“If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the ubiquity of McDonald’s, this stat may make your day: There are more public libraries (about 17,000) in America than outposts of the burger mega-chain (about 14,000). The same is true of Starbucks (about 11,000 coffee shops nationally). “There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner,” says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. “But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.” (via The Atlantic Cities)
“Amazon only introduced the Kindle in 2007, but sometimes the literary world can already feel as if it exists entirely without the burden of print. New documentary, “Out of Print,” from one-time librarian and director Vivienne Roumani, tackles the questions that threaten traditional books following the digital revolution.Debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival last April although I caught it Tuesday at the Seattle International Film Festival, “Out of Print” clocks in at a brief 55 minutes in length, making it perfectly suited for television. That being said, it is certainly less appealing for an audience who’s paid any sort of attention to the news. While Roumani’s facts one in three American adults owns an ereader, and the like are certainly shocking, they’re not exactly revolutionary — most people are well aware that print is endangered, bookstores aren’t doing well and that teenagers love the Internet.” (via New York Daily News)
“The phrase “bookless libraries” arrives with a dull, oxymoronic thud, enough to get the blood of any bibliophile boiling. It’s the sort of thud made in the 1980s by doomed reports promising a “paperless office”. Anyone who remembers that much-mocked slogan might well shrug off this latest idea as overheated punditry.
Or perhaps they should think again, as the world’s first completely paperless public library is scheduled to open this summer in Bexar County, Texas, in the United States.” (via BBC News)
“By Design’s Janne Ryan spoke with architecture critic Elizabeth Farrelly and architect Tone Wheeler about the powerful connection between knowledge and the design of libraries. As the digital world changes our lives, so too do the design of our libraries and their role. Are they still important?” (via Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
“When the clock strikes 3:30 on weekday afternoons, librarians at the Lincolnwood Public Library bid farewell to their so-far quiet day and brace for chaos. That’s when the hectic after-school period begins, when more than 100 youngsters swarm across the street and into the doors of the library to burn off pent-up energy, socialize, and play computer games. Sometimes, they do a little homework.” (via Lincolnwood Review)
“One day, we’ll tell our children—probably by telepathy through their Google brain implants—about the old days when people cut down trees, turned them into books, and had to go to a building to borrow or buy one. We walked uphill in the snow, both ways, and our reading glasses didn’t even have the Internet! The Athens-Clarke County Library is getting ready for that day.
via Flagpole Magazine)
“Public libraries have long been the go-to place to borrow books, attend classes or log on to public computers. But over the last decade, they have also become shelters for people in need, including the mentally ill, battered women, latchkey kids and new immigrants. Acknowledging that reality, libraries in Tucson, Ariz., have become the first in the nation to provide registered nurses along with their other services. Placing nurses in six branches is a nod to the widely accepted transition of public libraries into de facto community centers.” (via TODAY Health)
“Today the US Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a lawsuit regarding the bedrock principle of the “first sale doctrine.” The 6-3 opinion is a total victory for libraries and our users. It vindicates the foundational principle of the first sale doctrine—if you bought it, you own it. All who believe in that principle, and the certainty it provides to libraries and many other parts of our culture and economy, should join us in applauding the Court for correcting the legal ambiguity that led to this case in the first place. It is especially gratifying that Justice Breyer’s majority opinion focused on the considerable harm that the Second Circuit’s opinion would have caused libraries.” (via Association of Research Libraries)
“This spring, your next packet of garden seeds may come not from a hardware store or nursery, but from your local public library.Fighting to stay relevant in the digital age, public libraries have taken to lending all manner of weird and wonderful items: hand tools, baking pans, fishing poles, telescopes and knitting needles, among others. Dont like the memoir offerings at your local branch? Bring a USB thumb drive, plug it in at one of several massive Espresso Book Machines and print a hard-cover copy of your own memoir — or any other obscure title the library doesnt keep on hand.”
via USA Today
“Getting a glimpse into the curious minds of others has never been so beautiful – or so bright. Designers Brian W. Brush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York created an extensive fiber-optic installation for the Teton County Library grand opening in Wyoming that visualizes library searches in flashes of colored light. Dubbed Filament Mind, the installation, which opened at the end of January, uses over five miles of fiber-optic cables and 44 LED illuminators to collect, categorize, and render searches from libraries all across the state of Wyoming into glowing bursts of color.”
via Wired Design