Book Piracy as Peer Preservation

In describing the people, books, and technologies behind one of the largest “shadow” libraries in the world, we find a tension between the dynamics of sharing and preservation. The paper proceeds to contextualize contemporary book piracy historically, challenging accepted theories of peer production. Through a close analysis of one digital library’s system architecture, software and community, we assert that the activities cultivated by its members are closer to that of conservationists of the public libraries movement, with the goal of preserving rather than mass distributing their collected material. Unlike common peer production models emphasis is placed on the expertise of its members as digital preservations, as well as the absorption of digital repositories. Additionally, we highlight issues that arise from their particular form of distributed architecture and community.
From Book Piracy as Peer Preservation : Computational Culture

It's That Time Again...

Nominate your favorite librarian for the I LOVE MY LIBRARIAN AWARD sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. You may submit your applications here until September 19. Hurry!

Tunnel of Books: Curved Shelves Wrap Bookstore Walls & Ceiling

Paired to fantastic effect, a series of arch-forming shelving units and a black-mirrored floor create a wraparound tunnel in a Chinese bookstore, punctuated by a fracture leading visitors through the resulting passageway.
From Tunnel of Books: Curved Shelves Wrap Bookstore Walls & Ceiling | Urbanist

Archiveteam: saving our digital heritage.

Archive Team is a loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths dedicated to saving our digital heritage. Since 2009 this variant force of nature has caught wind of shutdowns, shutoffs, mergers, and plain old deletions - and done our best to save the history before it's lost forever. Along the way, we've gotten attention, resistance, press and discussion, but most importantly, we've gotten the message out: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. This website is intended to be an offloading point and information depot for a number of archiving projects, all related to saving websites or data that is in danger of being lost. Besides serving as a hub for team-based pulling down and mirroring of data, this site will provide advice on managing your own data and rescuing it from the brink of destruction.
From Archiveteam

Reco thinks books are better when they’re recommended by people you trust | TechCrunch

I still love books, and I still have a fair amount of trouble finding new ones to read that I’ll actually enjoy. Helping with discovery is the idea behind Reco, a new mobile app from Canadian bookseller and retailer Indigo, which provides users with a social network based around books, and people’s love thereof.
From Reco thinks books are better when they’re recommended by people you trust | TechCrunch

Create a “Loose Parts” Playground for Young Children in your Library?

What can we do? Dare to schedule home time; put it on the calendar and celebrate it. Summer is happening in our back yards just like anywhere else, only with less people, less stimulation and more opportunities for self-directed play. In the beginning, if a child is accustomed to adult-directed activities, it might take a moment to make the shift. There are things you can do to assist the child in finding their way into creative exploration of their own environment.
From Create a “Loose Parts” Playground for Young Children in your Backyard – Buffalo Rising Something we can do in libraries?

Caetlin Benson-Allott explores the legacy of VHS and VCR.

This week, the Japanese company Funai Electric announced that it would cease production of VCRs. Since it was reportedly the last company to make the increasingly obsolete players, the news effectively rang the death knell of a technology that had survived long past its own moment. To better understand the enduring legacy of VHS, I called Caetlin Benson-Allott, an associate professor in the English department at Georgetown, where she teaches courses on film and media studies.
From Caetlin Benson-Allott explores the legacy of VHS and VCR.

Children's Doodles Found in Margins of Medieval Manuscript

The margins of a medieval manuscript from a convent in Naples, Italy, are decorated with doodles of what are apparently devils, a farm animal and a person that were likely drawn by children, a new study finds.
From Children's Doodles Found in Margins of Medieval Manuscript

The last free-ranging library cat in Illinois

Stacks, believed to be the last full-time, free-ranging library cat in Illinois, hops onto the desk, stretches out luxuriously and falls into her signature near-snooze, a restful state that invites pats from shy tweens, curious senior citizens, even a 1-year-old who proclaims ecstatically from her mother's arms, "Like cat!"
From The last free-ranging library cat in Illinois - Chicago Tribune

America's broken digital copyright law is about to be challenged in court

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the US government over ‘unconstitutional’ use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
From America's broken digital copyright law is about to be challenged in court | Technology | The Guardian

Ulysses and the Lie of Technological Progress

Today is Bloomsday, a folk holiday adopted to celebrate the life and work of the Irish writer James Joyce, in particular his 1922 novel Ulysses. The name derives from the book’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom, one of the Dubliners the book follows through the day of June 16, 1904. First celebrated mere years after the novel’s publication, Bloomsday festivities have been enjoyed for decades. Today, Bloomsday is marked globally in various ways, but especially in Dublin, where it has taken on the character of a citywide festival and as a pilgrimage for aspiring high modernists worldwide.
From Ulysses and the Lie of Technological Progress - The Atlantic

The Library of Congress Website Suffers DNS Attack

Story here from FCW.

The Library of Congress was the target of a denial-of-service attack that has knocked out and the U.S. Copyright Office website, and caused outages at other sites hosted by the library.

Library spokesperson Gayle Osterberg told FCW that the DNS attack was launched July 17 and continues to affect library operations, including internal websites and employee email. "The Library is working to maintain access to its online services while ensuring security," Osterberg said.

There was no information on the source of the attack, which comes just a few days after Carla Hayden was confirmed by the Senate as the Librarian of Congress.

If You Want To Send Congratulations to Dr. Hayden on Her Confirmation

Here's the full petition: Congratulate Carla Hayden Today!

Please join EveryLibrary in sending congratulations to Dr. Carla Hayden, our new Librarian of Congress, by signing below with your personal comment or reflection of congratulations along with your name. We will take all the signatures and comments made by midnight on Tuesday, July 20th and create a commemorative book for Dr. Hayden. We'll send the book, along with a nice bouquet from all of us, to her this week.

The Enduring Appeal of Libraries Around the World

Therein lies the beauty of libraries, past and present. Often referred to as cathedrals of knowledge—and free ones, at that—libraries remain civic and cultural icons within their communities where visitors can do everything from read international publications and learn computer skills to launch a business idea. In an age when information is ubiquitous and universally accessible at the click of a button, libraries are adapting to an increasingly digital society while remaining true to their heritage as a welcoming gathering place, with their alluring stacks of books, striking architecture and knowledgable staffs.

The 53rd Street Library: Okay, If You Hate Books -- NYMag

The new branch does indeed provide the perfect haven for checking stock prices and Twitter. Patrons can tap and scroll in tranquility, unmolested by the odor of caffeine, the need for a password, the feel of greasy tables, or a barista’s stare. As a place to research a school project or browse for esoteric bedtime reading, on the other hand, it offers dismaying advice: Try elsewhere. Order a book from the website. Download an e-book. Walk ten blocks to the perpetually derelict, perpetually to-be-renovated Mid-Manhattan branch for the Russian-language edition of Anna Karenina that used to be in the Donnell’s World Languages collection. “We didn’t take those books and cast them aside,” says NYPL vice-president Christopher Platt. “They were strategically moved and aligned to other collections.”
From The 53rd Street Library: Okay, If You Hate Books -- NYMag

WV Public Libraries Sustain Damage in Flooding

Five feet of flood water destroyed the Rainelle Public library’s entire print and digital collections. According to a press release from the West Virginia Library Commission, the Clendenin Public Library was declared a catastrophe. Flood waters forced out windows and left 8 inches of mud throughout the building. All books were destroyed, and the structural integrity of the facility is in doubt.
From Public Libraries Sustain Damage in Flooding | West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Carla Hayden Confirmed To Head Library Of Congress

Hayden's confirmation unanimously passed a rules committee vote in June. However, the vote by the full body was held up for five weeks as a result of a Republican-led hold-up, The Washington Post reports. No reason was given for the delay, but some conservatives have reportedly taken issue with positions she took as the leader of the American Library Association, as well as her lack of academic organizations.
From Carla Hayden Confirmed To Head Library Of Co | WBAL Radio 1090 AM

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

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

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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