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In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?
My thoughts began whirring after reading an article entitled On Men, Elevator Speeches and Market Segments on the Marketing for Libraries. by Library People blog. I had already posted a comment on my elevator speech to the article and then began to thinking about men as a market segment. These thoughts come not from any particular formal research, but from thirteen years of experience in circulation, readers' advisory and reference along with fifty-one years of being a male. Women have two more reasons for gravitating toward the library as men: 1. They tend to come to the library, for the sake of their children, or grandchildren and 2. Women tend to read more for pure pleasure than do men. Let me say about these observations, they are based on my experience with one library in Nebraska. Also these reasons may evolve a great deal as sexual roles and family roles evolve. 1. Women tend to come for the sake of children and grandchildren. Since in traditional roles, women were home with the children, while men worked, women tend to be more interested in nurturing the education of their children and grandchildren. This tendency has tended to remain in our community, even after the majority of women have entered the workforce. This means that adult women come back to the library sooner and remain involved longer than their male counterparts. 2. Women tend to read more for pure pleasure/ entertainment. This is based on three observations: a. Women tend to check out more fiction, narrative nonfiction and biographies/ memoirs than to men. b. Women tend to have a greater variety of genres that entertain them, than do men. -- Read More
Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World
May 2nd posting at the 2013 Book Calendar
The June 2013 Cites & Insights (13:6) is now available for downloading from http://citesandinsights.info/
The issue is available as a 42-page print-oriented two-column PDF or an 81-page single-column 6x9" online-oriented PDF.
You might think of this as a side-effect issue, as both pieces grow out of work done for the Open Access preconference I did at the Washington/Oregon Library Associations joint conference last week:
The Front: The Big Deal and the Damage Done: Available Now (pg.1)
The Big Deal and the Damage Done ($9.99 PDF ebook, $16.50 paperback) is a study of U.S. academic library spending between 2000 and 2010 for current serials, books (and all other acquisitions), and everything else--showing the effects of Big Deals and other constantly-rising serials prices. It looks at libraries by size, by sector and by Carnegie classification. The damage done? Primarily to the humanities and other fields that depend on monographs, to the ability of libraries to maintain the record of human creativity--and to library flexibility to do anything except write checks for current serials. (20% off through May 2, 2012, using code SILEO at checkout.)
Intersections: Hot Times for Open Access (pp. 1-42)
Mid-December 2012 through March 2013 has had a lot going on with OA--enough that I abandoned my plan to ignore OA for the rest of 2013 (after devoting most of the January and February 2013 issues to the topic).
This roundup looks at current issues in defining the terms, CC BY, the Gold and the Green, problems, OA in general, specific recent developments, the White House actions, OA in the humanities and social sciences, direct actions and libraries.
A PIONEER in what has become a hot trend on Madison Avenue — going beyond the realm of traditional advertising and into the world of editorial and entertainment known as content marketing or branded content — is hoping to ramp up its efforts by joining forces with a content specialist.
Moises Naim's new book, "The End of Power," aims to track the history of political power and answer why being in charge isn't what it used to be. Ray Suarez talks with Naim, also a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about why power is both harder to use and to keep today.
So I haven't been contributing to LISNews for a long time. Hooray for LISNews.
But the bad news is that I wrote a book. And it's free. Or about a buck, depending on your need to make Amazon richer... I almost wrote reicher, which probably isn't wrong.
But the book exists and you can read the poorly edited version in EPUB for free or pay for the Kindle version which corrected some typos, but probably added different ones.
The free version is here
The Kindle version is here.
here's the blurb:
Billionaire Goldcock is your usual, run-of-the-mill trillionaire time-traveler from another world here to save the Earth from impending doom. But he failed. Sixty-two times. This story tells what happened during the sixty-third attempt. Innocent Peece is the Earth woman who helps him. There's sex, death, rock-n-roll and visits with the President. Then the Sun burns up the Earth and everybody dies. Mostly everyone.
[If you want a shorter URL, http://cical.info will also work.]
The two-column PDF version is 28 pages long, The 6x9" single-column version, designed and optimized for e-reading, is 60 pages long.
Unless you plan to print out the issue, the single-column version may be preferable: the issue includes 31 graphs, each of which is nearly twice as large (40% wider, 40% taller) in that version, frequently with more detail.
The issue consists of one essay:
Libraries: The Mythical Average Public Library
There is no such thing as the average library. That may be obvious--but you might be surprised at just how far away from average most measures for most libraries are. For that matter, for any derivative measure, which average is average?
This essay discusses averages and a few low-level statistical terms, then shows where American public libraries stand--not only for 2010 (the most recent IMLS data) but for changes from 2009 to 2010. I believe you'll find it revealing and interesting.
Announcement links now go to the home page, where I hope you'll note "Pay what you wish" before going on to the issue itself.
Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am
After three Big Serious Issues in a row, and with a Big Serious Essay on the Mythical Public Library coming up in May, it's time for a little break...
It's 34 pages.
The issue includes:
The Front (pp. 1-2)
The Year of Both? My possibly-too-hopeful sense that more and more sensible people, and even some pundits, are recognizing that ebooks and print books are both likely to have substantial roles going forward.
The Middle: Deathwatch 2013! (pp. 2-19)
Catching up with the doomcryers (excluding print books--but see below).
Words: The Death of Books (or Not) (pp. 19-27)
What it says.
The Back (pp. 27-34)
Catching up with miscellaneous snarkiness through 2011 (and more recently for magazine items).
At the risk of raising the ire of more adept catalogers, the last few years it has confounded me that cataloging manuals are so complex, e.g., LC - MARC, AACR2, DDC, etc. Why so much jargon? After all, I'm not defending a dissertation, I'm just wanting to add an item to our catalog in a timely matter. Please just provide me examples of what punctuation is appropriate, what information should go in each field, etc.
In a very rough comparison, if any of you own a Prius, you know that it isn't the simplest procedure to change the headlamps (I'm sure Toyota dealerships would rather us bring our cars to them for any light bulb changes). Heck, even a local mechanic shop took 20 minutes to change one of the headlamps. Well, I found a manual on how to do it and did it in 10 minutes. :)
If I had the time I would compile a manual, preferably online, for the cataloging equivalent to Chilton's Auto Repair Manuals. If there is the "Haynes Owner's Workshop Manual for the Space Shuttle" there sure as heck could be such a title on using DDC. ;)
Cataloging For Dummies (like me)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cataloging (no, none of us are idiots)
Really Simple Cataloging (also me)
PS. I greatly appreciate "Cataloging with AACR2 and MARC21" by Deborah Fritz. :)
George Saunders, a former MacArthur Fellow, talks to Jeffrey Brown about his latest collection of stories, "Tenth of December," and his unique voice and approach to capturing contemporary American culture in a compressed, short form.
Books by Saunders:
The issue is 32 pages long.
For those reading online or on a tablet or ebook reader, the single-column "online edition" is available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i3on.pdf. The single-column (6x9) version is 67 pages long.
Note: If you don't plan to print this issue out, the single-column version may be preferable: Graphs and tables take advantage of the wider single column.
This issue includes the following:
The Front (pp. 1-3)
On the Contrary: Notes on being a contrarian (or a skeptic)
Libraries: Academic Library Circulation: Surprise! (pp. 3-17)
We all know that circulation in (nearly all) academic libraries has been dropping for years, right? What does (nearly all) mean? Would you believe that a majority of U.S. academic libraries reporting circulation in both 2008 and 2010 (excluding clearly anomalous cases) actually had more circulation in 2010 than in 2008? This article looks at changes in circulation (overall and per capita) by type of library (as broken down in NCES reports--by region, sector, and Carnegie classifications), and also shows the difference between overall average, average of institutional averages, and median figures--frequently surprising differences.
Media: 50 Movie Box Office Gold, Part 2 (pp. 17-26)
Seven discs, 28 movies, all color, some I refused to finish watching.
Libraries: Academic Library Circulation, Part 2: 2006-2010 (pp. 26-32) -- Read More
Meet dot dot dot, an organizational app for all your digital reading
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.