August 1, 2014

Tomorrow, Visualized | Library by Design

MACROVISION High-def MacroTiles make up a giant screen in the NCSU Hunt Library’s iPearl Immersion Theater. 
Photo by Marc Hall/ NCSU

As I got ready to tour the James B. Hunt Jr. ­Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, last spring, as part of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting held nearby, the buzz about the newly unveiled building had reached such a level that I expected to find it, however cool, overhyped. It wasn’t. It was exactly the right amount of hyped. “Every corner of the Hunt Library is designed to be memorable and stunning,” the library’s vision claims. Grandiose as that might sound, those corners deliver.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt To Go Public

Major publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) filed plans with the SEC to go public, offering shares to the public worth up to $100 million.

University of Iowa Library IDs Tiny Tome

The mystery book

University of Iowa outreach librarian Colleen Theisen’s recent social media efforts are proof that outreach can create new connections inside as well as outside the library, leading to new discoveries. On August 2, Theisen started a series of Facebook posts highlighting the largest, smallest, and oldest items in the libraries’ collection. For smallest, on August 5, she posted about a book so small it couldn’t be identified. Theisen’s post caught the attention of the libraries’ conservator Giselle Simón, who informed Theisen that the library had a new microscope. Using this more powerful tool, the library was able to identify the book.

Finding Bigfoot in the Stacks

Bigfoot Hunting foot cast and folder

Columbus State Community College’s Delaware, OH, Campus Learning Center starts its information literacy outreach early—really early. The library doesn’t just reach out to new students, or even prospective students. It’s starting with elementary school students, thanks to a campus-wide partnership between the college and the Delaware City School District.

MIT, JSTOR Filings Delay Release of Swartz FOIA Documents

Aaron Swartz at SOPA rally

Citing concerns about the privacy of employees and the security of their networks, both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and nonprofit JSTOR have filed motions intervening in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks to obtain Secret Service documents regarding internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Update: Miami Dade Library To Close Branches

Students at the Opa-locka branch library

Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) will have to cut 22 branches (out of 49), and 251 jobs, as well as reducing hours across the board, the Miami Herald reported on July 15. According to the Herald, the libraries were chosen based on geography and on whether they’re based in county-owned buildings or rented storefronts.

Baker & Taylor Owner Buys Bookmasters; Companies Form Strategic Partnership

Major distributor Baker & Taylor will offer publisher services to its customers via a new strategic partnership with Bookmasters, the company announced on July 10. The move comes as private equity firm Castle Harlan acquired Bookmasters; that purchase was also announced yesterday. Castle Harlan had previously acquired Baker & Taylor in July 2006 for about $455 million.

Update: Second Suit Filed to Halt NYPL Central Renovation

This illustration from NYPL shows where the new circulating library would replace existing stacks, whose contents would go into storage under Bryant Park and in New Jersey.

Only July 10, the group Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), together with a coalition of scholars, authors, and preservationists, filed a lawsuit against the trustees of the New York Public Library (NYPL) to stop the demolition and removal of the stacks that support the Rose Reading Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, as part of a major redesign and renovation of the central library. The move follows a separate suit to halt the plan which was filed by different plaintiffs a week earlier, both with the New York Supreme Court.

ALA Annual Features High Traffic, Energy | ALA Annual 2013

Robust crowds showed for the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, which took place in Chicago June 28-July 2. Total attendance topped more than 26,000, dramatically higher than 2011 and 2012, which both came in at about 20,000. In addition to the greater total attendance, ALA’s recent initiative to condense programming into fewer, closer locations meant more bodies physically on site, garnering grateful shout-outs from several attendees on Twitter. The combination of more attendees and fewer competing venues also led to excellent traffic in the exhibits, several vendors told LJ, and a sense of intensity that attendees welcomed.

Authors Guild Loses Class Action Status

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated Judge Denny Chin’s 2012 grant of class action status to the Authors Guild in its long-running suit against Google Books. The panel called the certification “premature.” It added that the court should first have decided on the merits of Google’s fair use defense, which, the court said, “will necessarily inform and perhaps moot our analysis of many class certification issues.”