Amanda Pagan writes: “The modern romance novel has its origins in the romantic fiction of the 18th and 19th centuries. In novels such as Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, the gothic romances of Ann Radcliffe, and the works of Jane Austen, readers were introduced to a new form of fiction, one that primarily focused on the lives and struggles of female protagonists. Although modern romance novels have expanded to include both authors and protagonists of different genders, races, sexualities, and abilities, historically, romance novels separate themselves from other genres by being primarily written by women, for women, and about women.”
New York Public Library blogs, Feb. 15
A New Mexico teenager convicted of opening fire and killing two people at Clovis-Carver Public Library on August 28, 2017, will spend decades in prison before being eligible for parole under a sentence imposed February 15 by a state district judge. Judge James Hudson made his decision after hearing emotional testimony during a three-day proceeding. He sentenced Nathaniel Jouett as an adult to two life sentences that will run concurrently plus 40 years in prison for carrying out the shooting. Jouett pleaded guilty to 30 felony counts, including two first-degree murder charges for the deaths of library employees Wanda Walters and Krissie Carter. He seriously wounded four other people.
Associated Press, Feb. 15
Planning to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece, this year? With generous support from a variety of sources, grants and awards are available every year to help delegates attend the conference, providing financial support to cover registration and other costs (travel, accommodation, daily expenses). While some grants focus on certain regions or career stages, others are open to all. Be sure to read through the descriptions, check the eligibility criteria for each of the grants, and apply for the most suitable one for better success.
International Relations Round Table Blog, Feb. 18
In November 2018, the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France launched a joint project, putting “800 manuscripts decorated before the year 1200 available freely” online on two websites. Both institutions provided 400 manuscripts each for digitization. One website, “France-England: Medieval Manuscripts between 700 and 1200,” has been created by the Bibliothèque nationale de France based on the Gallica marque blanche infrastructure. The other, “Medieval England and France, 700–1200,” is aimed at a wider public audience and was developed by the British Library to showcase a selection of manuscripts, as well as articles, essays, and video clips.
Open Culture, Feb. 15
Douglas Fraser writes: “A group of financiers set up a gem of a library in 2013, dedicated to learning from financial fiascos and failures. The Library of Mistakes opened in Edinburgh five years after Royal Bank of Scotland experienced a record £24.1 billion loss for 2008. Its mission: to learn how things went wrong in the past and, in particular, how things went badly wrong with money. Its motto is Mundum mutatu errore singillatim—changing the world one mistake at a time. I’d expected something academic and dry. Far from it. This venture is at risk of celebrating failure rather than examining it, and the more spectacular the better.”
BBC News, Feb. 16
The Egyptian National Library in Cairo has been restored to its former glory with financial support from the United Arab Emirates backed by Egyptian resolve to defy terrorism. The library was devastated in January 2014 by a car bomb explosion that targeted the adjacent Cairo Security Directorate. The bombing damaged the library’s façade, windows, furniture, and shelves. “We were fortunate that most of the ancient manuscripts and books of the library were not ruined,” said Aida Abdel Ghani, the library’s director-general. “The manuscripts that were damaged were rushed to the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Antiquities for repair.”
Arab Weekly, Feb. 17
Gothenburg City Library in Sweden currently has two mobile libraries in operation, visiting about 70 mobile library stops and 110 preschools. In 2019, the city library decided to invest in more modern and environmentally friendly vehicles by purchasing two new all-electric Volvo buses. They are scheduled to replace the existing mobile libraries in July 2020. The vehicles could keep going for more hours than the current bookmobiles. The new electric buses will operate all around the city, accessing even the Gothenburg inner-city green zone.
The Mayor EU, Feb. 18