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From The Digital Reader: "Adobe is gathering data on the ebooks that have been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. All of this data, including the title, publisher, and other metadata for the book is being sent to Adobe’s server in clear text...Adobe is not only logging what users are doing, they’re also sending those logs to their servers in such a way that anyone running one of the servers in between can listen in and know everything...But wait, there’s more."
Librarians at the University of Leeds have dusted off what is thought to be the one of first portable and travel sized library of books.
Long before books were stored on a Kindle, smartphone or tablet, the Jacobean miniature travelling library was the only way literature fans could carry a large number of books.
Young adult literature has become a booming business and one of the fastest growing book categories for publishers in recent years, with more than 715 million books sold in 2013 -- mostly to adults. NewsHour Weekend's Tracy Wholf reports.
PBS viewers respond to a recent signature piece examining Florida’s new law requiring low-performing elementary schools to provide an extra hour of reading every day. Hari Sreenivasan reads your comments.
Hennepin County Library launches website, and worry, for some teen patrons
“We’ve had hundreds of comments,” said Turner, division manager for system services, “and have not heard any concerns from our library staff, nor patrons.” Library staffers have been able to preview the site for the past two weeks, she said, noting that it is “far more image-intensive, less tab-based and more like Pinterest.”
A librarian named Joe Murphy is suing two female librarians for $1.25 million for claiming he sexually harasses women at library conferences. As sex scandals go, that’s pretty mild, but the standards for scandal are lower in libraryland.
You can go give them a donation or sign a petition asking Murphy to drop the lawsuit if those are your kinds of thing.
I haven’t seen a corresponding Support Joe Murphy’s Lawsuit website or petition, but if there is one someone can post it in the comments.
He’s also suing them in Canadian court, even though as far as I can tell both he and one of the defendants are Americans. Canadian libel laws are more friendly to plaintiffs, it seems, whereas American libel laws tend to favor something librarians are supposed to favor, free speech. So he’s a cunning little fella, you have to give him that.
I’m seeing the story pop up in more and more places, so it looks like Murphy has a growing reputation among librarians.
Eugie Foster, the Nebula Award-winning writer/editor had been raising money for cancer treatment; she died September 27th. Her husband posted the following in an update: Eugie Foster, author, editor, wife, died on September 27th of respiratory failure at Emory University in Atlanta. In her forty-two years, Eugie lived three lifetimes. She won the Nebula award, the highest award for science fiction literature, and had over one hundred of her stories published. She was an editor for the Georgia General Assembly. She was the director of the Daily Dragon at Dragon Con, and was a regular speaker at genre conventions. She was a model, dancer, and psychologist. She also made my life worth living.
Memorial service will be announced soon.
We do not need flowers. In lieu of flowers, please buy her books and read them. Buy them for others to read until everyone on the planet knows how amazing she was.
–Matthew M. Foster (husband) -- Read More
From From KIMT, Minnesota:
Michael Scott, who currently works at SELCO in Rochester, MN has been tabbed the new librarian for the Hawkeye state. Scott works with libraries across the area, including those in Olmsted County, but his new gig will find him working with many, many more. “I think it’s a great time for Iowa libraries,” Scott said. “It’s a great time for them to move forward to do that next thing, whatever that is,” he added.
Scott says he is excited to start his new job in November and get to know the great people of Iowa even better.
The New York City Department of Education must stop violating rules on the minimum number of librarians required at city high schools, state education Commissioner John B. King Jr. has decided.
The United Federation of Teachers had appealed to the commissioner several times in recent years to force the city to comply with regulations spelling out how many librarians are necessary, depending on enrollment. City school officials argued last year that fewer were needed because of advancements in technology and the ability of small schools to share them.
In a decision signed Sept. 15, Mr. King said the union didn't have standing to argue on behalf of students deprived of librarians' help, but the city must comply with the staffing minimums.
A spokeswoman for the city education department said it would work on a plan to address the issue, noting that school libraries have "tremendous value." Article from The Wall Street Journal.
Is it Band (sic) Books Week yet? I’m not sure, and the propaganda is so hyperbolic I don’t have the heart to read it to find the dates. Anyway, let’s see if the Band Book people mention this very odd case.
I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.
-- George Washington
Somebody smarter (or more patient about wading through data) than I am could probably figure out how far along this bifurcation is already, but Amazon is doing its very best to build a body of content that is desirable and available from nobody else but them.
This is something you can do when you’re in the neighborhood of 70 percent of ebook sales and already more than half the total sales for many works of fiction, which is where the self-publishing world is strongest. It is not an opportunity that is really available to any other retailer. Apple has given it a try for more complex ebooks for which they provide ebook-building tools and, presumably, offer the most productive distribution environment for complex content. But they’re playing on much less fertile ground and they don’t have anything like the audience share necessary to drive this strategy very far.
It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine that any other ebook ecosystem could offer benefits that would make it worth skipping Amazon.
Via Medium, an exploration of the maker movement and what its future might be.
"There seems to be a misconception about what 3D printing does and does not enable. Does it allow us to delight a four-year-old by pulling a mini Darth Vader toy seemingly out of thin air? It does. But the object doesn’t materialize from nothing. A 3D printer consumes about 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than injection molding to make an item of the same weight. On top of that, the emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette or cooking on a gas or electric stove. And the material of choice for all this new stuff we’re clamoring to make is overwhelmingly plastic. In a sense, it’s a reverse environmental offset, counteracting recent legislation to reduce plastic use through grocery bag bans and packaging redesigns. While more people tote reuasable cloth bags to the supermarket, plastic is piling up in other domains, from TechShop to Target."
Tell us what your library is doing to celebrate.
Talk about dedication to her line of work! Click here to find out why.
THE central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.”
That, happily, is now changing. On September 11th Philadelphia announced it had secured a $25m grant from the William Penn foundation to update its old libraries. Yet libraries in general are struggling. Americans tell pollsters they love them, but fewer use them. In June the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, published data showing that library visitor numbers have declined in recent years. Polling published on September 10th by the Pew Research Center, a think tank, revealed that more people say they are going to the library less than going more, with a sharp gap among the young.
More from The Economist.