Over 1 million Spanish newspaper pages labeled as public domain

“Yesterday Europeana, the online portal to Europe’s digital cultural heritage, announced the great news that over 1 million historical Spanish newspaper pages have been labelled as public domain. These newspapers were digitised and made available as part of the Virtual Library of Historical Newspapers project, and were added to Europeana by Hispana, a service which brings together the digital collections of Spanish GLAMs and delivers these to Europeana.” (via OpenGLAM)

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BOOKCON, FAN-BASED BOOK EVENT, TO LAUNCH IN MAY

“For at least one day, publishing’s annual national convention is going pop.

The organizers of New York Comic Con, ReedPOP, announced Wednesday they will launch BookCon during BookExpo America, a weekend gathering in New York in late May. The “massive pop culture” event will feature author John Grisham, actress-author Amy Poehler and other well-known guests.” (via Associated Press)

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Thomson Reuters Debuts Custom Pages, eLibraries on WestlawNext

“Thomson Reuters has introduced Custom Pages on WestlawNext, the leading online legal research service, enabling users to create searchable, personalized pages from specific content sets.

Available at no cost for all WestlawNext subscribers, Custom Pages can be tailored to specific research needs while providing the convenient benefits and innovation WestlawNext offers, including WestSearch, Find a Citation, KeyCite® a Citation, Folders and Favorites.” (via Thomson Reuters)

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Brown’s state librarian appointment isn’t by the book

“Librarians aren’t known for being loud, but Gov. Jerry Brown may hear some raised voices from that scholarly crowd over his decision Tuesday to appoint a politically connected journalist as the state librarian. Greg Lucas, 55, is a former political reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Since 2011, he has been a senior editor for the Sacramento website Capitol Weekly, which covers California politics, and he writes and edits California’s Capitol, a website he created that also delves into politics.” (via latimes.com)

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Brooklyn Public Library researchers fielded 3.5 million inquiries in 2013

“Did an elephant really swim from Brooklyn to Staten Island? That was one of the 3.5 million often funny and poignant questions visitors to 60 Brooklyn Public Library branches had for 100 research librarians in 2013, records show. Despite the advent of online search engines, the number of library queries rose by 10% last year — the highest since at least 2009, according to new BPL data.” (via NY Daily News)

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Four library branches to close in Merced County

“The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to close four small library branches at the request of the county librarian and other staff, who said it’s the only way to keep the library system going. The supervisors voted to shut down the George library in south Merced, and Cressey, South Dos Palos and Stevinson libraries, replacing them with the county Bookmobile. Board Chairman and District 5 Supervisor Jerry O’Banion voted against the branch closures. “We had difficulties with libraries and I voted to close the library,” O’Banion said of a decision to shut all county libraries in the early ’90s. “I swore to never close a library again and I intend to keep that promise.” (via Modesto Bee)

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How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers

“As a librarian, it’ll probably be no surprise that I like to do my homework. I’ve followed conversations about the future of UK public libraries with a mixture of interest and dismay. Developing public libraries as community hubs and problem-solving partners is a top priority at the American Library Association (ALA), so the incredible work of my UK colleagues and the Arts Council is of great interest to us. Recent South by Southwest and ALA conferences show that US public libraries are evolving in this role as well.” (via Guardian Professional)

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Boston Public Library Expands Digital Offerings through Free Streaming Media Service

“Boston Public Library now offers a free streaming media service for all cardholders, providing easy access to thousands of movies, television shows, music, and audiobooks for instant streaming or temporary download for smartphones, tablets, or computers. Library users can download up to ten titles per month and the automatic return ensures no late fees, with checkout times ranging from three days to three weeks. “When we surveyed our users earlier this year, access to streaming content was the top-requested new service,” said Michael Colford, Director of Library Services. “Free digital streaming is an excellent addition to Boston Public Library’s growing online collection, and it is available twenty-four hours a day.” (via Boston Public Library)

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Thinking Inside the Ideas Box

“Tuesday night at the New York Public Library, an organization called Libraries Without Borders will unveil its latest project: a library in a box. More accurately, it’s a library in multiple boxes—lightweight, durable and waterproof—designed to be packed onto shipping pallets and sent to refugee camps.

The idea is that food, water and shelter aren’t enough, said Patrick Weil, the group’s founder and chief executive, and a visiting professor at Yale Law School. People who have lost everything, he said, need books, films, games and Internet access to feed their minds, connect with loved ones, pursue education and rebuild their lives.” (via WSJ.com)

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Books You Might Like! The New York Public Library Launches Recommendations by Bookish in Online Catalog

“The New York Public Library NYPL launched today a state-of-the-art book recommendation tool in its online catalog, BiblioCommons, to help Library users discover new books based on their reading preferences. Powered by Bookish Recommends from New York startup Zola Books, the online program connects people to a broader selection of the library’s vast collection by offering relevant book suggestions.“Discovering a new book is essential to further a love of reading.  Working with Bookish, the Library is able to offer our users with a unique resource that supports their interests and fosters the joy of discovery,” said Mary Lee Kennedy, NYPL’s Chief Library Officer.” (via The New York Public Library)

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