Baltimore librarian Carla Hayden nominated as Librarian of Congress: Will her Patriot Act opposition get in the way?

Carla Hayden is President Obama’s nominee for Librarian of Congress. She is CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, an African-American and a former president of the American Library Association.

What a contrast to James Billington, the long-time librarian who retired last year and was temporarily replaced by Acting Librarian David Mao. Billington’s background is from academia. He was not a professional librarian. What’s more, he was so far out of touch that he preferred fax to e-mail; and for the most part, this Reagan-era leftover hated e-books.

From Baltimore librarian Carla Hayden nominated as Librarian of Congress: Will her Patriot Act opposition get in the way? - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond

LIBRARIES NEED TO PRIORITIZE PATRON PRIVACY & SECURITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Over the past few months, we have been approached by groups leading a charge to recognize patron security and privacy as an important part of library purchasing responsibility. The facts are that many of the platforms licensed by libraries today do not prioritize and sometimes neglect basic steps to ensure libraries can protect patron security and privacy. The reason is simple: Libraries do not demand it.

From LIBRARIES NEED TO PRIORITIZE PATRON PRIVACY & SECURITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD — Medium

You Could Look It Up

Book that has just been released: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

"Knowledge is of two kinds," said Samuel Johnson in 1775. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge--reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries.

You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. From The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny's Natural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language to The Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.

See: http://amzn.to/1Q05Jj5

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Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain

Calhoun was curious to see how the punctuation in his favorite books stacked up, so he wrote a script that strips the words from the pages. Next to Rougeux’s swirling posters, Calhoun’s visualizations are less abstract, more straightforward. In one, he simply leaves them as-is—a block of periods, commas and dashes in all their geometric, grammatical beauty. In another, he assigns each glyph a color, creating glowing heatmaps that show which marks are most prevalent.

From Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain | WIRED

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Fully Implement ESSA School Library Provisions

FULLY IMPLEMENT ESSA SCHOOL LIBRARY PROVISIONS
School librarians are on the front lines of librarianship. For many young minds they are the first contact with both librarians and libraries and provide the kinds of opportunities for imaginative exploration that libraries freely and democratically provide through their books, programs, and services. Children are allowed to explore literature and new ideas freely in school libraries while also developing a love of reading and strong skills in literacy that will help them throughout their life.

From Fully Implement ESSA School Library Provisions - EveryLibrary

New book about New York City special libraries released

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Terry Ballard has written the book "50 Specialty libraries of New York City: From botany to magic," published by Chandos Elsevier.

Libraries are for reading not knitting

Warnings about libraries spreading their resources too thin are partly based on the fact that book funds are in decline. But the real issue here is that society finds it difficult to take the authority of knowledge seriously. It cannot find any justification for quiet spaces and rows of bookshelves. The trust’s emphasis on extracurricular activities undermines the purpose of libraries – that is, to foster independence and self-realisation.

It seems the Carnegie Trust no longer wants us to read books – it would rather we drank tea and ate biscuits instead.

From Libraries are for reading not knitting - The Future Cities project

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The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library

In recent years, there has been much talk about what to do with the various library branches as they continue to adapt to the digital era. Originally, the Mid-Manhattan was due to be sold and its services moved into a fully renovated main building. Now those controversial plans have been scrapped in favor of a new “Midtown Campus Renovation,” and the Mid-Manhattan has been tapped for an overhaul, with designs set to be unveiled later this year, and completed by 2019. The carpets could certainly use a good cleaning, and it would be nice if the elevators and climate control worked better, but I hope the revamp won’t alter the branch’s freewheeling energy.

From The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library - The New Yorker

IFLA 2016 President's Meeting - Call to Action: Building the Change Agenda for the Information Profession

Call to Action: Building the Change Agenda for the Information Profession
IFLA President’s Meeting: Donna Scheeder
Thursday/Friday April 7-8, 2016 with Welcome Reception; Pre & Post Library Tours, April 6 & 9

This two day summit focuses on the exploration of building the change agenda at the global, national, institutional and personal level.  It brings together leading thinkers, information professionals, and experienced practitioners from different segments of the library and information services community who represent efforts to address new directions needed as a result of societal trends reflecting both regional and library sector perspectives.   Engage with public, academic, and institutional librarians as well as library educators, creative and critical makers, futurists, and others in conversation about the change agenda for the information profession.

From IFLA 2016 President's Meeting - Home

web application that runs the inlibraries.com website

inlibraries.com
Flask web application that runs the inlibraries.com website

The application generates a random library conference website based on the subdomain of the request URL. Underscores in the subdomain will be replaced with spaces.

Examples:

http://badgers.inlibraries.com
http://rabid_badgers.inlibraries.com

From inlibraries.com/README.md at master · waharnum/inlibraries.com

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Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library

Nashville Public Library officials have told Nashville’s chapter of Black Lives Matter that meetings that welcome only people of color can’t take place inside the city’s libraries.

That decision has outraged members of Black Lives Matter, who say the library canceled all future meetings the group had organized for later this month.

From Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library

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Libraries: Liberty and justice for all

Separate and unequal access to knowledge is the antithesis of library ideals. The American Library Association actively commits its programs and resources “to those efforts that combat prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination against individuals and groups in the library profession and in library user populations on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability.”

From Libraries: Liberty and justice for all

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NH bill would explicitly allow libraries to run Tor exit nodes

Inspired by the Library Freedom Project's uncompromising bravery in the face of a DHS threat against a town library in Kilton, NH, that was running a Tor exit node to facilitate private, anonymous communication, the New Hampshire legislature is now considering a bill that would explicitly permit public libraries to "allow the installation and use of cryptographic privacy platforms on public library computers for library patrons use."

From NH bill would explicitly allow libraries to run Tor exit nodes / Boing Boing

The Library Card

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As we traveled around the U.S. reporting on the revival of towns and cities, we always made the local library an early stop. We’d hit the newspaper offices, the chamber of commerce, city hall, and Main Street for an introduction to the economics, politics, and stresses of a town. The visit to the public library revealed its heart and soul.

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, dies aged 89

Author whose 1961 novel became a defining text of 20th century literature and of racial troubles in the American south has died in Monroeville, Alabama

From Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, dies aged 89 | Books | The Guardian

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Everything you need to know about the Apple versus FBI case

Summary
This issue is much bigger than just Apple providing access to a single device, it’s much bigger than the encryption debate and it’s much bigger than just the US. There are angles to this we haven’t thought about yet and it’ll continue to be sensationalised by the press, misrepresented by the government and rebuked by Apple.

The ramifications of them actually complying with this court order would likely spread well beyond just compromising a device that’s in the physical possession of law enforcement. A precedent the likes of Apple being forced to weaken consumer protections will very likely then be applied to other channels; what would it mean for iMessage when the authorities identify targets actively communicating where they’re unable to gain physical access to the device? It sets an alarming precedent and all the same arguments mounted here by the FBI could just as easily be applied to end to end encryption.

But let me finish on a lighter note: this also has the potential to result in greater consumer privacy for everyone. In part because if Apple successfully defends their stance then they’ll have the precedent the next time the issue is raised. In part also because this incident may well prompt them to tie their own hands even further and indeed this appears to be the case with the newer generation of device. And finally, because the world is watching how this plays out and it will influence the position of other governments and tech companies outside the US. If sanity prevails, we may well all be better off for having gone through this.

From Troy Hunt: Everything you need to know about the Apple versus FBI case

Why the Banning of 'A Birthday Cake for George Washington' Really Matters

On Sunday, January 17, 2016 Scholastic Inc., withdrew my book A Birthday Cake for George Washington from publication stating it provided a "false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves." The company claims otherwise, but certainly public outcry determined its decision.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ramin-ganeshram/why-banning-a-birthday-cake-george-washington_...

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The rescue of Cashel’s magical but mouldering library

The rescue of Cashel’s magical but mouldering library
The Bolton Library, which contains rare books from the 13th to 18th centuries, is being transferred to safer environs. Many treasures are being discovered along the way

From The rescue of Cashel’s magical but mouldering library

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What it looks like to process 3.5 million books in Google’s cloud

What did it look like to process 3.5 million books? Data-mining and creating a public archive of 3.5 million books is an example of an application perfectly suited to the cloud, in which a large amount of specialized processing power is needed for only a brief period of time. Here are the five main steps that I took to make the invaluable learnings of millions of books more easily and speedily accessible in the cloud:

From Google Cloud Platform Blog: What it looks like to process 3.5 million books in Google’s cloud

When does peer review make no damn sense?

The part of the above quote I want focus on, though, is the phrase “non-peer-reviewed.” Peer reviewed papers have errors, of course (does the name “Daryl Bem” ring a bell?). Two of my own published peer-reviewed articles had errors so severe as to destroy their conclusions! But that’s ok, nobody’s claiming perfection. The claim, I think, is that peer-reviewed articles are much less likely to contain errors, as compared to non-peer-reviewed articles (or non-peer-reviewed blog posts). And the claim behind that, I think, is that peer review is likely to catch errors.

And this brings up the question I want to address today: What sort of errors can we expect peer review to catch?

From When does peer review make no damn sense? - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

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