A digital portrait of Colonial life

Launched Monday, the website of the Colonial North American Project so far includes 150,000 images of diaries, journals, notebooks, and other rare documents from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Part of the University’s endeavor to digitize all its collections and make them available free of charge, the Colonial North American Project is unique because of its scale. According to a 2011 survey, the material is scattered through 12 repositories — from Houghton Library to the Harvard University Archives to Loeb Music Library.

From A digital portrait of Colonial life | Harvard Gazette

My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon's Bizarre New Bookstore

The staff are drawn from within Amazon, from local bookstores, from libraries. Robert Sindelar of Third Place has said that some of his staff were contacted by Amazon recruiters through LinkedIn. Pam Cady, manager of the general books department at University Book Store was contacted as well. Cady received LinkedIn messages and an email. It was very personal in tone, but ended with a simple choice: a button to indicate whether or not she was interested in the offer. “I clicked not interested.”

From My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon's Bizarre New Bookstore | The New Republic

A methodology for identifying library peers

Using IMLS 2013 data Levi Bowles, data science professional, applied a "nearest neighbor" methodology to find peer libraries for an example library system. The nearest neighbor method is widely used across many fields. The factors matched on were population served, branches, funding per capita, visits per population.

For the full post visit http://www.datasciencenotes.com/2015/10/peer-group-determination-library....

The Book Is Better Than The Movie 96 Percent Of The Time

Literary lovers everywhere, today is your day: You were right, the book is almost always better than the movie!

Vocativ analyzed Goodreads and IMDb ratings from 800 books and their movie adaptations ranging from “Harry Potter” to “Hannibal” and discovered that the book had a higher rating 96 percent of the time. In fact, books are considered “much better” than their movie adaptations in 51.8 percent of cases.

From The Book Is Better Than The Movie 96 Percent Of The Time

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Latest Hotel Amenity: Books

These libraries help guests make a meaningful connection with their hotel, said Bobby Zur, who owns Travel Artistry, a consultancy in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

“Books in your room are a counterrevolution to technology overload and are almost comforting for guests,” he said. “They also give the properties a unique identity.”

From Latest Hotel Amenity: Books - The New York Times

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The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

The Samuelson Clinic is excited to provide a
handbook, “Is it in the Public Domain?,” and accompanying
visuals. These educational tools help users to evaluate the
copyright status of a work created in the United States between
January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977—those works that were
created before today’s 1976 Copyright Act. Many important
works—from archival materials to family photos and movies—were created during this time, and it can be
difficult to tell whether they are still under copyright.

The handbook walks readers though a series of
questions—illustrated by accompanying charts—to help readers
explore whether a copyrighted work from that time is in the
public domain, and therefore free to be used without
permission from a copyright owner.  Knowing whether a work
is in the public domain or protected by copyright is an
important first step in any decision regarding whether or
how to make use of a work.

From The Samuelson Clinic releases "Is it in the Public Domain?" handbook - Berkeley Law

Novelist warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education

In the 2015 Presidential Lecture in the Arts and Humanities, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson argued that if the American higher education system continues to shift priorities towards training instead of educating, students will be ill-equipped to participate as citizens of a democratic society.

From Novelist warns Stanford audience against utilitarian trends in higher education

Library Workflow Exchange

<a href="http://www.libraryworkflowexchange.org/">Library Workflow Exchange</a> is a new site designed to help librarians find sample workflows, tools, and procedures. It currently focuses on workflows for cataloging, description, and metadata creation. If you have workflows or documentation that you think a wider audience would benefit from, please share them!

"Interesting" Patron Questions

The reference desk of a library is truly one of the most interesting of places. Through an October poll in Crossroads, we asked WebJunction members to share the most interesting patron questions they had received, and the response was amazing! While there are definitely many humorous submissions, we also know that every day, library staff answer patron questions that help them in so many ways. From completing homework to applications for college, to supporting job-seekers and those looking to better understand nutrition or a disease - libraries help people find the information that they need to live informed and productive lives. And some days, it's just really entertaining.

From Interesting Patron Questions

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LAM Education Needs Assessments: Bridging the Gaps

LAM Education Needs Assessments: Bridging the Gaps

Authored by Christina Drummond, Tom Clareson, Laurie Arp Gemmil, and Katherine Skinner, this publication aims to introduce guiding principles and practices for CE/PD needs assessments from beyond the LAM sphere of reference. A literature review section highlights needs assessment research from other fields (e.g., higher education, nonprofit training, etc.), drawing attention to models that could inform LAM practice. Existing LAM CE/PD needs assessment efforts are then contextualized against these models to inform future cross-sector CE/PD collaborations.

From Mapping the Landscapes | Educopia

The Home Library Problem

In March of 2006 my wife Mary and I owned about 3,500 books. We both have eclectic interests, voracious appetites for knowledge, and a great love of used bookstores. The problem was that we had no idea what books we had or where any of them were. We lost books all the time, cursed late into the night digging through piles for that one book we knew must be there, and even bought books only to find that we already owned them. There were books on random shelves, books on the floor, we were tripping over books when we walked up and down the stairs. In short, we had a mess.

We needed to get organized

From

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What libraries should look like in the future

Libraries now need to offer more than books to stay relevant. Inspired by Scandinavian models, they are turning into lively meeting points and cultural hot spots. Makerspaces reflect the values of the sharing economy.

From What libraries should look like in the future | Books | DW.COM | 04.11.2015

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How Public Libraries Can Support Broadband Adoption

The barriers to broadband adoption are well-documented, and include digital literacy, relevancy and cost. Digital literacy and relevancy are often addressed simultaneously; libraries and non-profit organizations teach digital literacy skills through relevant use of the Internet and often provide direct training classes. To successfully increase broadband use in communities, all three barriers must be addressed through a diverse set of local partners with established roots in the community.

From How Public Libraries Can Support Broadband Adoption | PublicCEO

How eBay's CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility

A user interface control not only needs to look like a certain control, it must be described as that control too. Take for example a button, one of the simplest of controls. There are many ways you can create something that looks like a button, but unless you use the actual button tag (or button role – more on roles later), it will not be described as a button.

Why does it need to be described as a button? Users of AT (assistive technology), such as a screen reader, may not be able to see what the control looks like visually; therefore it is the job of the screen reader to describe it aurally. A screen reader, such as VoiceOver for Mac OSX and iOS, can do this job only if we, the developers, ensure the correct semantics are present in our HTML code.

From How Our CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility | eBay Tech Blog

Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

The internet has changed the way we do many things, from organising a get-together to looking up a recipe. Tasks that little over a decade ago would have involved dozens of phone calls or a trip to the library, can now be completed in a heartbeat. There has been much animated debate about the potential relative harms or benefits of all this, but convincing evidence has not been forthcoming. Now a new study of 119 men and 83 women recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General has found that after accessing information on the internet, people can experience an illusion of knowledge. Even if the internet hasn't necessarily changed the way we think, it seems it does have the potential to change our perceptions of what we think we know.

From BPS Research Digest: Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

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Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

The internet has changed the way we do many things, from organising a get-together to looking up a recipe. Tasks that little over a decade ago would have involved dozens of phone calls or a trip to the library, can now be completed in a heartbeat. There has been much animated debate about the potential relative harms or benefits of all this, but convincing evidence has not been forthcoming. Now a new study of 119 men and 83 women recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General has found that after accessing information on the internet, people can experience an illusion of knowledge. Even if the internet hasn't necessarily changed the way we think, it seems it does have the potential to change our perceptions of what we think we know.

From BPS Research Digest: Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

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Mindfulness and the Popularity of Adult Coloring Books

I have never changed my mind about anything as quickly or completely as I changed my mind about adult coloring books. I found the trend mostly baffling and maybe a little dumb. But I saw some in a bookstore the other day and I immediately said to my friend, “Well, I'm not leaving here without one of these.”

And indeed, reader, I did not.

From Mindfulness and the Popularity of Adult Coloring Books - The Atlantic

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Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board

Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board
We regret the board’s decision to resign, but more so the misunderstandings that have accompanied it. We hope to clarify some of them here

From Addressing the resignation of the Lingua editorial board

How Google’s AMP project speeds up the Web

For AMP, two things in particular stand in the way of a lean, mean browsing experience: JavaScript... and advertisements that use JavaScript. The AMP story is compelling. It has good guys (Google) and bad guys (everyone not using Google Ads), and it's true to most of our experiences. But this narrative has some fundamental problems. For example, Google owns the largest ad server network on the Web. If ads are such a problem, why doesn't Google get to work speeding up the ads?

From How Google’s AMP project speeds up the Web—by sandblasting HTML | Ars Technica

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Amazon Killed the Bookstore. So It's Opening a Bookstore

Amazon Books, as the new store is called, will be like any other Main Street bookstore (remember those?), except that Amazon will use the troves of data it collects from its online customers to stock the shelves. That means its book displays will feature real Amazon book reviews, and the store will showcase books that have amassed the most pre-orders online. The books will also come with Amazon’s trademark low price tags.

From Amazon Killed the Bookstore. So It's Opening a Bookstore | WIRED

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