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February 12, 2018

There is one part of the recent Falcon Heavy Rocket launch by SpaceX that seems to be a little under the radar. Inside Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster that is now roaming around the universe is a digital copy of Isaac Asimov's seminal Foundation Trilogy.

Created by the non-profit Arch Mission Foundation the Arch Library allows for massive data storage via quartz disks.

Here's their vision:

"To mitigate planetary risks, human data needs to be backed up in as many places as possible, both on Earth and off Earth. Space provides an ideal environment for data storage, yet also brings with it new challenges.

A large network of Arch™ Libraries (pronounced “Ark”) disseminated across the solar system will guarantee preservation of human data, no matter how much information humans create, for as long as the solar system exists.  

The key to making this work is increasing the amount of data we can store per Arch™ Library, and disseminating Arch Libraries to...

February 9, 2018

Though her work is set in the heartland of America it was in New York City where Willa Cather lived off and on for most of her adult life.

In 1928 Willa Cather joined the New York Society Library and until her death in 1947, it is safe to say that she and her partner Edith Lewis were active library users.

Currently on view at NYSL is an exhibition showcasing the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s relationship to the Library and to the city.

The exhibit features a slew of lending cards that give us an inside look at Cather's reading life. 

“I’m not sure themes or preferences emerge except that one is always aware of Cather’s questing, inquisitive mind and her intense interest in literature past and present. And what a mind!”  says Harriet Shapiro, head of exhibitions at the NYSL

Also on view is an essay by Truman Capote describing his humorous meeting with Cather at the Library during a 1942 snowstorm, a selection of Cather first editions and...

January 26, 2018

Thanks to the folks at the Seattle Public Library The Town Crier, a weekly published in early twentieth century Seattle, is now available to peruse online.

The Town Crier focused on the news, arts and culture of the Emerald City. It was published between 1910 and 1938 and featured work by and about local artists, musicians, photographers and actors. They also published reviews of local performances.

Think Edward Curtis, Mark Tobey, Imogene Cunningham and a look at Seattle during World War I, Prohibition, and the Great Depression.

The digital collection is well produced and offers searching by issue and select topics.

h/t and more below from :

Margaret Bundy becomes associate editor for the arts weekly Town Crier in Seattle on February 12, 1930.

Thomas Phelps's 1856 map of Seattle is published in the Town Crier on December 15, 1917.

February 1, 2017

Credit: Photo by Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Each week for the past eight years, with a suitcase stuffed with books, librarian Colbert Nembhard leaves the Morrisania Branch Library in the Bronx for a 10 minute walk to the Crotona Inn homeless shelter.

Once there he turns "the shelter’s day care room or its dimly lighted office into an intimate library" and the magic begins.

Mr. Nembhard goal is to encourage children to have a lifelong relationship with libraries and its' working. His program has served as the model for a citywide initiative to place small libraries at shelters for families. 30 shelters are now participating and in September, the Library of Congress recognized New York City's Department of Homeless Services for best practices in literacy for this Library Pilot Project.

And if that's not enough to earn Mr. Nembhard librarian knighthood then it will be the smiles on the faces of the kids at the Crotona Inn homeless shelter...

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