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He’s 48, just graduated high school and owes it all to the library

“Ron Hagardt didn’t finish high school when he was supposed to, in 1985. Drinking led to pot, which led to cocaine, which led to dropping out of Sonora High School in La Habra during his senior year. Now he’s 48, four years sober — and a high school graduate. On Tuesday, Hagardt wore a blue cap and gown and moved the golden tassel across his mortarboard during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown.” (via LA Times)

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Blind dates with romance novels

“Two sleepy cats greet patrons at A Novel Idea bookstore. Eddie, who is more retriever than cat, according to his owner, rubs up against costumers, pushing them toward the rows of used books, luring them through the cozy room toward the row of blind dates.”It’s the only blind date that you’re sure won’t stalk you later,” Cinnamon Dokken said.But this local bookstore in downtown Lincoln, Neb., isn’t a hub for singles and matchmaking; rather, these “blind dates” come wrapped in brown paper with written taglines or short phrases alluding to the contents of the book inside.” (via (Chicago Tribune)

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University libraries struggle to stock journals priced in U.S. dollars

Students and faculty at some of Canada’s post-secondary schools may soon have a tougher time doing research because the low loonie is forcing libraries to rethink what journals and books they stock. “The drop in the loonie has definitely decreased our purchasing power,” Jo Anne Newyear-Ramirez, the associate university librarian for collections management at the University of British Columbia library, said in an interview.” (via Canadian Business)

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What happens when libraries are asked to help the homeless find shelter

“In 2008, the San Francisco Public Library considered a very unusual question. How, they asked the city’s homeless, can our library better serve you?  Officials weren’t looking for book club ideas. Over the past decade, the shrinking social safety net has turned many libraries into major care providers for the underprivileged. The homeless, in particular, rely on libraries for daytime shelter. It’s a big job, one that libraries — perpetually cash-strapped and understaffed — aren’t sure they’re equipped to handle. (via The Washington Post)

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50 years later, man returns WWII book to Michigan library

“The UPS package addressed to Diane Kooiker was non-descript. The book inside, not so much. Kooiker, the Herrick District Library director in Holland, pulled out a tome that had been missing from shelves since 1967.Also inside was a check to cover fees for the long overdue text and a letter detailing the absence from a Hope College alumnus, who explained he must have been researching World War II at the time.” (via MLive.com)

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Idaho Attorney General Makes Catalogue of Opinions, Annual Reports Available to the Public

“Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is making 125 years-worth of legal opinions, guidelines, letters and annual reports available to the public. Since 1891, as required by statute, the Attorney General has published a collection of opinions, advisory letters, lists of cases submitted to state and federal courts and summaries of the year’s business. In the past, these reports were housed in the office of the Attorney General, law libraries or the Idaho Historical Society. But as of today, the collection can be found on the Attorney General’s website.” (via Idaho Attorney General)

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The Washington State Library illuminates rural digital collections with visual mapping

“With OCLC’s CONTENTdm, libraries can increase the visibility of digital collections and make them more discoverable. CONTENTdm enables the storage, editing and display of digital collections, making them accessible online for searchers worldwide.Last year, the Washington State Library added a visual mapping tool to several of its digital collections, which are powered by CONTENTdm.The Washington Rural Heritage Collection and the Colville National Forest Heritage Collection use StoryMap JS, a free, open source tool for geo mapping created by Northwestern University’s Knight Lab. The Washington State Library has embedded this tool in its CONTENTdm websites, allowing users to browse maps and explore collections geographically. Users can click on map locations of Washington state, and can view links and short blurbs about digital collections from specific areas. Digital items such as images and videos are available from these collections.” (via OCLC)

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Egypt Selects Resources from EBSCO Information Services in National Project

“Every research institution in Egypt will soon have access to five resources from EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) due to a national project launched by the Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research. The project, The Egyptian Knowledge Bank, selected EBSCO to provide every person in Egypt with easy access to rich information with the aim of furthering scientific research and the formation of Egypt’s Knowledge Society.” (via EBSCO)

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Artist’s ‘blank books’ project seeks to restock historic Baghdad library

“An Iraqi-American artist is using online crowdfunding and performance art to help return books to the shelves of the University of Baghdad’s library, which burnt down during the Iraq war.The library of the university’s college of fine arts hosted more than 70,000 titles until looters set fire to the entire collection in 2003. The building has been reconstructed, but very few books were returned.” (via The Guardian)

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Leading LAW Libraries into the Future

“For the first time in more than three decades, BU’s Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have a new director. Ronald Wheeler joined the School of Law January 1, replacing Marlene Alderman, who retired after 32 years. Wheeler, who is also an associate professor of law and legal research, comes from Suffolk University Law School, where he was director of the Moakley Law Library and an associate professor of legal research. He is also vice president and president-elect of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), and will become president in July.” (via Boston University)

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