Tag Archives: France

France’s libraries discovering a new lease of life beyond just books

“Back in the 1950s Juliette Gréco sang Je hais les dimanches (I hate Sundays), but would she have found them quite so dull if public libraries had been open? It is still an open question in France, where museums and cinemas welcome the public on this day of rest, but not yet libraries.

Things may finally be changing, thanks to a bill originally more concerned with shopping than the arts. An amendment, put forward by former arts minister Aurélie Filipetti, to the “growth, business and equal economic opportunities” bill currently grinding through the French parliament, seeks to oblige local councils to organise a debate before introducing Sunday opening for libraries and shops. Her successor, Fleur Pellerin, has endorsed this proposal and asked a member of the upper house to look at how library opening hours could be adapted.” (via The Guardian)

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ProQuest Transforms Research with Digitization of Rare, Historical Works from Bibliothèque nationale de France

“Researchers can now explore early European history and culture as it happened with ProQuest’s release of the first 2 million pages in its massive digitization project with Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris. When complete, the project will give researchers cover to cover access to more than 28,000 rare European books printed from 1400 to 1700 – 10 million pages – in crisp, fully searchable images. Approximately 5,800 titles are now available in Collections 4 and 6 of ProQuest’s Early European Books, enabling researchers around the world to benefit from the Library’s centuries of acquisition, curation and preservation.” (via ProQuest)

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ProQuest and Bibliothèque National de France Advance Access to Important and Rare Works via Early European Books ProgramWorks via Early European Books Program

“ProQuest and the Bibliothèque national de France BnF in Paris are joining forces to expand access to the Librarys rich historical treasures. As part of its Early European Books program, ProQuest will digitize about 70,000 volumes from BnFs collection of European books printed before 1700. The collection, which is world renowned for its breadth and quality, includes 3,000 works printed before 1501, providing researchers with simple, online insight into early European history and culture.”When we speak to users of Early European Books around the world, the Bibliothèque national de France is one of the most-requested sources of content,” said Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest Vice-President, Information Solutions. “This collection represents centuries of effort to acquire and preserve books on all manner of subjects. It is thrilling for us to be able to work with such a prestigious institution and to make this content easily available to researchers across the globe.”

via ProQuestPress Release

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French Bookstores Are Still Prospering

“The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent. E-books account for only 1.8 percent of the general consumer publishing market here, compared with 6.4 percent in the United States. The French have a centuries-old reverence for the printed page.

via NY Times

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Google Ends Legal Dispute With French Authors Over Scans

“Google Inc. (GOOG), owner of the world’s largest search engine, ended legal disputes with a French publishing trade group and a French authors’ association over the U.S. company’s scanning of books. The Syndicat National de l’Edition, which represents more than 600 publishers, and the SGDL Society of Authors agreed with Google to end litigation over Google’s scanning of copyright- protected books without permission, according to two statements today. This means Google no longer faces French legal action over book scanning, according to Bill Echikson, a spokesman for the Mountain View, California-based company.”

via Bloomberg

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Google Book-Scanning Lawsuit Is Dropped by French Publishers

Bloomberg – “Three French publishers dropped a 9.8 million-euro ($13.8 million) lawsuit against Google Inc. (GOOG) over books scanned by the search-engine company. Editions Albin Michel SA, Editions Gallimard SA and Flammarion made the decision in order to resume negotiations to reach a deal on scanning copyright-protected works for Google’s digital library. “Google suspended negotiations” when the suit was filed, Brice Amor, Gallimard’s legal director, said today. The publishers dropped their claims “with the goal that the negotiations might resume.”

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After Much Ado, a Google Book Deal in France

NYT – “France has caused plenty of headaches for Google. Its politicians have denounced the U.S. Internet giant as a cultural imperialist; its publishers have called it a copyright cheat. Yet France is suddenly the only country in the world in which Google has managed to achieve a longstanding business goal. A few days ago Google signed an agreement with the publisher Hachette Livre under which tens of thousands of French-language books will be pulled out of ink-on-paper purgatory and provided with a digital afterlife.”

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Today In Ridiculous French Regulations: eBook Price Controls

Business Insider – “Yesterday a French parliamentary committee voted unanimously (!) to impose a unique price on eBooks sold in France, even if they’re sold from outside France. (Via Les Echos in French)

This is consistent with earlier regulation, which mandates a single price for dead tree books.

France’s government believes that culture is precious, and therefore should only be available to the rich. In France, the poor don’t deserve access to books. That’s probably not how the French government would describe this policy, but it’s certainly what it works out to.”

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Da Vinci script unearthed in French town library

Reuters – “A long-lost fragment of manuscript by Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci has been uncovered in a public library in western France after lying forgotten in storage for nearly one and a half centuries. The text, written from right to left in Da Vinci’s trademark mirror-writing, was among 5,000 documents donated to the city of Nantes in 1872 by wealthy collector Pierre-Antoine Labouchere, and then left to languish in local archives.”

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French National Library-OCLC agreement signed

OCLC – “The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and OCLC signed the agreement in Paris today, setting in motion plans for OCLC to process an estimated 13.2 million bibliographic records from the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Once records are added to WorldCat, they will be more visible and accessible to Web users worldwide through WorldCat.org, the destination for search and discovery of library materials on the Web.”

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