“It’s a large room — 216 feet long by 39 feet wide — with a dusty, cluttered-attic vibe. Rows of metal shelves hold storage boxes of varied sizes, each stacked with prints and photos. Old filing cabinets and empty picture frames line the walls. This is where the Boston Public Library now stores 200,000 prints and 120,000 chromolithographs that make up a major part of its special collections. From this room, two prints — one by Albrecht Dürer, valued at $600,000, and one by Rembrandt, worth $20,000 to $30,000 — went missing and then turned up under somewhat mysterious circumstances. But not before intense media coverage of their disappearance led to the resignation of BPL president Amy Ryan, which was followed by the resignation of Jeffrey B. Rudman as chairman of the library’s board of trustees.” (via Boston Globe)
“Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of the Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle, and the re-launch of ReadBoston’s Storymobile, now in its nineteenth year. Both programs use a human-powered bicycle with an attached trailer to make their services mobile, and will be pedaling through Boston’s neighborhoods this summer.” (via BPL)
“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)
Press Release – “Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, today announced a grant of $5 million to the three New York City public library systems: the New York Public Library, Queens Library and Brooklyn Public Library. The grant will enhance the libraries’ ability to serve the public in general and the city’s 1.1 million public school children in particular.”
WSJ – “Somewhere—maybe forgotten under a sofa cushion, or jammed at the bottom of a long-abandoned backpack—is a copy of “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z,” borrowed from the Brooklyn Public Library system on Feb. 28, 2001. It’s time to bring it back. Under a new amnesty program launched Thursday, the city’s three library systems will forgive all penalties on overdue books and other materials checked out by children under age 18. And that includes “Eating the Alphabet,” the Brooklyn system’s longest-lost item checked out by a young patron.
NY Post – “Shakespeare’s plays, Einstein’s theories — and porn queen Jenna Jameson’s steamy online sexcapades.
New Yorkers can take their pick at the city’s public libraries, thanks to a policy that gives adults the most uncensored access to extreme, hard-core Internet smut this side of the old Times Square.
The electronic smut falls under the heading of free speech and the protection of the First Amendment, library officials say.
“Customers can watch whatever they want on the computer,” said Brooklyn Public Library spokeswoman Malika Granville, describing the anything-goes philosophy that’s the rule at the city’s 200-plus branches.”