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Jennifer Brown: ‘Librarians are the boots on the ground people for me’

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Librarians tend to have their ears to the streets and can measure the pulse of their readers and the books that they like.

In Jennifer Brown’s opinions, librarians are the lifeline to what she does as a young adult author.

So when the 1990 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School reached out to Amy Taylor, a library media specialist at Lee’s Summit West, the genesis was born for a unique partnership that began with a launch party in May shortly after the release of Brown’s latest book “Thousand Words.”

To culminate the partnership, the nationally-acclaimed and award-winning author was at The Stanley in downtown Lee’s Summit, 25 S.E. Third Street, Aug. 24 for a special reading, signing and luncheon hosted by librarians from each of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District’s high schools.

34-year-old wallet found during library remodel

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It wasn't a rare novel, but workers remodeling the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro made quite a find. A wallet from 1979 was found tucked inside the electrical box of the library. Inside the wallet were four ID cards, including a bartender's license, for Joshie South, then living in Forest Grove. 

Police believe the wallet may belong to a Joshie South, now 60 years old and living in Brooklyn, NY. However, South has not returned their calls. 

The electrical box also contained a rusty knife, but they don't believe it's connected to the wallet. As for how the wallet ended up in the box, nobody seems to know.

Seed lending library sprouts in West Concord

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Enter the Fowler Branch of the Concord Free Public Library with anyone under the age of 30 and you might find yourself explaining the purpose of that big wooden contraption with all the tiny knobs.

“It’s a card catalog,” you might venture. “In those drawers are little cards with book titles, authors, and call numbers typed on them to help patrons find books.”

But actually, you’d be wrong. This rather old piece of furniture, which was recently transported here from a New Hampshire genealogical society, serves a very new purpose. Inside its wooden drawers are small plastic packets of seeds.

Books, blogs... and a bacon bookmark at library

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You might think a librarian wouldn’t have all that much to write about – “Shelved a book, stamped a book, said ‘Shhh’” – but you’d be wrong.

Spend enough time working in a library and you gather a stock of stories to rival some of the tales on the shelves.

Swindon’s include The Horror of the Sinister Receipt, The Mystery of the Thong and The Letter from Lord Lucan.

The greatest of all, though, and the only one Kelly has so far shared with the public, is The Bacon Incident.

British Library Grant Helps Duke Preserve Tibetan Manuscripts

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Duke University has received a grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme to digitize and preserve a trove of ancient religious manuscripts related to Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.

Once digitized, the manuscripts will be made freely available online through the British Library, giving scholars around the world access to an important archive of religious texts that were previously accessible only by traveling to a monastery in a remote part of the Indian Himalayas.

How libraries have (and haven’t) changed

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I have been working in libraries for 43 years. I was recently asked about the biggest changes I have seen. I can think of three.

First, technology. When I was a teenager in the ’60s, I had a friend who built a homemade computer in his basement with little metal switches. Yes, really. How things have changed!

We have automated our routine tasks – from checking items in and out, to locating them in the catalog and signing up for programs. Our website provides an electronic “door” to the world and to the library. People can access our electronic resources 24 hours a day from home. And we provide free, unfiltered access to the Internet for whatever people want to do.

Bringing the Hulk to the Northlake Public Library

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Don’t you want to live in a world where libraries have statues of comic book characters, 3D printers, and professional quality graphic design hardware/software? We do too, which was why we recently launched a crowd sourced fundraiser using the platform Indiegogo to buy a nine foot tall Incredible Hulk Statue, a Replicator 2, an iMac, and a Cintiq pen display. The initial idea came from a community member who thought it would be a good idea to have a giant Hulk statue in the library to help promote and purchase more comics and graphic novels, especially creator-owned and indie titles.

Stephen and Tabitha King offer to cover one-third of $9 million Bangor library renovation, if library finds ways to foot the rest of the bill

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BANGOR, Maine — Authors Stephen and Tabitha King have pledged $3 million toward renovations at Bangor’s century-old public library, as long as the library reaches its goal of raising another $6 million, according to the library’s director.

The Bangor Public Library has kicked off a $9 million fundraising effort in an attempt to modernize its building for the next generation of users and to protect its more than 500,000 volumes, Director Barbara McDade said Tuesday. 

The Kings offered to pay one-third of that bill as long as the library figured out how to come up with the rest.

Library wedding proposal: one for the books: Chicago ad exec Jason Methner wrote a marriage proposal into a children’s book — and tricked his girlfriend into finding it.

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A 31-year-old Chicago advertising executive has written a marriage proposal that is one for the books, portraying himself as a tortoise and his girlfriend as the hare (or, in this case, bunny).

Jason Methner is the creative mind behind the illustrated account of his relationship with his girlfriend, Molly Lipsitz.

He had the book, titled A Hare-y Tale, illustrated by friend Yoni Limor and placed the bound volume among the “new arrivals” in a Chicago library for his 27-year-old girlfriend to find.

The book refers to some of the activities they have done as a couple in their 4½-year relationship.