“The Public” is out in select theaters now!

Unfortunately the closest “select theaters” are in the Chicago suburbs, but still, we’re excited about it and you should be too. Addressing the issues of homelessness and mental health, public libraries, Emilio Estevez! How could we not be interested?

If you can’t make it to a theater showing it just keep it in mind for when it gets a wider release or, more likely, is out on DVD. In the meantime, check it out and, if you think it looks promising, pass it along.

Christian Slater, Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Jeffrey Wright in The Public (2018)

A particularly brutal Arctic blast (sounds familiar) has hit downtown Cincinnati, including the public library, where most of the film takes place. Library officials and some homeless patrons are at odds over how to handle the dangerous weather event. When the patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in, what begins as an act of civil disobedience escalates to a stand-off with police with the rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening (sounds familiar too). This story tackles some of our society’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness, and is set in one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: the public library.

So, not topical or relevant at all then.

Just kidding. Obviously.

Watch the trailer!

Attention Louisa May Alcott Fans!

This is your chance to see it on the (relatively) big screen (at the Moline Library)! 

little women

314 Rare Books Valued at Over $5 Million Stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Suspects but No Answers in Rare Book Theft at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library

by Bob WarburtonApril 3, 2018, first appearing in Library Journal

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Via Wikimedia Commons

Investigators from the Allegheny County, PA, District Attorney’s Office continue to remain silent on the theft of 314 rare books, folios, maps, and other items from the rare materials room at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh(CLP), although one official there confirmed that “suspect(s) have been identified.”

The thefts, discovered during an insurance appraisal last spring, were first made public in March. CLP released a full list of the missing items. No arrests have been reported, although law enforcement officials have said very little so far about the case. There is no word as to whether any of the materials have been recovered.

Detectives asked the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) to circulate the list of missing treasures among its members so they could alert authorities in Pittsburgh if any items are spotted in shops, Susan Benne, the organization’s executive director, said. The rare books in particular, she told LJ, would carry CLP markings on the spine or other labels, making them fairly easy to spot if a seller tried to interest a rare bookstore or dealer in buying these items.

On the list of stolen items are ten volumes published before the year 1500 and many more from the 17th century. There is a first edition of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton, published in 1687, as well as a 1776 first edition of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

Other notable items include a volume of Homer from 1561, an 1898 memoir from suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton called Eighty Years or More (1815–1897), a 1908 letter signed by William Jennings Bryan, and a lesson book from 1864 Richmond, VA, called The Confederate Reader: Containing Selections in Prose and Poetry as Reading Exercises for Children in the Schools and Families of the Confederate States.

“This is a great loss to the Pittsburgh community,” Suzanne Thinnes, CLP’s manager for communications, said in a widely released statement that has been the library’s lone public comment on the matter. “Trust is a very important component of what we do on a daily basis and we take very seriously the security of all collections.”

Thinnes added, “As of now, suspect(s) have been identified and additional details will be shared by the District Attorney’s office at a later date.”

Asked about the police investigation, Mike Manko, the chief spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, said only, “I wouldn’t have any comment on that.”

There remained no word as to when law enforcement officials would go public with more information on the CLP theft. Thinnes’s statement said, “We look forward to sharing our story once legal proceedings are complete.”

Read on…

What’s this about an eclipse now?

EclipseI’m sure you have heard that there is going to be an eclipse in a couple of weeks… Unless you have been abroad or asleep for the last month and this is the very first thing that you chose to read upon returning/waking (I’m flattered), in which case here’s the gist; August 21, moon, sun, shadow. It’s a big deal.

While you are prepping your eclipse party and finding special viewing glasses, here is a quick list a eclipse appropriate tunes to get you in the mood for this particular astronomical event.

Songs to get you ready for total eclipse

Which is your go-to eclipse song? I’ve got to go with Bill Withers personally.

Print Is Back!

According to a Nielsen report from the beginning of this year, ebook sales were down 16% in 2016. As a result something incredible happened, something many people thought would never happen again – print books out-sold ebooks last year!

Well, it never really left. And it isn’t so much that print is growing as it is that eBooks have just taken a hit…

YPrint v Digitalou can read the Publisher’s Weekly article here for all the details. In essence, the rising prices of ebooks and waning sales of dedicated ereaders (which lead people to buy more ebooks because that is all the devices can be used for) has lead to a decline in ebook sales. The results?

It is early to tell, but it might just mean that print book lovers don’t have to worry about losing their beloved paper anytime soon; but that doesn’t necessarily mean that ebook readers should start recycling their Kindles either. As was previously blogged, an ebook reader is likely to be a print reader as well, and print readers are the ones most likely to start reading ebooks – readers are readers. It might just mean that the two formats can share the market more equally than originally anticipated, peacefully coexisting. Books, as always, point the way for the rest of us.

 

This just in: People still read books!

The Gallup Polls report, “Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated“, from January of this year shows that Americans are still reading just as much as they were 10, even 25, years ago. Even in spite of the advent of new technologies and the ever-growing list of other forms of entertainment and information.

Gallup

“Bottom Line

Despite Americans’ ability to access more information, social networks, games and media than ever before, as well as the lingering rumors of the book’s demise, Americans still say they are reading books.

Additionally, while some have alleged that technology would displace printed books, this shift has not been as swift as expected. In fact, recent industry data show that sales of printed books have been increasing. While it is unclear if Americans are reading books only partially, reading shorter books or reading lower-quality books than they used to, the fact that they are reading just as many books as they were 15 years ago could signify welcome news to aspiring authors and publishers.

This suggests that book reading is a classic tradition that has remained a constant in a faster-paced world, especially in comparison to the slump of other printed media such as newspapers and magazines.”

Gallup, Inc. “Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated.” Gallup.com. N.p., 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.