. The school board voted to remove three copies of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” from the library shelves of Frank Augustus Miller Middle School and to forbid its inclusion at other middle school libraries in the district. Even donations of the book are not to be accepted.” (via LA Times)

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Where books (and more) go to wait

“I still walk in here and say, ‘Wow,’ ” said Steve Bertino. Bertino is part of the team that runs the Harvard Depository, a high-density, high-security, off-campus facility that houses a staggering amount of materials from Harvard’s library collections — representing much of human knowledge accrued since the dawn of civilization. This is patron service and stewardship at a massive yet precise scale. The depository holds about 10 million volumes on 30-foot-tall shelves, and industrial lifts are used to retrieve items for patrons. Each lift travels only about 200 feet, yet passes 300,000 books on 2,000 shelves. About 880,000 manuscripts, films, maps, University archives, and photographs, as well as books, flow through the facility a year, about the number of breaths the average adult takes in the same time period.” (via Harvard Gazette)

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The Hidden Costs of E-books at University Libraries

“For the past few years, both the California State University and the University of California libraries have been experimenting with packages that replace paper books with e-books. The advantages are obvious. With e-books, you no longer have to schlep to a library to take out a book. You just log on from whatever device connects you to the web, at whatever time and in whatever state of dress, and voila! the book appears on your screen. But the real attraction is price. Library budgets, along with university budgets, have been slashed, and such companies as Pearson and Elsevier offer e-book packages that make it possible to gain access (I’ll explain the awkward syntax in a moment) to lots of books at what seems like a minimal cost. The savings are multiplied when the package serves the entire system. So instead of each campus buying a paper book, all 23 CSU’s, for instance, share a single e-book. That’s the theory, at least. The reality is very different.” (via Times of San Diego)

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Miami-Dade libraries need to end ‘bookish’ attitude, panel says

“Libraries with looms for weaving fabric. Libraries with offices for start-ups. Libraries with lattes near the check-out counter. Books amounted to a footnote in Monday’s discussion on how to reinvent Miami-Dade County’s library system, which recently dodged a funding crisis and now is in the midst of rolling out expanded hours and offerings.

A panel convened by Miami’s Knight Foundation urged a remake of the library’s core identity — away from a quiet place for reading into more of an amenity-rich community center, with enough offerings to attract people uninterested in free books or computer time.” (via The Miami Herald)

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Coming Soon to the Library: Humanoid Robots

“They have blinking eyes and an unnerving way of looking quizzically in the direction of whoever is speaking. They walk, dance and can talk in 19 different languages. About the height of a toddler, they look like bigger, better-dressed cousins of Buzz Lightyear.And soon, “Vincent” and “Nancy” will be buzzing around the Westport Library, where officials next week will announce the recent acquisition of the pair of humanoid “NAO Evolution” robots. Their primary purpose: to teach the kind of coding and computer-programming skills required to animate such machines.” (via WSJ)

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ALA launches educational 3D printing policy campaign

“The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the launch of “Progress in the Making,”…a new educational campaign that will explore the public policy opportunities and challenges of 3D printer adoption by libraries. Today, the association released “Progress in the Making: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Public Policy,” a tip sheet that provides an overview of 3D printing, describes a number of ways libraries are currently using 3D printers, outlines the legal implications of providing the technology, and details ways that libraries can implement simple yet protective 3D printing policies in their own libraries.” (via ALA)

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Penn State Libraries create research guides for MOOCs

“As MOOCs (massive online open courses) continue to gain in popularity, Penn State’s University Libraries have taken a proactive stance to provide research guides that will assist the teachers helping and the many students enrolled in the wide variety of classes. These free MOOCS typically include students who are not registered Penn State students, and thus may not use the libraries’ numerous licensed online databases or course reserve content restricted to Penn State credit classes.” (via Penn State Libraries)

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Rural Maine libraries on borrowed time as towns seek ways to save tax dollars

“If not for a donation of 125 books by Maine authors this spring, the Cherryfield Free Public Library would not have added a new book to its collection in two years. If not for volunteers, the library in Liberty would not be open six days a week. If not for supporters lobbying friends and neighbors for votes at the town meeting, the library in Mexico might be closed by now.” (via The Portland Press Herald)

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As San Diego’s Central Library turns 1, backers tout success; critics still question cost

“In its first year, the San Diego Central Library has become a domed landmark on the downtown skyline, a repository of the world’s cultural heritage, and a nine-story debate. In the era of Google and Netflix, smartphones and tablets, why should we have large urban libraries? “The library has exceeded our expectations, and we had high expectations,” said Mel Katz, immediate past chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, citing rising circulation figures and SRO attendance at library events. “This is so much more than a building with books and shelves. It is a community center, a place for people to meet and gather.” (via UTSanDiego.com)

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Multnomah County Library Celebrates 150 Years

“The Multnomah County Library celebrated its 150th anniversary Saturday with birthday hats and a marching band. It’s the oldest library west of the Mississippi. Director Vailey Oehlke said the library began as private subscription collection called The Library Association of Portland. It was founded by a small group of Portland merchants, who each paid $3 to join and $12 a year to access books. “They were people whose names you would recognize: Ladd, Pittock, the names of folks who appear on our street signs. In 1864, when Abraham Lincoln was president, this community recognized that this was an important thing to have,” she said.” (via OPB)

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