libraries

Public Domain

The Boston Public Library is working with local and federal law enforcement to find two missing pieces of artwork worth more than $600,000.  It’s not clear if the works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer were stolen or misplaced.

Boston is home to one of the country’s first great public libraries: the Boston Public Library. Founded in the middle of the 19th century, it is free to all, offering a public space and access to a world of books and ideas.

For generations, Americans have embraced public libraries as essential civic institutions — but now, in the age of Google, Wikipedia, Amazon and Kindle, traditional libraries face an existential quandary. With so much information so easily accessible, who needs libraries and their musty stacks of books?

David King / Creative Commons

Dozens of Connecticut librarians rallied at the Capitol building in Hartford Wednesday to oppose nearly $4 million in cuts in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed two-year budget.

Alexander Gardner / Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University

Yale University's Beinecke Library announced the purchase of more than 57,000 photographic prints this week, primarily of President Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and American life in the 1860s.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library acquired the collection, which also includes books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides for a total of over 73,000 items from the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation.

Controversial Painting Defaced In Trumbull

Mar 12, 2015
Courtesy of Trumbull Library

A controversial painting at the Trumbull Library in Trumbull, Connecticut was defaced on Wednesday. The incident occurred while the library board met to hear public debate over the issue in a nearby room.

Courtesy of Trumbull Library

   

A painting featuring prominent female activists has been removed from the Trumbull Public Library by the town’s First Selectman Tim Herbst after a local pastor raised a concern about using Mother Teresa’s image in a painting alongside Margaret Sanger, which some see as controversial. 

David Flores / Creative Commons

After decades of assumption that Harper Lee was a one-book literary legend, the discovery of her novel Go Set a Watchman has the public on an emotional roller coaster. Questions about Lee’s consent, the management of her estate, the quality of the work, and the timing of the discovery are the subject of debate across the American literary landscape.

The discovery of the manuscript, however, opens an even bigger door of curiosity: what else is out there?

Sometime in March, Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice of the institution that will hold his presidential archive. Vying for the honor (and the money that comes with it) are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language spelling of the state's name).

The daily lowdown on books, publishing and the occasional author behaving badly.

For a public library to expect to survive today, it must begin to take crucial cues from coffee shops. At least, that's the key recommendation offered by a much-anticipated report on British public libraries, which is set to be released Thursday.

Hartford Public Library

Two valuable Romare Bearden murals were delivered Friday to the Hartford Public Library after being salvaged from the nearby XL Center, which is undergoing a renovation.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

All children look forward to summer vacation, but when they're not in class, some of these kids also miss out on free meals and snacks. To feed more children, Hartford Public Schools has expanded its summer food program to libraries.

Ross MacDonald and Tony DiTerlizzi

Some of America's favorite children’s book authors will visit Newtown this weekend including the creators of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Ella Enchanted, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They’ll go to schools and talk with students on Friday and participate Saturday in panels and workshops.

Griffin Hospital in Derby says it has tested about 750 patients for hepatitis, HIV and other infections . This comes after an announcement last month that staff had been misusing insulin pens dating back to 2008.

New State E-books System Taking Effect In July

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The story of Josh Hanagarne isn't necessarily funny. He was born with Tourette Syndrome, a poorly understood neuropsychiatric disorder which inflicts on Josh a blizzard of tics, flinches, whoops and yelps.  Most disconcertingly, he frequently hits himself in the face.

Josh's first refuge was books, and that led to a career as a librarian. His second refuge was playing the guitar, which somehow distracted his mind from the triggers producing the tics. And his third refuge was exercise, specifically strength and weight training. 

Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

Ed Wierzbicki / CPBN

It was evident from Saturday’s grand finale of "Hartford Loves Poetry: A Community Celebration" that the city loves the sound and soul of its many voices. It was also proof that people are thirsty for authentic human stories told aloud by their neighbors that creatively reflect ancestry and history.

Hartford Public Library

Each year, the federal agency that supports libraries and museums recognizes 30 outstanding institutions for service to the community. This year, four finalists are in Connecticut. 

They include the Otis Library in Norwich, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, and Mystic Aquarium in Mystic.

Evelyn Giggles on Flickr Creative Commons

Wandering the vast labyrinth of useless information, you might encounter some people having a debate about the last person who knew everything. This is a great, and also pretty hopeless debate, because it requires a judgment about what all the useful information in the world might have been and who was capable of knowing it. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A public library is probably not the first location that leaps to mind when you think about an ideal venue for jazz. What you want is a  cozy, intimate refuge where you can hear every note played; aren’t seated a dehumanizing, football field length away from far distant performers; and are surrounded by a genuinely attentive, appreciative audience of kindred souls who are at least as much into the music as you are.

Raysonho / Creative Commons

Southern Connecticut State University is holding a weekend meeting for students affected by news that the library science graduate program has lost its national accreditation

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are looking to create an entirely digital public library

   The director of the Springfield City Library is pursuing funding to use a recently closed branch library as a place where people could sit at computer terminals to access the internet and take out hand-held electronic reading devices on-loan loaded with downloaded books--but visitors would not find any paper copies of books. 

Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University's master of library science program is no longer nationally accredited. Earlier this month, the American Library Association heard Southern's appeal of a June decision to withdraw accreditation. Yet on Monday, October 28, the school was notified the ALA has upheld its original decision. The program had been on probation for several issues, including an outdated curriculum, and faculty productivity.

Lauren Manning / Creative Commons

Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library opened its doors 50 years ago this month. The library is celebrating this weekend with a series of events that incorporate items from their collection.

Southern Connecticut State University

The national organization responsible for accrediting graduate library programs has voted to withdraw its accreditation of Southern Connecticut State University. The chair of the university's library program is asking them to reconsider.

J Holt

Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.

When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.

katerha/flickr creative commons

The Book Show gang joins Faith live with recommendations in all categories. And we’ll take your calls! What’re you reading? What’ve you recently read and loved? Are you a librarian? A teacher? Are you part of a book club? Call us!

 

Brenda Clarke/flickr creative commons

The Book Show gang joins Faith live with recommendations in all categories. And we’ll take your calls! What’re you reading? What’ve you recently read and loved? Are you a librarian? A teacher? Are you part of a book club? Call us!

 

Catie Talarski

Libraries might be changing faster than just about any other part of public life. These civic institutions were known for more than a century for their voluminous stacks of books and quiet spaces - now, they’re all about public events, high-tech connectivity, even 3-D printing!

A Look at Libraries

Mar 18, 2013
Calsidyrose/flickr creative commons

Think about your local library. Do you still picture a dusty old building full of dusty old books? Do you imagine little old ladies with their glasses down at the ends of their noses, shushing you every time you speak?

Today we’ll check in with the libraries of the 21st century. Ebooks, the Internet, audiobooks. Music, movies, videogames. Coffee bars, couches, comic books… And no shushing? It’s a whole new world in the world of libraries.

Photo by Chion Wolf

Young people still go to public libraries according to a recent study by Pew Research Center.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, teens continue to visit libraries despite the popularity of using digital devices to consume media. 

The Pew study found that sixty percent of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 use their local library. In a traditional sense, libraries offer printed materials and special programming for patrons.  Some libraries even have teen librarians on staff. But that's not always possible depending on budget constraints.

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