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What a Library Levy Means to a West Virginia Town

“I was standing at the front desk of Charleston, West Virginia’s main library on Election Day 2014 when a burly man in worker’s clothes stopped by just to announce to the librarian, “I voted yes on the levy!” It was an important day for the libraries of Kanawha County (pronounced kuh-NAW in Charleston). Passing the levy would mean almost $3 million a year for the next five years, which amounts to about 40 percent of the libraries’ budget for operations and staff. Losing the levy would mean—well, no one even wanted to contemplate that.” (via The Atlantic)

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Alderman wants sex offenders banned from libraries in summer

“Chicago’s 78 public libraries would be off-limits to registered sex offenders during summer months, when the buildings tend to be overrun with children, under a pre-emptive public safety crackdown proposed by a Southwest Side alderman. Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) said he’s the father three young daughters acting out of concern for his own children and the 600 kids who participated in the summer library program at West Lawn Library, 4020 W. 63rd St.” (via Sun Times)

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State Library and Archives digital collection showcases Tennessee folklife

“The Tennessee State Library and Archives is releasing a new digital collection showcasing Tennessee folklife. The collection documents folk culture unique to Tennessee and highlights the state’s significant contributions to national studies of folklife. The project was designed to record interviews with local musicians, craftsmen and storytellers in communities around six state parks, and present annual community folk art festivals within those parks.” (via AP)

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Palo Alto: Long-awaited library opens

“Shannon Lin couldn’t contain her excitement. “Yes! It’s finally open! See ya, mom!” the 11-year-old exclaimed as she bolted from the family minivan and into the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center in Palo Alto. The long-awaited $28 million facility held a “soft opening” Thursday. Library employees are using the time between now and a grand opening scheduled for Dec. 6 to iron out some kinks.” (via San Jose Mercury News)

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From Gleiwitz to Shanghai, Digitized Periodicals offer Snapshots of Jewish Life

“The LBI Library is pleased to announce that about 60 new periodicals are already available online through DigiBaeck and Internet Archive, with about 40 further periodicals in process. Among the rare items now available are 20th -century newsletters from various Jewish communities in Germany, Austria, and other German-speaking areas. Other highlights include publications from German-Jewish organizations such as Zionist, youth, and sports clubs and an extensive collection of periodicals published in the 1930s and 1940s by German Jews in exile in Shanghai and New York.” (via LBI)

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Audiobooks are here!

“Today is a huge day for Scribd. We’ve just added more than 30,000 audiobooks to our library, including new releases and bestsellers like The Drop by Dennis Lehane, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and Divergent, all available on Scribd. That makes us (we’re extremely pleased to say) the largest unlimited e-book & audiobook subscription service around.” (via The Scribd Blog)

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Library faces budget constraints

“Libraries do their best to adapt to changing times, but the times are not always kind to them. The library system at Yale, along with other Ivy League universities, has focused increasingly on digital media and collaboration in recent years. Recent innovations include Borrow Direct Plus — a service that allows students to borrow books from other university libraries on-site — and a new search system for the library catalogue website. But despite its best efforts to expand and innovate, the library has been affected by significant funding cuts Yale’s collection spending budget, for instance, was cut significantly between 2009 and 2010 in light of the economic downturn. While data from 2013 shows that spending has neared pre-recession levels, the library is still grappling with the inflation of collections media — the rate at which the price of materials is continuously increasing.” (via Yale Daily News)

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Washington County Library listing among nation’s best may be inaccurate, director says

“Washington County libraries may inaccurately be listed among the nation’s best. Or they could be even better than recently rated. The Library Journal, a publication dedicated to library-related topics, gave Washington County Cooperative Library Services four stars in its 2014 index, which came out this week. The index is a national rating system that relies on annual data reported by public libraries and compiled by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Library Journal rates libraries based on per-capita criteria including circulation, visits, program attendance and public Internet computer use.” (via OregonLive.com)

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Franklin Park library hopes photos will prevent unknown card use

“Starting in 2015, patrons of the Franklin Park Library will need to have their photos taken when renewing their library cards. The library aims to snap shots of all its patrons for its records. The new policy is due to some patrons using library cards that are not their own. “Sometimes people check out materials on other people’s cards and don’t return them,” said Library Director Marie Saeli. “Other times it has to do with computer use. Someone will [look up] something inappropriate for a library. We will bar their privileges and then the real card owner comes and says, ‘Why can’t I get on the computer?’” (via Franklin Park Herald-Journal)

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Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age

“Information wants to be free. At least that’s what Internet activists and many consumers say in support of free online content. But when we stream a new film online or listen to music on Spotify, we don’t always consider — or care about — the artists who are losing out. The debates over intellectual property, copyright and traditional ideas of enforcement have been hot topics of late. The fall of Napster in the late ’90s and the current battle between publisher Hachette and Amazon show that copyright law needs to be rewritten to fit digital standards.” (via NPR)

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