Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
Instant: The Story of Polaroid
In the ballad, told countless times over more than a century, the railroad worker John Henry wins a race against a new steam-powered drill, but the victory is Pyrrhic: he collapses, saying “Give me a cool drink of water before I die.” “Did he win? Did he lose?,” wonders novelist Colson Whitehead. “By the '60s,” remarks Scott Nelson, a professor of history who wrote Steel Drivin’ Man, “John Henry is looked down on, as being an Uncle Tom character. ... The black man who’s always willing to do what the white man wants. There’s a division between brain and brawn.”
Whether or not the story has historical roots — it’s uncertain — his race has come to represent the heroic struggle of men and women to maintain the dignity of their labor against encroaching technology. A chess grandmaster going to battle against Big Blue is compared to John Henry, and The Onion headline reads, “Modern-Day John Henry Dies Trying to Out-Spreadsheet Excel 11.0.”
But it wasn't always so. Studio 360's David Krasnow traces the ballad back to its origins as a cautionary tale, and finds the answer song: a blues about a railroad worker who wants no part of martyrdom. “John Henry was a steel-driving man. He went down,” the song goes. “Take this hammer and carry it to the captain. Tell him I’m gone.”
Listen to full radio piece stream or download MP3 here:
Book Calendar 2013
Now that January is done you can see all the books that were selected for January at once.
The current day can be seen here.
The author of this book also wrote a book on a completely different topic: Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
The issue is 40 pages long. A single-column 6x9 version, optimized for online reading and intended for e-readers and reading from the screen, is 75 pages long and available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i2on.pdf
This issue includes:
The Front (pp. 1-3)
Doing the numbers: notes on C&I readership during 2012 and since it moved to its current website. Also a quick note on the (failed) HTML challenge.
Catching Up On Open Access 2 (pp. 3-40)
The rest of the megaroundup that began in January. This installment includes Upping the Anti, Controversies, Predators, Economics, Elsevier, The Future!, A Little Humor, and a closing note on progress, snipers and inquisitors.
Cites & Insights is no longer available as HTML separates.
Psst: Have you heard the ongoing common knowledge that nearly all academic libraries have had falling circulation for quite a few years now? If your own library had rising circulation, say between 2008 and 2010, did you think you were a special flower?
A March essay looks at the reality behind "nearly all" based on NCES data. Let's just say the common knowledge is just a wee bit off. But for that, you'll have to wait for the March 2013 issue...
De Arbeiderspers/A W Bruna, the largest publisher in the Netherlands, has removed DRM from its e-books for the first time.
Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight
January 14 selection for the Book Calendar: Digital Apollo
Jan 11 Book Calendar - Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History
I probably said it would be out the first week of January 2013, but it was ready, so...
The issue is 40 pages long.
The "online edition," designed for faster downloading and easy reading on most e-devices larger than phones, is also available; it's 77 pages long.
I'm now consistently creating the PDFs directly in Word, which means they may be somewhat larger but willhave bookmarks for all article headings.
This issue includes the following essays--also available as HTML separates at http://citesandinsights.info, although this may be the last issue for which that's true (see the first essay for details)
The Front pp. 1-4
Of books and journals: notes on my forthcoming (or here now?) ALA Editions book, changes in other recent books, the annual edition of C&I--and the results of the reader service. Ends with a straightforward challenge: If you want HTML separates to continue, you'll need to contribute to C&I.
The first half of a roundup on Open Access covering portions of the last couple of years. This half includes citations and commentary on advantages, colors & flavors, repositories, mandates, problems, PeerJ, history, philosophy and miscellany, ethics, tactics and strategies, and scholarly societies. (The second half will appear in the February 2013 issue.)
January 7 book for the book calendar - Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing
If you look at the calendar in flip card mode you can browse over all the titles selected so far.
Book that looks at technologies that have gone extinct.
Coke can ring pulls, telephone boxes, VHS, cassette tapes, village post offices, the test card, hand-written letters, classic TV ads of yesteryear -- all of these and many, many more are bid a fond farewell in this affectionate, but slightly irreverent tribute.
Book Calendar selection for January 4 - Listen to Great Music
January 3 Book Calendar entry -The Universal Sense
The Book Calendar has posted the January 1 entry.
Site that features a new book everyday - Book Calendar 2013
NYT has a list of a 100 notable books for 2012. You can see all the books here.
"What are your favorite books from 2012?" Tis the season when this question starts firing up libraryland and produces massive amounts of list serv posts with you-absolutely-have-to-read-this-book
recommendations. This topic is also an easy way for business, science and other non-library type of publications and websites to reach out to readers. (I find that many of the books that top these lists are more obscure titles that are not on the best seller lists, but that's whole other post.)
Have you ever contributed to one of these lists? Do you use any of these lists for your own personal reading recommendations? If so, which ones?
A couple of months ago I offered to give a talk on Children and e-books. Who is reading them, what they are reading them on, where the books come from, etc.
A lot has been written on adults and ebooks, a bit less on teens and ebooks and next to nothing on kids and ebooks except for the pieces on pre-schoolers and iPads.
Clearly, the organizers of the conference thought that there wasn't enough discussion on this topic and agreed to have me speak. But it turns out to be a Catch-22. What do I speak on, if there isn't enough information out there?
One solution I have come up with is to create a short survey. This survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/kidsebooks
The one that I hope anyone reading this, will take. I made it general so that anyone with any experience of kids and ebooks can answer the questions.
My audience will thank you.
The print-oriented PDF is 38 pages long. A single-column 6x9" PDF designed for online reading is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i12on.pdf. That version is 73 pages long. Both versions include bookmarks for all sections and subsections, one reason they're fairly large.
A comedy in four acts over seven weeks, from AAP/PSP's endorsement of HR3699, the Research Works Act, on January 5, 2012, to Elsevier's withdrawal of its support for RWA (which mysteriously caused the near-instantaneous death of the bill, introduced as it had been by wholly independent Congresspeople) on February 7, 2012. It's a story that I believe and hope will resonate with scientists and others...
And it's not directly related to the other essay, but some might see connections: