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Why Do We Need Libraries?

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Each week, Miss Kathleen provides links to a variety of stories about libraries, authors, and books. If there's something fun going on in your local library, leave us a comment!

Books as a decorative theme -- there's always something new to see! Here's a great picture a reader shared recently. You can see more great mosaics here.
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Controversy of the week: a high school English teacher has written "adult" novels, and that makes some parents pretty upset. Watch the news clip. Doesn't seem so criminal to me!
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Jennifer Egan just won the Pulitzer Prize, but did she also just start a little female-authors catfight?
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Question of the week, which was asked by reader Ryan under another mental_floss post: why do we need libraries? Here's his whole comment:

"I’m not trying to be inflammatory here, but WHY do we need libraries? We don’t have video stores any more what with Netflix, redbox and streaming movies. I admit, I like libraries too as I’m a big reader, but it seems ridiculous to keep spending tax money on something that’s become obsolete, just because I like it."

Looking forward to reading your responses.

You want the future of the book? Well here it is! This is pretty much the best example I've seen of an "interactive" book. Wait for the magic at the 2:40 mark.
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You must check out this great ad campaign from a Lithuanian bookshop: Become someone else. Well done!
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Is this the future of reading? There are books in them there clouds!
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Or, if you are tied to the ole printed-and-bound book, check out this unique marketing scheme. Wish I could go. If you have been, please let me know!
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But back to TED talks -- there are so many, how do you know which ones are worthwhile? Try this post on for size: 5 TED Talks Librarians Should Watch.
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Here's a fun video to end with, and a great idea of what to do with all those leftover or unwanted books -- make a xylophone!
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Don't forget! We are still collecting photos of your own libraries! Email me the pictures of your personal library, or the library you use most (AtTheLibraries@gmail.com) and we’ll compile them as a special post soon. See previous editions of At the Libraries here.

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At the Libraries: The Best Books of 2013
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ThinkStock

Have you seen the best-of-the-year round ups yet? The New York Times, Amazon, and Publisher's Weekly are all very thorough.

I think I'm going with Longbourne by Jo Baker, but Thank You For Your Service was also a book I'll never forget. I'm very 'meh' on The Goldfinch. What was your favorite?

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Here are some hilarious ideas for organizing your library or book store shelves!

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New blog alert! If you want to know what it's like to work at a library via GIFs, try Librarian Problems.

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All those awards—won't someone think of the poor judges who have to read all those books? Here's one sob story. (Well, OK, it's not all bad, but it is pretty funny.)
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Books are great, but what are the best libraries of 2013? Funny you should ask... 

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One of my favorite round-ups every year is 100 Scope Notes' Children's lit year in miscellanea. Best Cake of the Year? Travis covers it!

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I guess I need to read this Emily of New Moon book, if she's #1 on the list of Classic YA heroines, huh?

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Nothing like a little library porn to brighten your new year!

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A big news story this year was Amazon's plan to use drones for delivery. But did you see what Waterstone's plan is? Way better.

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How about another great list? This one is the best librarians in pop culture! You have seen Party Girl, right?

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File this story under: Things about which we need more detail. A giant slide was built to move 22 miles worth of books. Tell me more, please!

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Here's some cool looking libraries in Mexico!

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Which book on your library shelf probably has herpes? I think this one is totally guessable, guys...
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Time to spotlight some great bookshelves. This one keeps you balanced. But this one is shaped like a robot, so it's basically no contest.

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Confess your secret shame here, librarians!

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I am kind of depressed that my state's most famous book is a Nicholas Sparks, but oh well. This is still a very cool map.

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Recycling books can be a lot harder than it sounds. Check out how one library was able to instead reduce and reuse 10,000 books!

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Let's get back to drones for the ending of our column. Have you seen the video of the NYPL shot by a drone? It's surprisingly beautiful.

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Happy New Year, everyone!

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bizjournals.com
At the Libraries: The Bookstore that Comes to You
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bizjournals.com

Just like a food truck, but less messy!

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These are great posters for reading. I'll take one of each; thanks!

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So, tell me straight: do you finish every book, or are you able to quit in the middle? I gave myself permission to quit a few years ago and it was VERY liberating. Life's too short, y'all!

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We've seen lots of tiny libraries, but I don't think I've seen THESE tiny libraries yet. Apparently there are ten in Manhattan—anyone seen or used one yet?

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Speaking of tiny, this 5-year-old, who has read 875 books this school year, is my tiny hero!

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Do books with girl characters have "girly" covers? One of my favorite YA authors, Maureen Johnson, inspired these great gendered cover flips. I think the David Sedaris is the best.

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Oh dear, these Park Slope parents have the most unusual library complaint.

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2131 books = a new world record and a bit of a clean-up nightmare, but I'm sure the Seattle Public Library would say it was all worth it.

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I love this art project—turn old bricks into books!

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Or, if you have old books instead of old bricks, you can turn them into sculptures instead.

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Or maybe you just want to paint some books? Check out these quirky watercolors for inspiration!

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Remember The World Book Encyclopedia? Ever done a "Dork Bowl?"

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Would you read these books, too? Maybe you should write one!

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If you need some heartwarming stories to read today, try the Libraries Changed My Life tumblr. They sure changed mine!

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I love it when we can end on a video. Here's a great one, but warning—it's pretty sad, as you can tell from the title:
Out-of-Work Librarian Blues.

Best of luck to her.

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Thanks as always for reading, and have a great June! See you all next month.

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