Penn Libraries Launches ‘OPenn’ Digital Resources Online Platform

“Some rare books and manuscripts from Penn Libraries can now be accessed online through the new OPenn digital resources website, http:/openn.library.upenn.edu. The site provides digitized cultural heritage materials available as free cultural works that are accessible for use by anyone. The launch of OPenn is a major step in the Libraries’ strategic initiative to embrace open data and democratize access to information.” (via Penn News)

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What Librarians Can Learn From SXSW

“Everyone will tell you how overwhelming South by Southwest (SXSW) can be. It’s easy to dismiss this as an exaggeration until you’ve actually set foot in the Austin Convention Center for the SXSW Interactive Festival. This year’s event was held March 13–17 in Austin, Texas. With hundreds of sessions, more than 10 official venues, and plenty of meetups and special events, the SXSW experience is best compared to a trip to Walt Disney World: Be ready to walk everywhere, wait in long lines, and make peace with the fact that you can’t possibly do everything. Despite the crowds and numerous programming choices, plenty of activities can be accomplished in the 5 days of Interactive, during which technology companies and industry leaders show off the newest tech and trends. It’s no wonder libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) are a growing presence at the conference. The lib*interactive group (lib-interactive.com), originally called sxswLAM, hosts its own meetups and rents a house to serve as its home base. There were 11 LAM-focused sessions in 2015, and someone at the EveryLibrary-sponsored meetup remarked that this year’s event was the largest LAM gathering yet. Here are some highlights from conference sessions that LAM attendees could use to bring fresh ideas back to their institutions.” (via SXSW)

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The Plan To Give E-Books To Poor Kids

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? I see a blue horse, a purple cat, and a new program — unveiled today by President Obama — with one goal in mind: To put good books in the hands of low-income kids. More specifically, $250 million worth of e-books available to young, low-income readers — free. The effort will work through a new app, being developed by the New York Public Library, that has the buy-in of all the major publishers.” (via NPR)

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Obama chooses Chicago for his presidential library

“President Obama is poised to announce that he has chosen to situate his future presidential library in the South Side of Chicago, according to an individual briefed on the decision. The decision to accept the University of Chicago’s bid to host the library would end months of speculation over where Obama would seek to establish his post-presidential legacy. Columbia University, his alma mater, and the University of Hawaii sought to win the library for New York and Honolulu, respectively. The University of Illinois at Chicago had also vied to host it.” (via The Washington Post)

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OBAMA PUSHES READING THROUGH EBOOK, LIBRARY INITIATIVES

“Linking reading to technology, the White House marshaled major book publishers to provide more than $250 million in free e-books to low-income students and is seeking commitments from local governments and schools across the country to ensure that every student has a library card. President Barack Obama was to announce the two initiatives Thursday at a Washington library as part of his two-year-old ConnectED program that aims to improve education through digital connectivity.” (via The Associated Press)

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Portland Public Library director says no more shushing

“An unlikely action figure adorns the desk of Sarah Campbell, who will become the new executive director of the Portland Public Library on July 11. Campbell, a Chicago native, majored in psycholinguistics in college and worked in education afterward. Occasionally she worked in libraries and returned to that profession after moving to Portland 22 years ago. She was the director of library and learning research at York County Technical College (now York County Community College) and then joined the Portland Public Library, where she’s now associate director. Clad in a modest below-the-knee skirt and holding a finger to her lips in the quintessential “shush” pose is an action figure of Nancy Pearl, a librarian of epic renown.” (via The Portland Press Herald)

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Graphic Novel About Holocaust ‘Maus’ Banned In Russia For Its Cover

“Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, has some very memorable cover art. It pictures a pair of mice — representing Jews — huddling beneath a cat-like caricature of Adolf Hitler. Behind the feline Hitler is a large swastika. That last element has become a problem for Maus this spring. For Russian observances of Victory Day, the holiday commemorating the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany, Moscow has purged itself of swastikas. In an effort to comply, Russian bookstores cleared copies of Maus from its shelves.” (via NPR)

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Brampton family fights city’s demand to tear down little library

“Carter and Rachel Popoff have always been voracious readers. As kids, the now teen siblings from Brampton loved snuggling up on the couch with their parents and a good book. They would spend summers raising thousands of dollars for their school library through lemonade stands and would never refuse a trip to Chapters to expand their home collection. So last year, when their mother took the hundreds of tales they amassed through their childhood and turned them into a little free library on the quiet, sidewalk-free Byng St. side of their corner-lot house on Mill St. South, the pair adored watching families stroll up to the nook to take or return books.” (via Toronto Star)

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Libraries Make Space For 3-D Printers; Rules Are Sure To Follow

“At hundreds of libraries across the U.S., 3-D printers can sometimes be heard whirring in the background, part of an effort to encourage interest in the new technology and foster DIY “maker spaces.” In some libraries, officials have begun to set restrictions on the 3-D printers amid concerns about how they’ll be used. At the University City Public Library in St. Louis, Patrick Wall recently printed a green plastic sword from the game Minecraft.” (via NPR)

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Libraries Are Paving The Way For Cultural Unity

“Our country is a melting pot of rich cultures that are steep in vast customs and traditions. Yet libraries, parents and educators are left without the tools needed to encourage youth’s exposure to cultures other than their own – diverse children’s books. According to the most current data from the U.S. Census Bureau our country will experience a demographic shift within the coming decades as our society becomes more Latino, African American and Asian among other cultures.” (via Huffington Post)

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