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The Race To Digitize Iraqi History Before ISIS Can Get To It 

Like so many bully regimes before it, the Islamic State has a talent for propaganda. A big part of that effort is documenting the destruction of everything from architecture to artifacts, even if they’re unwittingly destroying replicas. In Iraq, the cultural heritage is real—and so is the threat. » 8/05/15 7:00pm 8/05/15 7:00pm

A Glimpse Inside the Hidden Vault Where Harvard Keeps Millions of Books

Harvard's flagship library, Widener, is an imposing granite cube built quite literally as shrine to the book. A central alcove cuts through the stacks to show off a prized relic: an original Gutenberg bible. But this is not the heart of Harvard's libraries. No, that would be its cold storage site, an anonymous… » 2/06/15 11:00am 2/06/15 11:00am

95 percent of American public libraries now carry ebooks

Ebooks are the new books. At least that's according to a recent survey by the Library Journal that looked at American public libraries. Ninety-five percent of libraries carry ebook titles. That's up from 89 percent in both 2013 and 2012, when researchers thought that adoption had plateaued for good. » 11/30/14 10:44pm 11/30/14 10:44pm

A Dizzying Drone's-Eye View of How the NY Public Library Sorts Books

Your friendly local librarian hasn't been replaced by technology just yet, but that doesn't mean the library itself hasn't benefitted from a few modern upgrades. Wrangling special-order books and DVDs between the New York Public Libary's 150 branches is a daunting task, but it's actually made surprisingly efficient… » 7/09/14 11:00am 7/09/14 11:00am

Yep, Harvard Really Does Have a Book Bound in Human Skin

This past April brought disappointing (but relieving?) news that a book long suspected to be bound in human skin in Harvard's library was, in fact, bound in sheepskin. Nothing here, move along, right? But no! Now Harvard has confirmed, for the first time ever, one of its other books is indeed sheathed in human skin. » 6/04/14 7:20pm 6/04/14 7:20pm

The Roof of This Sloped Library Doubles as an Awesome Slide

Imagine how much easier it would be to get kids excited about going to the library if the library itself doubled as a playground. That's exactly what's happened in an earthquake-ravaged village in China's Yunnan Province. The town's new library doubles as a community center with a slide on top. And it's beautiful. » 4/09/14 5:40pm 4/09/14 5:40pm

Rediscovering Acres of Forgotten Books In a Grand Old Albany Basement

Amidst endless stories about the death of the printed word and the closing of America's libraries, another issue remains unresolved: What's to be done with all the leftover books? In Albany, administrators at the former State Library are embroiled in a debate over the value of books—and what's "too precious" to throw… » 1/24/14 9:40am 1/24/14 9:40am