The YA Literature Rant and Rail

I’m not sure what angers me more about the recent article by Meghan Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal about the coarseness, violence, and overall lack of quality in young adult books today: her insistence that any books that give teens a look at reality is bad for them or can even promote destructive and infectious behavior, or the list of “Books We Can Recommend for Young Adult Readers” on the side of article, broken down into books for boys and girls.

Full article:

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Can Work Previously Held In The Public Domain Be Recopyrighted?

A legal battle that examines whether Congress has the right to recopyright works that were already placed into the public domain will take place during the Supreme Court's October session. The plantiff is Lawrence Golan a conductor at the University of Denver where the decision has been detrimental to his program as the increased cost of newly copyrighted works has placed a large selection of previously accessible material off limits. The law which was passed in 1994, gave foreign works the same legal protection that US works enjoy.

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Apple Patents Way to Prevent Concert Piracy

A new patent filed by Apple could help the music and movie industries thwart copyright violation by disabling mobile phone cameras that try to record concerts and movies.

Full story

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The library at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands

Recently went through Schipol Airport and had a chance to visit the little library that was mentioned in a LISNews article last year. Really nice when you're stuck for something to do (besides buying tulips or chocolate!)
Here are photos that my husband took with his iPhone:

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Amazon Sunshine Deals

Amazon is having a sale on 600 Kindle books through June 15. The books are price from $0.99 to $2.99. You can see them here. A few selections: Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure $1.99 Young Men and Fire $1.99 If a Pirate I Must Be...: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates $1.99
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New to Blogging

Hello! I am a Certified School Library Media Specialist and I have started my own blog with Blogger. I am trying to include things that will make my blog unique, useful, and worth the time to visit. What type of information do you feel is really needed in a Library Blog? Book reviews? Lesson plans? Any advice is appreciated.

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Interesting Debate on the Role of the DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) recently asked the library community to join together and take part in their Beta Sprint. The idea is to move away from theory and actually start building some ideas. Still, like any ambitious idea such as this, it is unclear what role the end product will serve.

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Gaming the Archives

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
May 23, 2011, 5:13 pm
By Jennifer Howard

There’s no shortage of fabulous archival material lurking in college and university collections. The trick is finding it.

Without good metadata—labels that tell researchers and search engines what’s in a photograph, say—those archives are as good as closed to many students and scholars. But many institutions don’t have the resources or manpower to tag their archives thoroughly.

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Why is the Nook Color a hit among women?

While plenty of people still aren't quite sure what to make of Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, the device seems to have homed in on one target market with laser precision — women. According to The New York Times, publishers have been surprised to see sales of women's digital magazines soar on the Nook, at times even eclipsing issue sales on the far more popular iPad. Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, and O, The Oprah Magazine were among the Nook e-publishing success stories cited.

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Comment on the Lions

This story on LISNEWS: New Yorker Cover Says It All asks the question - Is this what the future holds for public libraries, all libraries?

Comments do not seem to be enabled for that story. If you want to give an answer to that question you can do it here.

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Where the Young and Tech-Savvy Go

From the WSJ Digits blog

What can Foursquare tell us about how people live?

The location-based social network, which lets people “check in” to places using their mobile phones, has about 8 million users and is used more than 1.5 million times a day world-wide.

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Wanted: Your Ideas on How to Build a Digital Public Library of America

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
May 20, 2011, 12:01 am
By Jennifer Howard

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At Home on the Farm and in E-Books

Susan Orlean’s new book, a long essay called “Animalish,” about her love of animals, was written for Amazon’s Kindle Singles collection.

More here:

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"Yes, Virginia, Google was Screwing with You." (The Filter Bubble)

In 2009, I wrote posts where I suspected that Google was screwing with me when it showed me search results.

"Do a search for yourself one day and Google will use its standard search algorithm to find standard results. But do that same search a different day, and Google will run its special beta algorithm and return results that it thinks you want. Then it looks to see what you do next. If you click on page after page of results, it assumes you, the person, are somehow related to those results since you read through more of them than a casual searcher might. And Google learns from this and becomes smarter."

So I'm glad that the new book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, is confirming my suspicions: the internet knows who I am, but it loves me, anyway.

But as librarians, this hidden internet sucks. What happens when you share a computer at the service desk? And you do a search and click some links and the Google wraps you in that safe, protective bubble? What happens at the shift change? A second librarian sits at the desk and enters your bubble. And now all the searches are filtered for you, but the second librarian isn't you... won't is seem to the second librarian that Google suddenly started sucking? That it can't find anything the second librarian wants?

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Why love books.

Yes, your iPad is great. And your PS3 with Blu-ray is awesome. And your Kindle kicks ass. But these technological marvels are nothing compared to a book.

A book challenges us on a personal level. We meet the challenge of new words and ideas and we either find agreement or argument, but we rarely remain the same person we were before.

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Cites & Insights 11:6 available

Cites & Insights 11:6, June/July 2011, is now available for downloading at

More info here:

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McGraw-Hill Unveils Major Digital Library

McGraw-Hill has launched a platform for accessing its wide breadth of content online at The site will deliver content to institutions globally and contains over 1,000 titles. The publisher said the library was created to serve the growing digital demands of library patrons and give easier and quicker access to its content.

More at Publisher's Weekly

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Houston Public Library To Lay Off 39 Employees

The Houston Public Library is going to lay off 39 employees effective July 1 as its budget continues to shrink.

The layoffs will mean that the 42-branch system's staff will have shrunk from 558 FTEs in FY10 to 469 for FY12, a 16 percent reduction.

Full article in Library Journal

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Library selling new books?

I found a library that on their website mentions that they sell new books in their bookshop. I have seen numerous libraries that have a bookstore inside them that sells used books but have not seen many that sell new books.

From the website:

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Authors@Google: Sherry Turkle

Consider Facebook—it's human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. In "Alone Together", MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving
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