The number of books borrowed from public libraries has dropped 30% in the past seven years, from 9.8 books per person in 1995-96 to 7.1 in 2001-02, according to statistics compiled by the Scottish Executive office. During the same period, local communities have not reduced library funding, but most of the money goes to salaries and technology rather than new books.--Glasgow Herald, Aug. 29.
The Messiah Theological Institute in Mbale has received some 15,000 books for its library, thanks to its founding ministry, the Quaker Avenue Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. The institute trains ministers in both Uganda and Kenya and its library also serves the needs of missionaries' children.--Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Aug. 21.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The Ousha bint Hussain Cultural Center in Dubai has launched a project to compile an encyclopedia of UAE culture. With the help of more than 1,000 experts and researchers, the encyclopedia is expected to debut in 2009. Project Executive Director Al Mamoun Asaad Al Tameemi said that offices in each emirate will contribute comprehensive information.--Khaleej Times, Aug. 30.
Suspected Maoist rebels threw two bombs at the U.S. Information Center in Kathmandu minutes after it closed September 10, damaging parts of the auditorium and education counseling section but causing no injuries. Americans and Nepalese work at the facility, which houses the cultural and information offices of the U.S. Embassy.--Associated Press, Sept. 10.
The Second Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Culture of the Organization of American States met in Mexico City August 23-24 to discuss ways in which cultural institutions of the 31 member nations can create jobs, reduce poverty, and strengthen democracy. In his address, President Vicente Fox called cultural diversity "our strategic reserve" and said "public and school libraries are essential to developing a country of readers. …