A couple weeks ago a rocket blasted into space to deliver a satellite into orbit, this sort of thing is now routine. However, this rocket carried a unique payload destined for the lunar surface: a library. The Arch Mission Foundation is piggy backing a special disc on Spaxe IL’s lunar mission. The disc holds all sorts of information that may outlast humanity so future civilizations can get a glimpse into the past. If all goes well it will land on the surface of the Moon on April 11th.
In addition to the English version of the Wikipedia (approximately 7.5M printed pages), the Library contains more than 25,000 books and other resources, including collections from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive, and the Long Now Foundation Rosetta and PanLex datasets, which provide a linguistic key to 5000 languages with 1.5 billion cross-language translations. The Library also holds a long-duration duplicate of SpaceIL’s Israeli Time Capsule, and several other private archives and special collections.
“Our goal is to provide a backup of human civilization,” said Nova Spivack, co-founder of the Arch Mission Foundation. “Instead of trying to create a generic representation of humanity, our approach is to send crowdsourced resources like the Wikipedia, and many other datasets.”
A fantastic way to share stories and knowledge is through books and public library systems. Unfortunately too many indigenous reserves and communities in Canada don’t have access to a library, which is having a negative impact on knowledge sharing. The Toronto Public Library system will be extending their library services to indigenous communities as part of their Truth and Reconciliation process.
Library services are sparse on Ontario reserves. Of the province’s 207 reserves, only 46 have a library. The average annual budget for each is only $15,000.
Doucette explains that libraries are all about sharing, and this is an easy way for Toronto to do its part. “I think whenever possible we should step up to the plate,” she said.
Story Wall is an art project running at the State Library of South Australia with the goal of getting more people to read. Even if people don’t read they can enjoy the library’s collection since the works are being projected on to the library itself.
“Through our conversations with the Library we were aware of things like The Treasures Wall and SA Memory and different exhibitions they had presented over time, and potential collection items that could be developed further, things like early colonial toys and donated car tyres from the Adelaide Grand Prix.
“But of course within the Library there are curators and librarians who have a deep understanding of the collections that are not of public knowledge. And we wanted to know what their ideas were, and talk about what it was going to mean for the public to hear or have those stories told in a new form,'” says Drennan.
As a result, the projections that play on the sandstone walls of the Library from sunset to midnight throughout Summer, have deep roots in South Australia’s history.
Walmart is best known for predatory corporate behaviour that damages communities and for the “interesting” people who shop there. One thing that Walmart does is pit one small town against the other to get cheap land and better tax rates, this sometimes means that an existing Walmart gets abandoned.
A small Texas town decided to turn their vacant Walmart into something useful: a library!
Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle transformed an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, into a 124,500-square-foot public library, the largest single-floor public library in the United States.
The design won the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. MSR stripped out the old ceiling and walls of the building, gave the perimeter walls and bare warehouse ceiling a coat of white paint, and set to work adding glass-enclosed spaces, bright architectural details and row after row of books.
It turns out that by simply using your local library you can improve your life – no matter what you read. As long as you make use of what the library provides you can find your well-being increased. What are you waiting for?
How do you quantify a public good? Library supporters have struggled with this problem for a long time, as public libraries are often the first institutions up on a budget-slasher’s chopping block. But a recent study from the London School of Economics bolsters the value of libraries in a major way. By translating well-being gained from visits to the library into dollars, the study’s authors conclude that a year of library visits is equivalent to a little more than a $2,200 raise.