New Email Archive Tool to Sift Literary Legacies

“The leather-bound diaries of a 19th-century high-school principal in southwestern India are helping change how archivists around the world handle email. As authors’ archives encompass fewer handwritten drafts and more digital documents, email remains a particularly sticky problem. That’s where the diaries, kept for 50 years by Sudheendra Hangal’s great-grandfather-in-law, come in. In 2004, when Mr. Hangal was working as an engineer for Sun Microsystems in India, he came across the journals in a trunk in his in-laws’ house in Dharwad, about 300 miles from Bangalore. He discovered that his wife’s ancestor was something of the Samuel Pepys of Southern Asia, documenting the momentous and the mundane from 1880, when he was 30 years old, until his death a half-century later. On the lined pages of the diaries, he recorded births and deaths, daily household life and the price of vegetables.” (via WSJ)

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Researchers lament Arizona genealogy library’s sudden downsizing, relocation

“Researchers see history disappearing before their eyes, as the state’s genealogical library is being packed up and only partially relocated to a new building. News of the pending Friday closure of the genealogy library inside the state Capitol has fueled a wave of complaints and concerns from researchers who fear they will have less to work with as they trace family history. On Monday, a small portion of the 20,000-item collection will open to the public at the Genealogy Center at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building, located a few blocks southwest of the Capitol.” (via Arizona Republic)

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Berkeley: Whistle-blower rally calls for library policy changes

“Retired librarians and some three dozen allies blew the whistle Tuesday — literally — at a noontime rally on library policies. Calling for whistle-blower protection for staff, retired librarian Pat Mullan, a whistle around her neck, told the crowd outside the Central Library that the system’s staff members face “threats of retaliation for speaking up in meetings.” Mullan was referring to librarians who have publicly opposed the reorganized process for selecting and deselecting library materials. “Thousands and thousands of books have been tossed without the librarians’ input,” Mullan charged, punctuating her message with whistle blasts. (via San Jose News)

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Libraries cheer passage of strong open access legislation in U.S. Senate

“Today, public access to federally-funded research took one momentous move forward with the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ vote to support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015 (FASTR). The legislation would accelerate scientific discovery and fuel innovation by making articles reporting on publicly-funded scientific research freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon.” (via ALA)

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New Features Added to Congress.gov Based On Your Feedback

“Since the unveiling of Congress.gov in September of 2012, we have been constantly adding new features with each release, and many of the features in this release are based directly on your feedback.” (via loc.gov)

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British university gives gull-conquering owl ‘Yoda’ a library card

“It’s not every day you’re honoured with a library card in recognition of the work you do, especially when you’re an owl. The University of Bath, clearly recognising just how tragically under-represented our feathered friends are in the world of book-borrowing, have issued a library card to their resident seagull-scaring Eagle owl, Yoda.” (via Mashable)

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Ohio Supreme Court passes on library hair-pulling case

The Ohio Supreme Court has granted Telling Mansion activist Fran Mentch a final victory in her 22-month hair-pulling case with the city of Parma. Mentch served a 30-day jail sentence in March last year for pulling Cuyahoga County Public Library Executive Director Sari Feldman’s hair at a September 2013 library board meeting in Parma. Her conviction was later overturned in the Eighth District Court of Appeals. Parma prosecutors asked the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse the appeal in February, but Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor last week said the court will not hear the case because it was not a felony and did not involve a “substantial Constitutional question or great general or public interest.” (via Cleveland.com)

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Library advocate to visit 50 New York libraries in his ’78 Volkswagen camper

Jeremy Johannesen and his son Jack plan to visit 50 New York libraries in 10 days. It’s not exactly the top vacation trip for most families, but it is the perfect adventure for Johannesen, a Bethlehem resident who is executive director of the New York State Library Association based in Guilderland. First, it gives him the chance to visit some of the state’s 756 public libraries. Second, he gets to spend time with his 11-year-old son. And third, he wanted to put his 1978 Volkswagen camper on the road after 10 years in storage.” (via Times Union)

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Turning the page: Library district emerges stronger after years of cost reduction

“Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Executive Director Dr. Ronald R. Heezen said half of the district’s employees who were laid off due to the 2008 recession have been rehired. And increased staffing isn’t the only bright spot in the district’s future: He said the libraries are now in a financial position to better meet the community’s needs. “Years of cost reduction, expenditure management and personnel cost containment have paid off for the district,”? he said in a press release. “We are now in a position to build its capacity to meet community needs, while maintaining a prudent ending fund balance.” The district’s Board of Trustees adopted the fiscal year 2015-16 budget —?? effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016 — at its May 21 board meeting. The budget’??s general operating fund is $59.5 million.” (via Las Vegas Review Journal)

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How the NY Public Library Crowdsources Digital Innovation

“Like most public institutions, the New York Public Library is chronically underfunded. However, shoestring staffing has not slowed the breakneck pace at which NYPL Labs releases new digital projects. NYPL Labs offers a model for public institutions around the country: Trust your patrons. Thanks to shrewd application of crowdsourcing initiatives, NYPL Labs has produced innovative online projects ranging from maps to menus.” (via PC Magazine)

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