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At the heart of the Monterey Public Library, a homeless community

Minutes before the Monterey Public Library opened its doors on Wednesday, a group of homeless people filled the rear quad area. The atmosphere was tranquil, though just five days previously their refuge was tainted by a deadly altercation.” (via Monterey Herald)

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CENIC and the City and County of San Francisco Collaborate to Make San Francisco Public Library the First 10 Gigabit Library in the U.S.

“San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), and the City and County of San Francisco announced today that they have collaborated to provide unprecedented direct connection at 10 gigabits per second access speed to CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN) and from there to the world” (via SFPL)

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Meet the first tablet made just for your local library

“Back in 2006, a media devices company called Findaway launched its first product, inspired by the growth of the iPod. The Playaway was a little audio player that came pre-loaded with one audiobook — basically the evolution of a book-on-tape. There was good buzz for it. They landed a deal with Borders and Barnes & Noble to distribute it. It was even featured on “Oprah,” thanks to the show’s book club. Yet when the holiday season came, it completely flopped. Then the company started getting calls from an unexpected source: libraries.” (via Washington Post)

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Digital Public Library of America makes push to serve all 50 states by 2017 with $3.4 million from the Sloan and Knight foundations

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is on the way to connecting online collections from coast to coast by 2017 – an effort boosted by a new $3.4 million investment, comprising $1.9 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and $1.5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. These two new awards, coupled with significant earlier support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will allow DPLA to open new Service Hubs that provide a way for all cultural heritage organizations across the country to connect through one national collection.” (via DLPA)

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E-Books Get a Makeover

“For typography fans, electronic books have long been the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. The fonts are uninviting. Jarring swaths of white space stretch between words. Absent are all the typesetting nuances of a fine print book. Now Amazon and Google are doing something about it.” (via WSJ)

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How an NPR Librarian Outdid VA Researchers in Finding Mustard Gas Victims

“The Veterans Affairs Department knew there were 4,000 World War II veterans who had been exposed to mustard gas during chemical experiments, the existence of which wasn’t declassified until the 1990s. But the agency’s effort to track them down and compensate any who suffered injuries went almost nowhere, according to exclusive findings by NPR’s investigative unit in a report broadcast Tuesday.” (Via GoVExec)

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25,000 librarians in S.F. to debate future of their business

“For years, Luis Herrera has fought against the perceived demise of public libraries. The city librarian at San Francisco’s Main Library on Larkin Street has heard it all: Libraries are becoming obsolete. People are too busy with their iPads and iPhones. E-books are cheap. Technology is too great and any information people need can be found on Google. But to Herrera, technology is not a threat. It’s a way to make San Francisco’s public libraries more relevant than ever. “We have always applied technology,” Herrera said. “It is a tool, not the end of our mission. We have used it to advance access to information and resources. Technology is an ally for accessibility.” More than 25,000 library professionals are coming to San Francisco Thursday through Tuesday to discuss the changing role of libraries at the American Library Association conference — the biggest such gathering in the world. The sessions, held at the Moscone Center, will focus on how libraries can remain relevant in the digital age.” (via SF Gate)

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The New York Public Library Wars

“Scholars who use the New York Public Library are boiling with frustration. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2014 the library, under pressure from a coalition that included four senior scholars, abandoned its controversial Central Library Plan, which entailed gutting the stacks at the 42nd Street Library and selling the popular Mid-Manhattan Library across the street. But the situation hasn’t turned out how many critics had hoped.” (Via Chronicle)

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Unearthed In A Library, ‘Voodoo’ Opera Rises Again

“About eight years ago, as a grad student, Annie Holt was working in Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library when she was assigned to catalogue the work of Harry Lawrence Freeman, a largely forgotten Harlem-based composer from the early 20th century. “It was fabulous!” she says. “I had the honor of going through all the cardboard boxes that came right from his family’s house and unearthing everything, and I, for myself, discovered how amazing his story was and how amazing his music is.” (via NPR)

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In tough Jacksonville neighborhood, Dallas Graham library has been a safe haven for 50 years

“The Dallas Graham branch library in Northwest Jacksonville is where Shantania Roseburgh, now 15, discovered the Junie B. Jones books, in which she found out just how much alike she and Junie are. She’s moved on though, and now favors mysteries — each one a treat as she opens it to see what happens next. “I’m ready to go the end,” she said. “I want to flip it. But then I want to know what’s in the middle too.” (via Jacksonville.com)

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