Bookstore the Musical, Robot Libraries, Mermaids vs. Vampires, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Robotronic libraries?! From Wired: "The underground storage facility at the University of Chicago's new Mansueto Library holds 3.5 million volumes that can be accessed by robotic cranes." The public portion of the library contains no traditional bookshelves at all—only tables and computer stations in a vast open space—thus replacing the traditional "library" with a kind of office resting on top of a giant distribution center.

An original musical stage comedy set in an indie bookstore—and titled, fittingly enough, Bookstore—will open at the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida. (Florida Times-Union)

How did Amazon go from a company that sold books online to one that dominates "an estimated one third of e-commerce in the United States?" (TechCrunch) In a nifty slideshow, innovation specialists faberNovel reveal the online retail giant's strategy and empire. 

Speaking of Amazon's strategy, is the online retail giant on the verge of unveiling its own iPad-like tablet device to market alongside the Kindle? CEO Jeff Bezos says to "stay tuned." (Telegraph)

Heads up! Word on the street—and in USA Today—is that mermaids will succeed vampires as "the next big thing" to captivate young readers and the expanding legion of adult readers who indulge in young adult literature. The first mermaid convention, MerCon, takes place in Las Vegas this August, and Twilight author Stephanie Meyers is reportedly working on a mermaid project to follow her wildly successful vampire series.

As part of its ongoing centennial celebrations, the New York Public Library is giving away twenty-five thousand copies of a paperback book featuring celebrities posing with and discussing their favorite artifacts in the library. The book will be distributed on park benches and subway stations with a note inside urging readers to leave it somewhere else in the city when they're done. (Winnipeg Free Press)

In an odd move, libraries in the Newham borough of London have removed all foreign language newspapers from their branches, at the behest of local officials, in a bid to encourage residents of the diverse neighborhood to speak English. (Telegraph)

Harriet has video of the White House evening of poetry last Wednesday, including a segment where President Obama admits to sending poems to his college literary journal and testifies to the power and importance of poetry in "telling our American story." 


Mermaids Supplanting Vampires

I'm very excited about the prospect of mermaids succeeding vampires! I've recently published a children's book, entitled The Lost Mermaid~A Shem Creek Moonlight Jamboree, and the mermaid convention in Las Vegas sounds like a place I need to be. Great info!! Thanks. Jan DiRuzzo