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January 20 2014


October 19 2013

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It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I’m an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living though my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

So I’m biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader….

   Via Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Books |

Reposted bylovebookssashthesplashwtfpanterathe-impossible-girl

September 03 2013


Malala Yousafzai opens new Birmingham library | World news |

Teenage girl shot by Taliban in Pakistan says pens and books are weapons to defeat terrorism, in seven-minute speech

September 02 2013


Malala Yousafzai to open Birmingham library | World news | The Guardian

… “I am honoured to be part of the opening,” she said. “The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives. There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.

"It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed." …

September 01 2013


August 03 2013

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Yesterday I said that bookmobiles are an instant reblog. Today, I learned that rule also applies to book donkeys.


Awesome doesn’t even begin covering it.

July 16 2013


For most of the human race, pretty much all of the lifespan of the human race, information was currency. Information was like gold. It was rare, it was hard to find, it was expensive. You could get your information, but you had to know where to go, you had to know what you were looking at, you had to know how to find your information. It was hard. And librarians were the key players in the battle for information, because they could go and get and bring back this golden nugget for you, the thing that you needed.

Over the last decade, which is less than a blink of an eye in the history of the human race, it’s all changed. And we’ve gone from a world in which there is too little information, in which information is scarce, to a world in which there is too much information, and most of it is untrue or irrelevant. You know, the world of the Internet is the world of information that is not actually so. It’s a world of information that just isn’t actually true, or if it is true, it’s not what you needed, or it doesn’t actually apply like that, or whatever. And you suddenly move into a world in which librarians fulfill this completely different function.

We’ve gone from looking at a desert, in which a librarian had to walk into the desert for you and come back with a lump of gold, to a forest, to this huge jungle in which what you want is one apple. And at that point, the librarian can walk into the jungle and come back with the apple. So I think from that point of view, the time of librarians, and the time of libraries—they definitely haven’t gone anywhere.

[Neil Gaiman talks about his love of libraries.] (via watchhowisoar)

And I stand by every word of it.

(via neil-gaiman)
Reposted bymanxx manxx

November 20 2012


Detroit: We're So Badass the FBI Raids Our Library.

Reposted byzEveRsiriusminerva

7 Action News was on the scene as FBI agents raided the Detroit Public Library.

They were executing a search warrant and removing boxes from the main branch. Agents searched the office of Timothy Cromer, Chief Administrator and Technology officer at the Detroit Public Library.

Cromer handles finance and technology. A spokesperson at the library told 7 Action News that there is no comment from Cromer at this time.

Sources say the investigation may involve contracts and alleged kickbacks.

The main branch of the Detroit Public Library is located on Woodward near Warren Avenue.

A board meeting that was scheduled for today has been moved to tomorrow. …

(via FBI raids main branch of Detroit Public Library)

Reposted byzEveR zEveR
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Harriet Mall of West Bloomfield, center, in front of the Detroit Public Library, wanted to come to the library with her family for her birthday. FBI agents raided the library on Tuesday.

Thousand-dollar trash cans, designer lounge chairs and possible contract scams.

Those controversial issues should shed some light as to why the FBI raided the Detroit Public Library’s main branch this morning, a source familiar with the library’s ongoing financial woes told the Free Press. The library official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the struggling library system has been embroiled in a controversy over alleged misspending on lavish items, such as $1,000 stainless steel trash cans and $1,000 chairs for a new wing in the library.

The expenditures raised eyebrows, the library official said, given the library has laid off dozens of employees and struggled with a $10-million budget deficit in what officials called an unprecedented fiscal crisis. Last year, the library system closed two of its 23 branches and cut its staff by 20%, or 83 employees.

Some library commissioners have requested an internal probe to find out whether certain renovations were done without the proper bidding process, the official said, pointing out that three officials have come under scrutiny: library director JoAnn Mondowney, who was placed on administrative leave in May amid allegations about misspending but has since returned to work without a contract; and deputy director Juliet Machie and chief administrative officer Tim Cromer, both of whom also are continuing to work even though their contracts expired earlier this year. …

(via FBI raids Detroit Public Library; $1,000 trash cans, possible shady deals raise eyebrows | City of Detroit | Detroit Free Press |

Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva
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A different sort of research took place at the Detroit Public Library on Tuesday, as FBI officials armed with search warrants entered the library’s main offices and scoured through records, according to local news reports.

Nine FBI agents were at the library’s main offices in Detroit on Tuesday morning, The Detroit News reported. They arrived at 8 a.m. and left around 11 a.m., with three cardboard boxes and “what appeared to be computer equipment,” according to the newspaper.

“I don’t know how many (search) warrants,” library spokesperson A.J. Funchess told The Detroit News. “They aren’t really sharing a lot of information right now.”

While Funchess acknowledged the library raid, he declined to provide any further comment to NBC News.

The Detroit News reported that authorities spent much of their time in the offices of the library’s chief administrative officer, Tim Cromer, who according to the newspaper has been the center of several spending controversies.

The FBI also reportedly raided Cromer’s house Tuesday, a source told The Detroit News. …

(via FBI raids Detroit Public Library main offices - U.S. News)


Charge Amazon, Starbucks and Google unpaid tax to fund libraries, says Winterson | Books |

… She also suggested that libraries be removed from local councils’ leisure budgets and put into the national education budget. “If we want libraries to take their place – I think their proper place in modern society – we can’t make them compete with sports centres for resources,” she said. “Libraries are doing more education work than ever. Libraries and literacy cannot be separated, I don’t see how this can be classed as ‘leisure’ nor do I see how we have a choice between getting our bins emptied and putting cash into libraries.”

Last week, as Newcastle council proposed closing 10 out of 18 of the city’s libraries, its director of libraries Tony Durcan said: “Public spending cuts mean the city council must make savings of £90m over the next three years, a third of our total budget. Faced with agonising decisions about child protection, care for the elderly and emptying bins – where do libraries, leisure centres and culture rank? I think we all know the answer.”

Winterson asked her audience if they believed in “the life of the mind – deep thought, concentration, reflection, real imagination – the expansion of the human spirit? Learning that is more than information? Creativity?”

If they did, she asked, “then for whom? For the middle classes? For the right kids at the right schools? If you do, then when – when we are rich, powerful, wealthy? Or as a priority whatever we are?” …

… Winterson is just one of many authors to have spoken out in defence of the UK’s libraries, 300 of which are currently estimated by the Public Libraries News website to be under threat or to have closed or left council control since April. Last week Philip Pullman, Julia Donaldson and Anne Fine were among the authors to attack plans to close Newcastle’s libraries. …

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