Thursday, July 28, 2016

Syria's secret library by Mike Thomson, BBC News

28 July 2016

When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings - and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it.

Down a flight of steep steps, as far as it's possible to go from the flying shrapnel, shelling and snipers' bullets above, is a large dimly lit room. Buried beneath a bomb-damaged building, it's home to a secret library that provides learning, hope and inspiration to many in the besieged Damascus suburb of Darayya.

"We saw that it was vital to create a new library so that we could continue our education. We put it in the basement to help stop it being destroyed by shells and bombs like so many other buildings here," says Anas Ahmad, a former civil engineering student who was one of the founders. Read more...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rikers Island gets unofficial New York Public Library branch by Alison Fox

July 27, 2016

The library at the Rikers Island correction facility has a wide range of books, including "The Hunger Games" series and "To Kill a Mockingbird." (Credit: Craig Ruttle)


The (unofficial) 93rd branch of the New York Public Library is now open for business — and you can’t take the subway to visit it.

That’s because the small-but-well-stocked collection is the first permanent public library on Rikers Island.
And the collection, which is housed in the women’s Rose M. Singer Center and sits below a poster of BeyoncĂ© as Rosie the Riveter, is as varied as the people who will be reading from it: “The Hunger Games” books share space with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Les MisĂ©rables,” and an extensive James Patterson collection. 

“It’s amazing the city services that are available in the community; many of those we want here on the island,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte. “This is a good step to introduce inmates to the value of education, the value of reading.”

The library holds 1,200 books — spanning everything from comics to sci-fi, from Spanish language works to nonfiction classics — and it will be open every Tuesday for about six hours each day. Read more...


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Library on wheels serve Gazans

Published July 12, 2016
The German-French Cultural Center brought a traveling library vehicle to Gaza from the West Bank on May 16, which aims to instill a love of reading in children by enabling them to read books at colorful chairs and tables. The traveling library which remain in Gaza until August, and made its first stop in the Huzaa town of Khan Yunis province, one of the main targets of Israel's attack on Palestine in July 2014. Children living in Huzaa previously had no access to a library. Thanks to the traveling library, children are able to enter the magical world of books, drawings and enchanting stories, as well as spending time with the staff of the library enjoying entertaining activities.

Mahmud al-Askalani, the coordinator of the traveling library, told Anadolu Agency (AA) how the library works: "The traveling library offers its services in Gaza three months a year. Then we will head to West Bank and open the doors of the magical world of the books to children living there."

Libraries across the country look to Hennepin County Library for response to Black Lives Matter

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chicago Public Library gets millennials interested with beer events and parties

A hum of conversation convened recently at Revolution Brewery around wooden tables clustered with empty beer cups.

Clad in flannel and pendant necklaces, the diverse crowd of young people wasn't present solely for hops — more to learn which hibiscus ale paired best with George Saunders.

The event, on a warm summer evening backdropped by an American flag and beer barrels, was hosted by the Junior Board of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, a group targeted at millennials.
Its members, 50 young professionals in Chicago, are convinced that city libraries are vital — and vibrant. And they think other 20- and 30-somethings should agree.  Read more...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Read When the World Is Terrible by Jessica Woodbury. 07-13-2016

Reading & Literacy

When awful things are happening all over the news and your Facebook feed, sometimes books are exactly what you need. But how do you choose what to read when you’re feeling fragile or angry or depressed or confused? There are lots of ways to use reading to help you conquer or confront your difficult feelings, and there’s no one right way. Here are some suggestions of what to read and how it can help you.


If you want your reading to take you away from it all, consider a few things. Romance is a good genre to turn to in times of turmoil because happily-ever-after endings are required in the genre, so you know that everything will turn out okay. If you need a read to comfort and calm and remind you of what love can do in the world, Romance is a good bet. Suggestions: Our First Times: The Books That Made Us Romance Readers.

Sometimes you may just want to forget the world exists all together. In that case, go seriously speculative with Science-Fiction or Fantasy. While some books in these genres can be very similar to real life or confront difficult moral issues, others are all about world building and imagination and that’s where you should go when you need a break from the world you actually live in. Suggestions: 9 Diverse Fantasy Books That Will Challenge Your Idea of Fantasy Fiction, 7 Standalone Novels for Science-Fiction Lovers.

Maybe try a laugh? The comedian memoir/essay genre serves pretty much just one purpose: to make you smile. Also effective: gossipy memoirs by movie stars with juicy tidbits about other movie stars. Suggestions: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?Ladies Who’d Make a Sailor Blush.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Welcome To The Library Hiding In A Garden Hiding In New York City by Katherine Brooks

Ben Hider via Getty Images
The earliest book ever published on American insects (1797, for the record) sits in a massive library in the Bronx, and fewer people than should be are aware of its existence.
And I’m talking about the library, not the book.

Stephen Sinon, head of special collections, research and archives at the New York Botanical Garden, describes the Mertz Library “as the largest of its kind in the world under one roof.” Founded in 1899, the haven for plant-related literature is often described as either the largest or the most comprehensive botanical library in the Americas. With over one million items — including The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia by James Edward Smith — it sits rather quietly on the property of the Bronx Garden, hiding, one might put it, in plain sight. Read more...