Open-source textbooks gain in push for college affordability

An early adopter of open source textbooks, Neth said he turned to the new technology out of frustration with spiraling prices of commercial textbooks.
"It's seeing the costs go up every semester and almost feeling powerless," Neth said.
Universities and state governments are lining up behind the cause as a way to make college more affordable. The open textbooks, produced with publicly available material, are issued to students for free or a small fraction of the hundreds of dollars they typically spend annually on books.

From Open-source textbooks gain in push for college affordability

Library freedom, free speech and the freedom to tinker

But, we’re not as great at dealing with our patrons’ digital interactions. We’re not as great at making sure their web transactions are secure, we’re not as great at making sure their wifi transactions are secure, that they can browse the internet securely. And so there’s this awesome project called the Library Freedom Project, which is all about raising awareness about that issue, number one, but number two actually giving libraries the tools that they need in order to do this. I mean we’re a democracy and so part of that is that everybody is equal to every other person. And you deserve, you know, the same rights to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, that kind of thing, as everybody else gets. But in reality we’re a very tiered system where people who are more rich or more powerful have access to more and better services, more and better access to things, to tools, to jobs — as well, to obscure stuff like privacy.

From Library freedom, free speech and the freedom to tinker — Medium

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Why Alabama plans to use schools, libraries to fill broadband coverage gaps

And that's by targeting secondary education. By working with 35 school districts across the state, the Office of Broadband Development will use the Federal Communication Commission's E-rate Modernization Order, which makes it possible for schools and libraries to construct and operate their own fiber networks. The districts will make competitive bids, and if their needs qualify as more cost-effective than lit services, they can take advantage of the match-rate program.
"Through this program, if the state will help pay required match, the FCC will kick in an additional 10 percent, making it possible for schools and libraries to build and own their fiber network that is paid for up to 90 percent with federal funds," Johnson said. "This offer was made available due to the high cost of getting adequate connectivity to schools and libraries."

From Why Alabama plans to use schools, libraries to fill broadband coverage gaps - Birmingham Business Journal

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Proposal to change the name of American Association of Law Libraries has failed

The proposal to change the name of American Association of Law Libraries to the Association for Legal Information has failed by a vote of 1998 (80.11 percent) opposed, to 496 (19.89 percent) in favor. A record number of members voted on this proposal, with 59.51 percent casting a ballot.

The votes were verified this morning by two members, who served as the election tellers.

http://www.aallnet.org/hc/NewsCallout/AALL-ebriefing-feb11.html

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Come Talk Security And Privacy At ALA Annual!

LITA Preconferences: Friday, June 24, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Digital Privacy and Security: Keeping You And Your Library Safe and Secure In A Post-Snowden World

Orlando Convention Center, 
Presenters: Blake Carver, LYRASIS and Jessamyn West, Library Technologist at Open Library

Learn strategies on how to make you, your librarians and your patrons more secure & private in a world of ubiquitous digital surveillance and criminal hacking. We'll teach tools that keep your data safe inside of the library and out -- how to secure your library network environment, website, and public PCs, as well as tools and tips you can teach to patrons in computer classes and one-on-one tech sessions. We’ll tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more, covering a range of tools from basic to advanced, making this session ideal for any library staff. 
 

From LITA Highlights at 2016 ALA Annual Conference | Library Information Technology Association (LITA)

Project Seeks to Preserve the Digital Scholarly Record

“None of the individual institutions, including UVA, had a model that committed to long-term preservation solutions,” Sites said. “We each had a model in which we were keeping content until it broke, and we were faced with questions of how to preserve the digital works of our scholars for the long term.”

From Project Seeks to Preserve the Digital Scholarly Record | UVA Today

Deficit Threatens Stability of University of California

The chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday that the university had a “substantial and growing” deficit that could threaten its long-term stability and that it needed to reduce expenses and raise revenues to maintain its position as a premier public institution.

From Deficit Threatens Stability of University of California, Berkeley, Official Says - The New York Times

Fistfights and Beggars: Found Street Life in Old Prints

All we see of teh bridge though is is decking, though we do see a huge rise, which gives us a hint of teh bridge's nature--it turns out that this is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world.  While the architecture is beautiful and teh perspective intersting, teh characters populzting the foreground are sometimes even more interesting. In general figures like this were used to take up empty bits of space and to provide perspective, and were depicted in the standard ways in which walking/riding humans are represented. In this case, however, there is a lot of social drama going on amidst the simple space fillers. 

From JF Ptak Science Books: Fistfights and Beggars: Found Street Life in Old Prints (1757)

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On the Merits of Disturbing Literature

Yet I do not only want the reader to fear for Elsie. I tried to both intensify and relieve that fear by placing it alongside the hope that Elsie will heed the best in herself, as she is, intermittently, able to do. Elsie’s journey does not ultimately paint a disturbing portrait of life. Rather, Wreck and Order sets a young woman’s disturbing behavior against her attunement to the “countless earthly riches” of having a body and a mind, showing how difficult and how necessary it is to honor the simple and the good.

From On the Merits of Disturbing Literature

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The Research Pirates of the Dark Web - The Atlantic

So why go through all this trouble to provide access to pirated academic research? In a letter submitted to the New York district court where she was being sued, Elbakyan said her experience as a student in Kazakhstan drove her to set up the website. Paying upwards of 30 dollars to access a paper is “insane,” she wrote, when researchers regularly need to access tens or even hundreds of articles.

Elbakyan says free access to academic research also helps promote researchers’ independence. “Today, subscription prices are very high; an individual person cannot pay them,” she wrote to me in an email. “You need to join one of the few available research institutions, and for that you need to conform to … standards that suppress creativity.”

From The Research Pirates of the Dark Web - The Atlantic

J.K. Rowling's new play, 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' will be published as a book

When J.K. Rowling announced last October that her Harry Potter series would get a new story—in the form of a play that featured her beloved book characters as adults—fans greeted the news with mixed feelings. As I wrote at the time, it was exciting to see the author experiment with a new medium and a non-Harry-centric tale in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The play picks up the story 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and focuses on Harry’s relationship with his son, Albus Severus. The casting choices that were later announced—with a black actress, Noma Dumezweni, in the role of grown-up Hermione—were even more heartening.

From J.K. Rowling's new play, 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' will be published as a book by Scholastic and Pottermore - The Atlantic

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Leading authors press for Supreme Court review of Google's digitised library

The web giant’s digitisation of millions of books – many in copyright – faces a fresh legal challenge, backed by authors including Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Ursula Le Guin and Malcolm Gladwell

From Leading authors press for Supreme Court review of Google's digitised library | Books | The Guardian

Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy

Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain emails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online. This important legislation would update the law to reflect how people use the Internet today.

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government agents need a warrant if they want access to email stored on the servers of companies like Google and Yahoo, but only if the messages are less than 180 days old. For older messages and other digital files, law enforcement officials can issue subpoenas to technology companies without going to a judge.

From Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy - The New York Times

Help EveryLibrary Meet This Matching Contribution Challenge for Libraries

ByWater Solutions has generously made a commitment to donate $1,500 to our VoteLibraries project if we can get $1,500 in matching donations. If we succeed in matching this donation we will have the resources to put ads about voting for libraries in front of 300 thousand Americans through online adspace duringthe primaries. If only 100 people make a donation of just $15-25 donation we can really make a difference. Please donate here today.

From ByWater Solution's Matching Donation Challenge - EveryLibrary

A Review of the Amazon Books Store

In conclusion, I see a couple of strategic advantages in Amazon Books. Such stores offer to Amazon.com, what Apple Stores provide to Apple.com. Namely a showroom where customers can try products such as Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire, Fire TV, and whatever new products they might produce in the future.

From A Review of the Amazon Books Store

A look inside Harvard's Undergraduate House libraries

Each of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate residential Houses has a library, and despite their rich histories and outward grandeur, these are intimate spaces. Students spend long stretches clicking away on laptops or fall asleep draped over books during all-night study sessions.

For Taylor Carol ’17, who lives in Cabot House, “home base” is a corner desk in Eliot Hall Library, two floors below his dorm room.

From A look inside: Undergraduate House libraries | Harvard Gazette

Google opens an online store for 'books that can't be printed

"Welcome to our bookstore," reads the blurb for Google's new Editions at Play initiative. "We sell books that cannot be printed."

It's a simple manifesto that marks an interesting foray into the digital arts for Google. Editions at Play is all about exploring the idea of "digital books" — not just ebooks, but books that simply can't exist on static, printed paper. The project launched last week with a pair of new titles: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen, and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne. The first is essentially a point-and-click adventure game in Google Street View, while the second is a "failed collaboration" consisting of Riviere's and Dunthorne's diaries which readers can switch back and forth between.

From Google opens an online store for 'books that can't be printed' | The Verge

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How to Read a Book a Week

So how can we read a book or more a week? It turns out that what works best for me is following some advice I got while I was still in college. Michael Jimenez, a professor of Latin American history, was one of the best professors I ever had. One day I told him that I was struggling with the reading load.

From How to Read a Book a Week

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E-Books and User Privacy

Article in the Creighton Law Review

Down the Rabbit Hole: E-Books and User Privacy in the 21st Century

https://goo.gl/37VZlv (PDF)

‘Master of the River’: A 71-year-old librarian’s 15 years of water commutes

Today, the head of the law cataloguing section of the Library of Congress has retirement on his mind. Later this month , he’ll leave his job managing the inflow of 20,000 books annually, and his more than a decade of cross-river commutes will cease.

From his home in Cheverly, he embarks on a 15-minute bike ride to Bladensburg Waterfront Park. There, he climbs into his fiberglass rowing shell, which he navigates about five miles downriver to the Anacostia Community Boathouse. At the boathouse he climbs onto another bike, whisking through downtown Washington and arriving at the Library of Congress about 90 minutes after leaving home.

From ‘Master of the River’: A 71-year-old librarian’s 15 years of water commutes - The Washington Post

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