A traveling installation by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum seeks to refill the empty shelves at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, which lost 70,000 books when it was looted and burned during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The exhibit, 168:01, features thousands of blank white books arranged on bookshelves, and visitors are encouraged to donate money to replace a fake book with a real one from an Amazon wishlist compiled by the university.
The Art Newspaper, Aug. 7
Beth Elderkin writes: “Stephen King isn’t the only author who’s becoming more and more prevalent on the big and small screens. It was just announced that Ursula K. Le Guin’s sci-fi novelette Nine Lives is getting a movie adaptation, adding to the growing pile of Le Guin works that are reportedly in the works. The accomplished author sadly passed away in January, but her written works are living on—not only in the long-awaited documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, but also in several planned adaptations of her classic novels and shorter stories.”
i09, Aug. 15, May 25, Jan. 23
The Macon-Bibb County (Ga.) Commission has avoided bankruptcy by adopting a 3-mil increase, equal to a 17% percent increase in property taxes. The increase gives the county $12 million dollars, $238,791.67 of which will go to Middle Georgia Regional Libraries to reopen three branches that closed earlier this month due to lack of funding. Washington Memorial Library is set to open on August 20, the Shurling and Charles A. Lanford branches on August 22, and the Riverside branch on August 27.
WMGT-TV, Macon, Aug. 16; Miami Herald, Aug. 9
Clayton Guse writes: “New York City is a stylish place, but not everyone within the five boroughs has the means to dress to the nines seven days a week. And for those who want to impress at a job interview but don’t own—or can’t afford—any style accessories, the New York Public Library has a new solution. The system’s Riverside Library branch on the Upper West Side unveiled a new collection of ties, briefcases and handbags last week, which cardholders can take out for occasions like interviews, weddings, and other events that call for a little more je ne sais quoi.”
Time Out New York, Aug. 15; NYPL blogs, Aug. 6
On August 16 the new government of Malaysia—host of next week’s International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress—repealed a widely criticized law prohibiting “fake news.” The move is being hailed as a landmark moment for human rights by a group of Southeast Asian lawmakers. The bill was rushed through Parliament in April under former Prime Minister Najib Razak despite concerns that it would be used to silence dissent ahead of the May 9 general election. It carried a penalty of up to six years in jail and a fine of $128,000.
Associated Press, Aug. 16
Princess Weekes writes: “For most of my life, I have been anti–romance novels. Up until the last couple of months, I’d never picked one up without rolling my eyes and putting it right back down, and despite all of my feminist growth and stripping away the idea that hyperfeminine things are ‘lesser’ on some level, traditional romance novels had remained something to look down on. I have, thankfully, outgrown that in the past few months, but I really wanted to unpack how I—someone who loves smutty fanfiction, has shipped countless ships throughout my life, and enjoys classic romance movies—could hate romance novels.”
The Mary Sue, Aug. 15
The American Library Association announced today the outcome of a vote by ALA Council to rescind 2018 updates to Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. The vote comes after a swift response from ALA members, leadership, its offices, and library advocates to address concerns regarding the use of the term hate groups. The motion to rescind the 2018 version was approved. Ninety of the 179 councilors were required to vote. Seventy-five percent of those voting were needed to approve the measure. A total of 146 voted on this question, representing 82% of eligible voters. The final tally: 140 voted to rescind, four voted not to rescind, and two abstained. The 2018 Meeting Room interpretation will be removed from ALA’s website. The Library Bill of Rights will revert to the 1991 version of the Meeting Rooms interpretation, which was in effect until the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.
AL: The Scoop, Aug. 16