The Great Library Way

“I bet you didn’t know that the New York Public Library is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Library Way this month. You may have no idea where it’s even located. Library Way extends from Park to Fifth avenues along 41st Street. And it’s distinguished by 44 bronze sidewalk plaques featuring quotes from the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, Julia Alvarez, Mark Twain and Tom Stoppard. There are actually 98 plaques, according to library spokeswoman Amy Geduldig—an equal number on both sides of 41st Street that are identical to each other. I have to take her word for it, because when we strolled the street Monday afternoon with library officials Ann Thornton and Christopher Platt, we stuck to the north side.” (via WSJ)

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Events with alcohol help libraries raise funds for extras

“Dan and Emma Frohm hadn’t been inside a library for nearly two decades until they moved to Mt. Lebanon about two years ago. But it was beer — not books — that brought the retired couple to the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, which hosts an annual Beer Garden Bash. “We were looking for a way to meet new people, and we heard about the event at the library from a neighbor,” said Emma Frohm, 64. “We hadn’t been inside a library since our boys were little. That was in the late ’70s.” (via TribLIVE)

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Public libraries: Shelved

“THE central branch of the Free Philadelphia Library is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.” (via The Economist)

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More than 148,000 items from the U.S. Government Printing Office now discoverable in DPLA

“We were pleased to share yesterday that nearly 60,000 items from the Medical Heritage Library have made their way into DPLA, and we’re now doubly pleased to share that more than 148,000 items from the Government Printing Office’s (GPO) Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) are now also available via DPLA.” (via DPLA)

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Libraries Balk at OverDrive Changes

“In a letter to OverDrive CEO Steve Potash, the ReadersFirst coalition of libraries has protested a change that would require new users of OverDrive’s app to register accounts directly with OverDrive. Stressing that “libraries, not the vendors we pay,” should own the customer relationship, the letter expresses “concern with the storage of private patron information” and posits that establishing the OverDrive account is not necessary and is “essentially a marketing opportunity” that could “erode the relationship that the library has with our patrons.” (via PW)

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Loeb Classical Library Goes Digital

“The Loeb Classical Library, the series of trim red (Latin) and green (Greek) volumes beloved of generations of students and design geeks, has slipped its distinctive color-coded covers and headed into the ether. The Digital Loeb Classical Library, available today on a fee basis, makes the more than 520 volumes of the series available on an online platform that allows readers to search, browse, share and annotate and bookmark any two-page spread, which, as with the print editions, shows the Latin or Greek on the left and an English translation on the right. In a statement, Jeffrey Henderson, the general editor of the series, which is published by Harvard University Press, called it “not merely another format for reading a given volume, but for having the whole Library, a wallful of volumes, on any connected device anywhere.” (via NYTimes.com)

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References, Please

“In the age of the Internet, do we really need footnotes to reference quotations we have made in the text? For a book to be taken seriously, does it have to take us right to the yellowing page of some crumbling edition guarded in the depths of an austere library, if the material could equally well be found through a Google search? Has an element of fetishism perhaps crept into what was once a necessary academic practice?” (via The New York Review of Books)

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A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access

“Funded by tertiary institutions rather than individual researchers, this new model seeks to provide open access not just to traditional academic publications but to all forms of scholarly output.” (via EDUCAUSE)

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New York City Public Library Branches Need $1.1 Billion in Repairs: Report

“New York’s public library branches need $1.1 billion in repairs to fix leaky roofs, broken air-conditioning systems and a host of other problems, according to a report released Monday by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based think tank. The report argues that the city has a “broken funding system” in which libraries rely too much on discretionary funds from City Council members. It calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a citywide capital plan for libraries and double capital spending on libraries over the next 10 years.” (via WSJ)

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Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly

“When John Ashbery, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, first learned that the digital editions of his poetry looked nothing like the print version, he was stunned. There were no line breaks, and the stanzas had been jammed together into a block of text that looked like prose. The careful architecture of his poems had been leveled. He complained to his publisher, Ecco, and those four e-books were immediately withdrawn.

That was three years ago, and digital publishing has evolved a lot since then. Publishers can now create e-books that better preserve a poet’s meticulous formatting. So when Open Road Media, a digital publishing company, approached Mr. Ashbery about creating electronic versions of his books, he decided to give it another chance.” (via NYTimes.com)

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