Magazine article American Libraries

Global Reach

Magazine article American Libraries

Global Reach

Article excerpt

WALES 1

As one of the United Kingdom's copyright libraries, the National Library of Wales has begun on its own to digitize much of its collection, an endeavor that has involved about one-third of the library's 350 staff members. "The people of Wales own this collection, they have paid to build it up over the years, why should it just be handed to Google?" said Welsh National Librarian Andrew Green. --BBC News, June 7.

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BELGIUM 2

Belgian architects Coussee and Goris and the Spanish firm of RCR Aranda Pigem Vilalta have won the design competition for a new library in Ghent that awed journalists have dubbed "The Library of the Future" based on the 3D renderings and plans submitted in June. Critics are stating the new library will blend nicely into the mid-19th century neighborhood. --Planet Vectorworks, July 6.

FINLAND 3

July 1 Finland became the first country in the world to mandate that every citizen has the right to a 1Mbps (megabit-per-second) internet connection, and officials have set 2015 as the deadline for getting 100Mbps access to every Finn. In 2009, the average internet download speed in the United States was 5.1Mbps and the average upload speed was 1.1Mbps. --MSNBC: Tech and Gadgets, July 2; Speed Matters Report of the Communications Workers of America.

AUSTRIA 4

The Austrian National Library and Google have reached a 30-mil-lion-euro ($37 million U.S.) agreement that enables the search firm to digitize 400,000 copyright-free books that spans 400 years of European history. Library Director Johanna Rachinger asserted at a news conference that "There are few projects on such a scale elsewhere in Europe." --Agence France Presse, June 15.

IRAQ 5

The U.S. Departments of Defense and State have ceded control to Iraq of an online library the U.S. built in 2006 to enrich the resources available there to scientific researchers. …

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