libraries Archive

Modelling Borges's Library of Babel in Sketchup

Jorge Luis Borges’s short story The Library of Babel describes an infinite library containing all possible books (“its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite … Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps”). For years, online Borges fandom has occupied itself with resolving the story’s description of the Library’s architecture into visual and physical renderings. Now, JWZ …

Douglas County, OR using dirty ballot tricks to finish off the slow murder of its libraries

For years, the Douglas County commissioners have reduced the budget of the county’s 11 libraries, serving 100,000 residents, and they’ve vowed to zero out its budget next year, so the library’s supporters got a ballot initiative to create a Special Library District that would keep the doors open — naturally, the county has removed all mention of the initiative from its website, using dirty …

How you can help India's first free public library for the Tibetan exile community

Earlier this year, I wrote about a wonderful library project that Tibetan friends in India are putting together for a Tibetan exile community there, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here’s an update from my friend Phuntsok Dorjee, who is one of the organizers. The Dalai Lama speaks to his followers at the Gaden Jangtse Thoesam Norling Monastery in Mundgod, 2014. REUTERS …

Far future of libraries

Business Insider’s Chris Weller asked me to draw from our work at Institute for the Future, where I’m a research director, to take a long-distance look at the far future of what libraries could become: In 50 years’ time, Pescovitz tells Business Insider, libraries are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the …

How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better

Leonard Richardson isn’t just the author of Constellation Games, one of the best debut novels I ever read and certainly one of the best books I read in 2013; he’s also an extremely talented free/open source server-software developer who has been working for the New York Public Library on a software project that liberates every part of the electronic book lending system from any …