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August 21, 2013 | By Jason Wells
The final installment of 94 White House tapes recorded during a turbulent period of Richard Nixon's administration were released Wednesday at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda. The tapes cover a period from April 9 to July 12, 1973, as Watergate was bearing down on the administration. Included in the hours of secretly taped conversations are discussions of the Vietnam War peace settlement and the return of prisoners of war, tensions over “most favored nation” trade status for the Soviet Union and other key foreign policy issues of the time.
August 16, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
It's a scholastic rite of passage for every California fourth-grader: studying the history of the Spanish Catholic missions and the life of Father Junípero Serra. Steven W. Hackel remembers the drill. "We were taught that Father Serra was a good, gentle padre who built missions every one-day's horseback ride apart for tired travelers, as sort of like Motel 6's of the day," says Hackel, a UC Riverside associate professor of history and author of a new biography of Serra. "And there was nothing about Indians in those missions at all. " Finding the complex man of God wrapped inside the saintly myth and putting the missing indigenous Americans back into the picture, are lead objectives of an exhibition scheduled to open Aug. 17 at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens and run through Jan. 6. PHOTOS: Junipero Serra exhibition Titled "Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions" and co-curated by Hackel and Catherine Gudis, also a UC Riverside associate professor of history, it's perhaps the most comprehensive exhibition ever assembled about the devout Franciscan friar who established nine of the 21 missions in present-day California and is sometimes called the state's "founding father.
August 9, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
You never know when you'll need a 3-D printer. They can cost anywhere from $400 to $25,000, which is a bit much if you're trying to “print” (somehow, that seems like the wrong verb) a plastic cookie-cutter you've downloaded off the Internet or a kids' toy, two popular uses. But if you live in Washington, D.C., or Cleveland, you can stop by your local public library and use one for a small fee. Public libraries have been trying to find all sorts of ways to stay "relevant" in the modern, digital age. (This blogger thinks that providing access to the two millenniums of human knowledge stored in that archaic information system called “the printed book” will always keep them relevant, but I digress)
August 6, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Libraries buy lots of books. Library patrons like to read bestsellers at the library. They have e-book readers and ask: Why can't I check out these virtual books at the library too? The libraries want to provide them, but say the “big six” publishers aren't making it easy. “Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they can lose money selling e-books to libraries,” says Lynn Neary in a new report on NPR on Monday. Take, for example, the current No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan.
June 29, 2013 | By Liesl Bradner
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Considered by many as a turning point in the Civil War, the bloody three-day battle marked the highest number of casualties in the four-year conflict. The Union defeat of the Confederate army continued to resonate months later when President Abraham Lincoln recited the Gettysburg Address, regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. Original notes and letters from the 16th president's childhood to his time in office are just a few of the documents on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
June 25, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Think teens and twenty-somethings who are used to looking up everything on smartphones have little use for the public library? Think again. People in their 20s and older teens are just as likely as older Americans to have visited a public library in the last year -- and about as likely to have taken out books or browsed the shelves once they got there, a new study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project finds....
June 22, 2013 | By Angel Jennings and Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
The sand-colored mosque rises against the San Gabriel Mountains, its blue-tiled dome and six minarets cutting a striking profile in an industrial area of Rowland Heights. Inside, lush tapestries from Pakistan adorn the walls, and ornate chandeliers from Dubai hang over the prayer rooms. At the head of the men's prayer space, the 99 names of Allah are engraved in Islamic calligraphy into glass around the Arabic symbol for God. After four years of construction and $5.5 million in fundraising, the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley formally opened its soaring new mosque Saturday.
June 20, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Iconic science-fiction author Ray Bradbury lived in Los Angeles for almost 80 years, but his books are heading back to his birthplace, Waukegan, Ill. His personal book collection will go the Waukegan Public Library. Bradbury lived in Waukegan until he was 13, when his family moved away. Throughout his writing career, he returned to that Midwestern youth, from 1957's "Dandelion Wine" to "Something Wicked this Way Comes" in 1962 and his last novel, 2006's "Farewell Summer. " After his death last year at age 91, Illinois officials learned that the author had left his personal book collection to the Waukegan library on County Street.
June 14, 2013 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Jan Juliani was standing behind the counter of the Santa Monica College library about noon when a group of terrified, screaming students sprinted through the entrance. One was running backward, shouting: "He has a gun!" Juliani knew exactly what to do. Recalling a lesson from a recent workshop on how to respond during "active shooter" incidents, the library assistant, 34, headed for a set of double doors that led to a storage closet in the back office. Other library workers followed her. Shutting the closet door seemed to take forever because of resistance from the pneumatic closer.
June 12, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Seattle is a great book town. And also a great biking town. So it should comes as little surprise that Seattle now given us a mobile, people-powered public library that's wheeled about town by pedaling librarians “Librarians on bicycles are traveling to several outdoor events across the city with a custom-built book trailer that can carry 500 pounds of materials and display 75 books at a time,” Library Journal reports this week. Last month, Mayor Mike McGinn helped inaugurate the summer pilot program by biking from the city's Central Library to an elementary school with books and a team of librarians in tow. The program, he said, features librarians offering “a full-service library on a bike.
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