In the 1940s, Ronald Clark's father was a custodian at the New York Public Library's Washington Heights Branch. That meant he and his family lived in an apartment in the library. Here's an animated StoryCorps video about Clark's childhood in "The Temple of Knowledge" and "creeping down to the stacks in the middle of the night when curiosity gripped him."
Garbage collectors in Ankara, Turkey, have opened a library with all the books that people throw out.
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"We started to discuss the idea of creating a library from these books. And when everyone supported it, this project happened," said Çankaya Mayor Alper Tasdelen, whose local government oversaw the opening of the library. Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid's section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors. The library is housed in a previously vacant brick factory at the sanitation department headquarters.
In 1974, Upper Arlington, Ohio public library launched a program to link their card catalog and shelved books by odor. The project was called: "Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalog." From Weird Universe:
The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in total, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, roses, root beer, leather, pizza, orange, strawberry, candles, pine, cheddar cheese, clover, and smoke.
The library says that they "aren't sure what exactly happened to the scented catalog, but we guess that the cards eventually lost their scent over time, but remained part of the catalog until it was decommissioned" for a digital system in 1989. Read the rest
Science Friday's beautiful "File Not Found" series looks at the thorny questions of digital preservation: finding surviving copies of data, preserving the media it is recorded upon, finding working equipment to read that media, finding working software to decode the information once it's read, clearing the rights to archive it, and maintaining safe, long term archives -- all while being mindful of privacy and other equities. Read the rest
New York Public Library president Tony Marx presides over the largest public library system in America, in a city where 2,000,000 people lack broadband internet access, so he understands as well as anyone the way that libraries bridge the digital divide, a divide that gets deeper and more daunting every day, as key services and opportunities move online. Read the rest
Max is the internet's new hero, and, mercifully, not a duck. That's not to say, though, that Max is not a problem for his humans.
"This is basically halfway to being a children's book," wrote McGuire, who is working on a graphic novel about young Harper Lee titled "Alabama Spitfire."
This is basically halfway to being a children's book pic.twitter.com/DjwUPHy9Wz
— Erin McGuire (@e_mcguire_) November 29, 2017
I remember the day I realised that my daughter's London school had no library, the shock I felt, the sense that the cuts had gone beyond the bone, and that kids were being deprived of something critical -- and then the discovery that then-Education Minister Michael Gove was planning to spend a fortune distributing Bibles to schoolchildren with his name embossed in metal foil on the cover. Read the rest
Starchitect-designed Tianjin Binhai Library is a viral sensation; the Dutch firm MVRDV incorporated a soaring, six-storey spherical atrium with undulating floor-to-ceiling shelves served by striking, irregular white stairs. Read the rest
When New Yorker columnist/blowhard Andre Walker "Nobody goes to libraries anymore. Close the public ones and put the books in schools", librarians all over the net gave him what for, and one of the best responses came from self-described "Angriest Librarian" Alex Halpern, a student librarian in Portland, OR, whose tweetstorm went viral. Read the rest
In September 2016, we learned that the University of New Hampshire was going to use $1 million that an incredibly frugal librarian saved while working as a library cataloger for 50 years to buy a new scoreboard for its stadium. Read the rest
It's been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the "Spaced Out Library," the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril -- that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Read the rest
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is the respected global body representing libraries all over the world; in an open letter to the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization says the recent decision to standardize DRM for the web has undermined the web's openness and the ability of libraries and other public institutions to fulfill their important social role. Read the rest
A Pew survey found that the majority of millennials have visited a public library this year, making them the most prolific library-using generation. An ALA spokesperson attributed this to the libraries' commitment to providing free, fast broadband and the ability to borrow devices such as tablets -- but the survey found that very few patrons use the libraries' apps. Read the rest
Deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles is the best article on Wikipedia. From "Ã‡â€¹Â¬Ã§â€°Â¹Ã¨Â§ÂÃ¨Â§Â£" to Zombucks, with many oddities along the way (such as "☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼"), all that remains are the tantalizing names given to what were surely excellent, well-researched and not at all fannishly promotional entries for geeky obsessions.
Here is the section for articles that began with "R".
Radioactive Pedophile on the Loose! Random boner syndrome Raptor jesus Rat smacker Raving white octopus Reasons Why Many People Study in China Recombinant Human Dragon Rectal Anarchy Reducing your weight in a ver... References to polycephaly in popular culture Republic of Illinois Retard squad Richard's macaroni and cheese Rihno man super kidoonfire Rin-Din-Dinner Ross hutchison anal explosion Run 2 were u want run 2 were u want! im gonna catch u catch