March 30, 2015

Industry News

News Briefs for March 2015

IMLS announces finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service; Illinois awards $15.2 million in library grants, and more news briefs from the March 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

New York Public Library to Break Ground on Expansion of Underground Storage at Iconic 42nd Street Building

From the NYPL: The New York Public Library breaks ground this week on a significant expansion of modern underground storage at its iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The project – approved by the Library’s Board of Trustees in September 2012 – will transform 55,700 square feet of raw space […]

KY Appeals Court: Library Taxes Legal

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Library officials across Kentucky exhaled with relief on Friday, March 20, after the state Court of Appeals ruled that systems in two northern counties correctly and legally set their annual tax rate based on a decades-old law that allows revenue to be raised without voter approval. The decision reversed two lower-court verdicts and means the Campbell and Kenton County systems will not have to roll back their tax rates 35 years or more, which would have triggered staff layoffs, branch closures, and other draconian cuts.

State of Vermont’s Public Law Library on “Chopping Block” Along With Other Potential Cuts to State Library Services

From the Rutland Herald: Vermont’s law library is one of many programs potentially on the chopping block due to the state’s nearly $113 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2016. It is the only public law library in Vermont. State Librarian Martha Reid said Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration asked her to make about $471,000 in […]

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

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Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

Official Statement and CEO Letter: OverDrive Sold to Rakuten For $410 Million in Cash

OverDrive was sold to Rakuten, a Japanese company today for $410 million. It’s a cash deal and is scheduled to close next month (April 2015). Overdrive will be part of Rakuten USA. Rakuten is an e-commerce company headquartered in Japan. Here’s a list of Rakuten’s major businesses. The Rakuten announcement notes that OverDrive achieved EBITDA of […]

A New Public Library News Roundup is Now Available (25 Stories From the U.S. and Canada)

Here’s our latest roundup with a selection of public library stories from the U.S. and Canada. Alberta Medicine Hat: Library staff pay increased through new collective agreement (via Medicine Hat News) Arkansas Fayetteville library’s future still unclear after city, court decisions (via Arkansas Online) California Alameda County: Librarian connects incarcerated youths to lesser-known writers (via […]

Lights and Camera In Action at Tampa Bay Libraries

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Libraries in Central Florida are getting ready for their closeup. The Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC), which represents 113 public, academic, school, and special libraries in the Sunshine State, has brought on a full-time videographer to serve each branch, and the consortium as well. Now special events, chats with authors, and even monthly newsletters from TBLC members are getting professional video treatment.

Minnesota Public Radio on a Library Catalog Card Artist

From MPR: Vickie Moore grew up flipping through catalog cards in search of what to read next. Using a computer is certainly more convenient, she admitted, “but it’s not the same as browsing through the card catalog, which was a bit like wandering through a bookstore.” [Clip] An artist by training, she was accustomed to […]

Wikimedia Foundation, ACLU, and Others Sue National Security Agency (NSA) and Justice Dept. Over Mass Surveillance Program

From the Wikimedia Foundation: Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is filing suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States. The lawsuit challenges the NSA’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as “upstream” surveillance. Our aim in […]