Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 10:12pm
Books and their covers are confronting their own awkward questions of relevance and value in the escalating competition for attention against screens the size of Jumbotrons (or, conversely, wristwatches). To see publishers answer this concern with the craft, sophistication and pictorial wit that go into an increasing number of book covers each year reinforces the certainty that one of our oldest technologies remains one of our most perfect. Below are 12 covers from 2015 that made me stop, stare and ask aloud to no one in particular what the cover means, only to turn to the first page and then the following and then the one after that and onward.
From The Best Book Covers of 2015 - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 8:48pm
First comes the elementary school desk, cramped and rigid (cursed by lefties everywhere), then the desk desk, in your own room in high school or college, and its cousin, the library carrel. After that, if you were lucky, maybe an office desk or cubicle. Then, of course, standing desks burst onto the scene, along with their overeager cousins, treadmill desks. Now, popping up in dozens of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, is another step in desk evolution -- a stationary bike and desk combination called the FitDesk.
Most recently, Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina installed two FitDesks in its library in order “to have a little something different that gets [students] excited about coming to the library,” President Stephen Scott told the News Observer. “A little sizzle on the steak.”
From College libraries install desks on which students can study and cycle | Inside Higher Ed
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 8:32pm
Despite his embarrassing loss on the phonetics front, Carnegie kept funding the Simplified Spelling Board for nearly a decade afterwards, stopping only after it became inescapably clear that his attempt to influence the country to spell differently had failed.
"I think I hav been patient long enuf," he wrote as he cancelled the funding in 1915. "I hav a much better use for twenty-five thousand dollars a year."
From The Great Failure of Andrew Carnegie's Simplified Spelling Lobby | Atlas Obscura
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 12:55pm
Those who advocate for OA with CC BY argue that there is no reason for authors to object to it: scholars and scientists (the argument goes) have already been paid for the work they're writing up, and since they have little if any expectation that their writings will generate additional revenue for them, why not make their work freely available to those who may be able to find ways to add value to them through reuse and “remixing,” and maybe even to profit from doing so? In any case (the argument continues), authors retain their copyright under a CC license, so what's the problem?
The problem, for many authors, is that their copyright becomes effectively meaningless when they have given away all of the prerogatives over their work that copyright provides.
From Mandatory open-access publishing can impair academic freedom (essay) | Inside Higher Ed
Submitted by John on December 15, 2015 - 12:10pm
It's that time of year again! Here's our thirteenth annual rundown of notable library stories from the last twelve months.
10. Go Set a Watchman Raises Eyebrows
Strange circumstances surrounded Harper Lee's first publication since To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960. Mixed reviews and strong sales followed.
9. Open Source Textbooks Gain Momentum
This year saw an increased push for more affordable course readings, as well as the growth of the Open Textbook Library.
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 11:53am
Does knowing that history make seeing the outdated usage today less irritating? Maybe, maybe not—but it is interesting. “Language is for everybody,” Crystal said. “Human beings, homo loquens, the speaking animal. I’ve never met anybody who isn’t profoundly interested in language.”
From A History of Punctuation for the Internet Age - The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 11:22am
The Christmas tree is up in the Altmetric office and it’s Top 100 time again! We’ve queried the Altmetric database to find out which academic articles got the most attention from the mainstream media, blogs, Wikipedia and social networks, as well as amongst a more academic audience in post-publication peer-review forums and research highlights.
Data was collected from the Altmetric database on November 16 2015 and a downloadable file can be found on figshare. News and comment pieces are excluded, as are articles that were published before November 2014.
Remember, this list in no way reflects the quality (high or low) of the articles included; it just provides an indicator of what was widely discussed and shared online.
From Altmetric – Top 100 Articles – 2015
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 10:23am
The beneficiaries include a manager at the Brazos Bookstore in Houston with a passion for works in translation and a community school in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, dedicated to reaching as many readers as possible.
They are part of James Patterson's $2 million holiday gift program, with grants and bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to schools and libraries and independent bookstores and coordinated with the Scholastic Reading Club and the trade group the American Booksellers Association. Patterson announced Tuesday that 340 libraries and 87 independent bookstore employees had received money.
From James Patterson announces gifts to booksellers, libraries - StarTribune.com
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 10:06am
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 10:05am
Old Book Illustrations was born of the desire to share illustrations from a modest collection of books, which we set out to scan and publish. With the wealth of resources available online, it became increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to explore other collections and include these images along with our own. Although it would have been possible to considerably broaden the time-frame of our pursuit, we chose to keep our focus on the original period in which we started for reasons pertaining to taste, consistency, and practicality: due to obvious legal restrictions, we had to stay within the limits of the public domain. This explains why there won’t be on this site illustrations published prior to the 18th century or later than the first quarter of the 20th century.
From About | Old Book Illustrations
Submitted by Blake on December 15, 2015 - 9:44am
Submitted by birdie on December 15, 2015 - 9:40am
KUER's VideoWest/RadioWest's intro to the video Ties the Room Together. "Josh Hanagarne is a writer and a librarian in Salt Lake City who's written beautifully about his experiences with Tourette syndrome. We had him on RadioWest to talk about his 2013 book The World's Strongest Librarian. We want to thank Josh for letting us tag along and pry into his life."
Here's a photo of Josh holding an "In My Book, you're quite a character" card in the beautiful SLCPL .
Shipping is free during December, visit www.inmybook.com for more details.
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 9:54pm
Though Vladimir Nabokov was living in America when he wrote Lolita, the novel was first published in Paris in 1955—by Olympia Press, whose list included many pornographic titles. On the sixtieth anniversary of Lolita’s first publication, we asked ten writers to reflect on their changing experiences with the novel in the course of their reading lives. Each day for five days, we are posting two reflections, each revisiting a section of pages from the book—we are using Vintage’s 2005 edition, a complete, unexpurgated text.
From Lolita Turns 60 | New Republic
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 9:19pm
Inside is an unprecedented collection that documents the inspiring and powerful history of movies and is available to researchers, students and movie fans.
It would be impossible to detail the millions of remarkable items found within our library, but to give you a sense of the scope of our collection, we’d like to share a small sampling of what we do there on a typical day.
From What Happens on a Typical Day in the Ultimate Movie Library — ART & SCIENCE — Medium
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 9:17pm
Good news: the NYPL's Rose Reading Room will reopen in 2016. That will be nearly two years after it closed its doors when a foot-wide piece of plaster (one of the rosettes) fell from the ceiling, but still ahead of the previously scheduled reopening date in 2017.
From Inside The NYPL's Eerily Empty Rose Reading Room: Gothamist
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 5:37pm
A rare example of the Rudimentum Novitiorum, a chronicle of the world printed in 1475, containing the world's first printed maps, has been acquired by the James Ford Bell Trust for the benefit of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.
“The Rudimentum Novitiorum is one of the rarest and most significant pieces we have,” said Dr. Ford W. Bell, trustee and the grandson of James Ford Bell, who was the founder of General Mills. “We are thrilled to have acquired it and are looking forward to sharing it
From U of M Libraries receives 540 year old book containing first printed maps | Discover | University of Minnesota
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 2:34pm
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a set of consensus principles for the library, content-provider and software-provider communities to address privacy issues related to the use of library and library-related systems. This set of principles developed over the past 8 months focus on balancing the expectations library users have regarding their intellectual freedoms and their privacy with the operational needs of systems providers.
The NISO Privacy Principles, available at http://www.niso.org/topics/tl/patron_privacy/, set forth a core set of guidelines by which libraries, systems providers and publishers can foster respect for patron privacy throughout their operations. The Principles outline at a high level basic concepts and areas which need to be addressed to support a greater understanding for and respect of privacy-related concerns in systems development, deployment, and user interactions. The twelve principles covered in the document address the following topics: Shared Privacy Responsibilities; Transparency and Facilitating Privacy Awareness; Security; Data Collection and Use; Anonymization; Options and Informed Consent; Sharing Data with Others; Notification of Privacy Policies and Practices; Supporting Anonymous Use; Access to One’s Own User Data; Continuous Improvement and Accountability.
The Preamble of the Principles notes that, "Certain personal data are often required in order for digital systems to deliver information, particularly subscribed content. Additionally, user activity data can provide useful insights on how to improve collections and services. However, the gathering, storage, and use of these data must respect the trust users place in libraries and their partners. There are ways to address these operational needs while also respecting the user’s rights and expectations of privacy."
"Working collaboratively through a set of open meetings and discussion forums, a team of librarians, publishers and systems providers crafted these principles,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director. “This fact distinguishes this effort from other privacy-related efforts in our community. By working together to deeply grasp the foundational nature of respect for patron privacy among suppliers as well as to understand the operational needs and product development process among the library community, the team was able to come to a nuanced understanding of the related issues. This joint effort allowed for the creation of a balanced set of principles, which achieve the common goal of providing the best possible user experience built from its core with respect for privacy.”
Organizations and individuals are encouraged to provide public comments on the NISO Privacy Principles, as well as register their support for the principles, on the NISO website. Additional work in the coming year is envisioned to make these high-level principles operational for publishers, content-providers and software suppliers.
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 1:42pm
It appears that the way that Kentucky libraries set their tax rates will stand, despite protest from people who say they've been doing it illegally for decades.
The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a decision Friday that it will not hear arguments in the 2012 lawsuit objecting to the way Campbell and Kenton county libraries set their tax rates.
From Libraries suit ends, tax rate method stays
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 11:30am
The point being, of course, that the ergonomics of smartphones as reading devices are not only kind of rad, but historically so.
These small formats from days of yore also help explain the stupendous productivity of many historic authors. I’ll often be reading about a nonfiction essayist from the 17th or 18th or 19th century and the bio will mention he or she wrote 56 books or some other ungodly number, and I’ll freak out: Man alive! How can anyone generate so much?
From collision detection: Why 18th century books looked like smartphone screens
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 10:56am
Today, Mark Twain's classic - about a boy who flees his abusive father and travels down the Mississippi River with an escaped slave - is still sometimes challenged in American schools, but for nearly the opposite reason: its liberal use of the N-word and perceived racist portrayals of black characters.
This week, a Montgomery County school removed Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum after a group of students said the book made them uncomfortable.
From Schools continue to grapple with 'Huckleberry Finn'