Your Child Should Read Banned Books

From pediatrician Perri Klass via the New York Times, why children should read banned books, and some recommendations.

'New York Times' Cuts a Range of Bestseller Lists

The New York Times has eliminated a number of bestsellers lists, although the exact number could not be confirmed Thursday morning. Cutting the various lists is part of an overall plan by the paper to revamp its coverage of publishing. A note sent on Wednesday to subscribers to the advance bestsellers lists said, “Beginning with the Advance BSL edition that will be delivered today for Feb. 5, 2017, there will be revisions to multiple categories in the publication. These changes will span weekly and monthly lists.”
From 'New York Times' Cuts a Range of Bestseller Lists
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The Psychomachia: An Early Medieval Comic Book

What do Captain America, Wonder Woman and a 10th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript have in common? The answer may be more surprising than you think. The Psychomachia, or ‘War of the Soul’, was composed by the Late Antique poet Prudentius in the 5th century and depicts an action-packed battle between the Virtues and Vices for possession of the human soul. This allegory of good versus evil was hugely popular in the medieval period with about 300 surviving copies of the work, 20 of which were illuminated. Two illuminated Anglo-Saxon copies are held at the British Library (now Additional MS 24199 and Cotton MS Cleopatra C VIII) and their illustrations can be compared to our comic books today.
From The Psychomachia: An Early Medieval Comic Book - Medieval manuscripts blog
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Texas Aggieland Bookstore no longer selling books

A longtime College Station business is making a big change. The Texas Aggieland Bookstore is no longer selling books. Buying textbooks for college classes isn't how it used to be. "I find it easier just to get on my tablet and have my books on there," said Texas A&M student Zachary Williams. He wasn't surprised that the Texas Aggieland Bookstore is pulling textbooks from shelves.
From Texas Aggieland Bookstore no longer selling books
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You Can Watch Porn At Chicago Libraries, But That Doesn't Mean You Should

The man wasn't wearing headphones or using a privacy screen filter — he was recording the porn with his phone. Hansen found a security guard standing 15 feet away from her computer, but didn't find much help when she told him about her neighbor. "He said 'Yeah, I know, but there's nothing we can do about it,'" Hansen said.
From You Can Watch Porn At Chicago Libraries, But That Doesn't Mean You Should - Downtown - DNAinfo Chicago
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US Museums, Libraries Collect Signs From Women's Protests

Homemade signs that protesters waved when marching against President Donald Trump across U.S. cities last weekend were being collected for posterity Tuesday by museums and libraries, officials said. The National Museum of American History in Washington and smaller institutions said they were collecting and sorting through protest signs they now considered records of nationwide protests of historic proportions.
From US Museums, Libraries Collect Signs From Women's Protests
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Equipping librarians to code: ALA, Google launch ready to code university pilot program

“Libraries play a vital role in our communities, and Google is proud to build on our partnership with ALA," noted Hai Hong, who leads US outreach on Google's K-12 Education team. “We're excited to double down on the findings of Ready to Code 1 by equipping librarians with the knowledge and skills to cultivate computational thinking and coding skills in our youth. Given the ubiquity of technology and the half-a-million unfilled tech jobs in the country, we need to ensure that all youth understand the world around them and have the opportunity to develop the essential skills that employers – and our nation's economy – require.”
From Equipping librarians to code: ALA, Google launch ready to code university pilot program | News and Press Center

George Orwell's 1984 Is Now the #1 Bestselling Book on Amazon

George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, has suddenly surged to the very top of the Amazon’s bestseller list. Though first published in 1949, it’s back with a vengeance. And George only has the new administration to thank.
From George Orwell's 1984 Is Now the #1 Bestselling Book on Amazon | Open Culture
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The Internet Is a Lot Bigger Than Wikipedia

The Internet Is a Lot Bigger Than Wikipedia “But we need Wikipedia for an overview of the topic!” the students yell from the back of the room. I mean, sure. I’m a student too and I get it. Wikipedia is a great way to get a very brief overview of the topic and introduce key terms and topics. You may find, however, that specific Wikis with different content guidelines provide better coverage of your specific topic. For example, individuals interested in sustainability studies may find Appropedia a better resource than Wikipedia. Try searching your general area of study + “wiki” to see if there is a similar online encyclopedia for your topic.
From Ugh, Still Using Wikipedia? These Alternatives Are More Reliable
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Librarian's list of 'predatory' journals reportedly removed due to 'threats and politics'

“Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has decided to no longer maintain or publish his research or blog on open-access journals and ‘predatory publishers,’” the spokesperson said. “CU Denver supports and recognizes the important work Professor Beall has contributed to the field and to scholars worldwide. CU Denver also understands and respects his decision to take down his website scholarlyoa.com at this time. Professor Beall remains on the faculty at the university and will be pursuing new areas of research.”
From Librarian's list of 'predatory' journals reportedly removed due to 'threats and politics'
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St. Louis Public Library regains control after ransomware attack

From the article:

After working on the problem through the night, tech experts regained control of the server, Jen Hatton, PR and content manager, said Friday.

She said the staff would work to restore checkout capabilities, which are handled by an outside vendor. As of 7 p.m. Friday, checkout and computer services remained suspended.

The library did not pay the ransom demanded by hackers and reported the attack to the FBI, Hatton said.

More from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber”

There are several things going on here: first, what is the “talking rubber” technology? After talking to several historians of science and technology, I’m pretty sure it’s not a term that ever caught on. But it turns out that’s because this actual technology never caught on; although on first glance, this ad seems to describe magnetic tape—the technology behind cassette and VHS tapes—“talking rubber” describes actual rubber, not tape! In 1952, The Bell System Technical Journal chronicled “a magnetic recording medium composed of rubber impregnated with magnetic oxide and lubricant,” that was “particularly suited to applications requiring the continuous repetition of short transcribed messages.”
From A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber” | Ars Technica
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STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack

Jen Hatton, PR manager for the library system, says a hacker organization has blocked their server and is demanding tens of thousands of dollars to release their computers back to them. The attack has affected all 700 computers at 16 library branches. No library visitors can currently use the computers until the problem is solved. The library's technology staff is working with the FBI.
From STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack | KSDK.com
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In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline

In an era of extensive building and remodeling, the state Department of Education reports drops in the number of visits, registered users and loans of material. 
From In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline - StarTribune.com
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How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories

"What cannot be automated is the understanding of the implications of these findings for people," said Dr. Tom Lansdall-Welfare, who led the computational part of the study. "That will always be the realm of the humanities and social sciences, and never that of machines."
From How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories
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SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate

But here’s the thing: The characters will probably be white. Despite a push by book lovers for more ethnic diversity in published books, library shelves have remained largely uniform, with white authors penning tales about white people, statistics show. Those books fail to reflect the rich diversity of San Francisco, and point to a persistent problem across the country, librarians say.
From SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate
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Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals

The bar is a result of the Gates Foundation’s policy in support of open access and open data, which was first announced in 2014 but came into force at the beginning of 2017. “Personally, I applaud the Gates Foundation for taking this stance,” says Simon Hay, a Gates-funded researcher who is director of geospatial science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington. “The overwhelming majority of my colleagues in global health and fellow Gates grantees with whom I have chatted are highly supportive of these developments,” he says.
From Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals : Nature News & Comment
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What book has been most meaningful to you?

Author Will Schwalbe say down with Jeff Brown to talk meaningful books. What book has been most meaningful to you?

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Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup

Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002 -- before smartphones, Facebook or Twitter became ubiquitous. More than one in three (35%) appear to be heavy readers, reading 11 or more books in the past year, while close to half (48%) read between one and 10 and just 16% read none.
From Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup
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Petition to Save the Rose Reading Room of the NYPL

The Committee to Save NYPL is petitioning the Landmarks Preservation Commission to officially designate the Rose Reading Room and other public spaces in the 42nd Street Library as interior landmarks. We need your help!

Please sign this petition and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Preservationists had formally requested these spaces be designated years ago, but their demands were ignored by the city agency charged with protecting our cultural and architectural heritage. With the recent calendaring of the Ambassador Grill and the Waldorf Astoria interiors, we are optimistic that LPC will finally ensure that these cherished rooms will be preserved for posterity.

R. Michael Brown once remarked that the “story of our lives is written in interiors.” There can be no doubt that few New York City interiors have transformed as many lives as those in the 42nd Street Library. They deserve landmark protection.

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