Duke librarian doubles as scrabble whiz

“For Duke librarian Hannah Rozear, playing Scrabble is more than just a rainy day activity. Rozear, librarian for institutional services at Perkins Library, recently placed fifth in her division at the North American Scrabble Championship in Reno, Nev. The event—which ran from Aug. 1-5—featured approximately 350 players from around the world and included prize money for the winners. “I was hoping to come home with number one, but I wound up with fifth place,” Rozear said in a recent conversation.” (via Duke Chronicle)

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Madison to be named Little Free Libraries’ first ‘City of Distinction’

“According to the founder of the Little Free Libraries movement, Madison is the city that made it all possible — and, this weekend, Madison will receive the organization’s first “City of Distinction” award in recognition of that. “When I started this, I thought to myself, ‘Where in this country would you test this to see if it’s viable?” said Todd Bol, creator of the movement that now spans the globe. “I thought it had to be a fairly innovative, progressive place that would embrace literacy and family and community and I thought: ‘Madison.’” (via Madison.com)

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Turning a page: downsizing the campus book collections

“When, in 2005, the University of Chicago entered into a US$81 million renovation of a major library building, one of the primary goals was to ensure that the university’s collection of printed books in the social sciences and humanities would remain under one roof. That goal was achieved six years later. However, it also meant that a good part of the library’s print collection, while technically being “under the library roof,” was moved “under the ground.” The renovation included a subterranean automated system that can store and retrieve up to 3.5 million books. Chicago’s library project could well represent the end of an era – the era of colleges and universities expending millions of dollars so that printed books can be housed in on-campus libraries.” (via The Conversation)

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An idiosyncratic library squirreled away in SoMa

“It’s difficult, very likely even impossible, to explain the Prelinger Library without also discussing its founders, Megan and Rick Prelinger. In so many ways, the library is them. “It is a map of our shared consciousnesses,” Rick says. Each object is a reflection of their interests, the organizing principals follow their own streams of consciousness, even the way the library exists — quietly, almost hidden, but open to all — is a direct representation of their “punk ethos.” “It’s a collaborative project that has its roots in each of our individual practices,” Megan says. “I think we were each drawn to ephemeral evidence of everyday life and cultural history and what elements of cultural history are being overlooked or what kinds of stories could be found in the kinds of literature nobody is reading anymore.” (via SF Chronicle)

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Review: A Despairing Librarian Is Ready to Check Out in ‘After Words’

“In September, television viewers will have a chance to see Marcia Gay Harden play a brusque, decisive, rule-bending doctor in the new CBS drama “Code Black.” Anyone who wants to see her play more or less the polar opposite of that character is hereby referred to “After Words,” a romance novel of a movie featuring the world’s most stereotypical librarian. Ms. Harden plays that librarian, Jane, a mousy woman who as the film opens is laid off and uses the occasion to give up on life, which she seemed not to be enjoying much anyway. She plans a one-way trip to Costa Rica, leaving her last will and testament behind on her table. Once in that country, though, she hires a personal guide named Juan (Óscar Jaenada) who gradually draws her out of her shell.” (via NYT)

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World’s first public-library Starbucks coming to downtown Tulsa after renovations complete

“Tulsa’s Central Library will be the first public library in the world to house a Starbucks location, according to an announcement Thursday. In a meeting of Tulsa City-County Library oversight commission, an update on the downtown Central Library renovation included news that the popular coffeehouse would be housed in the space at Fourth Street and Denver Avenue.” (via Tulsa World)

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Baltimore writer returns overdue library book 34 years late

“When faced with the unenviable task of going through her late mother’s personal effects, Baltimore-area writer Michele Wojciechowski uncovered something she hadn’t seen in over three decades. While rooting through a cabinet over her mother’s refrigerator, she discovered an old paperback copy of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” adapted and illustrated by Alice and Joel Schick. The thrill of an unexpected find was quickly tempered by a horrific realization: Ms. Wojciechowski had checked out the book from the nearby Enoch Pratt Free Library Southeast Branch’s Branch when she was 13. That was in 1981.” (via Washington Times)

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Man named to library board despite 1999 attempt to ban school book

“A resident who tried and failed in 1999 to have a book removed from a high school curriculum has been appointed to the Downers Grove Public Library board of trustees. The village council voted 5-2 Aug. 18 to approve the nomination of Arthur Jaros Jr. to the six-member board. Jaros was one of 20 people whose appointments to various village boards and commissions were approved. Jaros’ nomination for the unpaid post was the only one that drew scrutiny and more than 150 emails from residents about it. Citing the number of emails he had received about Jaros’ nomination, commissioner Bob Barnett tried to delay the vote on the appointments. He said he wanted more time to read all the emails.” (via Chicago Tribune)

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Up From The Ashes, A Public Library In Sri Lanka Welcomes New Readers

“Rising two stories and capped by three domes, the Jaffna Public Library looks a bit like a stately wedding cake. Gleaming white under the Sri Lanka sun, the building’s classical lines and beautiful proportions make it one of the architectural standouts of the South Asia region. That it survived at all is a testament to resilience. The fact that it was restored to such pristine condition, including its lush gardens, and modernized (it now offers Wi-Fi) makes it all the more remarkable.” (via NPR)

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Don’t Suffer From Library Anxiety: How to Best Research in Libraries

“There’s a name for it. “Library anxiety.” We learned about this in library school. Symptoms: anxiety, uncertainty, sudden shyness, fear, worry that one might seem woefully ignorant, embarrassment, bewilderment, lack of confidence, and perhaps even shame that one should “know better” or already know the answers before the questions are even posed. If not treated, additional more-severe symptoms may develop, including: frustration, despair, a spirit of defeat, giving up, bitterness, and a vow to never do this again (whatever “this” is). (via ancestry.com)

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