Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.

As a result, an unequal system has developed.

From Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students - The Washington Post

James Patterson pledges $1.25 million to school libraries

This morning, Patterson announced his plan to give away $1.25 million to school libraries. In partnership with children’s publisher Scholastic, he will make individual donations of $1,000 to $10,000. The money can be used for books, reading programs or even technology and repairs. Scholastic Reading Club has pledged to match each grant with bonus points that can be used for books and classroom materials.

From James Patterson pledges $1.25 million to school libraries - The Washington Post

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Kids and Family Reading Report From Scholastic Inc.

The Kids & Family Reading Report is a national survey of children ages 6–17 and their parents exploring attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun. It is a biannual report with 2015 unveiling the fifth edition in the series.

From Kids and Family Reading Report | Scholastic Inc.

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Philly Mayor Nutter Apologizes Again For Trying To Close Libraries « CBS Philly

Mayor Nutter’s budget address to city council this past week featured a deja-vu moment.
He apologized for trying to close libraries back in 2008, even though he had delivered the very same apology in his budget address last year.
It was on March 6, 2014 that Mayor Nutter, delivering his budget to City Council, ad libbed a surprising apology for trying to close 11 library branches.

From Mayor Nutter Apologizes Again For Trying To Close Libraries « CBS Philly

Diversity in kids’ books grew (some) last year

So why aren’t people more excited about an increase in multicultural materials for children?

The numbers of African-American books don’t show steady growth, for one thing. 2013 was a very low year. So 2014 looks better, but it actually recorded only 7 books more than in 2008. And in 2001, there were more books about African-Americans: 201.

From Diversity in kids’ books grew (some) last year : 77-square

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This freaking app can sanitize the [heck] out of any book

Clean Reader — available for free from the Apple store or Google Play — is the brainchild of Jared and Kirsten Maughan in Twin Falls, Idaho. He works in R&D at a dairy processor; she’s a dietitian who’s currently staying home to take care of their four children. The idea came to them when they were trying to find books for their precocious fourth grade daughter. “In order to challenge her as a reader,” Jared says, “we had to present her with books that were a little bit older.” But after starting a book she had checked out of the library, she told her parents, “It had some pretty significant swear words in it.”

From This freaking app can sanitize the [heck] out of any book - The Washington Post

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Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official

Open credentialing systems allow people to control information about themselves — what they learned in college, and what they learned everywhere else — and present that data directly to employers. In a world where people increasingly interact over distances, electronically, the ability to control your online educational identity is crucial.

From Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official - NYTimes.com

Locating old podcast episodes

I've been away at a job with an employer that is in the middle of a crisis. The crisis has been getting worse and frankly I have not been keeping on top of much of anything. When alternative download formats for podcasts were being rolled out, Archive.org was used for storage. Essentially that acts as our backup. Since the iTunes Music Store has dropped the podcast listing for the time being, users looking for old episodes can visit Archive.org to find more.

As to rebooting the podcast(s), we need to take things one step at a time. I need to ride out the crisis with my current employer as it is. Whether or not my current employer survives the crisis is thankfully not up to me.

Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage”

Last month, the Harvard MetaLAB released Cold Storage, a mini-documentary about the Harvard Depository (HD), a 127,000-square-foot “guarded compound” 25 miles from campus where approximately 9 million of Harvard Library’s lesser-used books, pamphlets, records, etc. are stored in a space reminiscent of Home Depot.  

From Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage” - The Fine Books Blog

11 Of The Coolest Librarians From Pop Culture

If that clichéd version of a librarian doesn’t sound familiar, you must be one of the lucky ones who knows the cardigan-wearing, tea-drinking, bright-eyed mistresses of the Dewey Decimal system. Your kind of librarian helps you find just the right book every time, and she always winks as she waves your late fee. Whether you know the crotchety, nightmare-inducing vision from your high school or the soft voice and vanilla-scented angel from the days of early reading, most people think of one these conventions when they think of librarians.

From 11 Of The Coolest Librarians From Pop Culture, Because Not Every Librarian Is Like the One From Your High School | Bustle

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In the first Hebrew city, a final farewell to Yiddish

What he learned in that advertisement was that the Tel Aviv municipal library would be giving away its entire Yiddish book collection – an opportunity, from his standpoint at least, that could not be missed. “I came with an empty suitcase, and I plan to fill it entirely with these books,” says Kleiner, who hails from Dusseldorf, where he began learning Yiddish about five years ago. What he’s mainly in the market for, he reports, are Yiddish-language biographies and diaries.

From In the first Hebrew city, a final farewell to Yiddish - Jewish World Features - Israel News | Haaretz

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Why we can't live without books in pictures and words

Children’s authors and illustrators including Chris Riddell, Michael Morpurgo and Rachel Renee Russell tell us why they can’t live without books, as part of our World Book Day celebrations

From Why we can't live without books in pictures and words | Children's books | The Guardian

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How the Disabled Benefit from Libraries

All across America, public libraries are either closing or having their funding reduced to such a level that their futures remain uncertain. The effect these closings will have on the wider public remains unclear, though it’s guaranteed not to be good.

And for the disabled people who depend on libraries to provide a slice of normality in a life that already faces enough uphill battles, where will they turn?

From How the Disabled Benefit from Libraries | Reading, Writing, Research

Woman who performed sex acts at library fired

The rules include no men or minors on camera for any reason and no "actions that may be deemed obscene in your community," according to the website.

From Woman who performed sex acts at library fired | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun

Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project

The importance of this is astronomical for the people as a whole and for the revival of the country's library community, in particular. Since its inception four years ago, the Future Library Network of public and municipal libraries in Greece has prospered and advanced all manner of learning, creativity, technological understanding and innovation. It currently consists of 140 Public and Municipal Libraries, with 7,354 individual members and has renovated 8 children's libraries in Central Macedonia and established 9 Media Labs across the country. It's hosted over 9,800 events in more than 100 Greek cities which have drawn in over 300,000 participants. It's also organized training programs for "future librarians" and has distributed approximately 50,000 books and all matter of technological equipment to over 120 libraries nationwide. Its yearly Summer Campaign has so far hosted 8,402 activities and events for 200,000 children aimed at promoting Reading & Creativity.

From Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project | Sara Lee Bentley

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The Anti-Information Age

Two beliefs safely inhabit the canon of contemporary thinking about journalism. The first is that the Internet is the most powerful force disrupting the news media. The second is that the Internet and the communication and information tools it has spawned—like YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook—are shifting power from governments to civil society and to individual bloggers, netizens, or citizen journalists.

It is hard to disagree with these two beliefs. Yet they obscure evidence that governments are having as much success as the Internet in disrupting independent media and determining what information reaches society.

From The Anti-Information Age - The Atlantic

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Three Emerging Digital Platforms for 2015 | Fail!lab

‘Twas a world of limited options for digital libraries just a few short years back. Nowadays, however, the options are many more and the features and functionalities are truly groundbreaking.

From Three Emerging Digital Platforms for 2015 | Fail!lab

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Actually Stoll's 1995 anti-Internet column was amazingly on-target

Stoll predicted that the Web would be a fount of misleading information and outright lies, that it would be oversold as a tool for education and governing, and that it would isolate people more than bring them together. "A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee," he wrote. "No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who'd prefer cybersex to the real thing?"

From Actually, that 'off target' 1995 anti-Internet column was amazingly on-target - LA Times

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Yale first institution in the country to actively collect VHS tapes

Yale has become the first institution in the country to actively collect VHS tapes, thanks to the initiative of Kaplanoff Librarian for American History David Gary and Aaron Pratt GRD ’16. Although the collection, which arrived late last week, is wide-ranging, a large portion consists of horror-genre movies, and most of the movies are from the 1970s and 80s.

From Library acquires 2,700 VHS tapes | Yale Daily News

Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration

Paying tribute to his genius at the annual Douglas Adams lecture, writer explains how meeting the Hitchhiker’s Guide author at 22 changed his life

From Douglas Adams made me a writer: Neil Gaiman salutes his friend and inspiration | Books | The Guardian

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