Pokemon Go sends swarms of players to bookstores and libraries. But will they remember the books?

Strand communications director Whitney Hu told PR Week she wasn't worried about the increased traffic caused by players hoping to get their virtual hands on a Bulbasaur. "[T]here is so much room to run around and find corners that we haven’t had that conversation yet," she said. "Most of our employees know more about it than our managers do, anyway." Libraries are also seeing an uptick of visitors because of the game. Some, like Cincinnati are posting pictures of the creatures on their Instagram feeds. 
From Pokemon Go sends swarms of players to bookstores and libraries. But will they remember the books? - LA Times
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Steinhardt Study Identifies “Book Deserts” – Poor Neighborhoods Lacking Children’s Books – Across the Country

To create a national picture of “book deserts,” the new study, funded by JetBlue, examined access to children’s books in six urban neighborhoods across the United States, representing the Northeast (Washington, D.C.), Midwest (Detroit), and West (Los Angeles). In each of the three cities, the researchers analyzed two neighborhoods: a high-poverty area (with a poverty rate of 40 percent and above) and a borderline community (with a roughly 18 to 40 percent poverty rate). Going street by street in each neighborhood, the researchers counted and categorized what kinds of print resources—including books, magazines, and newspapers—were available to purchase in stores. (While online book sales have grown in recent years, three out of four children’s books are still bought in brick and mortar stores.)
From Steinhardt Study Identifies “Book Deserts” – Poor Neighborhoods Lacking Children’s Books – Across the Country | At a Glance
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Fidel Speaks: Literature in Castro’s Cuba

Late in 1959, the photojournalist Lee Lockwood flew to Cuba to witness the end of Batista’s regime. After a long search, he found Fidel Castro, who had only just seized power. The two had an immediate rapport, and in successive trips over the next decade, Lockwood found that Castro granted him unprecedented access to the island; in 1965, he sat for a marathon seven-day interview. First published in 1967, Lockwood’s portrait of Castro stands as arguably the most penetrating document that exists of the man. Lockwood died in 2010; this month, in light of the new course in U.S. relations with Cuba and the paucity of historical context, Taschen is reissuing his interviews in Castro’s Cuba: An American Journalist’s Inside Look at Cuba 1959–1969, including hundreds of photographs, many of them previously unpublished. The excerpt below covers Castro’s opinions on literature, arts, and culture in Cuba.   
From Fidel Speaks: Literature in Castro’s Cuba
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Announcing the development of SocArXiv, an open social science archive

SocArXiv announces a partnership with the Center for Open Science to develop a free, open access, open source archive for social science research. The initiative responds to growing recognition of the need for faster, open sharing of research on a truly open access platform for the social sciences. Papers on SocArXiv will be permanently available and free to the public.
From Announcing the development of SocArXiv, an open social science archive – SocOpen: The SocArXiv blog
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B&N to Sell Self-Published Books In Stores

The big news about Barnes & Noble is that after twenty years of battling with Amazon they have finally made a competitive move that Amazon cannot match. Barnes & Noble, with 640 bookstores in 50 states, is giving self-published authors a chance to get access to their hallowed bookshelves. Meanwhile, Amazon runs one bookstore in Seattle (albeit with 3 more slated). Barnes & Noble wins this contest hands down. The news reads best at a quick glance: “…authors have the opportunity to sell their print books at Barnes & Noble stores across the country… participate at in-store events including book signings and discussions, where they will be able to sell their print books and meet fans.”
From B&N to Sell Self-Published Books In Stores
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My Little Free Library War: How Our Suburban Front-Yard Lending Box Made Me Hate Books and Fear My Neighbors

And it drove home another lesson: Not only was I not a librarian, I wasn’t even really dealing in reading material. That the objects in our Little Free Library happened to be books was beside the point. The salient fact was that the items were free. We may as well, I suspected, have been offering plastic spoons, Allen wrenches and facial tissue. I tested this hypothesis by mixing in non-book items including an instructional DVD on how to use an exercise ball, and a few packets of echinacea seeds. All of it went.
From My Little Free Library War: How Our Suburban Front-Yard Lending Box Made Me Hate Books and Fear My Neighbors | Alternet
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Dallas Public Library's Used Bookstore Closing After 30 Years

Too bad. Replaced by an office of Vital Statistics. Story here.

The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

From 6 square ft, a story about the secret apartments of New York libraries. The protagonists being the supers (superintendents) that maintain and live in the libraries.

"In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours."

Would you like to have a little place in the back of your own library?

Rainbow flag over library prompts new rules in Des Plaines

In response to the rainbow flag flying outside the Des Plaines Public Library, city aldermen on Tuesday narrowly passed a measure allowing only the flags of the United States, state of Illinois and city of Des Plaines, and the POW-MIA flag to fly over municipal property. Any other flags would require prior approval from the city council.
From Rainbow flag over library prompts new rules in Des Plaines
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Being a librarian now means also being at least a part-time social worker

In a city known for innovation, tolerance, and liberal social policies, homelessness has proven to be an intractable problem. Two out of three of San Francisco’s homeless residents are not living in shelters but on the street, according to federal statistics. That trend, says Hall, has manifested itself inside the library. “There certainly weren’t as many homeless patrons when I began,” Hall said. “But there also weren’t the housing shortages and the income disparities and the issues with injectable drugs. The city really has changed a lot.” And so has being a librarian at the Main Branch. To thrive here, Hall said, one must come to terms with the fact that it is not a sleepy suburban branch nor a cloistered university research library. “We make it very clear to our applicants that this isn’t always a quiet, peaceful place,” Hall said. “People who work here must embrace that urban reality.”
From Being a librarian now means also being at least a part-time social worker — Timeline
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Let’s make peer review scientific

So what now? In my field, and perhaps in many others: follow the triallists. First, develop evidence-based lists of items to be included in reporting (mission-sort-of-accomplished for many clinical journals). Journals must accept and promote these guidelines and ensure that reviewers hold authors to them; perhaps they should facilitate training in peer review, which has been shown to improve performance. Finally, manuscript editors and copy editors must uphold the standards. For example, we now routinely reject trial reports that cannot prove registration before inception. This change is large for all involved — authors, reviewers and journal staff — and it is taking years.
From Let’s make peer review scientific : Nature News & Comment

Marrakesh Treaty will limit copyright, easing book access for blind and print-disabled worldwide

The Marrakesh Treaty is a proposed set of rules designed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a division of the U.N. that helps alleviate cross-border IP issues. Marrakesh would create exceptions to copyright laws, allowing reproduction of works in accessible formats like Braille, audio or e-book, and easing restrictions on passing those works between countries. The range of disabilities, needs and means of access are very wide: A person who is paralyzed or lacks hands has very different requirements from someone who is blind, or someone suffering from dyslexia.
From Marrakesh Treaty will limit copyright, easing book access for blind and print-disabled worldwide | TechCrunch
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Adding Classes and Content, Resurgent Libraries Turn a Whisper Into a Roar

Far from becoming irrelevant in the digital age, libraries in New York City and around the nation are thriving: adding weekend and evening hours; hiring more librarians and staff; and expanding their catalog of classes and services to include things like job counseling, coding classes and knitting groups. No longer just repositories for books, public libraries have reinvented themselves as one-stop community centers that aim to offer something for everyone. In so doing, they are reaffirming their role as an essential part of civic life in America by making themselves indispensable to new generations of patrons.
From Adding Classes and Content, Resurgent Libraries Turn a Whisper Into a Roar - The New York Times
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Welcome To The Library Hiding In A Garden Hiding In New York City

Stephen Sinon, head of special collections, research and archives at the New York Botanical Garden, describes the Mertz Library “as the largest of its kind in the world under one roof.” Founded in 1899, the haven for plant-related literature is often described as either the largest or the most comprehensive botanical library in the Americas. With over one million items — including The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia by James Edward Smith — it sits rather quietly on the property of the Bronx Garden, hiding, one might put it, in plain sight.
From Welcome To The Library Hiding In A Garden Hiding In New York City
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The Victorians had the same concerns about technology as we do

Of course, all old technologies were once new. People were at one point genuinely concerned about things we take for granted as perfectly harmless now. In the later decades of the 19th century it was thought that the telephone would induce deafness and that sulphurous vapours were asphyxiating passengers on the London Underground. These then-new advancements were replacing older still technologies that had themselves occasioned similar anxieties on their introduction. Plato, as his oral culture began to transition to a literary one, was gravely worried that writing itself would erode the memory.
From The Victorians had the same concerns about technology as we do
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Delay Over Confirmation of Carla Hayden as Librarian of Congress

Our obstructionist Congress is saying that LOC Librarian of Congress nominee Carla Hayden is pro-obscenity. Consequently they are delaying a confirmation for the post (a la the Supreme Court). Report via TechDirt.

From the article: " A key issue, of course, is that the Copyright Office is part of the Library of Congress, so Hayden would run the Copyright Office as well. In our original post, we already noted the rather snide statement put out by the RIAA , which basically says "Hayden's fine for the library, but she better keep her filthy hands off of the Copyright Office":

“We are gratified that President Obama has chosen a qualified and capable nominee to be the next Librarian of Congress. We look forward to working with Dr. Hayden.

“It is worth noting that the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office have been mutually respectful of each other’s areas of expertise. We would hope that the new Librarian would continue to demonstrate that respect for the Copyright Office’s expertise in copyright policy and recommendations to Congress.”

AIGA | 50 Books/50 Covers Competition

“50 Books/50 Covers” has a long history of celebrating design excellence, with selections exemplifying the best current work in book and book cover design as chosen by a distinguished jury of design peers. The annual competition developed from AIGA's “Fifty Books of 1923” exhibition and past selections have been added to the AIGA Design Archives as well as the physical archives at the Denver Art Museum and in Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection at the Butler Library. Since 2011, the competition has been managed by Design Observer. “Justified: AIGA Design Competition” represents the next generation of AIGA’s competitions and seeks stories that reveal the value design created for the client. For book design, AIGA encourages entry in both competitions. 
From AIGA | 50 Books/50 Covers Competition Here are the 2015 winners: Books and the Covers.
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Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber.

The new depictions Ms. Wolfe has gathered are all from the 17th century. More than half associate the arms with “Shakespeare the player,” or with William, not John. This material not only proves “that Shakespeare was Shakespeare,” as Ms. Wolfe wryly put it. It also, she argues, underlines the degree to which contemporaries saw the coat of arms as, in effect, being for William. “It makes it abundantly clear that while Shakespeare was obtaining the arms on behalf of his father, it was really for his own status,” she said. Mr. Shapiro said he agreed. “All evidence suggests this was not about the father,” he said, “but about how Shakespeare wanted to be seen.”
From Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber. - NYTimes.com
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Mississauga workers’ strike shuts down 18 public libraries

“How do they justify giving (library) director Rose Vespa a 7.3 per cent salary increase the same year we got .5 per cent,” asked librarian and CUPE Local 1989 president Laura Kaminker, after a strike Monday shut down all 18 public libraries in Mississauga. Contract negotiations between the city and the union representing about 390 members who work in the libraries broke down over the weekend, with no immediate plans to resume talks. Late fees won’t be applied while the shutdown continues, and online services are not impacted by the strike.
From Mississauga workers’ strike shuts down 18 public libraries | Toronto Star
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The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade

Victorian sexuality is often considered synonymous with prudishness, conjuring images of covered up piano legs and dark ankle-length skirts. Historian Matthew Green uncovers a quite different scene in the sordid story of Holywell St, 19th-century London’s epicentre of erotica and smut.
From The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade | The Public Domain Review
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