Will you lose your library?

The library is the last, best socialized institution in America today and you’re about to lose it, Democrats Ramshield says at the DailyKos.

Library budgets have become low hanging fruit for conservative local and state politicians. Louisiana is the worse case in point where Gov. Bobby Jindal has eliminated state library funding all together. It begs the question: will your state be next?

Losing our libraries

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But here, a brand new library

While libraries are losing funding all over the country, there are bright spots. Here in my hometown, Bellingham WA, a new branch library has opened in Sudden Valley minutes from where I live.

We visited it yesterday and it was still smelling of paint and polish. And new books. They’ve barely taken the price stickers off the shelving.

Newborn little library.

That makes the writer/reader in me very happy.

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Breaking Out of the Library Mold in Boston and Beyond

The Boston Public Library, founded in 1848, is moving rapidly in a new direction, Katharine Seelye reports in the NYT. It’s breaking out of its granite shell to show an airier, more welcoming side to the passing multitudes. It will have new retail space, a souped-up section for teenagers, and a bar where patrons can bring their laptops and look out over Boylston Street.

You’ll be able to sit here and work and see the world go by,” said Amy Ryan, president of the library. “We’re turning ourselves outward.

Boston libaryThe Boston Public Library’s major renovation project is underway at its Johnson building. Credit Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

Such plans might shock anyone who thought that in the digital age, libraries — those hushed sanctuaries of the past — had gone the way of the Postal Service.

 “Just the opposite,” said Susan Benton, president and chief executive of the Urban Libraries Council. “Physical visits and virtual visits are off the charts.”

Future libraries

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10 Cats Who Live at the Library

A library can operate without a cat, but a library with a cat is special, Miss Cellania writes at Mental Floss.

They draw new patrons to the library, they make people smile, calm the staff, and they keep mice away. Some also work to promote literacy, library use, and pet adoption. And curling up with a cat and a good book is a pleasant way to spend time at the local library.

 PennyPenny has lived at the Swansea Public Library in Massachusetts for nine years. She’s quite popular with library patrons, and sits on the front desk in order to be petted by everyone who checks out or returns books

EmmaEmma lives at the Lyme Public Library in Lyme, Connecticut. She is often referred to as the Queen, has her favorite stool at the library that no one else dares sit on, and her own Twitter feed.

Library cats

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NASA unveils a gorgeous new gallery of celestial images

To get you sufficiently pumped for the new Cosmos series, NASA has put together a stunning set of 43 cosmic images that are guaranteed to instill a sense of wonder and awe. Images and captions via NASA/JPL/Hubble

The Carina NebulaThe Carina Nebula

 GanymedeNASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has caught Jupiter’s moon Ganymede playing a game of “peek-a-boo.” In this crisp Hubble image, Ganymede is shown just before it ducks behind the giant planet.

 GanymedeThe icy surface of Europa is shown strewn with cracks, ridges and “chaotic terrain,” where the surface has been disrupted and ice blocks have moved around. New laboratory experiments show that water ice and frozen sulfur dioxide react even at the frigid temperatures of Europa.

Hubble and the universe

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19 Things Women Writers Are Sick Of Hearing

The Buzzfeed staff asked 19 female writers at the annual AWP conference what they are tired of being told. Here’s what they wrote.

Hate men?

 Dumbass question

What they’re asked

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Photos of People Holding Book Covers Over Their Faces

Dianna Dilworth reports at Galley Cat about book-related selfies.

Corpus Libris is dedicated to photos of people holding book covers in front of their faces aligned proportionally. The photos are pretty amazing, as images from book covers are split with images of real people. To submit a photo, here are the instructions: “Just take a book and hold it in front of your body.”bookselfie1Some great shots from the StudyStore UvT at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

bookselfie2YYAAAAAAASSSS I’VE INFECTED THEM WITH THE CORPUS LIBRIS FEVER!!!!!

Corpus Libris was created by Emily Pullen on a boring Thursday night at Skylight Books in Los Angeles in 2008.

Corpus Libris

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Quote of the Day

A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

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Alma Alexander

Check out my books

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Comments welcome. What do you think?

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