Librarians: privacy's champions

Libraries have always been places where people gathered for intellectual inquiry, where communities could form around emerging ideologies that challenged the status quo. Read the rest

Comics Connector: matching comics professionals with teachers/librarians for visits

Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund writes, "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund continues the celebration of Children's Book Week by launching its newest resource -- the Comics Connector, a directory that connects educators and librarians with comics professionals who are able to provide classroom/library visits." Read the rest

In America's libraries, young Adult, graphic novels, and books by people of color are most challenged


The ALA's new State of America’s Libraries Report [PDF] shows American public and school libraries are being challenged most often over graphic novels like Saga and YA novels and books by people of color like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Read the rest

Bullshit copyright complaint is the perfect pretense to censor CT library art

Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "A Connecticut library took down a painting of Mother Teresa because of a dodgy copyright claim. Was that really the issue?" Read the rest

No future for you: cultural institutions can't afford to play along with pointy-headed bosses

My new Guardian column, Go digital by all means, but don't bring the venture capitalists in to do it, is an open letter to the poor bastards who run public institutions, asking them to hold firm on delivering public value and not falling into the trap of running public services "like a business." Read the rest

Difficult questions posed to the NYPL reference desks before the net

In the New York Public Library's Instagram account, Information Architect Morgan Holzer is posting images of 3x5 cards pulled from a shoebox collecting 50 years' worth of weird questions that were posed to the system's reference desks, which were strange and notable enough to warrant addition to the collection. Read the rest

Delware school district wants kids to get signed permission before checking out YA library books

The Appoquinimink, DE school board is contemplating requiring parental permission slips for students who want to check YA novels out of their school library; district secondary education curriculum director Ray Gravuer came up with this silly idea in response to a parental complaint. Read the rest

Toronto's public library under threat from Rob Ford's Library Board

The Toronto Library Board appointed by the disgraced former mayor Rob Ford has continued its programme of cutting library budgets, cutting way past the bone and threatening the Toronto public library system altogether. Read the rest

Library's seed sharing system threatened by Big Ag regulations

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has threatened the Duluth library's free seed-sharing program because it doesn't conform to the seed-distribution rules laid out for big agribusinesses. Read the rest

Tabletop Superheroes: remixable RPG

The Parkes Library in NSW, Australia mashed up my Dungeons and Dragons variant for toddlers with School for Supervillains, creating a superhero game for kids of all ages for its Fun Palace week, Read the rest

UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright

They want the term of copyright changed to life plus 70 years, instead of 2039 for unpublished works of uncertain date, a standard that makes it impossible to reproduce or display things like letters home from the front. Read the rest

Profile of MITSFS, MIT's 65-year-old science fiction club

This decades-old club maintains one of the finest science fiction libraries in the world, have a host of deeply, awesomely nerdy traditions, and are still going strong after influencing the lives of countless happy mutants.

Adobe responds to scandalous news of secretly spying on readers (not really)

A week ago, Adobe was caught spying on people's reading habits -- they index all your books and send a full dossier to themselves, in the clear. Now, they've responded to the American Library Association (whose members are the major customers for this terrible stuff) by saying they'll say something next week. (Thanks, Jay!) Read the rest

Librarians on the vanguard of the anti-surveillance movement

The American Library Association's code of ethics demands that library professionals "protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality" and they've been taking that duty seriously since the first days of the Patriot Act. Read the rest

Tom Sawyer: the Big Read

Lucas writes, "Through Oct, the Lewis & Clark Library of Montana hosting a Big Read of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Running a vast series of events throughout the month, each will be tracked on a special adventure map to represent the experiences that shape us and our understanding of the classic novel." Read the rest

Drone flythrough of Toronto's magnificently renovated reference library

Ab writes, "Toronto Reference Library (TRL) recently completed a multi-year revitalization project (to spotlight the new changes in the Reference Library, we also flew a mini drone around TRL to get a bird's eye view of what's new): the library is celebrating the completion of this project with an event on Friday, Sept. 19." Read the rest

Petition: remove child-specific antipersonnel device from Welsh library

The Port Authority in the Welsh town of Milford has installed a "Mosquito" -- a sonic weapon that produces tones that are mostly perceptible to children and teenagers -- at the library, where it has been used during opening hours. Read the rest

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