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Amazon has begun discouraging customers from buying books by Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Colbert, J. D. Salinger and other popular writers, a flexing of its muscle as a battle with a publisher spills into the open.
The Internet retailer, which controls more than a third of the book trade in the United States, is marking many books published by Hachette Book Group as not available for at least two or three weeks.
Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain — which was based on a short story.
In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its plan to turn part of its research flagship on 42d Street into a circulating library and instead will renovate the Mid-Manhattan library on Fifth Avenue, several library trustees said.
“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Tony Marx, the library’s president, said Wednesday in an interview.
The renovation, formerly known as the Central Library Plan, would have required eliminating the book stacks under the building’s main reading room and was to have been paid for with $150 million from New York City and the proceeds from the sale of the Mid-Manhattan, at 40th Street, and the Science, Industry and Business Library in the former B. Altman building, on Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.
L.A. Unified paid for library staff in every school before the recession began in 2008. Today, it provides librarians in high schools but leaves most elementary and middle school campuses to make tough choices on whether to use their limited discretionary funds on library aides, nurses, counselors or other key staff.
Since 2011, the union has alleged that L.A. Unified laid off their members, then illegally allowed parent volunteers, instructional aides and others to do their work at nearly four dozen campuses. The district issued a bulletin last year clarifying that library work can be performed only by those with proper credentials, but the union asserts that violations are still occurring. Without trained staff to make sure books are properly checked out, returned and refiled, she said, thousands have gone missing.
Aiming to stem the problems, the Los Angeles Board of Education recently agreed to form a districtwide task force to seek ways to improve access to school libraries with more dollars, alternative arrangements and collaboration with other public libraries and charitable organizations.
A dispute over how a librarian treated visitors has turned into a federal lawsuit in western Michigan.
Shirley Whitt claims she was a victim of discrimination, based on age and other issues, when the Van Buren District Library said it would transfer her from the Gobles branch. She had worked there for more than 20 years.
But the library, west of Kalamazoo, denies any discrimination. It says patrons regularly complained about Whitt’s “poor demeanor” and “unwelcoming attitude.”
Over the years, Whitt was accused of pulling a sucker from a child’s mouth, treating kids harshly and taking a stuffed animal from children.
From The Chicago Sun-Times: A beautiful new library opened last week in Humboldt Park for the 800 students of Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School. Puffy pillows await children for story time; new chairs sit at brand new tables, and shelves of books line the long, light-filled room. Quotes from children’s literature adorn the freshly painted walls. “Let the wild rumpus start!” reads one from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”
A very grateful Cameron community celebrated the opening with Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who praised the room as “absolutely amazing” and told children that libraries were her favorite place as a girl.
“You are fortunate now to have a library,” Byrd-Bennett said at Thursday’s festive ribbon-cutting. “We know you’re going to be successful because you have this precious resource.”
But still, 252 of the 527 Chicago Public Schools that are staffed by union teachers lack a librarian, and 18 more schools have just a part-time librarian, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. By CPS’ count of 658 schools, which includes charters, 517 schools have libraries, according to district spokesman Joel Hood, who did not provide a count of librarians.
Some academic journals have embraced a “gold open access model” of publishing, wherein the scholars whose work appears in the journal pay for the privilege. Bob speaks with Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian at the University of Colorado Denver who has assembled a list of "predatory journals" - journals that may be more interested in profit than academic contributions
Libraries are great. But are they just about books? No! To highlight this we'll produce a visual A to Z of what makes libraries so fantastic.
At Library Camp East Gary from Voices for the Library proposed a session to crowd source an A to Z of words that reflected the positive activities and values of libraries, as well as positive representations in books, songs, films and other media.
We've a great illustrator (Josh Filhol) lined up to take the A to Z list that attendees at the Library Camp and Voices for the Library helped pull together and turn it into a series of brilliant images.
Once we have a series of 20+ images (we may need to combine some letters due to lack of "words" - we'll decide as we get suggestions in!), they will be put together in a few different ways:
As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library — a design by Norman Foster that would radically overhaul the stacks and other features of the historic Beaux-Arts building — we are looking at some of the city's less visible libraries. The NYPL has an incredible branch system around the boroughs, but it's only a part of New York City's literary resources. From private clubs, to nonprofit societies, to pop up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city.
Posman's Chelsea store is one of three that the small independent chain currently operates in Manhattan. The other two are in Grand Central Station and at Rockefeller Center. John Mutter, editor-in-chief of Shelf Awareness, an online newsletter about books and publishing, stated that each separate store caters to a specific market, and that niche marketing is one reason Posman has succeeded where others have failed. The Grand Central store is aimed at commuters; the Rockefeller Center store caters to tourists and travelers; and the Chelsea Market store is filled with cookbooks.
Even in this age of e-books and the convenience of buying online — a market dominated by Amazon — plenty of readers still love browsing through bookstores.
Literary fiction used to be central to the culture. No more: in the digital age, not only is the physical book in decline, but the very idea of 'difficult' reading is being challenged. The future of the serious novel, argues Will Self, is as a specialised interest
Sexual innuendo, drug references and antisemitic slurs removed by newspaper editors restored in new edition of Taps at Reveille
The original editions of the stories, she said, "will give people the sense that Fitzgerald is actually a bit edgier, particularly in his later stories; that there is more grit in these tales than people think."
Technology Is Taking Over English Departments
"It makes no sense to accelerate the work of thinking by delegating it to a computer when it is precisely the experience of thought that constitutes the substance of a humanistic education. The humanities cannot take place in seconds. This is why the best humanistic scholarship is creative, more akin to poetry and fiction than to chemistry or physics: it draws not just on a body of knowledge, though knowledge is indispensable, but on a scholar’s imagination and sense of reality."
Feel good story via American Profile.
Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan.
“It definitely made me proud,” says Mason, a junior at Louisburg (Kan.) High School. Matthew’s mother, Jennifer Shields, noticed last fall that her son’s birth defect was making the third-grader self-conscious and affecting him socially. But even with health insurance, the single mother knew she couldn’t afford a professionally made prosthetic.
Researching online, Jennifer found Robohand, the mechanical hand invented by South African carpenter Richard van As, who lost four fingers in a circular saw accident, and theatrical props maker Ivan Owen, in Bellingham, Wash. The pair posted the free digital design last year on thingiverse.com. “I looked at the plans, but had no idea how to do it,” recalls Jennifer, 43.
Her teenaged son Mason, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. A straight-A student who aspires to be an engineer, he previously had read about three-dimensional printer technology. “I downloaded all the files and spent about three hours scaling the hand to fit Matthew,” Mason says.
The Multnomah County Library has taken a step further into the digital era, offering patrons a more personal online experience than ever before.
Several weeks ago, the library quietly launched My Librarian, an online tool that lets readers connect with a real-life librarian, without actually visiting a library branch. Instead, readers can build a relationship with one of 13 librarians through video chats, blogs and phone calls to discuss their favorite books.
"Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," follows the five-year legal battle over same sex marriage that ensued after California passed Proposition 8. The book digs beneath the surface with personal narratives of those who had been the public face of this major civil rights case. Jeffrey Brown talks to journalist and author Jo Becker.
The myth that users will “vote with their feet” is simply wrong if opting out comes at such a high price. With social, financial and even potentially legal repercussions involved, the barriers for exit are high. This leaves users and consumers with no real choice nor voice to express our concerns.
“Reading is human-technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Norway’s University of Stavenger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sustained attention.”
Here's [PDF] the Materials Review Committee Reconsideration of Materials Summary for 2013 from the Toronto Public Libraries... It lists a complaint against Hop on Pop... Encourages children to use violence against their fathers: Remove from collection and issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop. "