Notre Dame begins renovation of iconic Hesburgh library

“A renovation project has begun to update the University of Notre Dame’s 52-year-old main library by adding new technology to support digital research. The $10 million initial phase of the $40 million project also will add a north entrance to the 14-story Hesburgh Library and increase natural light, The South Bend Tribune reports. “I suspect this north entrance will be the main entrance for much of the campus,” University Librarian Diane Walker said.” (via Journal Gazette)

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Oyster, Scribd Add Macmillan E-books; Frontlist Grows

“E-book subscription services Oyster and Scribd have added another big five publisher, announcing they both are adding 1,000 titles from Macmillan. Oyster now claims to offer over 1 million titles; Scribd claims more than 500,000, and both say the number of frontlist titles on their lists is growing. Macmillan joins Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins in offering titles through Oyster and Scribd as both services added such Macmillan authors as Ursula K. LeGuin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Michel Foucault, and Orson Scott Card.” (via Publishers Weekly)

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Former Queens Library head Thomas Galante to sue over firing

“Disgraced former Queens Library president Thomas Galante says he’ll sue the library’s board for firing him over allegations that he abused a library credit card to make personal purchases.The library’s trustees — including board members appointed recently by Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz — unanimously voted Wednesday night to terminate Galante’s employment. He made $392,000 a year.On Thursday Galante’s lawyer, Hillary Prudlo, told the Daily News: “The library breached the employment agreement, and we will see them in court.” (via NY Daily News)

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DocketFish simplifies docket research process for law firms

“With the changing needs of the legal industry come new, innovative technologies that aim at making processes more efficient for workers in all aspects of legal. Research can be one of the more time-consuming, laborious processes for counsel, but certain software has been developed to take a stab at streamlining docket research with a new platform. DocketFish has been developed for lawyers, law librarians, paralegals and others, and includes a platform for conducting research quickly and efficiently. The platform employs caching technology to make docket and document retrieval a simple process, and to help law firms avoid costly duplicate download fees.” (via Inside Counsel)

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In a kingdom of books, nation’s librarian champions digital age

“For more than 25 years, Billington has been the librarian of Congress, a title that sounds rarefied, which, in fact, it is; only a dozen others have held the post since the library began in 1800. In the age of the Internet, it also might sound somewhat dated. Yet the 85-year-old scholar has been one of the country’s most aggressive advocates, moving the resources of the library online and expanding its educational outreach through 21st century technology. “It’s the greatest revolution since the invention of moveable type and the printing press,” said Billington, who championed the World Digital Library, which began linking libraries around the world in 2009. “This was big.” Billington is, quite simply, a keeper of American culture, not just the keeper of books. He is charged with preserving the past while also expanding the library’s reach by keeping it tune with the moment – in music, in film, in various forms of human literary and artistic expression.” (via McClatchy DC)

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Toronto Public Library appoints new city librarian

“Toronto’s new city librarian hopes to propel the Toronto Public Library system into the future by leading its shift toward digital technology and pioneering new approaches to library service. The library board has appointed Vickery Bowles, currently director of collections management and citywide services, to the top job, effective Jan. 5.

“There are many opportunities ahead for advancing public library service for the 21st century,” Bowles, who has been working for the library for 32 years, said in a statement” (via Toronto Star)

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St. Paul council overrides mayor’s veto on expanded library hours

“The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday voted to override a mayoral veto and fund evening hours at seven branch libraries. In passing the mayor’s proposed 2015 budget last week, the city council chose to make a series of changes to the proposed library budget. The amendments included redirecting $345,000 from a parking fund to open seven branch libraries from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The decision restores schedules that were trimmed during the recession.” (via TwinCities.com)

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The great British library betrayal: Closures bring national network to brink of ‘absolute disaster’, reveals official inquiry

“Library services are on the brink of disaster and can only be saved if they become more like coffee shops with wi-fi, sofas and hot drinks, a report will recommend on Thursday. A combination of funding cuts and declining attendance threatens the viability of the library network unless urgent action is taken, according to the Independent Library Report for England, which was commissioned by the Government. “We’re at a critical moment for the libraries and if we’re not careful we could lose so many,” William Sieghart, who wrote the report, told The Independent. “I and a lot of people think it would be an absolute disaster.” (via The Independent)

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Queens Library fires Thomas Galante for wild spending

“The board of the Queens Public Library closed the book on lavish spender Thomas Galante Wednesday night. Galante, 54, was fired from his roles as CEO and president after the board met to vote on his fate. His dismissal came after the trustees reviewed his expense accounts, which included opulent meals, expensive concert tickets and high-priced furniture.” (via NY Daily News.

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Man returns statue 43 years overdue

“Nearly 43 years ago, a young boy borrowed a small marble sculpture from the Rochester Central Library to help him through dark times. This weekend, the statue came full circle when it returned to its original home. The childhood of Scott Stewart, 52, of Rochester was plagued with abuse, but he sought refuge at the downtown library. In 1971, the nine-year-old spent his days perusing items on the shelves and often borrowed art pieces to adorn his home. “The house I lived in was really horrendous and I wanted to surround it with the comfort of the library,” said Stewart. “I would always take things back, except this one piece. I felt like I couldn’t part with it.” (via Democrat And Chronicle)

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