Apparently the Vienna State Library has come up with a new outreach programme to bring the joys of one of their special collections to a wider audience.  That’s right, they’ve set up a premium rate hotline so people can pay €0.39 per minute to hear the dulcet tones of Austrian star Anne Bennent reading a selection of 18th-20th century erotic literature from their extensive collection.  Now that’s what I call classy!  I wonder whether she’s got a husky voice, and they play bad saxophone music in the background as an accompaniment?  😉

A number of American news services and bloggers are reporting this (not sure what that says about them), claiming the revenue raised is going to go towards library remodelling and expansion.  However, the head librarian (interviewed today by Eddie Mair on the BBCs PM programme) insisted that no money was being made, and that this was just one of the library’s cultural activities.  Not sure which is most believable… I’m still trying to get my head round a state library running an “0898” service!!