The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre

One common thread in Borden literature examines how the police and the courts handled the case. Over the years, writers have explored the investigation and trial to critique both the American justice system and the effects of the press on that system. The coverage of the Fall River murders demonstrates that, even as true crime evolves throughout the centuries, it continuously engages with the culture that surrounds it. Since the early modern murder pamphlet, true crime has asked us to consider how we, as a society, both contribute to and learn from the most shocking acts of our age.
From The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre | JSTOR Daily

Academic Torrents

Welcome to Academic Torrents! Making 15.47TB of research data available. We've designed a distributed system for sharing enormous datasets - for researchers, by researchers. The result is a scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant repository for data, with blazing fast download speeds.
From Academic Torrents

Libraries and churches

I think about this connection between churches and libraries as I walk down the hall to my office every morning -- a new church in an old library. The smell is still more new paint rather than old book, but give it time. It has great potential. Already we have received our first gift of that old smell: books from a retired pastor that wait in the hallway, ready to find new hands.
From Libraries and churches | Local News |

Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon

Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device's GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire's version is played through a Facebook group called "Chasseurs de livres" ("Book hunters").
From Belgians are hunting books, instead of Pokemon | Reuters

The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World

“The library was a means [for the kings] to show off their wealth, their power, and mostly to show that they were the rightful heirs of Alexander the Great,” says Gaëlle Coqueugniot, an ancient history research associate at the University of Exeter.
From The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World | Atlas Obscura

The Paris Review: Revisited in which writers look back on a work of art

Revisited is a series in which writers look back on a work of art they first encountered long ago.
Alan Watts, Bonnie Nadzam, Emma Straub,Max Porter, Sloane Crosley and others look back on a work of art they first encountered long ago. From Revisited | The Paris Review

US College Libraries in a Digital Age

The days of musty books on shelves, bound journals, card catalogs, long tables and rules governing behavior are gone. Now many campus libraries have cafes, group study areas, where talking is permitted, and sofas designed for taking a short nap. Some are even open 24-hours a day.
From US College Libraries in a Digital Age

Of Dirty Books and Bread

This piece of advice forms the antidote to the abovementioned instruction for cleaning books: conflicting advice across the centuries. Undecided on the issue I will, however, continue to make sure my hands are clean as I continue through manuscripts with recipes, especially the alchemical ones. You never know what may have left that stain in the margin.
From Of Dirty Books and Bread | The Recipes Project

Failed fee and budget cuts cause changes at MU Libraries

Changes at campus libraries are a result of a failed library fee proposal, as well as a 5 percent cut in MU’s general operating funds. The proposal would have implemented a fee per credit hour that would have begun at $5 per credit hour and slowly increased to $15 per credit hour by 2022. Last year, 54 percent of MU students who voted on the fee voted against the proposal.
From Failed fee and budget cuts cause changes at MU Libraries – The Maneater

What libraries of the future will look like

What probably won't change that much are librarians and the physical spaces they watch over. Pescovitz suspects that humans will always need some sort of guide to make a foreign landscape more familiar. Whether humanity turns that job into one for artificial intelligence is another matter, he says.
From What libraries of the future will look like - Business Insider

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel archive vanishes from Google's news archive

What’s different about Milwaukee is that the city is being asked to buy back something it already had—and, in the case of the library’s digital scans, had even helped build. “Our archives should be available again soon,” Journal-Sentinel president Chris Stegman wrote to Urban Milwaukee. “As we switch over to our new parent company’s systems we are also switching our archiving system from Google to Newsbank. There is a delay in the process but we hope to have them available again shortly. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope our solution is up and running soon.”
From Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel archive vanishes from Google's news archive

The Up to Date College Library

An article in Voice of America discusses changes to campus library design.

Here for example is the Rain Garden Reading Lounge inside the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC: Light & airy with a coupla books.

Synchronized Shelving in New Zealand

Ohio State professor reflects on her passion for comic books

As she spends her days surrounded by more than 300,000 original cartoons, 45,000 books and 2.5 million comic strip clippings and tear sheets, Caitlin McGurk is living her dream. McGurk, 30, serves as visiting curator for Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum – she’s also an assistant professor – a result of her lifelong passion for comics, coupled with hard work and perseverance. recently spoke with McGurk about her role, the museum itself, and her thoughts on the future of the comics industry.
From Ohio State professor reflects on her passion for comic books: BTN LiveBIG « Big Ten Network

Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield VA

The decision to pull books from a summer reading list in Chesterfield County after parents complained that they were laden with sexually explicit language and violence has drawn the attention of a state senator and criticism from national free-speech advocacy groups.
From Committee reviewing books pulled from summer reading list in Chesterfield - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Chesterfield County News

The lost infrastructure of social media

More than a decade ago, the earliest era of blogging provided a set of separate but related technologies that helped the nascent form thrive. Today, most have faded away and been forgotten, but new incarnations of these features could still be valuable.
From The lost infrastructure of social media. — Medium

How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better

Richardson's system actually works: they're using it in NYPL and many affiliated libraries. It makes reading ebooks from the library one trillion times better, and it lets anyone improve it, at anywhere in the stack -- it lets commercial suppliers play, too, but prevents them from locking libraries, publishers or readers in. It is a model of how mission-driven public agencies and nonprofits can be truly game-changing in online ecosystems that have been dominated by a single, monolithic corporation.
From How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better / Boing Boing

Keep the Patrons Happy

Some Good Customer service "precepts" by Paula Laurita via Pub-Lib

Okay, my number one rule is no blood in the library. But aside from that I have a few general rules:

2. We don't work at the "no" factory. The first response isn't "we can't do that". Try and find the "yes" if possible without infringing on another patron. Some staff took this at first that we never say no. That's not a blanket yes to more computer time if someone else is waiting. It's not a blanket yes to extending a summer reading book when there is a holds list. But, is there really a reason why someone cannot have a special check-out period for Huck Finn while they are sailing on the Mississippi?

3. Take the money. Cousin Fred checked out a book using Cousin Beatrice's card. Fred racked-up the late fines, but doesn't have Beatrice's card. He wants to pay the fines. Take the money. Give Fred the cash register receipt. Save the account receipt for Beatrice. Don't inconvenience them both.

4. This isn't the cosmetics counter at the local department store. Don't chase people to make the sale. "May I help you find anything?" "No, I'm just browsing." "Okay, if I can help please let me know." Give people privacy and the gift of time to look.

5. No weltschmerz. Well thought out complaints are fine. General whining is not.

Tracking Excavator: Uncovering Tracking in the Web's Past

As users browse the web, their browsing behavior may be observed and aggregated by third-party websites ("trackers") that they don't visit directly. These trackers are generally embedded by host websites in the form of advertisements, social media widgets (e.g., the Facebook "Like" button), or web analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics). Though web tracking and its privacy implications have received much attention in recent years, that attention has come relatively recently in the history of the web and lacks full historical context. In this work, we conduct a longitudinal archaeological study of tracking on the web from 1996 to 2016. Our key insight: that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine enables a retrospective analysis of properties of the web, even though researchers did not anticipate in advance the need to study these properties over time. We evaluate the potential and limitations of the Wayback Machine for this purpose and offer strategies to overcome several challenges we encountered in relation to using its data to study tracking.
From Tracking Excavator


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