Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age

This would be a source of pure despair if the internet were not also enabling us to see that before it existed we never agreed about anything either. Before the net, what we read and saw was so tightly controlled by cartels of well-intentioned professionals that dissenting voices were barely heard. True, many of those dissenting voices were wrong and sometimes they were spouting lunacy, but we marginalized all but the one percent of the epistemically privileged. We achieved great science but at a high price throughout the rest of the cultural landscape, and sometimes within science, too. This fragmentation of knowledge is a fact that knowledge cannot overcome. How, then, do we best live with it? How do we flourish now that we can’t reason ourselves back together?
From Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age - Los Angeles Review of Books

Archiving a Website for Ten Thousand Years, a website that allows its users to post “moments” with a photo and annotation, plans a similar trip to the distant future. The operators, Craig Mod (who has also previously written for The Atlantic) and Chris Palmieri, announced today that the site will freeze service in September 2016. However, all posts present in the site’s database at that time will be microprinted onto a two-by-two-inch nickel plate. The entire site—2,000,000 words and 14,000 photos—should fit on a single disk. Several copies will be made and distributed across the globe; the Library of Congress has already been secured as a repository. The plates have a lifespan as long as 10,000 years, and they may be viewed with a 1,000-power optical microscope.
From Archiving a Website for Ten Thousand Years - The Atlantic

Libraries And User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO

However Europe is equally resistant to even discussing copyright limitations and exceptions that don't currently exist in its law, and unfortunately the United States delegation doesn't care enough to push the matter, leaving the heavy lifting to nonprofit stakeholders such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Meanwhile, industry groups refuse to countenance any limit on their own monopoly powers, even when such a limit is plainly in the public interest and addresses a pressing need. For example, libraries and archives seek the legal authority to preserve orphan works, and to source and lend works across national borders, while people with disabilities other than blindness or vision impairment need similar flexibilities to those now extended to print-disabled people.
From User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away

The hysterical cheerleaders of the e-book failed to account for human experience, and publishers blindly followed suit. But the novelty has worn off
From Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

Cancellation of subscriptions to 2,116 Springer journals

“We are trying to best meet the needs of our community despite budget cuts in the last few years, the greediness of commercial publishers, and the weak Canadian dollar,” said Stéphanie Gagnon, Collections Director.
From Communiqué - Cancellation of subscriptions to 2,116 Springer journals - Bibliothèques - Université de Montréal - English Version

Los Angeles Library Shop Reopens

From LAist, the shop at the Central Library, closed since last January has reopened and is a great place to buy everything a booklover wants. Check it out!

How Big Data Creates False Confidence

In the case of language and culture, big data showed up in a big way in 2011, when Google released its Ngrams tool. Announced with fanfare in the journal Science, Google Ngrams allowed users to search for short phrases in Google’s database of scanned books—about 4 percent of all books ever published!—and see how the frequency of those phrases has shifted over time. The paper’s authors heralded the advent of “culturomics,” the study of culture based on reams of data and, since then, Google Ngrams has been, well, largely an endless source of entertainment—but also a goldmine for linguists, psychologists, and sociologists. They’ve scoured its millions of books to show that, for instance, yes, Americans are becoming more individualistic; that we’re “forgetting our past faster with each passing year”; and that moral ideals are disappearing from our cultural consciousness.
From How Big Data Creates False Confidence - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You'd be surprised

Given only the above numbers, the hasty conclusion would seem to be that everything is online and nobody uses academic libraries any more.

But not so fast.

Even while circulation and reference transaction numbers were tanking, the data show a steady increase in the number of people actually setting foot in academic libraries.

The cumulative weekly gate count for the 60 largest U.S. academic libraries increased nearly 39 percent from 2000 to 2012. Library gate count data for all U.S. institutions of higher education show a similar (38 percent) increase from 1998 to 2012.

From Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You'd be surprised

André Chiote Reimagines Libraries From Around the World as Minimalist Illustrations

André Chiote’s newest series of illustrations focuses on the unique architectural characteristics of modern and contemporary world libraries. Using the building facades as a starting point, Chiote turns the complex exterior geometries and shadows into more minimalist representations of facilities that include: OMA’s Seattle Public Library, Scmidt Hammer Lassen’s University of Aberdeen New Library, and Dominique Perrault’s National Library of France.

From André Chiote Reimagines Libraries From Around the World as Minimalist Illustrations | ArchDaily


The Evolution of Wikipedia’s Norm Network

Abstract: Social norms have traditionally been difficult to quantify. In any particular society, their sheer number and complex interdependencies often limit a system-level analysis. One exception is that of the network of norms that sustain the online Wikipedia community. We study the fifteen-year evolution of this network using the interconnected set of pages that establish, describe, and interpret the community’s norms. Despite Wikipedia’s reputation for ad hoc governance, we find that its normative evolution is highly conservative. The earliest users create norms that both dominate the network and persist over time. These core norms govern both content and interpersonal interactions using abstract principles such as neutrality, verifiability, and assume good faith. As the network grows, norm neighborhoods decouple topologically from each other, while increasing in semantic coherence. Taken together, these results suggest that the evolution of Wikipedia’s norm network is akin to bureaucratic systems that predate the information age.
From Future Internet | Free Full-Text | The Evolution of Wikipedia’s Norm Network | HTML

A Muggle's Guide to Harry Potter Locations

Any Harry Potter fan worth their salt has dreamed of traveling to Hogwarts, The Ministry of Magic, and The Forbidden Forest. Though you may never be able to visit the magical fictional locations from Harry Potter, you can visit some of the real-life destinations pictured in the movies.


Take The Library School Debt Survey 2016

I'm inviting you to take a short survey about the MLS and debt.

The survey came out of a series of discussions with practitioners over the last few months regarding the role and practice of the MLS. The data will be published in an article in the upcoming months.

The survey should take between 5-10 minutes to complete.

Responses will be anonymous unless you provide your email, in which case I will reach out to set up an interview. Interviews can be anonymous as well.

Please share widely with other MLS students and grads!

Thank you!

Jennie Rose Halperin

Beautiful Bay Area libraries you need to visit In case you thought libraries were nothing more than dingy buildings where books collect dust, then you haven’t seen enough of these beautiful Bay Area libraries. Aside from their clean and organized interiors, these local community and university libraries can boast about their architectural beauty with styles ranging from contemporary to Italian-Renaissance.

Toronto library workers say they’re heading for strike

More than 2,000 library workers will strike Monday, shutting Toronto's 100 branches, unless the city gets serious about negotiating a new contract, their union says. With a strike or lockout possible at midnight Sunday, talks are at a “crisis point,” Maureen O'Reilly, president of CUPE Local 4948, told reporters Wednesday.
From Toronto library workers say they’re heading for strike | Toronto Star

Online Learning: Why Libraries Could Be the Key to MOOCs’ Success

Libraries are a perfect setting for Learning Circles for several reasons: they already serve the local community; they are equipped with meeting spaces; many have computer stations, and most importantly, librarians know how to help people find answers.    “Most people take online classes in solitude and that’s when you put on the headphones,”  said James Teng, a CPL librarian at who facilitated a course on public speaking. “Sometimes you feel alone. Learning Circles bring people together to work together and develop teamwork.”
From Online Learning: Why Libraries Could Be the Key to MOOCs’ Success | MindShift | KQED News

More than half Newfoundland & Labrador libraries closing in wake of budget cuts

The library board in Newfoundland and Labrador announced sweeping changes to its services Wednesday, adopting a regional library model which will see 54 branches close in the next two years. The board met Tuesday to discuss how best to deal with a $1-million loss in its annual budget, a cut made in the provincial budget. In a statement, the board said 41 libraries will remain open, and 85 per cent of residents in the province will still be within a 30 minute drive of a remaining branch.
From More than half province's libraries closing in wake of budget cuts - Newfoundland & Labrador - CBC News

Librarian creates place of hope & love for neighborhood

"I went every day, and the librarians helped me with my homework," Heyward said. "My grandmother couldn't help me with my homework." Now, Heyward is in a position to help others as manager of the East 38th Street branch of The Indianapolis Public Library. During 2016 National Library Week, Heyward was honored as a "Mover and Shaker" by Library Journal. She was recognized nationally for tapping into her deep familiarity with the neighborhood to organize community partnerships with more than 40 nonprofits, businesses, churches and universities.
From Librarian creates place of hope & love for neighborhood

ACRL Report Shows Compelling Evidence of Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

A new report issued by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects,” shows compelling evidence for library contributions to student learning and success. The report focuses on dozens of projects conducted as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) by teams that participated in the second year of the program, from April 2014 to June 2015. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports (fully searchable online) and using past findings from projects completed during the first year of the AiA program as context, the report identifies strong evidence of the positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:
From ACRL Report Shows Compelling Evidence of Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success » ACRL Value of Academic Libraries

Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë with some books from an unconventional childhood

This month marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, the third-born and longest lived of the six children of Patrick and Maria Brontë, and the author of the classic novels Jane Eyre (1847), Shirley (1849), Villette (1853) and The Professor (1857).  Much has been written about Charlotte and her famous 19th century literary family, and the mystique of their lives and legacy has been the subject of continuing interpretation and reinterpretation.  The Baillieu Library is very fortunate to hold some important early Brontë editions, together with copies of several titles which they are known to have read, if not devoured, as children.
From Reading with the young Charlotte: celebrating the 200th birthday of Charlotte Brontë with some books from an unconventional childhood – Library Collections

Weeding the Worst Library Books

Public libraries serve practical purposes, but they also symbolize our collective access to information, so it’s understandable that many Berkeley residents reacted strongly to seeing books discarded. What’s more, Scott’s critics ultimately contended that he had not been forthcoming about how many books were being removed, or about his process for deciding which books would go. Still, it’s standard practice—and often a necessity—to remove books from library collections. Librarians call it “weeding,” and the choice of words is important: a library that “hemorrhages” books loses its lifeblood; a librarian who “weeds” is helping the collection thrive. The key question, for librarians who prefer to avoid scandal, is which books are weeds.
From Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker


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