Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 2:47pm
Hark is part of the Anthropodermic Book Project, a group of researchers that analyzes books rumored to be bound in human skin. He was first pulled into it when librarians at his own college asked him to investigate whether a book in the school’s collection might fall into that category. Scrawled on the inside cover of Biblioteca Politica, a Spanish political tract dating from the 17th century, was a note indicating that the binding was human in origin. The inscription became a well-known piece of campus lore, turning the title into a nuisance for Juniata’s librarians. They found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fielding questions from students about the book’s provenance, especially around Halloween.
From The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus
Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 11:56am
Text is surprisingly resilient. It's cheap, it's flexible, it's discreet. Human brains process it absurdly well considering there's nothing really built-in for it. Plenty of people can deal with text better than they can spoken language, whether as a matter of preference or necessity. And it's endlessly computable -- you can search it, code it. You can use text to make it do other things.
From Facebook is wrong, text is deathless
Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 11:30am
W14 - IT Security 101
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tracy Z Maleeff, Principal, Sherpa Intelligence LLC
Blake Carver, Senior Systems Administrator, LYRASIS
We all know we should use good passwords, keep everything updated, and follow other basic precautions online. Understanding the reasons behind these rules is critical to help us convince ourselves and others that the extra work is indeed worth it. Who are the bad guys? What tools are they using? What are they after? Where are they working? How are they doing it? Why are we all targets? Experienced workshop leaders discuss how to stay safe at the library and at home. They share ways to keep precious data safe inside the library and out—securing your network, website, and PCs—and tools you can teach to patrons in computer classes. They tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more. They share a range of tools and techniques, making this session ideal for any library staff.
From Internet Librarian Program for Sunday, October 16, 2016
Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 11:25am
Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 11:25am
I could fill a book with the number of bizarre and/or frustratingly persistent questions I’ve been asked in my nearly 5 years of working in a public library, ranging from “Should I have a doctor look at this rash?” to “Do you work here?” when I’m clearly sitting behind a service desk with a name tag. But the question that irks me the most is an extremely common one: “Wow, you work at a library. Do you just spend all your time reading?”
This question is a close relative to “Working in a library must be so relaxing!” and it usually comes from casual library users or acquaintances who haven’t been in a library in at least a decade. And my reaction is always the same: “Yeah, right.”
From Librarians Don't Read All Day
Submitted by Blake on June 17, 2016 - 11:23am
His subjects are as diverse as the places they serve. There is a one-room “free library” shack in California’s San Joaquin Valley, then the polished marble floors of Chicago’s hangar-sized central branch. There are stately Carnegie Libraries, glassy modern edifices by Koolhaas and Safdie, strip-mall outposts, and steel-sided bookmobiles. The photographs are mainly architectural, but there are moving interior shots as well. In San Francisco, a grown woman learns to read. Visitors browse Chinese-language books in Queens. “Tool librarians” lend out hammers and clamps in Berkeley. And in towns large and small, oil-painted heroes of U.S. history peer over readers’ shoulders.
From Robert Dawson's Photographs of America's Public Libraries - CityLab
Submitted by Blake on June 16, 2016 - 9:50am
Electronic books should be treated just like physical books for the purposes of lending, an advisor to Europe's top court has said.
Maciej Szpunar, advocate general to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said in an opinion published (PDF) Thursday morning that public libraries should be allowed to lend e-books so long as the author is fairly compensated.
A 2006 EU directive says that the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit rentals and loans belongs to the author of the work. However, countries may opt out of this rule for the purposes of “public lending,” provided that authors obtain fair remuneration.
From E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on June 16, 2016 - 9:49am
Over the past year, Neuhauser has been cataloging VCU Libraries’ trove of books published before 1800, allowing researchers to not only search by author, title and subject, but also now by a wide variety of material features.
“Especially with older books, one thing that’s interesting to book historians like me is the material aspects of the books,” Neuhauser said. “Now that we have opened up the catalog to be searched by material terms, you can, say, look for all of VCU Libraries’ books that have a certain type of paper, or that have a specific type of binding, or have gold tooling, or have gilt edges and things like that.”
From Student catalogs VCU Libraries’ collection of pre-1800 books, greatly enhancing their research value
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 3:49pm
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 2:58pm
Until now, the knowledge that ancient manuscripts were used to make cartonnage has presented an ethical quandary to scholars. Books and other artifacts have been destroyed in the hopes of discovering something more precious hidden inside. The stakes are even higher when it comes to Egyptian mummy masks because there are comparably few ancient manuscripts, and certain texts—Plato, the Bible, and Homer—are culturally and financially viable to Westerners. The oldest Ptolemaic fragment of the Odyssey (currently on display at the Met) was retrieved from the cartonnage of a mummy mask. Rumors that mummy masks contain the earliest fragments of the Bible has led some evangelicals to dismantle them at church-sponsored events.
From Are Your Books Secretly Worth Millions? - The Daily Beast
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 1:00pm
Labeled, not so modestly, the “Gutenberg press of the 21st century” by its creators, the machine sits in a back corner of the shop, humming as it turns PDFs into paperbacks. Customers use tablets to select the titles for print — adding, if they want to, their own handwritten inscriptions — while sipping coffee in the light and airy storefront in the Latin Quarter of Paris. “The customers are all surprised,” said the shop’s director, Alexandre Gaudefroy. “At first, they’re a little uncomfortable with the tablets. After all, you come to a bookshop to look at books. But thanks to the machine and the tablets, the customer holds a digital library in their hands.”
From New Chapter for Classic Paris Bookstore: Books Printed on Demand - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 12:00pm
Detailed information on journal subscription costs paid to individual publishers by the Finnish research institutions has been released by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and its Open Science and Research Initiative funded 2014–2017 (Kustantajahintatiedot Suomessa 2010–2015).
With this, Finland becomes to our knowledge the first country where annual subscription fees for all individual publishers and all major research institutions have been made available, spanning the years 2010-2015. Similar information has been previously released for some, but not all publishers and research institutions in the UK and US; and related activities are ongoing in several countries (see the recent blog post by Stuart Lawson).
From Scientific journal subscription costs in Finland 2010-2015: a preliminary analysis — rOpenGov
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 11:56am
According to research by Candice Huber, books by Bukowski and Kerouac are indeed popular targets for theft from bookstores, along with those by Hemingway, David Sedaris, and The Great Gatsby. All of the books listed are by men, and most by "manly" men. This 2009 list from the UK is slightly different: J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book both rank high.
Libraries are a different story. According to Huber, the most frequently stolen library books are the Guinness Book of World Records, which is a favorite around our house,1 and The Bible.
From The most frequently stolen books
Submitted by Blake on June 13, 2016 - 11:19am
Finally, the book-smell industry is moving on and up. The market for products that smell like books is ramping up, with dozens of new products, from Demeter Paperback Cologne ("used bookstore": paper, violets and potpourri) to Byredo M/Mink (smells like ink); to Kilian Water Calligraphy ("blended to reflect a scent of Chinese ink sliding over rice paper") to Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite 17 Paper & Cotton ("coriander, white sage, birch wood, and tundra moss"); and Paper Passion ("the unique bouquet of freshly printed books").
From Parfumiers are trying to capture the smell of old books / Boing Boing
Submitted by Blake on June 12, 2016 - 8:50pm
A library is no longer defined only by the tangible materials it possesses. A book has the capacity for creating memories, but libraries also offer infinite potential for dreaming, growing, planning, discovering, and investigating. A library is a fixed built environment, yet every visit, every interaction offers a distinctive experience. When a library melds the legacy of its past with the possibilities of the future, it is both familiar and comfortable, yet novel and inspiring. Whether a visit is to grab a cup of coffee, a crime thriller, or conversation with a friend, a library is incomparable in its potential to offer assorted solutions to an equally varied group of people. It’s a space that inspires joyful giggles and enthusiastic epiphanies. Yet, it is also unrivaled in its capacity to embrace everyone, regardless of circumstance, even if all they need is a shelter from life’s storm. Today’s libraries are truly community catalysts; they are designed to bring people together and as a result are transforming neighborhoods.
From Libraries of the future | The Gazette
Submitted by Blake on June 12, 2016 - 8:49pm
Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.
“Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,” Bradbury says, summarizing TV’s content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: “factoids.” He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.
His fear in 1953 that television would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television’s effect on substance in the news. The front page of that day’s L.A. Times reported on the weekend box-office receipts for the third in the Spider-Man series of movies, seeming to prove his point.
From Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted | L.A. Weekly
Submitted by Blake on June 12, 2016 - 9:38am
Astonishingly, a little inquiry proves that the library not only still keeps records of all the books that Burr and Hamilton borrowed (and, mostly, returned) but also has many of the books themselves—not merely the same titles, but the exact same books that Hamilton and Burr handled and thumbed and read and learned from. What’s more, it turns out that, by a series of benevolent bequests, the library also has a few choice and telling letters from Burr and Hamilton and even from Eliza Hamilton—“best of wives and best of women,” as Manuel’s lyrics have it—all speaking around, and eventually to, the famous and fatal affair. So, hearing this news, we quickly—as a writer would have put it in this magazine in Thurber’s day—hied ourselves over to the Society Library’s reading room, and went to work to find out more.
From “Hamilton” and the Books That Hamilton Held - The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on June 11, 2016 - 9:48am
In The Book of Sand, Jorge Luis Borges tells the story of an unexpected visit from a Bible salesman, who has in his collection a most unusual object. “It can’t be, but it is,” the salesman says. “The number of pages in this book is no more or less than infinite. None is the first page, none is the last.”
The strange book is so engrossing as to be sinister. This is a theme that comes up repeatedly in Borges’s work. “Paradise is a library, not a garden,” he famously said. But libraries, he warned, can be hellish, too.
From The Human Fear of Total Knowledge - The Atlantic
Submitted by Blake on June 11, 2016 - 8:50am
Submitted by Blake on June 11, 2016 - 7:55am
This week, a small, nerdy corner of the internet was dismayed by news of an “impending coup” at St. John’s College, an institution dedicated to the study of the great books of the Western Canon.
I’d like to inform them that reports of the college’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
From Panic at the Great Books School? - Washington Free Beacon