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In North Jersey, libraries of tomorrow are ready to turn the page

“It looks like a scene from Google headquarters. A group of young inventors darts around the room, tackling a new experiment each week: build a flying machine, print a 3D object, design a new instrument, make an explosion with Popsicle sticks. The energetic buzz is punctuated by the occasional exclamation, “That’s so cool!” But this is no Google headquarters. This is the Hillsdale Public Library, and its dedication to hands-on collaborative learning exemplifies a movement by libraries nationwide to redefine themselves in the digital age. “Rather than it being a solitary place to come on your own, we’re seeing it now as a place for people to come together and share their expertise,” said Dave Franz, the library director. While libraries were created to give people access to information, he added, now they are being expanded to include access to tools.” (via NorthJersey.com)

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Effort to get Obama library draws Chicago-style suspicions

“Chicago’s rush to secure space in a public park for Barack Obama’s presidential library has unleashed a tussle typical of the president’s hometown — loud, contentious and full of suspicions about backroom deals and personal politics as tangled as the ivy at Wrigley Field.Most Chicagoans would be shocked if Obama didn’t bring his library to the city where his political career began. But it has been equally shocking to some that the University of Chicago proposed building it on park land that the school did not control and had not secured until the Obama Foundation recently raised concerns.” (via AP)

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Hardcovers? No, hardware at this library

“A proposed library in Camden County won’t use the Dewey Decimal System. Instead, expect the DIY approach at a facility where patrons might check out saws, sanders and other handy gadgets. Freeholders voted Thursday night to advance plans for a county tool library. If everything goes well, it will debut by June 1 at the county’s Lakeland complex in Gloucester Township.” (via courierpostonline.com)

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Changing Skyline: Temple’s plan comes together with new focus on library

“Temple University has spent a billion dollars over the last decade transforming itself from a commuter college into a residential school that can draw students nationally. It’s added glassy classroom buildings, a ritzy skyscraper dorm, and amenities such as cafés and rock-climbing walls. Yet, for all the flash, it was never clear how the expensive parts were supposed to fit together. With the completion of a new master plan last year and the hiring of a university architect in 2011, Temple seems to have finally found its compass. The school ditched a problematic plan to build a new library on Broad Street and moved the project to the university’s natural core, near its iconic bell tower.” (via Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Inside British Library’s low-oxygen archive

“Newspaper sales may have dropped by more than 40% over the last decade, but more than seven million of them are still sold every day. The British Library save at least one copy of every paper printed – more than 60 million in total.
This week it has opened a new hi-tech library in Yorkshire to store its huge archive.” (via BBC News)

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Toronto Reference Library adds dedicated room for writers

“For Toronto novelist and lawyer Robert Rotenberg, it’s what the city’s Reference Library doesn’t have that also makes it the perfect place to work on a novel. “I can’t do anything else there but write,” the man behind books such as Stranglehold, Old City Hall and Stray Bullets said Thursday in an interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. “My clients can’t get to me, I can’t do laundry or make a salad. It’s quiet and it’s central.”( via CBC News)

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[Queens] Library execs quit as new chief settles in

“Four top Queens Library officials resigned last week as the institution continues to reorganize following the ouster of its longtime president amid a financial and management scandal and criminal probe. The four executives who quit, who all bore the title of vice president, are Darlene Askew-Robinson, the library’s general counsel; Lisa Epps, who handled information technology; Angelica Huynh-Rivera, the head of human resources; and Frank Genese, who oversaw capital projects.” (via Queens Chronicle)

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A Role for Librarians as Data Managers in the Life Sciences

“Traditionally, librarians have been involved at the beginning and the end of the research process, assisting researchers with finding information and with disseminating information. With the changing data landscape, however, it is important for the library to participate in other aspects of research. A librarian who can provide concise and customized training in needed areas—for example, documentation in the process of data collection—will be valuable to the research team.” (via CLIR)

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IMLS to Award $154.8 Million to States to Improve Library Services

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today released its Fiscal Year 2015 allotment table for 56 State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), totaling $154,848,000. These annual grants represent the largest source of federal funding support for library services in the U.S. The grants allocate a base amount to each of the SLAAs, plus a supplemental amount based on population. The agency’s Grants to States program provides federal funds as a supplement to existing state library services rather than a replacement for state funding, and it assures local involvement through financial matching requirements. The newly released allotment table identifies both the federal (66%) and state match share (34%) for each SLAA.” (via IMLS)

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Amazon Launches Kindle Textbook Creator

“Amazon.com today announced KDP EDU, a new segment of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) designed to help educators and authors easily prepare, publish, and promote eTextbooks and other educational content for students to access on a broad range of devices, including Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones and tablets, Mac, and PC. Educators and authors can use the public beta of Amazon’s new Kindle Textbook Creator tool to easily turn PDFs of their textbooks and course materials into Kindle books. Once the book is ready, authors can upload it to KDP in just a few simple steps to reach students worldwide.” (via Amazon)

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