Libraries

Can Obama and Big Publishing Save Children’s and YA Ebooks?

With e-book revenues nearly in freefall, especially in the category of Children/Young Adult books, a new partnership between the White House, publishers, libraries, and other institutions seeks to lay the groundwork for growth and educational development. But is it also an attempt to save a collapsing market? … Read More

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Artist Duo Constructs Stunningly Detailed 100,000-Item Library Out of Paper

“If your brain was a library, what would it look like? How big would the library be and what would it contain? Would it be organized or chaotic? Isn’t it intriguing that this vast storage, a life’s work if you will, is mutable?” These are the questions artist Jonny Love, one half of the duo LoveJordan, poses in describing his and collaborator Samuel Jordan’s The Unconscious Library. The only non-paper objects in their lovely and intricate installation, composed of over 100,000 annotated pieces, are tiny bottles of liquor. Taken together, the paper items, the alcohol that sits among them, and the tags affixed to both create the impression of a library containing the thoughts and memories amassed during the particular unconsciousness brought about by intoxication. Click through to see a selection of images from LoveJordan’s installation, which we discovered via JunkCulture; readers in London can see The Unconscious Library in person May 14-17 at Wimbledon’s Open Studios. … Read More

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Unusual Library Collections Around the World

Imagine walking into the home of a recently deceased resident after getting a mysterious phone call about a massive collection of maps. That’s what happened to Glen Creason, the map librarian at Los Angeles Central Library and author of Los Angeles in Maps. Creason walked out of the home with boxes of historical maps and coveted city guides that instantly doubled the library’s collection. L.A.-based filmmaker Alec Ernest captured the story of Creason and an unknown map collector named John Feathers in a mesmerizing short film about the beauty and power of physical objects, and the strange passions people have for them. Ernest’s film inspired us to travel libraries around the world and explore their unique and sometimes bizarre collections. … Read More

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The Lost Art of Library Postcards

I’d like to imagine there will always be people who find it necessary to fit the experiences of a vacation into the small space provided on a postcard, but I’m doubtful. The idea of buying, filling out, and dropping one into a mailbox has become a quaint relic of our pre-Instagram past. … Read More

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Our Favorite Pop Culture Librarians

The librarian is one of the most misunderstood figures in pop culture history. The patronizing character John Rothman played in Sophie’s Choice and the “old maid” Donna Reed portrayed in It’s a Wonderful Life are just a few of the negative, unflattering, and downright laughable images of librarians that our society has been inundated with. There are, however, several fine examples of realistic, intelligent, competent, and yes, even sexy librarians in cinema, television, and beyond. We’ve detailed 15 of our favorite fictional librarians, below. … Read More

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12 Tales of Book Thievery

As devoted book lovers and defenders of libraries, there are few things that upset us more than people who steal books. We read about a recent case of book theft in China this week, detailed after the jump, which compelled us to explore a brief history of shocking book thievery. Greed, desperation, and delusion have compelled ordinary citizens and literary insiders to snatch rare books and manuscripts for dubious purposes. Most of these stories about stolen titles read like a gripping thriller, but the following tales of book theft are sadly all too real. … Read More

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Beautiful Dance Performances That Incorporate Books

As book lovers and library enthusiasts, we’re always on the lookout for works of art that pay homage to their beauty. When we spotted a beautiful performance set against a library of books at Art Fag City, which we feature after the jump, we were mesmerized by the dancer’s physical engagement with the space and the intersection of movement and stillness. Wanting to see how other dancers translated this concept, we discovered more performances that incorporated books and libraries — some within the dance itself, and others as a setting. … Read More

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