Marginalia as Gold Dust

From the New York Times (scroll about halfway down to Found in the Margins):

In the last few months, foundations have given out hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research on the scribbles in the margins of old books.

Johns Hopkins University, Princeton and University College London have received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to partner on a database, “The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe.” It will focus on 16th-century marginalia from the writers Gabriel Harvey, Isaac Casaubon and John Dee. Earle Havens, a library curator and professor at Johns Hopkins, said in an interview that the three “could not open a book without a pen in their hand.”

“The Archaeology of Reading” will result in searchable transcriptions of the annotators’ outrage, gossip, cross-references to other books and uncensored colloquial reactions. Harvey’s annotations are particularly revealing; he longed, futilely, to overcome his humble origins as a rope maker’s son and become a prominent legal figure.

Lisa Jardine, a professor at University College London, said that in Harvey’s marginalia, “You watch him move up the social ladder, but then he can’t straddle the final hurdles.”

Volumes marked up with handwriting used to be described as “dirty books” among dealers, she added. But in the modern age of words mostly appearing online, marginal notes can actually increase value. “Now they’re gold dust,” she said.

The Reading Room: A Journal of Special Collections seeking peer-reviewers.

The Reading Room: A Journal of Special Collections, a new open-access journal is currently seeking peer-reviewers.

The Reading Room is a scholarly journal committed to providing current research and relevant discussion of practices in a special collections library setting. The Reading Room will publish peer-reviewed articles from practitioners and students involved with special collections in museums, historical societies, corporate environments, galleries, public libraries, and academic libraries. The journal features single-blind, peer-reviewed research articles and case studies related to all aspects of current special collections work, including, but not limited to exhibits, outreach, mentorship, donor relations, teaching, reference, technical and metadata skills, social media, “Lone Arrangers”, management and digital humanities.

For more information, please visit the journal’s website: http://readingroom.lib.buffalo.edu/

Ten Stories That Shaped 2014

With 2015 around the corner, it's time to look back at this year's notable headlines.

10. Little Scofflaws

The Little Free Library movement ran afoul of local ordinances in several locations this year.

9. IKEA Catalogue

Amidst the hoopla over 3D printers, many of us got a -- Read More

Edinburgh University has Given a Library Card to a Cat

Jordan has turned his back on his Catholic friar owners and adopted Edinburgh University library as his main residence. The feline has his own Facebook page set up by students with over 6,800 “likes”. [Ed. note: the Facebook page is a hoot; pictures of Library Cat and a stream-of-consciousness storyline by an anonymous commenter].

And now the black and white pet has been made “official” by getting a card for the library, complete with a photo and 2017 expiry date. The eight-year-old came to the Catholic chaplaincy as a kitten but never took to life as a mouse catcher with men of the cloth.

Despite being named after a 12th Century saint, Jordan preferred the company of trendy young students - and an easy life in the well-heated library. Every day, Jordan leaves the friary and crosses Edinburgh’s leafy George Square in the old town, to the university’s main library.

There, he enjoys being petted by students from across the globe, and even has a favourite turquoise chair near the door. More from Edinburgh News. And here's Jordan's interview on Scottish TV.

Are Your Favorite Magazines Doomed?

In a word, yes. Here's the straight scoop from librarian/writer Roz Warren on what's going going gone in the world of magazines.

I love magazines, which is why I am alarmed and dismayed by the fact that they’re doomed. How do I know?
I’ve read about it, of course. In magazines.

Not only that, but I process the incoming periodicals at the library where I work, which means I can actually see them dwindling before my eyes. What once were fat monthly issues are now alarmingly thin. Monthlies have increasingly resorted to publishing double issues. “New York,“ always my favorite weekly, now comes out every other week.

When I grew up, I looked forward to having my own “McCalls” subscription. (And, with any luck, my own “Playboy“-reading spouse.) Some periodicals still manage to thrive. The last issue of “Vogue” was so big I could barely lift it, as fat with ads as the models within were skinny. (And so pungent with perfume ads you could smell it across the room.)

“People“ will endure. We’ll never grow tired of celebrity gossip. “Sports Illustrated” is still going strong. And “Martha Stewart Wedding” will undoubtedly be around as long as women dream of finding both Mr. Right and a fabulous gown to marry him in.

But “U.S. News and World Report?” “McCalls?“ “Newsweek?“ Gone.

Benjamin Franklin, a Sage Man

Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia printing shop made plaster molds from pressed sage leaves to create metal stamps for marking foliage patterns on Colonial currency. The distinctive contours of leaf spines, stems and veins were meant to thwart counterfeiters, and Franklin’s workers managed to keep the casting technique a secret that has puzzled modern scholars, too.

James N. Green, the librarian at the Library Company of Philadelphia (founded by Franklin in 1731), had wondered for the last two decades if any of Franklin’s actual metal leaf-printing blocks for the bills survived. He had concluded that if one of these castings ever did emerge, it would be “a really sensational discovery,” he said in an interview last month. And since that time...

...such a discovery has been made in a vault at the Delaware County Institute of Science in Media, PA.

Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian's Design Museum Reopens

From The New York Times:

On Friday, Dec. 12, 1902, Andrew Carnegie moved into his just-finished home at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue, with his wife, Louise, and his 5-year-old daughter, Margaret, to whom he handed the key. Carnegie lived there until his death in 1919; Louise until hers in 1946. Margaret was married there but moved next door. When she died in 1990, her childhood home had long since become headquarters for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Lovely slideshow on the renovation by Gluckman Mayner Architects which include a new, wide-open gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements.

NPR's StoryCorps @ Your Library

via Pub-Lib:

StoryCorps, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, is accepting applications from public libraries and library systems interested in hosting StoryCorps @ your library programs.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),= StoryCorps @ your library will bring StoryCorps' popular interview methods= to libraries while developing a replicable model of oral history programming.

Program guidelines and the online application are available at apply.ala.or= g/storycorps. The application deadline is Feb. 6.

Ten selected sites will receive:

* a $2,500 stipend for project-related expenses;
* portable recording equipment;
* a two-day, in-person training on interview collection, digital recording
techniques and archiving on April 8-9, 2014, led byStoryCorps staff in Brooklyn, New York
* two two-hour planning meetings to develop a program and outreach strategy with
StoryCorps staff in March 2015;
* promotional materials and technical and outreach support;
* access to and use of StoryCorps' proprietary interview database.

Each library will be expected to record at least 40 interviews during the six-month interview collection period (May-October 2015). In addition, each library must plan at least one public program inspired by the interviews they collect. Local libraries will retain copies of all interviews and preser= vation copies will also be deposited with the Library of Congress.

This StoryCorps @ your library grant offering represents the second phase of the StoryCorps @ your library project, following a pilot program in 2013-14. Read more at StoryCorps and StoryCorps @ your library.

Temple University Plans Futuristic Snøhetta-Designed Robo-Library

From Curbed:

The planned library will cost $190M to complete, which should happen by 2018. It will be comprised of 210,000 square-feet of space and utilize a robotic text-retrieval system. Basically, students order the book and robotic arms poke through the stacks to deliver it.

A green roof and cafe space are also in the plans for the new library. The old Paley Library will be will be retooled as a welcome center, with a cafe, classrooms, and gathering spaces.

Doris Lessing's Books to Go to Zimbabwe Libraries

From ABC News:

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing, who died last year, spent her early years in Zimbabwe. She is still giving back to the country whose former white rulers banished her for speaking against racial discrimination.

The bulk of Lessing's book collection was handed over to the Harare City Library (at the corner of Rotten Row and Pennyfeather), which will catalogue the more than 3,000 books. The donation complements the author's role in opening libraries in Zimbabwe, to make books available to rural people.

"For us she continues to live," said 42-year-old Kempson Mudenda, who worked with Lessing when she established the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust.

"The libraries she helped set up are giving life to village children who would otherwise be doomed," said Mudenda, who said he used to trudge bush paths daily to reach remote villages with books.

Lessing's trust started libraries in thatched mud huts and under trees after the author was allowed to return to Zimbabwe following independence in 1980.

Strategic, timely censorship

In September of last year, Chinese authorities announced an unorthodox standard to help them decide whether to punish people for posting online comments that are false, defamatory, or otherwise harmful: Was a message popular enough to attract five hundred reposts or five thousand views? It was a striking example of how sophisticated the Chinese government has become, in recent years, in restricting Internet communication—going well beyond crude measures like restricting access to particular Web sites or censoring online comments that use certain keywords. Madeline Earp, a research analyst at Freedom House, the Washington-based nongovernmental organization, suggested a phrase to describe the approach: “strategic, timely censorship.” She told me, “It’s about allowing a surprising amount of open discussion, as long as you’re not the kind of person who can really use that discussion to organize people.”

Full article - The World Cracks Down on the Internet

Integrating Libraries and Bookstores: In Theory

Post at Publishing Perspectives.

A theoretical plan for saving bookstores and making libraries more robust.

Full piece here:
http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/12/deborah-emin-integrating-libraries-bookstores-theory/

Tis the Season

Happy, uh Holidays? Story via <a href="http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/12/05/boston-woman-on-mission-to-get-menorah-at-public-library/">CBS Boston</a>.

Rent a Car @ Your Library

Are you a card carrying member? Then you can do more than just borrow books at three branches of the Brooklyn Public Library, you can borrow a car.

As a BPL member, you can join Zipcar now and get $25 in free driving.

We bow to the inventors of this whole sharing thing. The library. They got it way before the rest of us. Borrow it. Use it. Return it. Then it’s someone else’s turn. Genius.

You don’t need that book collecting dust on the shelf. So you let someone else use it. You don’t need a car in Brooklyn all the time, so why pay for it all time? With Zipcar, you share cars with the folks in your neighborhood. You reserve it when you need it and put it back when you’re done.

It’s easy. Just join, reserve, unlock and drive! (Gas & insurance are included)

Unique gift inscription in book

A blog post about a very unique gift inscription in a book.

Ferguson Municipal Public Library Tour

Welcome to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, NOW with SUPER SHAKY CAM (TM). This tour will show you around the public areas of the library. A simple video introduction, and a big welcome to every single human being in the city of Ferguson, Missouri!

Duluth library's seed sharing program hits a hurdle

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has given a thumbs down to a Duluth seed-sharing program that allows members to borrow vegetable seeds from the library in the spring and later return seeds they collect from their gardens.

State agriculture regulators say the exchange — one of about 300 in the United States — violates the state's seed law because it does not test seeds.

That could jeopardize the popular program, which attracted 200 members who borrowed 800 packets of seeds in its first year, manager Carla Powers said.

In September, the library got a surprise visit from a Minnesota Department of Agriculture seed inspector. He informed the library it was likely violating Minnesota's seed law, which regulates the selling of seeds.

Full article:
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/11/30/duluth-librarys-seed-sharing-program-hits-a-hurdle

Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians

Cites & Insights 15:1 (January 2015) available

Cites & Insights 15:1 (January 2015) available
http://lisnews.org/cites_insights_151_january_2015_available

The Off-Site Librarian | One Cool Thing

When one of the bookmobiles at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL), WA, wore out, spending a quarter of a million dollars to buy a new one was not an option. Yet patrons in remote, rural locations in Clark County still needed library service. The innovative solution was the Yacolt Library Express (YLE): a building that is open to the public nearly 70 hours a week, yet staff only spend about ten hours there during the same period.

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/11/opinion/one-cool-thing/the-off-site-librarian-one-cool-...

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