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Book ignites controversy at Oregon board meeting

“The story of a young woman growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution ignited controversy at an Oregon school board meeting. Some parents complained Tuesday night that students should not be allowed to read the book “Persepolis” without parental approval. The novel by Marjane Satrapi contains coarse language and scenes of torture, and it’s in high school libraries within the Three Rivers School District in southwest Oregon.” (via AP)

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Odilo raises $2.8M to help libraries lend books digitally

“Odilo, a startup aiming to modernize brick-and-mortar libraries with digital lending services and inventory tech, today announced a $2.8 million funding round (€2.2M) led by Active Venture Partners. Based in Spain and the U.S., Odilo says its new funds will be used to “accelerate expansion” in Latin America and the U.S. The three-year-old company claims to already allow “more than 5 million users to access digital content offered by their libraries, schools, universities, professional associations, corporations or municipalities.” (via )

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Don’t overlook your school librarian, they’re the unsung heroes of literacy

“When talking about teaching and learning, most people don’t immediately think of librarians. But in a school where the librarian or learning resource centre manager is valued and properly made use of, we can teach important skills. Librarians are in the privileged position of being able to work with teachers across all subjects and students of all ages, observing the inner workings of a school from a slight distance.” (via Guardian Professional)

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The Great Library Way

“I bet you didn’t know that the New York Public Library is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Library Way this month. You may have no idea where it’s even located. Library Way extends from Park to Fifth avenues along 41st Street. And it’s distinguished by 44 bronze sidewalk plaques featuring quotes from the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, Julia Alvarez, Mark Twain and Tom Stoppard. There are actually 98 plaques, according to library spokeswoman Amy Geduldig—an equal number on both sides of 41st Street that are identical to each other. I have to take her word for it, because when we strolled the street Monday afternoon with library officials Ann Thornton and Christopher Platt, we stuck to the north side.” (via WSJ)

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Events with alcohol help libraries raise funds for extras

“Dan and Emma Frohm hadn’t been inside a library for nearly two decades until they moved to Mt. Lebanon about two years ago. But it was beer — not books — that brought the retired couple to the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, which hosts an annual Beer Garden Bash. “We were looking for a way to meet new people, and we heard about the event at the library from a neighbor,” said Emma Frohm, 64. “We hadn’t been inside a library since our boys were little. That was in the late ’70s.” (via TribLIVE)

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Public libraries: Shelved

“THE central branch of the Free Philadelphia Library is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.” (via The Economist)

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More than 148,000 items from the U.S. Government Printing Office now discoverable in DPLA

“We were pleased to share yesterday that nearly 60,000 items from the Medical Heritage Library have made their way into DPLA, and we’re now doubly pleased to share that more than 148,000 items from the Government Printing Office’s (GPO) Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) are now also available via DPLA.” (via DPLA)

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Libraries Balk at OverDrive Changes

“In a letter to OverDrive CEO Steve Potash, the ReadersFirst coalition of libraries has protested a change that would require new users of OverDrive’s app to register accounts directly with OverDrive. Stressing that “libraries, not the vendors we pay,” should own the customer relationship, the letter expresses “concern with the storage of private patron information” and posits that establishing the OverDrive account is not necessary and is “essentially a marketing opportunity” that could “erode the relationship that the library has with our patrons.” (via PW)

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Loeb Classical Library Goes Digital

“The Loeb Classical Library, the series of trim red (Latin) and green (Greek) volumes beloved of generations of students and design geeks, has slipped its distinctive color-coded covers and headed into the ether. The Digital Loeb Classical Library, available today on a fee basis, makes the more than 520 volumes of the series available on an online platform that allows readers to search, browse, share and annotate and bookmark any two-page spread, which, as with the print editions, shows the Latin or Greek on the left and an English translation on the right. In a statement, Jeffrey Henderson, the general editor of the series, which is published by Harvard University Press, called it “not merely another format for reading a given volume, but for having the whole Library, a wallful of volumes, on any connected device anywhere.” (via NYTimes.com)

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References, Please

“In the age of the Internet, do we really need footnotes to reference quotations we have made in the text? For a book to be taken seriously, does it have to take us right to the yellowing page of some crumbling edition guarded in the depths of an austere library, if the material could equally well be found through a Google search? Has an element of fetishism perhaps crept into what was once a necessary academic practice?” (via The New York Review of Books)

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