Blogs

From "Ownership" to "Access" Culture

I’m a Baby-Boomer, and so is my wife who was my high school sweetheart. We were both raised in Middle America with traditional values which we adopted – get educated, work at a career, own a house and two cars, support your local school and church, enjoy the American Dream.

The American Dream is, according to our friends at Wikipedia (sorry to those of you who think it’s a site that makes kids dumb, but I find it very much a modern encyclopedia that is highly useful and mostly filled with very useful information):

In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

[BTW: Can you spell E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A from memory? Did you learn to spell it from Jiminy Cricket too.] -- Read More

The Library War.

Is it me, or has the library war already started? Because I keep reading about how the old library is dead and the new library needs building. That print has been mortally wounded and now those inbred and bastard children fight to be the next ruler. We have our own Game of Thrones (this week on HBO, which I have neither read nor seen, so whatever connection I make, is purely accidental) in the fantasy library world of Bibliotania (yeah, you come up with a better name):

  • We have the Knowledge Facilitators, once loyal to the throne but now impatient for political change so long as the office remains in their control.
  • We have the Transliterates, plotting with foreign armies or mercenaries, anyone who can bring swift wealth and power.
  • We have the Digital Natives, spoiled, selfish, corrupt, unable to see beyond their immediate desires, but who command a great army.

B -- Read More

The Atlas of New Librarianship

The Atlas of New Librarianship shows a publication date of May 31, 2011 but the book seems to be shipping now.

Table of contents for the book.

Companion website to the book.

Taking a Closer Look at Open Peer Review

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
By Jennifer Howard

Open peer review—which gives anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on scholarly content before it’s published—just got an institutional boost. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given New York University Press and MediaCommons a $50,000 grant to take a closer look at open, or peer-to-peer (P2P), review, the press announced today. MediaCommons is a digital scholarly network hosted by the NYU Libraries and affiliated with the Institute for the Future of the Book.....Read the rest here.

Vatican Library on 60 Minutes

Probably the closest most of us will ever get to this incredible collection.

Watch it here

$20 Per Gallon

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better

This book received a starred review at Publisher's Weekly.

Imagine an everyday world in which the price of gasoline (and oil) continues to go up, and up, and up. Think about the immediate impact that would have on our lives.

Of course, everybody already knows how about gasoline has affected our driving habits. People can't wait to junk their gas-guzzling SUVs for a new Prius. But there are more, not-so-obvious changes on the horizon that Chris Steiner tracks brilliantly in this provocative work. -- Read More

real sign in my fake library

Cites & Insights 11:5 (May 2011) available

Cites & Insights 11:5 (May 2011) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ11i5.pdf

The 44-page issue is PDF as usual, and consists of 1.5 essays. Each essay (or portion) is also available as an HTML separate; click on the essay titles. If this seems like an all-ebook issue, that's not intentional.

This issue includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading (continued) pp. 1-16

This essay completes Perspective: Writing about Reading from the April 2011 C&I, with sections on how ebooks will (if you believe the authors) change reading and writing; "all singing! all dancing"--in which the only future for books is as multimedia extravaganzas; and writing about writing. It's snarkier than the first portion, even though it's been heavily desnarked.

The Zeitgeist: 26 is Not the Issue pp. 16-44

This abecedary goes from Absurd licenses to... Well, no, the topic is the only one truly suitable for the Zeitgeist label at the moment--HarperCollins, pay-per-view in some form, deals with the devil and what you lose when ownership turns to licenses.

If this one seems long, I'll note two things: -- Read More

Mourning A Mentor: Students Pay Tribute To Marable

Columbia University professor Manning Marable did not live to see the publication of his life's work, a new biography called Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. The book was released Monday, just days after Marable, 60, died Friday of complications from pneumonia.

Marable was the author of 15 books and a multitude of scholarly articles. He founded Colgate University's Africana and Latin American Studies program as well as the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia, where he was a mentor to countless students. Three of them gathered in the late scholar's office over the weekend to discuss why Marable was such an important influence on them — and on African-American research in the U.S.

Full piece on NPR

Netflix Nabs Rights to Stream 'Mad Men'

Netflix has inked a deal with Lionsgate TV for streaming rights to Mad Men reruns.

The video service paid nearly $1 million per episode for all seven seasons of the AMC drama, which will begin airing July 27.

Full story

Amazon underbidder on frontlist auction

Amazon underbidder on frontlist auction

Amazon has emerged as the surprise underbidder on a multi-million dollar auction for a self-published author, the first time the retailer is believed to have bid on frontlist.

Full article here.

Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin comments on the article.

Save America. Close Your Library.

As an example, last year our library let 1 million people use our computers. And we circulated 10 million items.

One million computer uses does not translate to users, but we have a lot of visitors, so I'll say that we had 250,000 unique users.

What would that mean if we closed the library and forced those people to pay for what fills their hours of unemployment?

What if they paid for that computer that we've been letting them use for free? 250,000 people buying $300 netbooks equals $75,000,000.

$15 a month for internet access equals $45,000,000/year.

And this is just my people. What if every large metropolitan area were like this? Think of all this potential money in a place like New York City. Or Los Angeles.

What about all those circulated items?

We know that everyone wouldn't buy all the things they get for free from the library because some of our patrons are shoplifters and thieves. So those library users would just steal things.

But many other library users would pay for what they want. And this is what could save America. Right now, people are getting all this free stuff from libraries that they could be buying from their local merchants. Books, ebooks, DVDs, music and books on CDs, Ke$hadise, Bieberdise, Gagadise, information, babysitting services, newspapers, magazines, nice furniture, assorted items that people need to buy in order to use the restrooms at the local stores, etc. Babysitters! My God, libraries take money from babysitters! -- Read More

College Librarians Look at Better Ways to Measure the Value of Their Services

Report from ACRL 2011 in the Chronicle of Higher Ed
By Jennifer Howard
"How do you take the measure of academic libraries and librarians? At the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, which began here Wednesday, presenters took up the problem of how libraries can demonstrate their value to their institutions—and whether conventional attempts to measure return on investment, or "ROI," are any use in that campaign.

Like most of academe, libraries have been feeling increased pressure to justify themselves quantitatively. The bold title of James G. Neal's paper—"Stop the Madness: The Insanity of ROI and the Need for New Qualitative Measures of Academic Library Success"—indicated where its author stands on the issue. ..." Read the rest here

E-Reserves Lawsuit / Kindlefish

Judge Sets Trial Date in Georgia State University E-Reserves Lawsuit
http://bit.ly/hnKdZM

Kindlefish Turns Kindle Into Worldwide Translator
http://bit.ly/dHbOfG

FeedSync Test

The nuclear option is being employed on the FeedBurner side of things to realign a major feed. For those getting this as an e-mail digest, apologies for the repeat e-mail. For those seeing this in iTunes...I hope this fixes things...

Deciphering Old Texts, One Woozy, Curvy Word at a Time

this was interesting.... makes those "capthcas" slightly less annoying, but not totally.

From the New York Times.
By GUY GUGLIOTTA
Published: March 28, 2011
In the old days, anybody interested in seeing a Mets game during a trip to New York would have to call the team, or write away, or wait to get to the city and visit the box office. No more. Now, all it takes is to find an online ticket distributor. Sign in, click “Mets,” pick the date and pay.

But before taking the money, the Web site might first present the reader with two sets of wavy, distorted letters and ask for a transcription. These things are called Captchas, and only humans can read them. Captchas ensure that robots do not hack secure Web sites.

What Web readers do not know, however, is that they have also been enlisted in a project to transform an old book, magazine, newspaper or pamphlet into an accurate, searchable and easily sortable computer text file....Read the rest here.

How Much Can a Professional Degree Teach?

The biggest complaint lobbed at the MLIS by myself and others is that it’s too theory-driven, too abstract, it doesn’t actually teach us how to do what we will do as librarians. You graduate, having read a bajillion articles about privacy, building a balanced collection or library 2.0; but if you haven’t worked in a library, that first day on the job can be a shocking experience.

The overabundance of theory in MLIS programs may be the degree trying to sell itself as academic rather than professional, but I’m not going to get into all of that. The debates that have been floating around the interwebs about what library school need to do with their students all seem to point firmly in the direction of practical skills. This is what we need to be successful in the field, therefore, this is what the course of study should give us. But how much can we possibly expect from a 30-42 credit program? In fact, how much can we expect from one or two internships?

Full Story at Closed Stacks: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3283

Should physical & e-book sales be protected from the elusive danger of library e-book checkouts?

Radio story

When a library buys a book, it buys it once. This was the case for e-books as well. Now, HarperCollins is making its e-books expire for libraries after 26 checkouts. In other words, it’s treating an e-book like an e-subscription to a magazine, such that the library never actually owns the book outright. And libraries are outraged; some are even boycotting all HarperCollins books, which include those by Anne Rice, Sarah Palin, and Michael Crichton. Libraries claim that, as demand for e-books skyrockets, they cannot afford to re-buy e-books. HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, claims that this move is necessary to protect e-book retail sales, physical book sales, and brick-and-mortar bookstores. Do you think that all publishers should take this move to protect book sales? Or do you side with libraries, which are already pinched for money as state budgets are slashed across the country? Would you like to see the price of e-books be kept from going too low or do you see e-books as a natural progression that should not be tampered with?

Download MP3 here

Webpage of story here.

Creating a digital public library without Google's money

Like other authors and researchers, I'm conflicted about the project. On the plus side, the vision of a widely accessible digital library is a worthy one that is, for the first time in human history, technologically achievable.

On the other hand, Google was plotting to acquire effective control over millions of works whose copyrights belong to others.

Full article in the LA Times

OMG, the Oxford English Dictionary Added New Words! We ‘Heart’ It! LOL!

by Brenna Erlich on Mashable

"Before you take to the comments to ream us out about the above headline: “OMG,” “LOL” and the symbol for “heart” have all been added to the Oxford English Dictionary Online.

According to the OED‘s site, the newest edition of the dictionary (which comes out online today) revises more than 1,900 entries and includes a ton of new words — including the neologisms above....." Read the rest here

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