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January 13, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
After several years in the fiscal wilderness, the Los Angeles Public Library, and California libraries in general, are mounting a comeback. On Jan. 12, Sunday hours were restored at eight of the system's 72 regional branches and at the Central Library downtown. Back in the dark days of 2010, when it seemed everyone was still trying to climb out of the hole of the Great Recession, I visited a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in East Hollywood. It was the same one where my immigrant father learned to read English in 1962.
January 11, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
A red-brick driveway leads to this Paul Revere Williams-designed Tudor set along the water of Toluca Lake. The elegant formal entry and the library, with its wood-beam ceiling and built-in bookcases, are in keeping with the architect's traditional style. Location: 9956 Toluca Lake Ave., Toluca Lake 91602 Asking price: $8 million Year built: 1938 House size: Five bedrooms, six bathrooms, 7,228 square feet Lot size: 1.02 acres Features: Dark wood flooring, recessed lighting, leaded windows, intricate molding, curved staircase, bar, wine cellar, covered patio, outdoor fireplace, gazebo, swimming pool, private dock About the area: In the first half of 2013, 84 single-family homes sold in the 91602 ZIP Code at a median price of $842,000, according to DataQuick.
January 11, 2014 | By Jean Merl
Nine Los Angeles public libraries will once again open their doors on Sundays. Following several years of budget-related closures, downtown's Central Library and all eight regional libraries will now be open from 1 to 5 p.m., beginning this Sunday. Celebrations are scheduled at each of the libraries, with Mayor Eric Garcetti and other civic leaders attending a ribbon cutting and special activities starting at 12:30 p.m. FOR THE RECORD: Library hours: A brief article in the Jan. 12 California section about nine Los Angeles public libraries opening on Sundays said all 64 branch libraries are open Mondays through Saturdays.
January 7, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The nation's first all-digital, book-free public library system has opened in San Antonio, with patrons lining up to peruse on online catalog on Apple touch screen computers and check out books on e-readers. Library mavens from across the U.S. and from as far away as Hong Kong came to view the library this week, according to an Associated Press report. "I told our people that you need to take a look at this. This is the future," Mary Graham, vice president of South Carolina's Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce told the AP. "If you're going to be building new library facilities, this is what you need to be doing.
December 20, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Two Canadian cities, Vancouver and Montreal , have the world's best public library systems, according to a new survey by German researchers . Library mavens at the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf studied libraries in 31 major world cities, from London and Los Angeles, and from Shanghai to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Los Angeles finished in the middle of the pack in the ranking (16th), which took into account the wide array of services that libraries provide to their readers, including availability of printed books and digital information.
December 19, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
This week, the Kids' Right to Read Project, a group that monitors book censorship, said the number of challenges to books reported to the group increased by 53% in 2013. Project coordinator Acacia O'Connor told Shelf Awareness that she could not explain the increase, but that many involved writers of color, including Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. (All three also appear regularly on American Booksellers Assn. lists of challenged books.) “Whether or not patterns like this are the result of coordination between would-be censors across the country is impossible to say,” O'Connor told Shelf Awareness.
December 18, 2013 | By Susan King
A beloved musical about a magical nanny, an epic about the first astronauts, a silent film with a Native American cast and a sci-fi thriller loosely based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest" are among the 25 motion pictures to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington was expected to announce the selections Wednesday morning. FOR THE RECORD: National Film Registry: In the Dec. 18 Calendar section, an article about 25 films named to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry said that Sandy Dennis was nominated for an Oscar for 1966's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
December 18, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Jorge Luis Borges' “The Library of Babel” is one of my favorite stories. Published in 1941, it describes a library that houses every book that has ever been written and every book that has never been written: an edifice of possibilities, “composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries.” How can this not inspire us … and also terrify us, which was part of Borges' point? In such a library, after all, the majority of books would be meaningless, nonsense conglomerations of "all the possible combinations" of letters and syllables, “tale[s]
November 29, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Granted, it's not quite the same thing as a big discount on a giant flat-screen television or an Xbox console. But there are Black Friday book deals to be had out there. Black Friday, for example, is a time when many public libraries schedule book sales, including the Clark County Public Library in Winchester, Ky. The library sale this year included the offer of all the books you could fill in a bag for just $2. In an effort to build a big crowd for the sale, a librarian told the Winchester Sun earlier this month : “At the library's Black Friday Book Sale, you can, no joke, get a gift for everyone on your holiday list for $2, unless your list is hundreds of people long, and then it may cost you $6.” On Friday the crowds came, though there was little chance of a shoppers' riot in Winchester, a town of 18,000 people famous as the home of the Ale-8 soft drink.
November 19, 2013
Join the Homicide Report's Nicole Santa Cruz at 9 a.m. for an L.A. Now Live chat on her latest article: the Los Angeles Police Department's work to create a “Google for murder.” The article looks at how the LAPD has assembled a digital library of homicide files with the goal of putting a database of long-dormant cases within a click away of police detectives. “The bigger picture of it all is tremendous,” said LAPD Det. Teddy Hammond, who has worked with several other detectives to digitize more than 4,500 files over the past two years.
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