Denver Public Library turns 125

“On Monday, the Denver Public Library turned 125. The state’s largest public library system has more than 4.3 million in-person visits and 9.8 million items circulated annually.” (via 9News)

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New Hampshire students digitize Civil War letters

“Seven score and 12 years ago, a Civil War soldier was packing on the freshman 15 — and then some. In cheerful letters sent to his family back home in Hillsborough, Pvt. Willard Templeton describes at length the food he ate and the weight he gained as he traveled and fought with the 11th New Hampshire Regiment. “My health has been very good. I have gained in flesh a good deal and never felt better in my life,” he wrote to his brother on Oct. 3, 1862.” (via AP)

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Singapore withdraws gay penguin book from libraries

Singapore authorities have withdrawn from libraries two children’s books featuring same-sex couples, sparking controversy amid a debate on gay rights in the conservative city-state. And Tango Makes Three features a pair of gay penguins while The White Swan Express mentions a lesbian couple. Petitions for the books to be put back have garnered thousands of signatures. Gay sex is illegal in Singapore, and a recent gay rally drew an unprecedented backlash from religious groups.” (via BBC)

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IMLS Announces New Awards to Strengthen Early Learning Activities at Libraries and Museums

“Today, IMLS announced three new awards to engage libraries and museums as key partners in comprehensive early learning strategies. Three separate awards totaling $771,854 will be awarded to the Georgia Public Library Service, OCLC, and the BUILD Initiative. These new investments follow up on recommendations made in Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners, a policy report that called upon policymakers, schools, funders, and parents to make full use of these vital, existing community resources.” (via IMLS)

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FCC approves spending billions to put Wi-Fi in schools and libraries

“The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a plan to spend $1 billion per year to provide Wi-Fi service in schools and libraries. The plan from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler passed in a 3-2 vote after an eleventh-hour compromise was reached to secure the votes of the commission’s two Democrats. “Because of what we do today, 10 million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t. That’s a good day’s work,” Wheeler said at Friday’s open meeting.” (via The Hill)

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Higher Education, Library Groups Release Net Neutrality Principles

“Today, higher education and library organizations representing thousands of colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide released a joint set of Net Neutrality Principles (PDF) they recommend form the basis of an upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to protect the openness of the Internet. The groups believe network neutrality protections are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth.” (via ARL)

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NY Public Library Pilots Program to Rent Out Free Wifi

“Libraries are known for lending books. Libraries have recently also become known as a place to use computers and the internet. Now though, libraries are combining the two in their latest effort to try to close the so-called “Digital Divide”—made up of those who do and do not have access to the internet. The New York Public Library recently completed a pilot project during which certain patrons were able to check out wireless routers giving them free, unlimited internet access at home.” (via NY1)

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Study in accessible media delivery in Ontario’s university libraries

“The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) is commissioning a research study and report on accessible media delivery at Ontario universities. The study will identify a range of service options available to Ontario’s university libraries to ensure fair and equitable access to video collections held at university libraries across the province. The research project, otherwise known as ROAM, the Report on Accessible Media, will document the diverse practices for delivering video media in accessible formats employed at Ontario universities (via OCUL)

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Rockefeller, Markey Raise Concerns Over FCC’s Proposed Changes to E-Rate Program

“Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), member of the Senate Commerce Committee, this week voiced serious concerns and urged Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler not to move forward with several proposed changes that they fear could jeopardize the E-Rate program. In addition, the Senators called on the FCC Chairman to raise E-Rate’s permanent funding cap.” (via Commerce, Science, and Transportation)

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Public libraries and technology: From “houses of knowledge” to “houses of access”

“One major finding in our research into Americans’ use of public libraries is the extent to which libraries are synonymous not only with knowledge and information, but with the tools needed to acquire it in the digital age. Some 77% of Americans now think it is “very important” for public libraries to provide free access to computers and the internet to the community, and 95% think it is important overall. (For comparison, 80% of Americans say that it is “very important” for libraries to provide books to the community for borrowing.) (via Pew)

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