Blogs

Regional Reference

The Swiss Army Librarian often does a “Reference Question of the Week” post that I always think is really interesting. Then I get jealous because I feel like he gets more interesting reference questions that I do. Thankfully, I do occasionally get those gems that really make you realize that you need a good librarian and that google can’t tell you everything, or if it does, you may need a second opinion.

I got a phone call recently from a frantic-sounding mom who asked me “Can you tell me where the WPA plaques are in Providence?”

Bladerunner fans

Bladerunner fans may be interested in this new book that discusses the law of replicants - A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents

Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:4 (May 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i4.pdf
The issue is 44 pages long. It is also available in a 6x9" single-column version, optimized for viewing on edevices (and idevices bigger than phones) and available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i4on.pdf. That version (exactly the same text, but somewhat cruder appearance) is 82 pages long; if you plan to print, please download the regular version!

The issue includes the following (each essay also available as an HTML separate, noting that the single graph in the second section may not appear properly):
The Front (pp. 1-2)

Breaking down The Middle: why there won' be a long series of wholly miscellaneous sections with that heading. Also some notes on the reality since I took action based on reader polls (including the truth about people's willingness, so far, to pay the lower suggested donations).

Libraries: Public Library Closures 2 (pp. 2-14)

Pocket Ref 4th Edition

Pocket Ref 4th Edition The concise all-purpose pocket-sized reference book featuring abundant information on many subjects, hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions. If you need to know it, it is in this book!

I'm Tired of Talking About eBooks

Is this what it felt like to those librarians in the profession when the internet came about? When I started this blog in 2008, I felt like I would never run out of things to write about. This profession is so varied and vast, how could we possibly cover it all? Now, all I read is more and more about eBooks. Certainly, this is something we all need to talk about, because libraries are getting royally screwed, but I also feel like being so singularly focused on one thing that’s not really working out, is talking the wind out of my sails.

Cites & Insights April 2012 available

Cites & Insights 12:3 (April 2012) is now available.
The 36-page issue is a two-column PDF, as usual; a single-column 6x9 PDF designed for ereading is also available (66 pages: please don't print!). HTML versions of each essay are also available--click on the essay titles.

This issue includes:
Libraries: Public Library Closures: On Not Dropping Like Flies (pp. 1-13)

Extending the life of bookstores is critical, but devilishly difficult

I’ll admit that I would have thought a few years ago that by the time we got to the point when more than a third of unit sales for major houses had gone digital — and perhaps more than half for fiction — that the future shape of the book business would be discernible. But, at least according to what I learned from one Big Six house last week, we have reached that level of ebook uptake and despite that, the business still looks very much as it has. It seems impossible to me that it will stay that way.

Why the Amish Matter

The following article was published at http://theantiquarianlibrarian.blogspot.com/2012/03/why-amish-matter.html
Someone posted a question on Twitter that got me thinking: What's up with all the Amish books? I did not join the discussion because it was addressed to Christian book authors, but it made me think about the topic for some time.

The most crass and commercial answer is to say that bonnet fiction sells, but obviously there is more to it than that.

The first Amish stories were collected by Mennonite publishers beginning circa 1970 to preserve the stories of the old ways in which many Mennonites once lived. As the Anabaptist peoples plodded slowly to modernity many wanted a reference point to the past. Writers included both historical and fictional accounts of Amish stories to remind the young of the life they once had, and that some still practice. I became acquainted to this literature while in seminary.

Amish literature takes a fresh look at the church and contemporary Christian life. It is a critique of both Amish legalism and contemporary license. For some fundamentalist groups, the act of writing fiction is taboo. On the other hand, it is faith affirming to view a faith that matters to the community. This is rare in our increasingly secularized society.

For Librarians, Librarianship is Still About the Books

This article was originally published at http://theantiquarianlibrarian.blogspot.com/2012/03/for-librarians-librarianship-is-still.html.

While technology and gadgets seem to be overtaking much of library work, the love of words, the love of books is at the heart of librarianship for librarians around the world. The article "Internet is Discouraging Book Reading, Librarian Says" http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/internet-is-discouraging-book-reading-librarian-says tells the story of Abdul Razak Al Khumairi of the UAE and Arabian Gulf Library. The following quotes from the article demonstrates that for librarians everywhere it is still about the books.

"Oh, I know people think it is the most unprestigious job out there, but to me it is the most rewarding as books have been my teachers, my solace and friends in my darkest hours," he said.
"They have given me a second chance in life."

Continuing:

"Cataloguing, indexing and shelving is an art; it is not just a matter of putting a book on a shelf," he said.

Continuing:

"Unfortunately, the questions are often about internet access," he said, laughing. "The internet is a curse in many ways. It is killing our Arabic language and has made people too lazy to go check out a book for information."

Continuing:

"Parents need to come to the library with their kids. That will change everything," he said, fondly recalling a frequent childhood image of his mother with a book, sitting across the kitchen while the food was cooking.

Finally:

New Study Shows that Free Apps Are Killing Your Battery

Is it worth it to buy the paid version of an app if you can download another version for free? If you value your battery life, it very well could be.

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/03/19/new-study-shows-that-free-apps-are-killing-your-battery/...

Taxpayers unwittingly encouraging online privatization of U.S. library system?

OverDrive gets loan of up to $1M from Ohio county with budget-challenged libraries: Taxpayers unwittingly encouraging online privatization of U.S. library system?

Full piece at LibraryCity.org

Paperback

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (Vintage) is now available in paperback. It came out on March 6.

Miniature E-Books Let Journalists Stretch Legs

The Kindle Single is not a promising name. It sounds like a new kind of prefabricated fire log, or a type of person you might meet on the dating service eHarmony — perhaps a lonely independent bookstore owner put out of business by Amazon.com.

Full article in the NYT: Miniature E-Books Let Journalists Stretch Legs

Cites & Insights 12:2 (March 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:2 (March 2012) has just been published.
The 30-page two-column PDF (designed for printing) represents the new, refreshed Cites & Insights, following the two reader surveys. Contents, available as HTML separates using the links below, include:
The Front (pp. 1-6)

The reinvention or refreshing of Cites & Insights, including results of the two polls, new section names, tweaks to layout and typography, and a discussion of the online PDF alternative, a single-column version (in this case 53 pages) designed for those who read C&I on various sorts of screens--iPads, netbooks, notebooks, Kindles, Nooks and others.

Social Networks (pp. 6-16)

The Social Network Scene, Part 1: Catching up with social network miscellany

The Middle (pp. 16-26)

A range of items that might formerly have appeared in Trends & Quick Takes: the non-death of desktop software; "smarter, dumber or both"; closing the digital frontier (or not); and lots more.

The Back (pp. 26-30)

Notes from the 1%, stereo prices and other snark.

Using Comics and Graphic Literature to Illustrate Legal Concepts

See page 3 of the newsletter of the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association.

Newsletter here:
http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/wplla/newslettersp10.pdf

'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters

Book story on NPR:

Space exploration will create a thriving culture of innovation, says scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/27/147351252/space-chronicles-why-exploring-space-still-matters

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs