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To save books, librarians create fake ‘reader’ to check out titles

“Chuck Finley appears to be a voracious reader, having checked out 2,361 books at the East Lake County Library in a nine-month period this year.But Finley didn’t read a single one of the books, ranging from “Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck to a kids book called “Why Do My Ears Pop?” by Ann Fullick. That’s because Finley isn’t real.The fictional character was concocted by two employees at the library, complete with a false address and drivers license number.” (via Orlando Sentinel)

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Gale Digitizes Archive of the American Civil Liberties Union

“Gale, a Cengage company, has launched Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990. The timely archive includes records from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and focuses on civil rights, race, gender, and issues relating to the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics covered are intensely relevant to today’s curriculum and current debates at both national and local levels.Part of the growing Gale Primary Sources program, the archive represents Gale’s focus on publishing material that supports diversity studies and provides historical context around current topics.” (via Cengage)

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Son Pays 85 Years’ Worth of Library Fines for Overdue Books His Parents Checked Out from Rockville Branch

“By Jon Kramer’s reckoning, the books that his parents checked out from Montgomery County Public Libraries in the 1970s were a combined 85 years overdue. That worked out to $1,552.30 in late fees, he calculated in November after stumbling upon 365 Meatless Main Dishes and The New Way of the Wilderness at his family’s southern Ontario homestead. He admits he considered slipping the books back onto the shelf where they’d sat for years, racking up fines at a rate of 5 cents per day.” (via Bethesda Beat)

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Navajos hope to digitally preserve thousands of hours of oral history

“Jolyana Begay-Kroupa still remembers waiting for the seasons to change when she was a child so she could hear the winter stories her Navajo grandparents would tell.But Begay-Kroupa, now a professor of the Navajo language at Arizona State and Stanford universities, worries that “because my two boys grew up in the city … away from the Navajo elders they never got what I got … listening to Grandma and Grandpa tell certain stories in the winter.” (via Arizona Republic)

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Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books

“Public libraries have had another bad year. They are like churches and local railways. People like having them around, and are angry if they close. But as for using them, well, there is so little time these days. The latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures on library closures are dire. In the past five years 343 have gone. Librarian numbers are down by a quarter, with 8,000 jobs lost. Public usage has fallen by 16% and spending by 14%. Book borrowing is plummeting, in some places by half.” (via The Guardian)

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