LACMA launches new collection site with 20k public domain images

The Los Angeles County Museum of art said on their Tumblr on Friday “Dear Tumblr-verse, Merry Christmas: we just gave you 20,000 high-resolution images, for free. Now we have just one question: what are you going to do with them?” This announcement is a next step in LACMA’s ongoing experiment to open up more of their collections to the public, via the public domain. They have more discussion and explanation on their WordPress blog. Do any search on their new collections website and you can limit your search to only those with unrestricted images. And then you can take those images and do… whatever you want. There is still a wordy Terms of Use page that people may want to dig through but the upshot is that folks should go use these photos, for anything. Stick them in Wikipedia, use them on your flyers and blog posts, use them for your album covers, put them on a t-shirt. Thanks for trusting the public, LACMA. Lovely stuff. Here’s the pull quote from their website that sums up why they did this.

Why would a museum give away images of its art? As Michael Govan often says, it’s because our mission is to care for and share those works of art with the broadest possible public. The logical, radical extension of that is to open up our treasure trove of images. When we first launched our early experiment with giving images away online, we heard a resoundingly positive response from many quarters: school teachers, parents, graduate students, journalists and the occasional creative person interested in printing their own Mother’s Day cards. So far, we have yet to hear of a situation where one of our public domain artworks has been misused or abused.

2010 in libraries

Because I am a detail-oriented nerd, I track the libraries that I visit. I usually take pictures if I can. Here is my post about the 2009 visits. I’m still using Daytum to track visits and I learned they just came out with an iphone app last month. I went to twenty-six different libraries for fifty-five visits total, I’m sure I have forgotten some. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. I have a few library photos in this Flickr photoset.

  • Kimball Public library (18) – my hometown library where I often worked this year.
  • Hartness/Randolph (10) – the local academic library, open late, great DVD collection.
  • Howe/Hanover (2) – my favorite bigger town library, so comfy, so lovely.
  • Boxboro MA (2) – my Mom’s library, great for unwinding.
  • Loussac/Anchorage Pl AK(2) – went here twice when I was at AKLA, neat architecture, busy place.
  • Chelmsford MA(1) – came to see Brian, stayed to do work.
  • Surprise AZ (1) – on a tour with my boyfriend’s parents. Neat libraries, so unlike New England libraries.
  • Stowe Free VT(1) – former workplace of my great library pal Stephanie.
  • New Bedford Pl MA(1) – I was on a weird research quest and they helped me out.
  • Montpelier VT(1) – popping in to check email, lovely old wood in here.
  • Burnahm Library, Colchester VT (1) – on a 251 club drive, nifty busy library.
  • Goddard VT(1) – for a WordPress training, home library of my friend Helen.
  • Beatley/Simmons MA (1) – before I gave a public speaking workshop.
  • Cambridge (1) – walking distance from my boyfriend’s place, amazing renovation.
  • Peoria AZ (1) – modern and fancy but sort of empty.
  • Alling/Williston, VT (1) – fun history room and a snazzy bookmobile.
  • Fort Lauderdale Reading Center, FL (1) – a weird non-library in some ways, well-loved clearly.
  • Jericho/Deborah Rawson VT(1) – Fireplace and wifi, a great place.
  • Palm Beach State College, FL (1) – busy place, old-fashioned building but modern collection.
  • N Regional/Broward County Library, FL (1) – big and bustling, a little hectic.
  • Niceville Pl, FL (1) – fun design, nice people, memorable fish tank
  • Waterville NY (1) – doing great things, big lovely windows and light for a small place.
  • Lantana Public Library, FL(1) – old fashioned and full, great location.
  • Warren Branch, Indy (1) – super busy old style library/
  • Nat’l Archives – Waltham MA (1) – friendly staff helped make awkward renovations managable.
  • Maynard MA (1) – last library of the year, bright and busy w/ a great book sale.

secret rooms in libraries

One of the librarians showed me the secret room in the library if I’d write something about it. There is a secret room in the ceiling of VTC’s Hartness Library. Eames in the eaves You turn a key in a keyhole in a brick wall and a staircase descends from the ceiling with a great rumbling. Climing the stairs gets you into a disused room that used to be the bindery area but is now just used for storing shelves and old Eames chairs. It’s an odd and noisy room since it’s right next to the room where all the HVAC equipment is. They don’t use the room anymore because of ADA requirements and because it’s darned complicated to get into and out of when the library is open. I’ll add this freaky little room to my list of library attics and basements that I’ve been compiling. Places that don’t have elevators, places that are inaccessible or otherwise tough to get into. Thanks, Ben, for showing me another one. Here’s the list I can put together off the top of my head so far.

SECRET ROOM

links about some good and bad things in libraryland

First off, I’d like to point out this question from Ask MetaFilter which asks the age old question “I am trying to automate my small school/church/club library. What software should I use?” I gave a few answers, as did a few other people, but the short answer is “There’s no good tool for this” as near as I can tell. Please let me know if I’m wrong.

A few more links people sent me over the last week or so.