A Love Letter to Public Libraries

From Huffington Post Books.

First printed book in English sold for over £1m

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28344300
A 540-year-old book, known as the first to be printed in the English language, has sold at auction for more than £1m.

The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye is a version of a French book written around 1463.

It was translated over a three-year period by William Caxton, who pioneered the printing press in England.

The story of WebP: How Google wants to speed up the web, one image at a time

Google wants WebP to become the internet’s next dominant image file format. That’s not likely going to happen anytime soon — but WebP could still have a huge impact.

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/19/the-story-of-webp-how-google-wants-to-speed-up-the-web-one-imag...

Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

"Driving the prices lower isn't likely to expand the market of readers, since book prices don't seem to be the deciding factor on whether someone reads a book (time is). But those lower prices directly shrink the incomes of authors, who lack any other means of translating their sales into additional revenue. "

http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/07/19/139219/amazon-isnt-killing-writing-the-market-is

UNLV Students creat solar-powered book drop to roast bed bugs

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/18/4014220/libraries-battle-bed-bugs-in-books.html
UNLV undergraduate engineering students Jack Cheney, Nicole Ramos and Vachara Maneeraj created a solar-powered book drop that roasts bed bugs to death. The project was part of UNLV's engineering senior design competition in May. All engineering students must collaborate for a year to produce a product using their engineering skills.

Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription

It's Simple Math!

"I’ll use the numbers from my native UK here simply because I have a better grasp of them. As a country we spend some £1 billion a year (currently around $1.7 billion) on supporting the library system. There’s some 60 million citizens meaning that we can, from that sum, afford to pay perhaps £20 (as with most numbers I use, there’s a lot of rounding here, the numbers are not meant to be accurate, just informative as to magnitude and so on) for each subscription. That’s a lot less than Amazon is currently demanding but I would bet a very large sum of money that an adequate bulk discount could be arranged for such a slug of customers."

A Liaison for a Classroom Building? Curating a Learning ecosystem.

It is very common for librarians to serve as liaisons to academic departments. They teach classes, purchase materials, answer reference questions, assist with research endeavors, and generally get involved with the odds-and-ends of those units. Some librarians also liaise with defined user communities such as first-year students, international students, or students associated with particular residence halls.

This classic approach enables librarians to connect their expertise with different user segments that likely share similar needs, interests, or perspectives. In short, these librarians serve as the human interface of the library.

Full article

Amazon is testing “Kindle Unlimited,” an ebook subscription service for $9.99/month

Amazon is testing an ebook and audiobook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” that would cost $9.99 a month. According to pages that were pulled down, it will offer access to over 600,000 titles.

Full story here.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy's Best Librarians

Via Tor.com:

Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks. So we turned to Twitter to find out where your SFF librarian loyalties lie. Here are your favorites, as well as a few of our own!

Top fictional librarians are from Buffy, Discworld, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Sandman and others. Check 'em out!

Books out, 3D printers in for Reinvented US Libraries

How about that headline folks?

From New Scientist:

IN THE small town of Fayetteville in northern New York, you'll find the local library in an old furniture factory dating from the turn of the 20th century. The refurbished building retains hints of its industrial past: wooden floors, exposed beams, walls lined with carefully labelled tools.

But instead of quietly perusing stacks of books, many of the patrons are crowded around a suite of 3D printers. One machine is midway through a pink mobile phone case; another is finishing up a toy sword.
This is Fayetteville's maker lab – and it may very well be the future of libraries.

In 2011, Fayetteville became the first public library in the US to set up a maker lab. Besides 3D printers, the space features a laser cutter, electronics kits, workshop tools, Raspberry Pi computers and an array of sewing machines. It functions somewhere between a classroom and a start-up incubator – a place where people from all over the region can get involved with state-of-the-art technology.

Since the lab opened, similar spaces have been popping up across the country, including in cities like Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Denver and Detroit. According to the American Library Association, about 1 in 6 libraries now dedicates some of its space to maker tools and activities. The New York Public Library – one of the largest in the country – is watching these developments to inform its upcoming renovation.

Darwin's Entire Library Aboard The HMS Beagle Is Now Available Online

This from the usually forward looking site io9, "A historian has reconstructed the lost library of books that accompanied Charles Darwin during his five-year scientific voyage across the world, allowing the public to read the more than 400 volumes that served as reference and inspiration for the young naturalist whose theories would revolutionize biology.

The library was dispersed at the conclusion of the voyage. But now, nearly 180 years later, it has been electronically reconstructed in its entirety by historian John van Wyhe and is freely available at his Darwin Online website. The collection consists of more than 195,000 pages containing over 5,000 illustrations."

Here's the link to the Charles Darwin Beagle Library

Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i8.pdf

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books. The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

Full piece here.

Zinesters Take Over a New York City F Train (Peacefully), Will Move on Today to Staten Island Ferry

From The New York Times:

The two-day event, called the MTA Zine Residency, had been organized by a librarian and an archivist at the Barnard College library, which they said has the largest circulating collection of zines in an academic library. After producing zines on the F train, the group was planning to reconvene Monday on the Staten Island Ferry to put the finishing touches on their creations. The organizers of the residency said they hoped that the participants would sell or donate copies of their completed zines to the Barnard collection.

Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard, said that the relative quiet and lack of phone and Internet connections made the subway a natural place to compose zines.

“There really is a pleasure to writing while you’re in motion,” she said. “I’ve always felt that time is most my own.”

Singapore Library Pulls Books About Gay Couples

Where is it illegal to chew gum and/or be in a gay relationship? Singapore of course.

Story from NPR's The Two-Way Blog , interpret the name of the blog as you see fit.

The two books are And Tango Makes Three, inspired by two real male penguins who hatched an egg together, and The White Swan Express, about four couples — one of which is a lesbian couple — who travel to China to adopt baby girls. The books will be pulped, according to Time Magazine.

What Do Kansas and Nebraska Have Against Small Libraries?

http://time.com/2970649/tiny-libraries-violating-city-ordinances/

“We were all envisioning the mayor pulling up in a Subaru and taking an axe to it,” says Barbara Arendt, who spearheaded the library’s construction. “We didn’t realize we were behaving egregiously.”

What libraries need from key U.S. technology program

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/10/what-libraries-need-from-key-...

FCC Chairman Wheeler’s draft proposal—which no one but other commissioners have been able to read in detail—will not single-handedly boost global competitiveness nor will it kill E-rate as we know (and value) it. It is, however, an important first step in connecting all learners to the high-capacity broadband critical for digital opportunity. Wi-Fi doesn’t work without adequate broadband to support it, and there is more work to be done to further improve and strengthen the E-rate program for more productive years ahead. But to further delay action will shortchange our nation’s public libraries and the communities they serve.

The Second Phase of Technological Disruption

I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemo?lu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.

Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.

Digital publishing is a case of technological disruption. Its challenge to the gatekeeper of a traditional publisher is now clear. Can’t get your book published? Do it yourself, and do it a whale of a lot faster—meaning you can capitalize quickly on issues of the day.

But I’ll propose that disruption has three predictable phases.

Full piece American Libraries

Prison is a Great Place to Get Reading Done

From the New Yorker, a story of one man's favorite activity while in prison.

ps - don't do heroin.

City of Lincoln evicts Little Free Library from right of way

The City of Lincoln has evicted a Little Free Library from its location near a church in the Indian Village neighborhood, saying the library box can't sit in a public right of way.

The city gave the group and the church, New Visions Community-Southminster site, until Thursday to move the box onto private property or face fines that could hit $500.

Full story

Syndicate content Syndicate content