This is the hidden underside of the browsing experience. When you’re surfing the web, sitting alone at your computer or with your smartphone clutched in your hand, it feels private and ephemeral. You feel freed to look for the things that you’re too embarrassed or ashamed to ask another person. But increasingly, there is digital machinery at work turning your fleeting search whims into hard data trails.
The mining of secrets for profit is done invisibly, shrouded in the mystery of “confidential partnerships,” “big data,” and “proprietary technology.” People in databases don’t know that dossiers are being compiled on them, let alone have the chance to correct any mistakes in them.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 23, 2017 - 1:14pm
One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.
MOSCOW — A Russian court on Monday sentenced a former director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow to a four-year suspended prison term for inciting hatred toward Russians and embezzling public funds, in a case that her lawyers described as an attack on cultural figures with ties to Ukraine.
The court ruled that Natalia G. Sharina (whose library has since been closed) purchased anti-Russian books and other materials and put them on the library’s shelves to help Ukrainian nationalists get a foothold in Moscow. Her lawyers said that they would appeal the sentence in Russian courts and also seek redress in the European Court of Human Rights.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 6, 2017 - 10:58am
The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel — who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books including "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham" — features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Boston shaped his work.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 5, 2017 - 12:36am
On C-Span BookTV
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) talked about his book The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, in which he looks at how to engage adolescents and young adults to become independent, active, and engaged citizens. He was interviewed by Steven Olikara.
See video here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?428117-2/words-senator-ben-sasse
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 31, 2017 - 8:09pm
In which John looks at the one photograph of his 23-year-old self, considers what to keep from life, and wonders what (if anything) from nerdfighteria should be professionally archived. Also considered: Whether there will be humans for much longer, digitial archiving efforts, and what pictures do.
John was contacted by a librarian and that is one reason behind the creation of this video.
From Colorado Public Radio a piece about the main library and how staff are trying to safeguard library visitors.
One person recently died in the library bathroom from a drug overdose. That inspired the library to began a program to instruct staff how to administer the drug antidote, Narcan.
"A lot of the root causes of the behaviors that are finding their way through our doors are happening throughout Denver, and that's daunting,” said Chris Henning, communications manager for the Denver Public Library. “We're trying to do what we can do specifically for our facilities to make sure they're safe. And at the same time, help the city address these bigger problems. These societal problems however we can to try and make an impact on that, because they're just coming at us at a rate that we have not seen before."
The images, captured on film, often in black and white, are also being brought into the digital age, alongside the millions of others that comprise the Chronicle’s photo archive. Negatives and prints are gradually being scanned, and some of the best are being featured in the Instagram account SF Chronicle Vault. Atlas Obscura spoke with Timothy O’Rourke, Assistant Managing Editor of the Chronicle and Executive Producer of SFChronicle.com, about organizing millions of images, sharing San Francisco’s history, and stumbling across the perfect image.
It takes a certain something to be a good storyteller: enthusiasm, timing and a flair for the dramatic. Performers at a children's story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some — they're drag queens.
About once a month since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library has been presenting Drag Queen Story Hour, where performers with names such as Lil Miss Hot Mess and Ona Louise regale an audience of young children and their parents.
F Scott Fitzgerald’s publishing career lasted just two decades, from 1920 to 1940, when he died aged 44. But in that brief time he published four novels, a play and 178 short stories (some of which he compiled into four collections), while leaving an unfinished novel as well as many incomplete stories, fragments, notes, screenplays and film scenarios. Most have gradually trickled into print over the 77 years since his death, and with the publication of I’d Die For You, the trickle all but ends: these are the last known uncollected stories from the archives.
From Black Press USA (but few other sources) comes news that limits the responsibilities and the tenure of the Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden.
The bill makes the head of the Copyright Office, the Register of Copyrights, a presidential appointment that would have to be confirmed by the Senate, rather than an appointment by the Librarian of Congress, as it has been since 1870. The bill also limits the position of Librarian of Congress to a ten-year term.
The previous Librarian of Congress, James Billington, served in the position for 28 years though he was a Russian scholar and not really am MLS.
But after reaching a peak in 2014, sales of e-readers and ebooks have slowed and hardback sales have surged. The latest figures from the Publishing Association showed ebook sales falling 17% in 2016, with an 8% rise in their physical counterparts. At the same time, publishers’ production values have soared and bookshops have begun to fill up with books with covers of jewel-like beauty, often with gorgeously textured pages. As the great American cover designer Peter Mendelsund put it to me, books have “more cloth, more foil, more embossing, page staining, sewn bindings, deckled edges”.
A report set to be released by the three city library systems Monday highlights some of the worst conditions at branches across the boroughs and expresses hope the city will provide some relief.
The 15-page report, “Time to Renew,” says despite a $300 million capital infusion from the recent budget, several branches in the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public library systems are still suffering severe infrastructure problems.
Buying books does not equal reading books. We all know that. Yet, so many end up victims of tsundoku anyway.
One problem, I think, is that collecting feels like learning. Each time we discover a new productivity toy, internet article or bestselling book, our brain sends us a jolt of dopamine (our brain’s “reward” hormone) for doing nothing at all.
Ahh, says our brain, a job well done.