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Posts categorized "Books" Feed

Somaliland Hopes Books Will Speak to its Diaspora|

Redsea Book Fair Banner'A revolution has been happening (in Somaliland) in publishing books, reading, writing and literature,' says Musa...."

RUGTA banner simple"Hamdi Ali Musa saw her first book when she was 10. Now 25, she's one of Hargeisa's only librarians." (shown in photo)

Somaliland is a self declared state (some sources say 'republic') and an autonomous region of Somalia.

Hargeisa SomalilandIt is also a region of Africa whose roots go back to the Neolithic Period. On the outskirts of the Capital, Hargeisa are the Laas Geel complex cave paintings  "containing stratified archaeological infills capable of documenting the period when production economy appeared in this part of Somalia (circa 5th and 2nd millennium BCE)".(Wikipedia)

The capital of this republic is Hargeisa (Somali: Hargeysa, Arabic: هرجيسا‎‎ is the second largest city in Somalia after Mogadishu. (source: Wikipedia).

And here's a fascinating fact ... for centuries until recent history (the end of the 1800's) when European Imperialist interests turned their attention to the region, splitting it up, negotiating treaties to alternately divide or reunite it and eventually leaving it to handle its own particular brand of civil war ... this country's people passed on their ancient legacy of stories in the Oral Tradition.

That's all changed now for a number of reasons, the need to join the community of nations being one of them. Books and their authors represent the renewed hope of these people who are widely spread across our globe as a diaspora - a country as an idea. Since 1972 the swelling initiative to support books written in Somali has been chiefly lead by the desire to gather together in a literary and a real way, the hundreds of thousands of Somalis that have fled this ancient land during its fight for independence and have not returned. Hassan Roda Book Somaliland w text

Somaliland has no passport agency and is not 'officially recognised' by the international community. It has no support from international aid agencies nor funds flowing to it from the World Bank. It does have a Book Fair, (site text not it English) and that's where librarian Hamdi Ali Musa enters this story. "The (Book Fair is the) biggest annual event in Somaliland, drawing 11,000 attendees this year, (is) an advertisement for a republic that showcases itself as a kind of "anti-Somalia."

I can not find any details about Hamdi Ali Musa other than what is reported by NPR (and republished by the online 'Samliland Informer'.) I am encouraged as should we all be, that a young woman is the stewart of this growing body of Somali literature, taking her country with her into her future.

Here is the link to the Hargeisa Library on Twitter. @HargeisaLibrary. Somliland skipped right over the 1900's and scooted right into the 21st with its communications and social media!

Credit: NPR, Wikipedia, Twitter

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Containers matter. They shape stories and the experience of stories.

Craig Mod in Aeon online magazine asks "What comes next? ... Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring."


Read the full article here. Mr. Mod suggests that there are various reasons to read e-books on devices like Kindle and there are just as many to go back to or stay with the old and varied format of the printed book.

We're book readers but we get it. Many people love to read on their devices. Did I mention we love our printed books?

Rome Book


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Chain, Chest, Curse: Combating Book Theft in Medieval Times ~ from

We saw our first chained book in Minehead, Somerset. Just sitting out in an open church. Our friends tell us it has since been set and locked behind a secure glass box...good idea!



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ALA Banned Books Virtual Read-Out on You Tube

2013 Banned Book Week"Join... celebrities, libraries and bookstores across the country in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!

For the third year in a row, readers from across the country and around the world will be able to participate virtually during Banned Books Week, Sept. 22 – 28, 2013.

Participants may proclaim the importance of the freedom to read by posting videos that will be featured on a dedicated Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel."

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Free webinar! What Not to Weed: Best Practices in Weeding Library Collections

One of the necessary tasks associated with planning your library space. PunjabichildrensbooksIt's a tough job but a good Librarian is up to the challenge ! 

What Not to Weed: Best Practices
in Weeding Library Collections

Weeding library collections can be a tricBooklist Webinar Weedky task. What stays?
What goes? Following the successful weeding webinar “Weeding: The Basics and
Beyond,” Booklist Reference and Collection Management editor Rebecca
Vnuk will discuss various pitfalls to avoid, and how to manage public perception.
She’ll be joined by Lindsey Dorfman, Director of Youth Services, Lisle (IL)
Library District, who will show some before-and-after shots of a recent weeding
project, and Nancy Kerr, Valencia Branch Manager, City of Santa Clarita (CA) Public
Library, who will talk about weeding in adult collections.

Can't make the date? Register anyway so a link to the video archive of this webinar
can be e-mailed to you after the event.

Please note: As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence
from Booklist Publications and may receive other special offers from our sponsors.

Thursday, October 3

2:00 PM Eastern
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific

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Domino book chain world record

Here's a neat thing to do at your library this summer.

The Seattle Public Library holds the domino book chain world record.

Watch the vid. Download Seattle Public Library, Domino Book Chain World Record Video (Low)

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Heard of 'Social Enterprises' yet? You will soon.

If they can 're-brand', why can't we?

File this under the heading : Libraries are suffering under public sector cutbacks, but could social enterprise save the day? Maybe, maybe not.

Companies that are in business to make money see libraries as a lead-in to their other services,because "It offer(s) us a portal to expand our community projects, and at the same time we knew how well used the libraries were... we were already trying to address digital exclusion across the community, so it just seemed like a natural thing to do.", says Gavin Dunn of Eco Computer Systems, speaking about the company's involvement in libraries in Lewisham, UK.

(what is that person doing in that grey heap anyway?) ECO Communities March2013

After re-branding the libraries as community hubs, and the company name to Eco Communities, the business plan mirrors that of all social enterprise-run libraries since – it diversified. "Obviously you don't generate money out of loaning books, or the use of computers – they are all free", says Dunn. "But we are installing cafés in all the libraries and the local housing associations are funding us to provide work experience and training for long-term unemployed residents, and we have a pot of funding from Defra... We also have the contract with the council to sell old library books... on Amazon, and at book fairs." And, of course, it continues to sell recycled electrical equipment, with the library buildings providing effective showrooms and depots.

Wow, and to think we could be doing that at our Libraries; putting the money from 'Friends of the Library' book sales back into our funds to support ourselves!  Interesting.

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Walkill Librarian and power source, Mary Lou Carolan MC'd the Walkill Public Library - IMAGINE THAT! Children's Theater Project on Sunday afternoon.

What a fant2013_03_17_Wlkl PL_ML Stage children_C0791astic way to involved children in reading @ Their Library.  The acts in the hour long production were about books; being IN books; READING books; what books MEAN to the children who know them so well.

We danced in the audience and responded to their cues.  What fun!

Here are some of the photos I took.  See and learn more here at the Walkill Public Library website, it's a happenin' place.

  2013_03_17_Wlkl PL_ML Stage Producers Director_C0795







  2013_03_17_Wlkl PL_ML Stage children_C0797










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Need a hit of Shakespeare? Heard of the Folger Shakespeare Library?

Folger LibraryVisiting DC this summer?

Check out this fascinating library dedicated to all things Shakespeare.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has masterfully curated on going exhibits, in house and on-line, a theatre, tours, conservation lab, a shop of course and lots more to interest all ages and of course the Collection...

"The Folger Shakespeare Library collection has both great depth and a broad range. In round numbers, the Folger houses more than 256,000 books; 60,000 manuscripts; 250,000 playbills; 200 oil paintings; some 50,000 drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs; and a wealth of other materials, including musical instruments, costumes, and films.

 The collection's two great strengths are materials related to the early modern age in the West, from about 1450 to the mid-1700s, and materials related to William Shakespeare and the theater, up to the present day."

 Admission is FREE!  Get out of the heat and find out what was so HOT in Elizabethan England.

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New Blog on the Street - Books Reviewed by Kids

Treat yourself to a refreshing read.  Check out this blog subtitled "My review of books I have read."

I am pleased to include a link to a well written and info-dense and critically adept blog written by a young woman whom I have the honour to know.  Childrens' and Young Adult Librarians - you may want to take a look.  It's well worth the read.

Here's a little sample: 

"A friend of mine  recommended this book and when I saw the title I w as  not veryWhangdoodle_from NMcL enticed but tried it  anyways. I couldn’t put it down there were so many twists in the plot that I would have never thought were coming. It really captivated the idea that imagination is one of the greatest things that anyone can have, without it we would not have so many things, if someone didn’t imagine that we could have portable devises that we could talk through we would never have gotten a cellphone."


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QuickReport: Print Books vs. E-books

Is there a difference in how much a child understands and retains a story depending on the format of the book they share?  You may be surprised by recent findings, or maybe not. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE]No. of story details recalled_e-books vs. print

Researchers at the A Cooney Center  [ CLICK TO LINK],QuickReport by Cynthia Chiong, Jinny Ree, Lori Takeuchi, and Ingrid Erickson have completed a study to find out using "three book formats: print books, basic e-books, and enhanced e-books." investigating three issues:

1.  Parent-Child Conversation

2.  Story Comprehension and

3.  Engagement


1.  The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading because it prompted more non-content related interactions. When adults prompt children with questions pertaining to the text, label objects, and encourage them to discuss the book contents in terms of their own experiences and curiosities, this elicits increased verbalization by the child and can lead to improved vocabulary and overall language development.

2.  Features of the enhanced e-book may have affected children’s story recall because both parents and children focused their attention on non-content, more than story-related, issues.

3.  The print books were more advantageous for literacy building co-reading, (BUT)...the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, were more advantageous for engaging children and prompting physical interaction.

The study leads to recommendations:

1.  For designers: Exercise caution when adding features to enhanced e-books, especially when those features do not directly relate to the story. E-book enhancements should also be designed in a way that allows parents to access and control settings to customize the co-reading experience with their children. 

2.  For parents and educators: Parents and preschool teachers should choose print or basic e-books to read with children if they want to prioritize literacy-building experiences over ones intended “just for fun.” Some of the extra features of enhanced e-books may distract adults and children alike from the story, affecting the nature of conversation and the amount of detail children recall. However, given that appeal is an essential building block for early literacy development, enhanced e-books may be valued for their ability to prompt less motivated young readers toward engagement when they might otherwise avoid text altogether.

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Oscar Nominated...Animated Short...based on the BOOK....

ALA and every associated organisation should adopt the rights to this Oscar nominated animated short and have it up on their website.  It is that good.

Mr. Morris Lessmore

This website will only be open for a limited time.  If you ever wanted to show people how important are words and the spirit of the book - this is the way to do it.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.


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TELL your community what you do!

This recent article in the Boston Globe, "The new independent bookshop: It’s in your local library", is instructive in two ways.

  1. It gets the word out to Bostonians that libraries are selling books.  Actually selling books.  In a bookstore.  And people are coming in and buying them.  Come to your Library and BUY BOOKS, just like in a REAL BOOKSTORE!
  2. It shows the library community that we are not effective in getting the word out to our communities about ALL the services we offer and what we do every day, every year for our communities.

After you scan the Boston Globe article, take a look at this website out of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.  The Friends of the Cornwall Public Library/Les Amis de la Bibliothèque Publique de Cornwall have their own Friend's Space that was designed for them when the library moved to it's current location in the 90's.

Friends Cornwall Public_June 02,03

The Friend's Group there is incredibly active and has done amazing work for the library, raising many thousands of dollars that they have given to the library to fund essential needs.  These are the people that do the work and bring in the people who normally wouldn't go to their library. 

These are the people who haul boxes of books, man the bookstore as volunteers and collect the money to help their library in a very real way.  This is what the article in the Boston Globe is reporting about.  We have had the privilege of knowing most of the people in this photograph, and we know the work that they do behind the scenes.

Thousands of libraries across the US and Canada have Friend's Bookstores.  Libraries are already doing nearly everything they can to bring in revenue to bolster dwindling funding.  Librarians must be more active in their communities.  Librarians must stand out, stand up and tell everyone about the services and amazing programs you offer at your libraries.

Thanks and fondest regards to Cornwall Public Library/Bibliothèque Publique de Cornwall.

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ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine

This week, ALA leadership met with senior management from Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Perseus publishing houses to discuss ebooks and libraries.

this is the link to the on-line article:  ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine.

In March of last year, Librarian in Black Sarah Houghton took ALA to task for being too timid with HarperCollins. “Speak out and speak out now, ALA. Reassert libraries’ rights to lend materials. Reassert libraries’ responsibilities to the public good. And reassert libraries’ roles in our communities as cultural and thought leaders… Please, say something to the world–or the rest of us will keep talking loudly, angrily, and unofficially.”

...assertiveness is what many librarians want from their organization.

Submitted by Christopher Harris on Fri, 02/03/20 E-12 - 09:34
ALA blog-banner_e-content   ALA logo

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"pre-censoring" in Arizona

Under the category of - You really should READ a book first before you slam it....

Issue:  "(Should) elected officials ... be allowed to swoop in and say whether a book is appropriate or not based on ideological concerns." ?

"Public-school-district libraries have long fielded complaints about books after they hit the shelves. But the question of whether books are being omitted from school libraries simply because of their subject matter, before anyone can complain, is trickier."
Form of school-book censoring emerges.  Read the full article from the 'Arizona Republic'.

You Don't Know About Me coverYou Don't Know About Me, is on the list of books Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, AZ, thought were 'objectionable' based on their titles.  He hadn't read them.

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old rule - current application - make way for the new materials

When we talk to librarians about building new, renovating their spaces or moving collections, the first thing we stress is WEEDING THE COLLECTION. 

Having just helped restock shelves in a lovely, beautifully designed library I know the pain of placing hundreds of pieces of materials on to new shelves when they haven't yet been weeded!

Take a look at this little article in GOOD by to reinforce your commitment to making space for new materials in your library.

copy and paste to see blog post in GOOD on line


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the world is their library / each library a world

Imagine, you are not even 10 years old yet and you have already traveled to about 25 countries - with your parents! 

Libraries are great places to fill out the 'road schooling' your parents are giving you.  How much better can it get?

Mozart reads in library

See the blog and article here: Soultravelers3

Thank you to Soultravelers3

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is it an album cover? is it art? yes, it's a book cover!

'Visual time/space' is where my mind lives.  As the 'visual' half of this team, I am attracted to aesthetics as much as I am to functional praticalities. 

Album sleves book covers   I am delighted by these book covers.  Take a look book covers/album sleeves echo the theme of the novel.  See more about the man behind the imagination in an interview with Professional Photographer in 2010 Interview.

You may recognise some of your favourite albums in this neat flip video of his collected covers The Record Books : Volume 1 | Book Preview.

Here's the article that first caught my eye Christophe Gowens reported - photo: Mother Jones, same site.



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To ad or not to ad...what will be the answer?

Miguel Helft of the New York Times asks, "Is the tantalizing dream of a universal library dead?" (Published: April 3, 2011).

Is it? Maybe not.  In March of this year, a New York federal district court judge, Denny Chin (now sitting as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library (by Google) would benefit many,” but said that the proposed agreement (by Google) was “not fair, adequate and reasonable.” because, "it would have granted Google a “de facto monopoly” and the right to profit from books without the permission of copyright owners". NYT 22 March 2011

Europeana_think_culture_logo_top_5 There are those who do want to have a universal digital library - without commercial advertisers.  Europe is already far ahead of the United States in an effort to digitize information to be read in a commercial free web site, Europeana, Europeana that already has some 15 million "works of art, books, music and video held by the cultural institutions of member countries".

"Unlike in Europe, where national libraries are usually centralized and backed by governments, the United States has a disparate network of independent institutions that have different missions and serve different populations", and is playing catch up in this field.

"...the settlement (with Google that) was rejected in federal court last month, in part because it turned copyright law on its head, giving Google the right to profit from a book unless its author or publisher objected. This was a particular problem for “orphan books,” out of print titles whose authors and publishers cannot be easily found. Since no one else would be able to obtain a license to those books, Google would have a de facto monopoly on millions of texts.

The digital public library will face the same problem" NYT 3 April 2011

No matter what happens, who does it or how fast this project evolves, the affect on our libraries as we know them will be profound.  I suggest that we will be well placed in our communities when we plan properly for and develop spaces for people to read and be together in our libraries.  The delivery system for knowledge and information will change but we humans will always seek each other out for company and discourse.  Libraries are already here and changing to meet these human needs.


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Book Club @ People to People International - hear what the world has to say.

We participated in a delegation of librarians to China in 2007.  The People to People InteVcm_s_kf_m160_160x120rnational (PTPI) organization PTPI has been close to our hearts ever since.  The tour, our guides and our fellow travelers were fantastic in all respects.  The organization just continues to amaze with timely and innovative ideas that bring people together from across the globe.

PTPI  has initiated a way for members to "communicate with members about international topics and gain unique insights into the cultures explored through readings of PTPI's Global Book Club."  I think this is exciting and a very pleasurable way to combine our love of books with budgets that, for now at least, limit our world travel opportunities!  You don't have to be a member of PTPIto sign up.  Registration for the Global Book Club is free.

Global Book Club
…from the shelves of Mary Jean Eisenhower’s (pictured here) library,
An initiative of People to People International

PTPI’ s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your  glob al community. Global Book Club me mbers will communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of the various cultural view s in relation to those topics. The PTPI Blog will feature discussion questions and commentary from PTPI staff and fellow readers.

Current Selection: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Join the conversation now!

New titles are announced in January, April, July and October.

Here is what mambers are reading now.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
December 2010

Nearly 10 years ago, Laura Hillenbrand's Seabuscuit: An American Legend captured the nation's attention and went on to become a highly acclaimed motion picture. We are very please to bring you Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, a friend of PTPI and co-founder of PTPI's Operation International Children (OIC).

Unbroken tells the unforgettable true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete whose training was interuppted by World War II, taking Zamperini to the skies as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Discuss this book on the PTPI Blog!



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