With 1.4 million volumes in more than a dozen languages, the Harvard-Yenching Library (MA) has become the third-largest library at Harvard, after Widener and Harvard Law School’s. It is also the largest academic library for East Asian studies in the Western world.Nearly 140 years after a Chinese scholar gave the small collection of books that established the collection, today the Harvard-Yenching’s holdings include 836,523 works in Chinese; 348,873 in Japanese; 179,169 in Korean; 23,979 in Vietnamese; 53,367 in various Western languages; 4,265 in Tibetan; 3,455 in Manchu; and 494 in Mongolian. READ MORE
by Danielle Gamble, courtesy of Olean Times HeraldFlo Leeta, covered in a sparkling white jumpsuit and a pastel wig swirled into a prominent unicorn horn, looked up from the book she had been reading — “Jacob’s New Dress.” She had just gotten to the part where Jacob was being told by his classmates that boys can’t wear dresses.The Buffalo-based drag queen peered at the more than 70 children in front of her at the Olean Public Library with a thoughtful expression under her hot pink eyeshadow.“There are all sorts of ways to be a boy,” she said. “Right?” READ MORE
by Phil Morehart, courtesy of American LibrariesWhether to charge fines for overdue materials is a hot-button topic. The issues are many: Some libraries have halted the practice, citing concerns that fines keep patrons away, while other libraries have kept them in place as vital revenue streams. Fines are also used by some libraries as a method to teach personal responsibility, while other libraries consider that lesson outside the realm of librarianship. We spoke with a librarian on each side of the debate. READ MORE
by Peg Johnson, courtesy of the Intellectual Freedom Blog(Peg Johnson is retiring from librarianship. She is a writer and has composed this tribute to the profession, her passion, her privilege.) READ MORE
Miami, Fla.Dedicated: 1994Partners: Florida Center for the BookThe home of Isaac Bashevis Singer in the Surfside Towers in Miami Beach, Florida was designated a Literary Landmark by the Florida Center for the Book on June 24, 1994. The Nobel prize-winning author lived in the Surfside Towers from 1977 until his death in 1991.Singer was born in Poland and began his studies to become a rabbi in Warsaw. He eventually left rabbinical studies for journalism. He got a job as a reporter in Poland. He emigrated to the United States in 1935 and continued in the journalism field, however, he also started publishing his own works. Singer wrote the stories in Yiddish and then they were translated into English. READ MORE
When Teresa Lucas decided to teach basic life skills to young adults via an “Adulting 101” library program series last year, she was not expecting a media onslaught. But that’s what she got.“We had tens of thousands of Facebook hits, of calls, of emails. It was crazy,” says Lucas, who is assistant director of library services at North Bend (Oreg.) Public Library (NBPL). “Other libraries were saying: ‘Oh, tell me more, tell me more!’ At one point, I could barely keep up.”The frenzy reached its zenith on March 29, when Kelly Ripa, cohost of the nationally syndicated morning talk show Live with Kelly (now Live with Kelly and Ryan), said to much applause from the live audience, “They should offer this everywhere, not just at the North Bend Public Library.” READ MORE
It doesn't take an Einstein to realize the value of libraries, although Albert Einstein himself famously observed, "The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library."That is advice that people in communities far and wide, including Ridgewood, Wayne and Montclair (NJ), have taken to heart for decades.  However, libraries in those municipalities, and across North Jersey, are not merely repositories for books, but also hubs for learning and gathering.It is tax assistance at the Ridgewood Public Library, yoga sessions in front of the Montclair Public Library and reading with therapy dogs in the Wayne Public Library's Preakness Branch.  And the importance of libraries can't be overstated, particularly in New Jersey, when considering recent developments. The interlibrary loan process among the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, which typically handles more than 4,300 interlibrary loans per day among 76 North Jersey libraries, got back to normal only in recent months. This was after the vendor retained to manage interlibrary loans in the state did such a bad job that it led to a backlog of more than 100,000 volumes statewide this year. READ MORE
This spring, patrons of the Bristol Public Library (IN) got a surprise: little cat feet padding through the stacks. Page Turner, the library’s new feline, was a former stray picked up by the Humane Society until the staff found her a home.Dawn Powell, the library’s adult coordinator, explained, “We were looking for a dog, a ‘Paws to Read’ therapy dog. And then we said, ‘What about a rabbit? Something cuddly?’”The staff spent hours at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. And an older cat — the shelter estimated about 9 years old — with her tongue slipping out through missing teeth, caught a librarian’s eye.  “We picked her up and she just laid out in my boss’ arms. ... She’s really cute. Thinking, she’s a little older, she doesn’t have her two front teeth, let’s give her a forever home. We weren’t sure other people would take her,” Powell said. READ MORE
New Orleans, La.Dedicated: June 25th, 1993Partners: Friends of New Orleans Public Library624 Pirate’s Alley was designated a Literary Landmark by the Friends of New Orleans Public Library on June 25th, 1993 in honor of American author William Faulkner. Faulkner lived on the ground floor of the house in 1925.It was at this house in the French Quarter that Faulkner completed his first novel Soldier’s Pay. This was the novel that made Faulkner a famous author. Up until that point he was a starving artist struggling to make it in New Orleans. After the publishing of his first novel, Faulkner left for Paris, however the time spent in the shadow of the St. Louis Cathedral and the gardens in his backyard inspired some of his later novels including Mosquitoes, The Wild Palms, and Pylon. READ MORE
When Edwin Lindo was about 10 years old and growing up in San Francisco’s Mission District, his dad started taking him to a lively hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Radio Habana Social Club. “I’d spend hours looking at books there,” Lindo, now 31, recalls. “And all around me adults were having intense conversations: an Argentinian guy talking about the revolution in his country, a Peruvian talking about Che Guevara — everybody was talking about politics and art and books,” he says. “I loved it. That’s my goal for this place.”This place is Estelita’s Library, a new book haven/conversation hub housed inside The Wine Station on Beacon Hill and set to open on Saturday. (The space was formerly home to The Station coffee shop, which is now thriving in larger digs across the street, next to Roberto Maestas Plaza.) The tiny wine bar, open since October, already had a piano, a ceiling adorned with branches and birds nests (by Seattle artist Briar Bates) and a handful of tables. As of this weekend, it will boast newly installed bookshelves filled end to end. Sporting a beard, a woven-cedar hat and a Cuban guayabera shirt, Lindo is friendly and easygoing. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2012 and now teaches race and law classes there. He has no previous experience running a bookstore or working in a library.“I just love the idea of building community through knowledge,” he says. READ MORE