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In a deal on the fiscal year 2016 budget struck late Monday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced an extra $39 million for the city’s libraries. The additional funding will allow for a restoration of six-day service at all branches across the city’s three library systems (Brooklyn, New York, and Queens) and create some 500 new jobs, Library Journal reported.

“This is a long time coming, and a very hard earned victory for libraries in New York City,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, whom the Journal describes as “one of City Hall’s most tireless advocates for libraries.”

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Federal agents have recently recovered dozens of lost historic art pieces ordered and funded by the U.S. government during the Great Depression.

Investigators with the Inspector General’s office of the General Services Administration told the News4 I-Team they located a trove of Works Progress Administration artwork in the attic, basements and storage areas of some California libraries.

The 122 paintings were among an estimated 100,000 pieces of Works Progress Administration that have gone missing in the decades since their completion, according to an I-Team investigation.

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Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, the former minister of culture and heritage in Qatar, who spent more than $1bn (£630m) of the oil rich country's money on art, has died aged 48. A cousin of Qatar's current Emir, Sheikh Al-Thani was in charge of developing libraries and museums. According to "The Art Newspaper," between 1997 and 2005, he spent more than any other individual on art. Details of his death have not been announced.

His huge collection is spread across five existing and planned museums: the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Library, the Natural History Museum, a Photography Museum, and a museum for traditional textiles and clothing.

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A total of 23 libraries and museums across the UK will be able to add to their core collections with a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The financial boost will enable the institutions to "go shopping" for new artifacts over a five-year period.

Among the projects to benefit from the cash is one to develop a collection on Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

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It’s time again to thank Messrs. ­Carnegie, Frick, Warburg, Vanderbilt, Morgan & Co. The plutocrats of the last Gilded Age left us unfathomable architectural treasures that we cherish and fight over but are still not sure how to care for. They erected houses, museums, and libraries in the form of temples and Renaissance palazzos, great hunks of ornate stone, carved wood, and intricate parquet, anthologies of precious materials and medieval craft. Some have been lost; touch what’s left and we get angry, alter them and we despair. As Manhattan keeps remaking itself, one shuttered shoe-repair store and vanished brownstone at a time, these ornate piles endure—the Frick, the Cooper Hewitt, the Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum, each with its tribe of passionate loyalists.

None of them is pristine. From the beginning, they experienced decades of fitful renovation, and their occupants still keep bursting through walls. There’s never enough space. Some institutions wear their history more lightly, or have the luxury of starting fresh.

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There are roughly 11,000 Starbucks locations in the United States, and about 14,000 McDonald's restaurants. But combined, the two chains don't come close to the number of museums in the U.S., which stands at a whopping 35,000.

So says the latest data release from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent government agency that tallies the number and type of museums in this country. By their count the 35,000 active museums represent a doubling from the number estimated in the 1990s.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013 18:36

Columbus Museum of Art Wins National Medal

The Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio is the only art museum to receive a 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Columbus Metropolitan Library received the award back in 2011, making Columbus the 16th American city to receive the medal twice. The National Medal, which is the highest honor for museums and libraries, will be presented to the city at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on May 8, 2013.

The Columbus Museum of Art, which was historically focused on European and American art through the early modern period, has placed more emphasis on contemporary art and photography in recent years. The museum has also made a substantial effort to engage visitors in creative ways as well as reinvent itself as a hub for social and creative happenings in the Midwest. The institution has partnered with 30 Ohio counties as well as Columbus city schools to create various programs that are aimed at engaging visitors of all ages in innovative ways.

The other National Medal-winning museums for 2013 included the Boston Children’s Museum; the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi; the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County; and the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Monday, 26 November 2012 18:52

Google Maps Now Includes Museums

The latest update to Google’s browser-based map service allows visitors to navigate museums across the world with their smartphones. While sprawling institutions made up of various wings and galleries can appear cumbersome, Google hopes to alleviate confusion by making virtual floor plans for dozens of museums and libraries in nine countries available to users.

The recent update includes interior views of shopping malls, airports, train stations, and convention centers, but the presence of museum layouts is particularly welcomed. While 30 museums in the United States are currently mapped out, museums that are not already included can upload their own floor plans if they wish to be included in the project.

Maps of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, the British Museum in London, the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan are currently available.

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