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Libraries in the age of inequality

“Trying to predict the future of anything — let alone public libraries — is a tricky task. But unequivocally we can say this: Libraries are not about to become purely digital endeavors. The notion that e-books will completely replace physical books is tired.So rather than dwelling on that topic, which has become a favorite pastime of armchair futurists, let’s focus on the people affected by libraries instead of the collections contained within them. Whether individuals prefer paperbacks or reading on a mobile device is trivial compared to the fact that American society is becoming highly unequal. The trend suggests a Dickensian future — albeit one filled with smartphones. The real question is: How will the mission of public libraries evolve in a world filled with such gross inequality?” (via Houston Chronicle)

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Cops fork over $1.5K each for accepting steak dinners from library CEO

“Three high-ranking NYPD cops have agreed to pay fines of $1,500 each for accepting high-priced steak dinners from former Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante, it was announced Monday.Galante was fired by the library’s board in 2014 for his lavish spending.Chief of Housing James Secreto admitted to chowing down on the library’s tab on four occasions in 2012 and 2013 — at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Quality Meats and San Pietro, all in Manhattan, as well as Christo’s Steakhouse in Astoria.” (via (New York Post)

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At the library, a cafe and TV studio, and an effort to modernize

“The library of tomorrow will be here Friday.Boston Public Library is getting ready to debut its unique cafe-within-a-television/radio-studio-within-a-library, as part of its campaign to be a more welcoming, less stuffy community space. You won’t see any “No Talking Please” or “No Food or Drink Allowed” signs here.Greeting visitors immediately to the right of the Boylston Street entrance of the Johnson Building in the Back Bay will be a new satellite studio for public broadcaster WGBH and a 60-seat Newsfeed Cafe operated by The Catered Affair. Both are among the final pieces to the library’s ambitious three-year, $78 million renovations.” (via The Boston Globe)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS BUYS BRITISH MOVIETONE FILM ARCHIVE

“The Associated Press has purchased the film archive of British Movietone, bolstering the news cooperative’s collection with historic video from World War II, the Beatles’ conquest of America and the romance between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.The newsreels, acquired from Newsreel Archive, were originally shown in movie theaters twice a week and were the first to have sound and color. The archive includes the first recorded speeches of personalities such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw, as well as the only footage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding filmed in high definition on 35mm film.” (via The Associated Press)

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Transgender woman sues library, insurance provider over surgery cost

“A transgender woman who works for Hamilton County’s public library system is suing her employer and its insurer over a refusal to cover sex reassignment surgery.” Rachel Dovel said in April that she had been urging the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to cover her gender confirmation surgery since last year.She’s been transitioning from a man, known as Nathan, to a transgender woman since 2014.” (via WLWT)

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