DSHR's Blog: Stretching the "peer reviewed" brand until it snaps

I'm much less optimistic. These recent examples, while egregious, are merely a continuation of a trend publishers themselves started many years ago of stretching the "peer reviewed" brand by proliferating journals. If your role is to act as a gatekeeper for the literature database, you better be good at being a gatekeeper. Opening the gate so wide that anything can get published somewhere is not being a good gatekeeper.
http://blog.dshr.org/2015/01/stretching-peer-reviewed-brand-until-it.html?m=1

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Q&A: One Million Preprints and Counting

Today (December 29), the preprint server clocked its one-millionth upload. In anticipation of this milestone, The Scientist spoke with ArXiv founder Paul Ginsparg of Cornell University about sharing data, peer review, and what%u2019s next for the resource.

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The Future of Libraries Has Little to Do with Books

In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,” focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world, digital fluency.”

http://magazine.good.is/articles/public-libraries-reimagined

Blogging changes the nature of academic research, not just how it is communicated

Patrick-Dunleavy-thumb1Academic blogging gets your work and research out to a potentially massive audience at very, very low cost and relative amount of effort. Patrick Dunleavy argues blogging and tweeting from multi-author blogs especially is a great way to build knowledge of your work, to grow readership of useful articles and research reports, to build up citations, and to foster debate across academia, government, civil society and the public in general.
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/12/28/shorter-better-faster-free/

Watership Down author Richard Adams: I just can't do humans

Watership Down, a story Richard Adams made up to scare his kids in the car, was rejected seven times before it became a classic. As a new illustrated edition is published, the author tells Alison Flood why he loves making children wince and weep

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/04/richard-adams-watership-down-interview

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What We Lose if We Lose the Canon - The Chronicle Review

http://chronicle.com/article/What-We-Lose-if-We-Lose-the/150991/

On the other hand, once the present began to seem divorced from the past, modern writers felt they knew more than had their ancestors, and to distinguish themselves from both the ancients and their own contemporaries, they had to write works unbeholden to previous efforts. In Edward Young’s Conjectures on Original Composition (1759), we find the notion that "the first ancients had no merit in being originals; they could not be imitators. Modern writers have a choice to make and therefore have a merit in their power."

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Writers Say They Feel Censored by Surveillance - NYTimes.com

A survey of writers around the world by the PEN American Center has found that a significant majority said they were deeply concerned with government surveillance, with many reporting that they have avoided, or have considered avoiding, controversial topics in their work or in personal communications as a result.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/arts/writers-say-they-feel-censored-by-surveillance.html?_r=1

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Using the book: an introduction | Using the medieval book | Khan Academy

More extensive notes were sometimes written on tiny paper or parchment slips like the one seen here. Students are known to have used them to take down notes in the classroom or when they were studying a text at home. Few of them survive today. Not only were they easy to lose, but many of them were actually thrown out, similar to the fate of our modern day "sticky notes." In some manuscripts they survive because they were tucked in between the pages, as seen here.
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/medieval-book/using-medieval-book/a/us...

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Trouble often shatters hush of local libraries - Toledo Blade

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2015/01/04/Trouble-often-shatters-hush-of-local-libraries.html
A review of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s security reports from 2012 through the end of last year detailed nearly 1,000 incidents a year, including criminal activity, theft, vandalism, disturbances, and sexual misconduct inside the county’s public libraries.

Chicago Obama Library Bids in Trouble

From The Chicago Sun Times:

The Barack Obama Foundation has major problems with the University of Chicago bid for the Obama presidential library and museum and is uneasy about the bid from the University of Illinois at Chicago, leaving Columbia University in New York the front-runner for the project.

A source close to the foundation told me that the University of Chicago bid is in jeopardy because it does not own — and has no definite path to acquiring at present — any of the South Side sites the school proposed in its Dec. 11 bid. The land is owned by the Chicago Park District.

“There are major concerns with the three potential sites in the University of Chicago proposal given the fact that neither the school nor the City of Chicago control the sites,” the source said.

The jolt from the foundation, led by Marty Nesbitt, a friend of President Barack Obama’s, puts pressure on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff. “The point is the city needs to solve the problem as much as the University of Chicago,” the source said.

Seven Library Myths...BUSTED!

From our friends Libraries as Incubators via The Huffington Post:

#1: Libraries are quiet spaces--all the time, everywhere
#2: Book clubs are snooze-fests
#3: Library craft activities are old-fashioned, boring, or for kids only
#4: Libraries are about books--and that's it
#5 Libraries are boring
#6 Libraries are for nerds
#7 Libraries are for little kids

Follow @IArtLibraries on twitter for more inspiration from Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore and their team. Here's the website.

About First Book

Another story via National Public Radio about First Book and their continuing goal of introducing young children to the pleasures of reading and owning books.

When it comes to learning to read, educators agree: the younger, the better. Children can be exposed to books even before they can talk, but for that a family has to have books, which isn't always the case.

There are neighborhoods in this country with plenty of books; and then there are neighborhoods where books are harder to find. Almost 15 years ago, Susan Neuman, now a professor at New York University, focused on that discrepancy, in a study that looked at just how many books were available in Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods. The results were startling.

"We found a total of 33 books for children in a community of 10,000 children. ... Thirty-three books in all of the neighborhood," she says. By comparison, there were 300 books per child in the city's affluent communities. Neuman recently updated her study. She hasn't yet released those findings but says not much has changed.

And according to Neuman, despite advances in technology, access to print books is still important because reading out loud creates an emotional link between parent and child.

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Back Before the Internet

For those of us over 35 (and some of us that are younger), it is well known that when you needed to have some critical information, you asked a librarian. NPR has a lovely story about questions patrons asked in the olden days (pre-Google).

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Overpaid $266.5K city manager vs. library books

Wonder why your local public library is underfunded? Overpay of top city officials could be one reason. Here’s an example from my hometown, Alexandria, VA. The city manager’s $266,508 salary and additional benefits are almost as much as the entire substandard budget for library materials.

http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/overpaid-266-5k-city-manager-vs-library-books/

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Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees

Harry Guinness states his case in this post on Make Use Of.

"As someone who’s dropped a Wheel of Time novel on my face, I can tell you the debate on reading experience is well over. Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, high resolution screens and don’t give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Books hold a single novel (or occasionally a couple of shorter ones), weigh way more, have to be angled towards a light, rely on manual screen refresh and can give you a black eye for weeks."

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Marginalia as Gold Dust

From the New York Times (scroll about halfway down to Found in the Margins):

In the last few months, foundations have given out hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research on the scribbles in the margins of old books.

Johns Hopkins University, Princeton and University College London have received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to partner on a database, “The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe.” It will focus on 16th-century marginalia from the writers Gabriel Harvey, Isaac Casaubon and John Dee. Earle Havens, a library curator and professor at Johns Hopkins, said in an interview that the three “could not open a book without a pen in their hand.”

“The Archaeology of Reading” will result in searchable transcriptions of the annotators’ outrage, gossip, cross-references to other books and uncensored colloquial reactions. Harvey’s annotations are particularly revealing; he longed, futilely, to overcome his humble origins as a rope maker’s son and become a prominent legal figure.

Lisa Jardine, a professor at University College London, said that in Harvey’s marginalia, “You watch him move up the social ladder, but then he can’t straddle the final hurdles.”

Volumes marked up with handwriting used to be described as “dirty books” among dealers, she added. But in the modern age of words mostly appearing online, marginal notes can actually increase value. “Now they’re gold dust,” she said.

The Reading Room: A Journal of Special Collections seeking peer-reviewers.

The Reading Room: A Journal of Special Collections, a new open-access journal is currently seeking peer-reviewers.

The Reading Room is a scholarly journal committed to providing current research and relevant discussion of practices in a special collections library setting. The Reading Room will publish peer-reviewed articles from practitioners and students involved with special collections in museums, historical societies, corporate environments, galleries, public libraries, and academic libraries. The journal features single-blind, peer-reviewed research articles and case studies related to all aspects of current special collections work, including, but not limited to exhibits, outreach, mentorship, donor relations, teaching, reference, technical and metadata skills, social media, “Lone Arrangers”, management and digital humanities.

For more information, please visit the journal’s website: http://readingroom.lib.buffalo.edu/

Ten Stories That Shaped 2014

With 2015 around the corner, it's time to look back at this year's notable headlines.

10. Little Scofflaws

The Little Free Library movement ran afoul of local ordinances in several locations this year.

9. IKEA Catalogue

Amidst the hoopla over 3D printers, many of us got a chuckle out of this tongue-in-cheek parody.

8. The Bottom Line

If a library visit is as good as a pay raise, does that explain librarian salaries?

7. Prix Fixe

A payout structure was established this year for the long-standing case over Apple's illegal price-fixing practices with e-book publishers.

6. Fuhgettaboutit

Google and other search engines started removing results to comply with a new European Union ruling over the "right to be forgotten."

5. Quote of the Year

Speaking about the publishing industry, Ursula Le Guin stated, "We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable-–but then, so did the divine right of kings."

4. Texas Textbooks

Controversy over the purported slant of social studies textbooks were again in the news this year.

3. Honorable Mention

The protests in Ferguson, Missouri were the backdrop for one positive story: the public library stayed open, and received much acclaim for doing so.

2. Open Access Baby Steps

As more authors and publishers embrace ways for their content to be freely available, questions remain about the best way to do so.

1. The Year of Discovery

"Discovery" has become a buzzword, but the way that libraries deal with new search systems is a pivotal issue.

What was your favorite library story of 2014?

Edinburgh University has Given a Library Card to a Cat

Jordan has turned his back on his Catholic friar owners and adopted Edinburgh University library as his main residence. The feline has his own Facebook page set up by students with over 6,800 “likes”. [Ed. note: the Facebook page is a hoot; pictures of Library Cat and a stream-of-consciousness storyline by an anonymous commenter].

And now the black and white pet has been made “official” by getting a card for the library, complete with a photo and 2017 expiry date. The eight-year-old came to the Catholic chaplaincy as a kitten but never took to life as a mouse catcher with men of the cloth.

Despite being named after a 12th Century saint, Jordan preferred the company of trendy young students - and an easy life in the well-heated library. Every day, Jordan leaves the friary and crosses Edinburgh’s leafy George Square in the old town, to the university’s main library.

There, he enjoys being petted by students from across the globe, and even has a favourite turquoise chair near the door. More from Edinburgh News. And here's Jordan's interview on Scottish TV.

Are Your Favorite Magazines Doomed?

In a word, yes. Here's the straight scoop from librarian/writer Roz Warren on what's going going gone in the world of magazines.

I love magazines, which is why I am alarmed and dismayed by the fact that they’re doomed. How do I know?
I’ve read about it, of course. In magazines.

Not only that, but I process the incoming periodicals at the library where I work, which means I can actually see them dwindling before my eyes. What once were fat monthly issues are now alarmingly thin. Monthlies have increasingly resorted to publishing double issues. “New York,“ always my favorite weekly, now comes out every other week.

When I grew up, I looked forward to having my own “McCalls” subscription. (And, with any luck, my own “Playboy“-reading spouse.) Some periodicals still manage to thrive. The last issue of “Vogue” was so big I could barely lift it, as fat with ads as the models within were skinny. (And so pungent with perfume ads you could smell it across the room.)

“People“ will endure. We’ll never grow tired of celebrity gossip. “Sports Illustrated” is still going strong. And “Martha Stewart Wedding” will undoubtedly be around as long as women dream of finding both Mr. Right and a fabulous gown to marry him in.

But “U.S. News and World Report?” “McCalls?“ “Newsweek?“ Gone.

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