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Halifax looks forward to the opening of its very own library of the future

“It is being billed as the “city’s living room.” Its rooftop patio offers stunning views of Halifax harbour. There is a 300-seat theatre, two cafes, gaming stations, two music studios, dedicated space for adult literacy, a First Nations reading circle and boardrooms for local entrepreneurs.Halifax’s new $57.6-million gleaming glass library of the future is to open later this fall – a 129,000-square-foot building in the city’s downtown with a unique cantilevered rectangular glass box on the top, suggesting a stack of books. Fully accessible, culturally sensitive, environmentally sustainable and architecturally stunning, with elegant angles and lines, it is the first piece of modern architecture to be built in Halifax in decades, and the first major central library to be built in Canada in several years.” (via The Globe and Mail)

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Mesa libraries pilot innovative technologies, programs

“Picture a library. If the first thing that comes to mind is a card catalog, “you’re long overdue for a visit,” according to Public Library Association President Larry Neal. For years, libraries have been on the leading edge when it comes to piloting new technologies, Neal said. They were some of the first places to offer access to desktop computers, the Internet and e-readers. But as libraries’ offerings have evolved, their marketing and branding efforts haven’t necessarily kept pace. And while surveys show the majority of Americans still believe in the importance of libraries, the discrepancy has left more tech-savvy generations wondering why they would ever need to visit one.” (via AZ Central)

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Visually impaired teen makes impact at Southside digital library

“When Christian Sanchez reported to the Bexar County BiblioTech as an intern in June, he immediately made his mark. Within days, the 16-year-old had learned every facet of all-digital library located at 3505 Pleasanton Road. The tech savvy teen’s duties ranged from working the circulation desk to one-on-one sessions with visually impaired patrons. While Sanchez is particularly adept at helping visually impaired patrons — he’s blind himself — he readily assisted all patrons, answering tech questions and providing information.” (via San Antonio Express-News)

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Public library engagement in the United States

NJ State Library to deliver high school diploma program

“The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College, announced today the launch of its Online High School Completion Program, which will allow NJ residents to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate at their local library. The groundbreaking program is designed to reengage adults in the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workforce.” (via APP)

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Orland Park Public Library  keeps Internet access policy

“Orland Park Public Library trustees on Monday night voted to continue to allow patrons 18 and older unfiltered Internet access, reaffirming a vote taken earlier this year. Before the 4-2 vote, some patrons asked the board to install a filter to prevent people from being able to view pornographic material while online, and two library trustees said they supported the use of filters.” (via Southtown Star)

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Missouri libraries struggle to stay open

“Could public libraries be a thing of the past in Missouri?    Lawmakers are battling whether or not to with hold more than $6 million from the public library budget, and local libraries are already seeing an impact. Canton Library officials say roughly 60 people come into the library every day, mostly for the free internet access.  Because of state cuts, internet costs rose almost 600 percent for the Canton library, which is forcing the library to consider all its options.” (via WGEM)

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HarperCollins UK, now on Scribd

“Hail, Britannia! We’re excited to welcome HarperCollins UK to Scribd. Our UK readers now have access to some of our all-time favorites, including Fahrenheit 451, Play It As It Lays, and The Devil Wears Prada, along with more than 3,000 others, all ready to read right now. Here’s what Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins Publishers UK, has to say: “We are delighted to be part of this new route to market for our backlist titles. This new business model offers excellent value for book lovers, while allowing HarperCollins authors to enjoy extended reach, increased discovery and improved royalty streams.” (via The Scribd Blog)

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Mayoral donor spared the ax in Queens library scandal

“Mayor de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz spared only one Thomas Galante backer when they axed eight other trustees who had supported the disgraced Queens Public Library honcho — and it turns out that lucky survivor has ties to both pols. De Blasio and Katz didn’t lay a finger on Mary Ann Mattone, 66, who happens to be the wife of developer Joseph Mattone, and whose family has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic races, including those of Katz and Hizzoner. Mattone’s son, Carl, 55, even headlined a Katz fund-raiser in Douglaston, Queens, this summer.” (via New York Post)

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Even wired tribal libraries are lagging behind on tech

“As much as some places in the United States have struggled to get good, affordable, accessible Internet connectivity, one type of spot on the map has struggled even more than most: tribal lands. Broadband deployment in the whole of the U.S. stands at about 65 percent, the Federal Communications Commission found a few years ago, but on tribal lands the official rate is just 10 percent, with “anecdotal evidence suggest[ing] that actual usage rates may be as low as 5 to 8 percent.” (via The Washington Post)

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