How Jean Stein Reinvented the Oral History

As anyone who’s read Stein’s books knows, her approach encourages her subjects to air their grievances; as people opened up to her, they revealed stories of turbulence and violence, plus the tensions of classism, sexism, racism, and ageism. McNeil and McCain, who are currently working on an oral history of 1969, have noticed this in their interviews, too, and it may be Stein’s most remarkable legacy: the creation of a form that championed a mosaiclike reality, where every person’s account carries an equal weight as “truth.” Her “oral narrative” carves out a place where history is illuminated by people who had a hand in shaping it, yet had never been so much asked for their opinions, and are held up as sacred as the deeds that line history textbooks. “You can really document injustice and the way things went down so well,” McNeil notes. “I think Jean Stein deserves a medal for that.”
From How Jean Stein Reinvented the Oral History
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3 Most Popular Books From Each Decade 1950-2010

Everyone knows knowledge is a vital aspect when it comes to moving forward. By looking at popular literature in a time period you can delve into the people of the time’s though process. Let’s get into the 3 best selling books from each decade starting at 1950-1959 and going to where we are now 2010 onward. If the books are available on Amazon links will be provided for those interested in reading them.
From 3 Most Popular Books From Each Decade 1950-2010 – Factual Future
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The Right to Read

Later on, Dan would learn there was a time when anyone could go to the library and read journal articles, and even books, without having to pay. There were independent scholars who read thousands of pages without government library grants. But in the 1990s, both commercial and nonprofit journal publishers had begun charging fees for access. By 2047, libraries offering free public access to scholarly literature were a dim memory.
This article appeared in the February 1997 issue of Communications of the ACM (Volume 40, Number 2). From The Road To Tycho, a collection of articles about the antecedents of the Lunarian Revolution, published in Luna City in 2096. From The Right to Read - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation
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The best American wall map

By contrast, David Imus worked alone on his map seven days a week for two full years. Nearly 6,000 hours in total. It would be prohibitively expensive just to outsource that much work. But Imus—a 35-year veteran of cartography who’s designed every kind of map for every kind of client—did it all by himself. He used a computer (not a pencil and paper), but absolutely nothing was left to computer-assisted happenstance. Imus spent eons tweaking label positions. Slaving over font types, kerning, letter thicknesses. Scrutinizing levels of blackness. It’s the kind of personal cartographic touch you might only find these days on the hand-illustrated ski-trail maps available at posh mountain resorts.
From The best American wall map: David Imus’ “The Essential Geography of the United States of America”
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How J.J. Abrams Reinvented the Written Word with 'S.'

“It made me smile, this optimistic, romantic idea that you could leave a book with a message for someone. It reminded me of being in college, and seeing the notes that people would leave in the margins of the books they’d checked out of the library.” With the help of creative writing mastermind and novelist Doug Dorst, Abrams built on the romantic idea of the found object as a storytelling device. He constructed, from the ground up, a meta-narrative, centered upon a novel titled Ship of Theseus, written by fictitious author V.M. Straka, in 1949.
From How J.J. Abrams Reinvented the Written Word with 'S.'
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Top 20 Library Scandals in Recent History

Hopefully these examples show how at times it’s worth turning our gaze inward to discover how we can do things better. That’s why, although there’s certainly plenty of cases of library patrons behaving badly — from hackers to politicians to exhibitionists (to say nothing about irresponsible authors) — the focus of this list is primarily on librarians, along with the government and vendors that we do business with. So then, in the spirit of those words from Alice Roosevelt Longworth, “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit here by me."
From Top 20 Library Scandals in Recent History – John Hubbard – Medium
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The Strange and Grotesque Doodles in the Margins of Medieval Books

Manuscripts can be seen as time capsules,” says Johanna Green, Lecturer in Book History and Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow. “And marginalia provide layers of information as to the various human hands that have shaped their form and content.” From intriguingly detailed illustrations to random doodles, the drawings and other marks made along the edges of pages in medieval manuscripts—called marginalia—are not just peripheral matters. “Both tell us huge amounts about a book’s history and the people who have contributed to it, from creation to the present day.”
From The Strange and Grotesque Doodles in the Margins of Medieval Books - Atlas Obscura
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What it was like to be peer reviewed in the 1860s

That path from submission to revision and publication will sound familiar to modern scientists. However, Tyndall’s experience with the Philosophical Transactions—in particular, with its refereeing system—was quite different from what authors experience today. Tracing “On the absorption and radiation of heat” through the Royal Society’s editorial process highlights how one of the world’s most established refereeing systems worked in the 1860s. Rather than relying on anonymous referee reports to improve their papers, authors engaged in extensive personal exchanges with their reviewers. Such a collegial approach gradually lost favor but recently has undergone something of a resurgence.
From What it was like to be peer reviewed in the 1860s

One of the first books ever printed in England discovered by university librarian

The University of Reading has discovered pages of one of the first books printed in England, dating from the 15th century. The pages of a mediaeval priest’s handbook, dating to between 1476 and 1477, were found in the University’s archives by Special Collections librarian Erika Delbecque while she was cataloguing thousands of items showing the history of print and graphic design.
From One of the first books ever printed in England discovered by university librarian | The Independent
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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Is Looking for a Librarian

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, or “Rock Hall,” is best known for their annual selection of new inductees. But the museum also boasts an incredibly comprehensive library and archive chock full of scholarship and memorabilia, from photonegatives of Aretha Franklin in the studio to Jimi Hendrix’s handwritten ‘Purple Haze’ lyric sheet to a full drawer of Kid Rock posters.
From The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Is Looking for a Librarian - Atlas Obscura
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A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them

Marx is currently on the look-out for some creative ways to not fine kids, but still hold them accountable. One idea he's toying with: put a hold on a child's account until they simply return their overdue materials, no fines involved. Five years ago, Marx granted city-wide amnesty to children with fines, and he says they saw 80,000 kids return to the library over time. Now, he's trying to secure a $10 million endowment to get rid of fines in perpetuity.
From A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them - WNYC News - WNYC

Ancient Library Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last

The 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius is most famous for burying Pompeii, spectacularly preserving many artifacts—and residents—in that once bustling town south of Naples. The tumbling clouds of ash also entombed the nearby resort of Herculaneum, which is filled with its own wonders. During excavations there in 1752, diggers found a villa containing bundles of rolled scrolls, carbonized by the intense heat of the pyroclastic flows and preserved under layers of cement-like rock. Further digs showed that the scrolls were part of an extensive library, earning the structure the name Villa of the Papyri.
From Ancient Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last | History | Smithsonian
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Libraries aren't simply city buildings; they're community building blocks

Think about it: a library isn’t just a place where thousands of books are housed on plain shelves with a dusty card catalogue squeaking every time someone opens a wooden drawer. Libraries are public community centres: gathering places for all. In fact, a library is one of the most accessed free public services around anywhere … period. I’m hard-pressed to think of anything else that comes close.
From Libraries aren't simply city buildings; they're community building blocks | Commentary | St. Albert Gazette
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At San Diego's libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots

“I want people to think about the library as, ‘This is a place where I can go and there are no limits to what I can learn,’” said library director Misty Jones. “I want people to think of us first when they are looking for something cool to do on the weekend or something cool to do at night. I want people to pay attention to what we’re doing because we’re on to something.”
From At San Diego's libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots - The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Presidential Libraries Are a Scam. Could Obama Change That?

The National Archives and Records Administration—which operates presidential library-museums for every president from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush—won’t be operating either for Obama. His private Obama Foundation, not the government, will own and operate the museum. And there really won’t be a presidential library. The Obama Foundation will pay for NARA to digitize unclassified records and release them to the public as they become available, but the center’s “Library,” which may or may not house a local branch of the Chicago Public Library, will not contain or control presidential papers and artifacts, digital or otherwise. Instead, according to a NARA press release that called the museum “a new model for the preservation and accessibility of presidential records,” those records will be stored in “existing NARA facilities”—meaning one or more of the agency’s research or records centers across the country.
From Presidential Libraries Are a Scam. Could Obama Change That? - POLITICO Magazine

Why Aren't More Big Donors Giving to Public Libraries?

Which often leads us to wonder: Why don't we see more gifts to libraries? Sure, we've seen some such gifts, but not many as you might think at a moment when so many new donors are showing up in philanthropy, looking for places where their money might make an impact. Libraries could certainly use a boost. In many cities and towns, public libraries are hurting because of budgetary cutbacks—and more cuts may be on the way with the Trump administration targeting federal library funding. 
From Why Aren't More Big Donors Giving to Public Libraries? — Inside Philanthropy
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8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

Centralize reading in your home. Make a public commitment. Find a few trusted, curated lists. Change your mindset about quitting. Take a “news fast” and channel your reading dollars. ....
From 8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral

Neutrality doesn’t encourage our critical thinking; it doesn’t ask us to question facts that are wrong, or behaviors that are prejudiced. By this measure, neutrality doesn’t necessarily reveal injustice but further entrenches it, which is ironic.
From Librarians in the 21st Century: It Is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral | Literary Hub
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Gunfire @ Your Library (Miami-Dade)

A simmering feud between two men led to gunfire, disorienting panic and calls to police of possible mass casualties at Miami-Dade’s main library yesterday.

In the end, only the gun-wielding man was shot — by a police officer who was off duty in uniform working at the downtown library. Dozens of patrons, some of whom witnessed the altercation, were led to safety. Do we still think open carry is a good idea?

Obama Presidential Center Design Unveiled : NPR

The design for the Obama Presidential Center was unveiled Wednesday at an event attended by former President Obama and Michelle Obama. The Center, slated to be completed in 2021, will be located in the Jackson Park neighborhood of Chicago's South side and it will include three buildings — a museum, forum and library that surround a public plaza. The buildings will be made up of variegated stone with glass openings to allow for natural light and be certified at LEED v4 Platinum for resource efficiency and sustainability.
From Obama Presidential Center Design Unveiled : NPR

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