Submitted by birdie on September 29, 2014 - 11:30am
From From KIMT, Minnesota:
Michael Scott, who currently works at SELCO in Rochester, MN has been tabbed the new librarian for the Hawkeye state. Scott works with libraries across the area, including those in Olmsted County, but his new gig will find him working with many, many more. “I think it’s a great time for Iowa libraries,” Scott said. “It’s a great time for them to move forward to do that next thing, whatever that is,” he added.
Scott says he is excited to start his new job in November and get to know the great people of Iowa even better.
Submitted by birdie on September 26, 2014 - 2:26pm
The New York City Department of Education must stop violating rules on the minimum number of librarians required at city high schools, state education Commissioner John B. King Jr. has decided.
The United Federation of Teachers had appealed to the commissioner several times in recent years to force the city to comply with regulations spelling out how many librarians are necessary, depending on enrollment. City school officials argued last year that fewer were needed because of advancements in technology and the ability of small schools to share them.
In a decision signed Sept. 15, Mr. King said the union didn't have standing to argue on behalf of students deprived of librarians' help, but the city must comply with the staffing minimums.
A spokeswoman for the city education department said it would work on a plan to address the issue, noting that school libraries have "tremendous value." Article from The Wall Street Journal.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 26, 2014 - 12:11am
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 25, 2014 - 2:05pm
I conceive a knowledge of books is the basis upon which other knowledge is to be built.
-- George Washington
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 24, 2014 - 11:07pm
Somebody smarter (or more patient about wading through data) than I am could probably figure out how far along this bifurcation is already, but Amazon is doing its very best to build a body of content that is desirable and available from nobody else but them.
This is something you can do when you’re in the neighborhood of 70 percent of ebook sales and already more than half the total sales for many works of fiction, which is where the self-publishing world is strongest. It is not an opportunity that is really available to any other retailer. Apple has given it a try for more complex ebooks for which they provide ebook-building tools and, presumably, offer the most productive distribution environment for complex content. But they’re playing on much less fertile ground and they don’t have anything like the audience share necessary to drive this strategy very far.
It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine that any other ebook ecosystem could offer benefits that would make it worth skipping Amazon.
Submitted by birdie on September 23, 2014 - 9:56pm
Via Medium, an exploration of the maker movement and what its future might be.
"There seems to be a misconception about what 3D printing does and does not enable. Does it allow us to delight a four-year-old by pulling a mini Darth Vader toy seemingly out of thin air? It does. But the object doesn’t materialize from nothing. A 3D printer consumes about 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than injection molding to make an item of the same weight. On top of that, the emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette or cooking on a gas or electric stove. And the material of choice for all this new stuff we’re clamoring to make is overwhelmingly plastic. In a sense, it’s a reverse environmental offset, counteracting recent legislation to reduce plastic use through grocery bag bans and packaging redesigns. While more people tote reuasable cloth bags to the supermarket, plastic is piling up in other domains, from TechShop to Target."
Submitted by birdie on September 22, 2014 - 7:37pm
Tell us what your library is doing to celebrate.
Submitted by birdie on September 22, 2014 - 1:59pm
Talk about dedication to her line of work! Click here to find out why.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 21, 2014 - 11:42pm
Submitted by birdie on September 19, 2014 - 11:03am
THE central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.”
That, happily, is now changing. On September 11th Philadelphia announced it had secured a $25m grant from the William Penn foundation to update its old libraries. Yet libraries in general are struggling. Americans tell pollsters they love them, but fewer use them. In June the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, published data showing that library visitor numbers have declined in recent years. Polling published on September 10th by the Pew Research Center, a think tank, revealed that more people say they are going to the library less than going more, with a sharp gap among the young.
More from The Economist.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 18, 2014 - 2:35pm
Amazon’s new flagship e-reader has a flush glass screen that's sharp, new ways to turn pages, and a lighter, thinner design.
See the Kindle Voyage here.
Submitted by birdie on September 17, 2014 - 11:41am
Paper or screen? There's a battle in your brain. The more you read on screens, the more your brain adapts to the "non-linear" kind of reading we do on computers and phones. Your eyes dart around, you stop half way through a paragraph to check a link or a read a text message. Then, when you go back to good old fashioned paper, it can be
harder to concentrate. "The human brain is almost adapting too well to the particular attributes or characteristics of internet reading," says Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University. She says we have to develop a 'bi-literate' brain if we want to be able to switch from the scattered skimming typical of screen reading to the deeper, slow reading that we associate with books on paper. It is possible. It just takes work. One person who has done it well is Maria Popova, founder of Brainpickings.org. In this episode, Manoush visits her home, marvels at the piles of books everywhere, and learns how Maria manages to read about a dozen books a week and still retain the information, organize ideas around a myriad of themes, and churn out multiple smart, insightful, original posts every day. She does it using a mix of digital and analog tools and techniques to help her read better. Story from NPR's New Tech City and their delightfully peppy host, Manoush Zomorodi.
Submitted by birdie on September 17, 2014 - 11:16am
From ABC News:
Debates over academic curriculum and textbooks have for years thrust Texas' Board of Education into the national spotlight, sparking battles over issues such as how to teach climate change and natural selection. In 2010, while approving the history curriculum standards that this year's round of new books are supposed to follow, conservatives on the board required that students evaluate whether the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty and study the Congressional GOP's 1994 Contract with America.
This long-running ideological dispute over what gets taught in Texas classrooms flared anew over proposed history textbooks Tuesday, with academics decrying lessons they said exaggerate the importance of Christian values on the nation's Founding Fathers while conservatives complained of anti-American, pro-Islam biases.
The Board of Education will approve new history textbooks for the state's 5-plus million public school students in November. But it heard hours of complaints about 104 proposed books during a sometimes heated public hearing.
Jacqueline Jones, chairwoman of the University of Texas' History Department, said one U.S. history high school book cheerleads for President Ronald Reagan and the significance of America's free enterprise system while glossing over Gov. George Wallace's attempt to block school integration in Alabama. She also pointed to a phrase stating that "the minimum wage remains one of the New Deal's most controversial legacies."
"We do our students a disservice when we scrub history clean of unpleasant truths," Jones said "and when we present an inaccurate view of the past that promotes a simple-minded, ideologically driven point of view."
Submitted by birdie on September 16, 2014 - 2:29pm
Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.
Library Patrons Are At Risk
One of the authors of this Boing Boing article, Alison Macrina, is an IT librarian at the Watertown Free Public Library in Massachusetts, a member of Boston's Radical Reference Collective, and an organizer working to bring privacy rights workshops to libraries throughout the northeast. Librarians know that patrons visit libraries for all kinds of online research needs, and therefore have a unique responsibility in helping keep that information safe. It's not just researchers who suffer; our collective memory, culture, and future are harmed when writers and researchers stop short of pursuing intellectual inquiry.
In addition to installing a number of privacy-protecting tools on public PCs at the Watertown library, Alison has been teaching patron computer classes about online privacy and organized a series of workshops for Massachusetts librarians to get up to speed on the ins and outs of digital surveillance.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 15, 2014 - 11:55pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 15, 2014 - 10:12pm
Submitted by birdie on September 15, 2014 - 11:56am
Patricia A. Tully, a 10-year veteran with the university, served as the Caleb T. Winchester university librarian from March 2010 until her firing last month. The news was first reported by the campus blog Wesleying.
In a Sept. 2 email to the faculty listserv, Tully said she was fired because of her ongoing disagreements with Ruth S. Weissman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, “about how to lead people effectively in an organization.” The letter was later posted online.
“Both of us tried, at various times, to resolve these differences, but our efforts seemed always to be at cross-purposes,” Tully wrote.
Speaking to Inside Higher Ed, Tully said it was an “accumulation” of problems, and not a particular incident, that led to her firing. She declined to elaborate, saying she would be happy to have that conversation with Weissman.
Submitted by birdie on September 12, 2014 - 1:44pm
From From the New York Times: As federal and city officials continue their investigation into spending at the Queens Public Library, the library’s board of trustees has placed its embattled leader, Thomas W. Galante, on paid administrative leave.
At a special meeting on Thursday, the board, besides voting to place Mr. Galante on leave, also moved to give Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, full access to the library’s financial records, including its entire $127 million annual budget.
Mr. Stringer has been pressing to allow his auditors to review not just the 85 percent of the library’s budget that comes from city coffers, but also the balance of the money that is provided by federal grants and private donations.
“There was no excuse for the library’s earlier decision not to cooperate with the audit,” Melinda R. Katz, the Queens borough president who has been pushing for months to overhaul the library’s operations, said in a statement issued on Friday.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 11, 2014 - 6:23pm
You may think that in this age of selfies, instant information and e-books, Millennials would have no use for a library. Why go to a library when you can access practically any book in the world with the touch of a button, albeit you have to pay for it. But still, the convenience of instant literary gratification may be too big of a luxury for most young people today to pass up.
Well, if you would go so far as to say that Millennials probably don't even know what a library is today, you'd be wrong. New research from the Pew Research Internet Project shows younger Americans' reading and library habits. The report brings together several years of research into how public libraries fit into the lives of young people aged 16 to 29 years old, the age group we sometimes not-so-lovingly refer to as Millennials. This research is especially interesting now that access to information is increasingly becoming easier and digital-only.
It turns out younger adults read just as much as the older generation. However, 88 percent of Americans under 30 had read a book in the past year compared to 79 percent of people age 30 and older.ou may think that in this age of selfies, instant information and e-books, Millennials would have no use for a library. Why go to a library when you can access practically any book in the world with the touch of a button, albeit you have to pay for it. But still, the convenience of instant literary gratification may be too big of a luxury for most young people today to pass up.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 11, 2014 - 5:55pm
In more than 30 years with Chicago's Newberry Library, James W. Wells gained a wide reputation as an authority on the history of printing, typography and calligraphy.
"He was one of the most important rare book specialists in the U.S. from the late 1950s through the 1970s," said Paul Gehl, the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books with the Newberry. Gehl said Mr. Wells was known as a real bookman — the term for such a specialist used by those in the field.
"He was in so many ways the epitome of the old-fashioned bookman," said Alice Schreyer, interim director of the University of Chicago Library. "He had an inexhaustible knowledge and a remarkable memory for every book that ever passed through his hands."
A bookman looks at the physical characteristics of books, which Schreyer said can include "former ownership, bindings, typefaces — things that distinguish them as physical artifacts as well as conveyors of information. He was just a fount of knowledge."