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Ramen noodles make library’s Food for Fines fail list

“Ramen noodles might be adequate enough to feed hungry college students and folks on a budget, but the square-block packages don’t hold up well in food drives. Which is why the Salem Public Library, in announcing its annual Food for Fines amnesty promotion next month, put ramen noodles on the list of unacceptable foods. Library administrator BJ Toewe said the library follows the recommendations of the Marion-Polk Food Share food bank, the beneficiary of the library’s food drive.” (via Statesman Journal)

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Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

“Lafayette Elementary School, in upper Northwest Washington, has one of the largest library collections in the District’s public school system, with more than 28,000 books filling stacks on two floors. Drew Elementary, 12 miles away and east of the Anacostia River, has one of the city’s smallest inventories: 300 catalogued books lining shelves along two of the library’s walls. Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.” As a result, an unequal system has developed. (via The Washington Post)

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Sacramento Libraries Host Prom Dress Giveaways

“Prom night can be expensive – especially for the ladies.  But, the cost of prom isn’t keeping some local girls from missing out. Girls from Grant High School were out picking out free prom dresses Saturday. “It was a good opportunity ‘cause that’s 300 bucks I could be saving in my pocket,” Rubi Ramirez said. The South Natomas Library is one of seven local libraries collecting formal wear to give out to local teenagers. “We got a lot of dresses that still had the tags on them,” said Youth Services Librarian Marian Simmons.” (via CBS Sacramento)

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From Kerala to Tanzania: a library of one’s own

“Somy Solomon, wife, mother and social activist, is an Indian expatriate in rural Tanzania. It upset her that villagers would sell their farmland to construction companies at knockdown prices, unaware of its value. A lack of education, she says, is trapping local women and children into a life of slum living and domestic servitude. Determined to change this, Solomon launched a social media campaign to set up a library in Kichankani, the village 40 km (25 miles) from Dar es Salaam that supplies many of the employees at the hotel which brought Solomon and her husband to Africa in the first place. Without even stepping out of the village, she has collected thousands of books via a Facebook appeal. Donations have come from India, Dubai and Singapore. “I wanted to remove the cloud of ignorance,” says Solomon, 28, a native of Kerala. As well as supplying books, the library will serve as a learning centre to improve villagers’ Internet proficiency.” (via Reuters)

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Are free libraries public hazards?

“Neighbors and passersby along A Street in Petaluma can browse through an eclectic selection of books without visiting a yard sale or stepping into a library or bookstore. So can neighbors in Penngrove, Sebastopol, Forestville, Santa Rosa and hundreds of other towns throughout the country.

They’re inspired by a global literacy movement that started in Wisconsin in 2009 that requires no paperwork, library cards or currency, just an unspoken agreement. Want a book? Take one. Got too many? Leave one behind. But as so often happens, simple ideas have been derailed by critics. Officials in three cities — Los Angeles; Shreveport, La.; and Leawood, Kan. — received complaints about little libraries and were asked to investigate them as zoning code violations.” (via The Press Democrat)

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JAMES PATTERSON LAUNCHES GRANT PROGRAM FOR LIBRARIES

“Having handed out more than $1 million to help independent bookstores, James Patterson is now sharing his wealth with some other vital, but often struggling institutions: School libraries. The best-selling author announced Monday that he was donating $1.25 million through a grant program administered with Scholastic Reading Club, a division of Scholastic, Inc. Libraries or supporters of libraries can seek donations $1,000 to $10,000. Scholastic will match each donation with “Bonus Points” that can be used to purchase classroom materials. According to Patterson, requests can be for anything from fixing a computer system to paying for a school reading project.” (via The Associated Press)

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AP SOURCES: CHICAGO ELECTION DELAYS OBAMA LIBRARY DECISION

“President Barack Obama will hold off on announcing the location for his future presidential library until after Chicago’s runoff election for mayor, two people familiar with the decision said, in a bid to avoid politicizing his legacy project.Last year the Barack Obama Foundation, which is screening proposals for the library, said the president and first lady Michelle Obama would announce the winner by the end of March. But with the Chicago race still up in the air, the announcement is no longer expected until after the April 7 runoff, said the individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the library.” (via The Associated Press)

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Utah library helping to feed hungry children

“Libraries are a haven for many, including children and teens who need a safe place to go after school. Located within walking distance of several schools, the Utah Kearns Library, part of Salt County Library System, harbors 50-100 youth after school every day. “Many of our youth come in at 3:00 in the afternoon and stay until 9:00 at night when the library closes,” said Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, the teen librarian. And most of these youth come to the library hungry.” (via KSL.com)

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Stanford Library known as “UGLI” gets Levelled

“Perhaps no building on any college campus has ever been so deserving of its acronym as the undergraduate library (UGLI) at Stanford University. Put up in the regrettable college architecture era of the 1960s, UGLI, is formally named  J. Henry Meyer Memorial Library.  Bu class schedules abbreviated undergraduate library to “UGLI.” So UGLI it was and ugly it is, rising high and stark in the middle of an architectural style that is low and subdued.” (via SFGate)

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Meet the Editors Fighting Racism and Sexism on Wikipedia

“WIKIPEDIA’S GOAL IS to democratize the consumption and creation of knowledge. But dig into just who is creating content on Wikipedia—not to mention what kind of content they’re creating—and you’ll find Wikipedia is far from the egalitarian ideal it set out to be.” (via WIRED)

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