July 2018 Library Tech Newsbytes

A hand pulling a page out of a book

What's new in library tech! Library tech newsbytes is a collection of fun news items from pretty much anywhere we find them. We hope you enjoy our batch for this month!

Why You Should Become a Library Tourist

Treehugger's Katherine Martinko just sent out a sweet library love letter about "library tourism," which is exactly what it sounds like. It is making pilgrimage to our shrines of knowledge wherever they may be. She says that she got this fun idea via an article in The Daily Beast, titled We Took Our Young Children on a Library World Tour — And It Was Marvellous. Stuart Kells recounts his family's quest to visit several of the most prominent libraries in the world.

Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together

WebJunction announced in early June that the curated and consolidated curriculum, slides, and handouts for its nine-week Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together course are now available for use and adaptation for free.

The curriculum was compiled specifically for library trainers. It covers engagement, editing, and outreach. The idea is to enable librarians to be able to lead Wikipedia training programs at their libraries.

How Beautiful Design Is Keeping Libraries Relevant

Also on the subject of great libraries to visit, CNN did a great piece this spring on gorgeous library spaces around the world in Qatar, Tianjin in China, and the British Library in London. Jamie Andrews there says, "The purpose of a national library has been transformed — in some respects liberated — by the Internet." The town library in Vught, Netherlands, saved a beautiful old church from demolition and turned it into a literal shrine of knowledge. It really does look amazing.

The Right to Browse Controversy at the University of Texas Library

It seemed like a reasonable idea for the University of Texas Library to exchange some of its space taken up by books that hadn't been checked out in years to create a makerspace. They removed thousands of books and put them in storage to make way for laser cutters, virtual reality headsets, sewing machines, and computers with software for editing video and audio. NPR reported that book lovers, led by a professor of art history, united and mounted a protest. They got a college dean to form a task force, which in turn approved renovating the library to create more shelf space for books. UT Vice Provost of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe summed up the controversy: "Libraries are like oxygen. It's easy to take them for granted."


Historypin is a remarkable library resource. It is a nonprofit cultural interactive mapping project. Users simply type in their location, and the free service provides a map and list of cultural and historical gems. The list spans local library historical collections and museums, plus contributions by local storytellers, archivists, and citizen historians.

Historypin is an international project covering 2,600 cities. Its team is spread across London, San Francisco, New Mexico, New Orleans, and Sofia, Bulgaria. Its team can provide training and support materials for community engagement, technical integrations, and measurement and evaluation.

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