Donnerstag, 19. April 2018

An Unabashed Tribute To Books In A Relentlessly Digital Age: OMA’s new library in Qatar celebrates the printed word / Katharine Schwab

In a world full of blaring screens and pinging notifications, respite can still be found in a very old-fashioned, centuries-old object: the book.
The new OMA-designed Qatar National Library, which opened in Doha earlier this week, celebrates its collection of more than a million books by incorporating them into the infrastructure of the building. Far from shoving the books in the back to focus on shiny new computers–another vital element of the 21st century library–the library recognizes that books are part of its foundation. The shelves are made from the same white marble as the building’s floors, and do more than just display: They also incorporate lighting, ventilation, and a book return system.
[Photo: Iwan Baan/courtesy OMA]
In the stacks, books are housed in three rows of shelves that are arranged almost like stadium-style seating–allowing you to take in the sheer number of books in a glance ... . “We designed the space so you can see all the books in a panorama,” OMA’s co-founder and principal architect Rem Koolhaas said in a statement. “You emerge immediately surrounded by literally every book–all physically present, visible, and accessible, without any particular effort.”
[Photo: Iwan Baan/courtesy OMA]
In contrast to the panoramic element of the design, the library’s heritage collection–composed of its oldest, most valuable volumes and scripts, many of which relate to Arab-Islamic history–is sunken into the floor. Unlike the rest of the building’s white marble interior, this section is clad in beige travertine. Visiting that collection must feel like going back in time as you sink below the library floor. The overall design also allows visitors to access this collection directly using a separate entrance. Visitors can also look into the sunken area via the wide walkways above it, which almost look like floating islands. Similar to OMA’s Seattle Public Library, the architects balance social space with cozier reading space beautifully within a single, large room.
In a time when the library occupies an increasingly important role in civil society as a storing house of knowledge that exists outside the effervescent, alternative fact-riddled internet, their status remains in flux. In the U.S., they’re a target of the culture wars. But over in Qatar, OMA’s design brings the library back to its roots as a true testament to books. After all, they are the original interface for information–and the foundation for culture and civilization itself.


Forschungsblog der ÖNB

Der Forschungsblog gibt einen Einblick in die aktuellen Forschungsaktivitäten der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB); er bietet detaillierte Hintergrundinformationen zu Ausstellungen, Veranstaltungen und zu besonderen Beständen der Bibliothek u.a.m.

Literaturland Saar

Das Portal Literaturland Saar ist eine private Initiative, die sich der Idee verschrieben hat, eine literarische Topographie fürs Saarland zu erarbeiten, also das Land nicht auf einer geologischen oder politischen, sondern auf einer literarischen Landkarte abzubilden. Das Saarland gewinnt durch die Widerspiegelung in der Literatur für Einheimische wie für Auswärtige ganz neue Aspekte, und der Bezug auf die lokalen Gegebenheiten eröffnet vielen Menschen einen Zugang zur Literatur. Vater der literarischen Topographie in Deutschland ist der St. Ingberter Kulturjournalist Fred Oberhauser, dessen Literaturführer in Buchform zu einem Standardwerk geworden ist. Am Ende wünschte sich Oberhauser noch eines: einen Literaturführer für das Saarland. Der sollte dann aber nicht mehr als unhandliches Buch erscheinen, sondern sich die Vorzüge des Internets zunutze machen. Während der Vorbereitung dieses Projekts starb Fred Oberhauser.

Literatur-Nobelpreisgremium: König ändert Regeln

Im Skandal um die Schwedische Akademie ändert König Carl XVI. Gustaf nun die jahrhundertealten Statuten des Literaturnobelpreis-Gremiums. Regeln zum Austritt aus der Akademie würden ergänzt, teilte das Königshaus am Mittwoch mit. Bisher waren die Sitze in der Jury für den Literaturnobelpreis auf Lebenszeit vergeben und ein Rücktritt unmöglich. Obwohl mehrere Mitglieder zuletzt angekündigt hatten, aus Protest gegen den Umgang mit einem Skandal nicht mehr an Sitzungen teilzunehmen, konnten ihre Sitze nicht nachbesetzt werden. ... [mehr]

"Supporting blind readers": US Senators debate about the Marrakesh Treaty

In a hearing today (April 18) before the United States’ Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Marrakesh Treaty,  Allan Adler, executive vice president and general counsel of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), has testified to the AAP’s full and extensively considered support for American ratification and implementation of the treaty.
As readers of Publishing Perspectives know, this is the international treaty the purpose of which is to facilitate access to published works for people who are “blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled” by creating a universal copyright exception that will allow authorized parties to “travel” accessible formats to appropriate consumers. ... [mehr]

Mittwoch, 18. April 2018

Neues Gütesiegel für Buchhandlungen

Das Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg und der Landesverband Baden-Württemberg des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels rufen gemeinsam das neue Gütesiegel „Ausgezeichneter Lesepartner für Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in Baden-Württemberg“ ins Leben. Im zweijährigen Turnus werden damit Buchhandlungen ausgezeichnet, die sich besonders im Bereich der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur sowie Leseförderung engagieren. Das Gütesiegel wird erstmals im Herbst 2018 im Rahmen einer Festveranstaltung in Stuttgart vergeben. Mit dem neuen Gütesiegel wird dieses Engagement erstmals offiziell gewürdigt. Bewerben können sich bis 20. Juni 2018 Buchhandlungen in Baden-Württemberg, die ein herausragendes Sortiment an Kinder- und Jugendbüchern führen, Lesepartnerschaften mit Schulen und Kindergärten unterhalten oder besondere Aktionen für Kinder und Jugendliche anbieten. Die Auswahl trifft eine Jury, bestehend aus Vertretern des Ministeriums, des Börsenvereins sowie Fachkundigen für Kinder- und Jugendbücher.

On the Magical Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables / Catherine Reid In: Lit Hub April 18, 2018

Often a measure of a novel’s success, in its depiction of a particular place, occurs when readers feel they know it, they recognize it, or, better yet, they want to visit. Such has been the case with the perennial favorite, Anne of Green Gables. Since its publication in 1908, fans of Anne Shirley have sought out the small island in eastern Canada, keen to meet the character and tour the landscapes she made memorable—The Lake of Shining Waters, the Haunted Wood, Lover’s Lane, the Birch Path. Like the free-spirited Anne, who loves and names almost every tree and flower she encounters, they, too, want to know the place that had such an influence on her. For lovers of the Anne novels (Maud Montgomery wrote an additional seven for the series), much of the magic seems rooted in the very land Anne roamed.
Visitors to Prince Edward Island will find much to love in its natural beauty—a narrow strip of rolling hills in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with lush fields, quiet coves, and miles of white sand beaches. But its pastoral, timeless feel can’t quite explain its powerful draw. While the summers are mild, its winters are long, and two of the primary industries—fishing and agriculture—can be tough to pursue at any time of year. Yet tourism, the second most important, remains strong, with hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving every year to experience the same sites that were such a part of Anne Shirley’s adventures.
It is, in many ways, an odd phenomenon, a balancing act between the real and the fictional that Canada’s National Park Service, among others, helps sustain. In the town of Cavendish (“Avonlea” in the novels), in the house known as Green Gables, visitors can see the rooms where Anne and Matthew and Marilla slept; they can walk the same paths, cross the same streams and inhale the same fir-scented air.  Along the way, they can relive some of Anne’s more memorable moments—scaring herself with Diana in the Haunted Woods, welcoming spring with her schoolmates on a mayflower picnic, accepting Gilbert’s offer of friendship on an evening stroll as the novel concludes. And yet these are all imagined events, superimposed on the PEI canvas—until one reads more about Montgomery’s life. There, in the pages of her journals, which were first made available to the public in 1985 (edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston), is where the real and the fictional intersect.
Though Montgomery insisted that Anne wasn’t based on anyone she knew—“I have never drawn any of the characters in my books ‘from life,’” she writes, “although I may have taken a quality here and an incident there”—her journals suggest otherwise. Reading them alongside Anne of Green Gables is to see the many similarities between the young Maud and Anne. Both were raised by elderly people after losing their parents (Maud’s mother died when she was young and her father left her with her grandparents before moving to western Canada). Both had vivid imaginations and the same seen-only-by-them friends (Katie Maurice, Violetta). Both gave similar names to their favorite places to walk (Lover’s Lane, the Birch Path), and both saw trees and plants as sensate beings who welcomed a greeting after time spent apart. Anne is, in many ways, an idealized version of the young Maud, completely at home in and energized by the natural world. As a result, her presence is far larger than that of simply fascinating, charismatic girl; she embodies the very stuff of life, as in the epigraph from Robert Browning that Montgomery used for the novel—“The good stars met in your horoscope / Made you of spirit and fire and dew.” ... [mehr]