The two services that operate interlibrary loans, deliver books across the province, and provide support and training for library staff have taken a huge budget hit from the Ontario government. The Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North will see their budgets halved for the 2019–2020 fiscal year. “We’ve pretty well been operating with no increases for quite a long time,” said Barbara Franchetto, chief executive officer of the southern service, where government funding is dropping from $3.1 million to $1.5 million.
Toronto Star, Apr. 18
Many New England towns claim to have the oldest libraries in their state. In New Hampshire, for example, the Portsmouth Athenaeum was founded as a private library in 1817, 16 years before the Peterborough Town Library. But Peterborough, funded by taxpayers from the start, claims to be the oldest tax-supported library. But this list is limited to the oldest libraries that lend books. So Peterborough in, Portsmouth out. Here are six of the oldest libraries in New England, one in each state.
New England Historical Society
As American communities face increasing levels of social and economic division, a new report showcases how five US cities are reimagining public spaces—parks, trails, plazas, libraries—to bring residents together and revive neglected neighborhoods. The report, Common Goals, Different Approaches, commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, traces projects in Akron, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia to revitalize and connect civic assets as a means to influence positive social and economic outcomes. The efforts are part of the “Reimagining the Civic Commons” initiative.
Knight Foundation, Apr. 18
Jennifer Nalewicki writes: “Inside Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, a library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, are shelves upon shelves of archival boxes, each carefully labeled with its specific contents—a perfectly preserved carcass of a ring-necked pheasant nestled in one, a mounted black rockfish in another. The collection has grown to include hundreds of specimens, making ARLIS the only known library in the US to hold such a taxidermic trove. It is not only open to the public, but its items can be checked out just like one would a library book—the only thing you need is an Anchorage public library card.”
Smithsonian, Apr. 18
The LGBTQ community wants to be normal, not controversial. That’s what community members and library staff told Anne Arundel County (Md.) Library trustees at an April 17 meeting. Although this year’s 16 mainly LGBTQ-centered programs are already being planned, the board heard a second round of public comment. The programs were deemed “possibly controversial” by libraries CEO Skip Auld, in accordance with library policy. But there’s still confusion over whether the board should be required to vote on programming.
Annapolis (Md.) Capital-Gazette, Apr. 18
This year’s IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece, August 24–30 will take you on another brilliant adventure. Exciting sessions, workshops, library visits, endless networking opportunities and on top of that a cultural evening set in one of the most prominent landmarks in the city. This not-to-be-missed event will take place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre located in Kallithea neighborhood. The WLIC early registration deadline is May 15; ALA members can register at the IFLA member rate through ALA’s member code US-0002.
IFLA WLIC Newsletter, Apr.
Victor Hugo’s classic 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame has jumped to the top of Amazon France’s bestseller list following the cathedral’s devastating fire on April 15. As of April 18 there were four separate editions of the novel in the online store’s top 10 list, with a number of books on the building’s history, including one retailing at €85, also seeing a spike in sales. More than €800 million has been raised to help rebuild the famous Gothic cathedral.Two French booksellers are calling for publishers of Hugo’s book to make a donation to the fund, the BBC has reported.
The Bookseller (UK), Apr. 18