Open paren is a podcast about libraries, librarians, and code.

About Open Paren

Open paren is a podcast about libraries, librarians, and code.

Whether you’re just setting out to learn to code, or architecting systems in widespread use, I want to have conversations that matter to you. Let’s talk about what you do and why: how code you write makes things better for you and your patrons; your biggest successes and most interesting mistakes; where your projects have been and where they’re going; social issues that feed into, and spring out of, library software.

From About ( Open paren

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Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes

Eight purple passages are up for the prize every author dreads, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Can Erica Jong beat Morrissey to the sweetspot?

From Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes | Books | The Guardian

It's elementary: Classrooms need libraries

Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, Superintendent William Hite and 30 other leaders gathered at Clara Barton Elementary to launch a $3.5 million fundraising campaign aimed at placing libraries in every Philadelphia School District elementary classroom.

The need is great, especially in a system where few whole-school libraries remain, and fewer than a dozen librarians remain on staff citywide.

From It's elementary: Classrooms need libraries

Know Your Online Privacy

The what and why of this report should be quite clear: we are leaving massive footprints on the internet and have little knowledge of how it’s used. Ranking Digital Rights has made the full data available for download, including researchers’ comments and responses from the corporations where available. We were pleased to partner with Ranking Digital Rights and Beekeeper Group to develop a set of web tools to communicate and explore the data.

The Guardian have put together some extensive coverage of the report. It’s worth a read. Also worth a shout-out is the Mapbox privacy statement, which we think should be a model.

From Know Your Online Privacy — Development Seed

How I’m exporting my highlights from the grasps of iBooks and Kindle

So after stewing in frustration for quite awhile about the current state of digital reading platforms, I decided to do what any sane programmer would do: Devise an overly complex solution on AWS for a seemingly simple problem (that two companies with a combined market cap of close to a trillion fucking dollars can’t be bothered to solve).
The ultimate product was highlights.sawyerhollenshead.com.

From How I’m exporting my highlights from the grasps of iBooks and Kindle. — Medium

OxfordDictionaries.com quarterly update: new words added today include hangry, Grexit, and wine o’clock

Today Oxford University Press announces the latest quarterly update to OxfordDictionaries.com, its free online dictionary of current English. Words from a wide variety of topics are included in this update, so whatever your field of interest, everyone should find something they think is awesomesauce.

From OxfordDictionaries.com quarterly update: new words added today include hangry, Grexit, and wine o’clock | OxfordWords blog

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Some Thoughts On Digital Objects and ArchivesSpace

The digital object component records might also include extent information, more specific rights information, or...???

It's been exciting to think about the possibilities of ASpace's digital object record, but the fairly wide-open nature of the endeavor is also daunting, as there's no established best practices to fall back on.  What do you think?  How are (or would) you proceed?  We'd love to get your feedback and/or reactions!

From ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace Workflow Integration: Digital Objects and ArchivesSpace

4 Future Trends You Are Bound to See in K-12 School Libraries

Modern K-12 public libraries will offer intensely engaging learning environments to all students. How they will go about doing this is less certain, but the principal trends are readily identified in various research efforts.

This post will paint a picture of what the libraries of the future will look like and how they will support students, teachers, administrators, and even parents. Here are four trends you will soon see in K-12 school libraries.

From 4 Future Trends You Are Bound to See in K-12 School Libraries | The Edvocate

Shacks Serve As Makeshift Schools, Libraries For Migrants In Calais

At the bookshop, a Sudanese man returns a copy of Ernest Hemingway short stories, thumbs through volumes of Harry Potter and departs with a Sherlock Holmes collection. Beside a wall map of Europe, men from Afghanistan and Eritrea debate distinctions between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland — and which might offer the best opportunity for refugee status and employment.

Rowan Farrell, an English photographer who helps run the library, including its laptops with English-language software lessons, says the library promotes "a calming atmosphere in a very chaotic place." 

From Shacks Serve As Makeshift Schools, Libraries For Migrants In Calais

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Law librarians archive New York State's regulatory history

“We combined our funding, our talents and our staff and finally got the project going,” Lee said.
Last month, they announced the availability of the open-access database: NYCRR Digital Archive, which contains pages from the “New York Codes, Rules and Regulations” from 1945 to 2001 in full-text digital format. This free resource allows researchers, librarians and lawyers to more easily research previous versions of New York regulations. Fifty users at one time can access the material.

“It took us that long to get together and get it done,” Lee said. “It’s something that is and has been well-received by the law library community.”

From Law librarians archive New York State's regulatory history - Buffalo - Buffalo Business First

Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move

When Otto Frank first published his daughter’s red-checked diary and notebooks, he wrote a prologue assuring readers that the book mostly contained her words, written while hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex of a factory in Amsterdam.

But now the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright to “The Diary of Anne Frank” is alerting publishers that her father is not only the editor but also legally the co-author of the celebrated book.

From Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move - The New York Times

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The Privacy And Security Questions Raised By Connected Toys

It’s important to remember that the introduction of Hello Barbie is just one part of a new interactive landscape in which nearly everything kids do is recorded and uploaded somewhere. Some parents have balked at such networked omnipresence, refusing to post any photos or otherwise identifying information of their kids online.

Eventually, every child is going to grow up to have a digital footprint, if they don’t already. For parents, deciding whether to limit that cache of identifying data—be it Facebook photos or voice data collected by Hello Barbie—is a personal choice, one that they shouldn’t be taking lightly.

From Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare?

Behind ‘King Lear’: The History Revealed by Fintan O'Toole

King Lear cannot end because authority cannot be restored. This impossibility results from Shakespeare’s greatest act of opportunism. James’s interests have given him the opportunity to write a play about the collapse of all political order and that in turn gives him the opportunity to show what authority really looks like when it is not propped up by power. In King Lear, it is the old king himself, speaking to the viciously blinded Gloucester, who utters the most savage attack on all authority:

From Behind ‘King Lear’: The History Revealed by Fintan O'Toole | The New York Review of Books

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Independent bookstore fan showrooms Amazon Books

So there you have it! We made history today. Allison Stieger became the first person in the world to reverse-showroom Amazon Books, and she bought the world’s first reverse-showroomed book at Queen Anne Book Company. Congratulations, Allison Stieger and Queen Anne Book Company! You’ve showroomed the showroomer

From The Seattle Review of Books - Independent bookstore fan showrooms Amazon Books

Beneath New York Public Library, Shelving Its Past for High-Tech Research Stacks

But unbeknown to most of them, 17 feet below ground, in a concrete bunker worthy of the White House, the library is expanding and updating one of the most sophisticated book storage systems in the world.

Since March, after abandoning a much-criticized plan to move the bulk of its research collection to New Jersey, the library has been working instead to create a high-tech space underground for the 2.5 million research works long held in its original stacks.

The books will begin arriving in April, and by the end of spring library officials expect to be using a new retrieval system to ferry the volumes and other materials from their 84 miles of subterranean shelving, loaded into little motorized carts — a bit like miniaturized minecars carrying nuggets of research gold.

From Beneath New York Public Library, Shelving Its Past for High-Tech Research Stacks - The New York Times

Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World

I started my quest to write an article about creating the best digital reading experience by seeking out designers at publishing-tech companies and getting their thoughts on the subject. One of the first designers I spoke to was Zane Riley, one of the first product designers at Brit + co. After I introduced my passionate spiel about reading and technology, he dropped a truth bomb on me: The publishing-tech world is a tricky world to design for, he said, because these products don’t inherently profit from what makes them useful, such as a seamless reading experience or beautiful, clean UI.

From Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World — Thoughts on Media — Medium

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FSU professor: Libraries must think more like entrepreneurs

"We need to start looking at our readers as customers -- customers of information," he said, adding that libraries should develop ways to collect information about what users enjoy and what they like to do. "What can we do to contribute to learning success?"

Thus libraries should focus on being both information and community hubs, he said.

"Let's think of ourselves as an information provider," said Greenwood, who writes "To Your Success," a weekly column in the Sentinel & Enterprise.

From FSU professor: Libraries must think more like entrepreneurs - Sentinel & Enterprise

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Most libraries close the book on coffee shops

When Dakota County asked people in Eagan what they wanted in a remodeled library, the No. 1 item on the wish list had nothing to do with books. It was lattes, cappuccinos and muffins.

Today, though, after two agonizing stabs at fulfilling those dreams, the coffee shop space sits empty.

From Most libraries close the book on coffee shops - StarTribune.com

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Why Librarians Should Love Fallout 4

There's certainly no harm in including a library in an imagined dystopian future—if anything, it's a great reminder that overwhelming violence can destroy valuable culture and knowledge. And since post-apocalyptic gaming includes libraries, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising to learn libraries include post-apocalyptic video games too.

From Why Librarians Should Love Fallout 4 | Smart News | Smithsonian

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Will libraries outlive books? A future tense event recap.

Predicting what libraries will be like in a century is difficult in part because it inevitably devolves into speculation about what people will be like in a century. Indeed, the panelists jointly hinted that the real task of libraries—now and later—is to help us forge our own futures. There is, in any case, no single future for libraries. They are, Figueroa observed, adaptive institutions, powerful precisely because they are never tied to a single trajectory.

From Will libraries outlive books? A future tense event recap.

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