Librarian And Information Science News

Why I became a librarian

The answer to the first question was "I love reading books," but it was obvious that there was no career in reading for me. Then I remembered my library experiences as a student, and I wondered if there was such a thing as a master's degree for librarians. Google told me there was such a thing, so I enrolled in 2002, finished my graduate degree in library and information science by 2004, took the board exam for librarians, got my license to practice, and eventually left for Canada to study for a PhD in book history.

From Why I became a librarian

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Bill Watterson talks

Bill Watterson, that master of timing, waited decades to give a truly in-depth interview. As he did with his beloved strip, the “Calvin and Hobbes” creator knows when and how to aim for, and deliver, the exceptional. He was in the interviewer’s chair for one of the best cartoonist Q&A’s published last year (his sit-down with the “Cul de Sac” creator for “The Art of Richard Thompson” retrospective book).

From Bill Watterson talks: This is why you must read the new ‘Exploring Calvin and Hobbes’ book - The Washington Post

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The Collection and the Cloud – The New Inquiry

I wonder if the data collected by platforms will at some point become more transparent, and at what cost or contextual shift. Will my daughter be able to sift through my dark data profiles and learn about the egregious number of times I looked at someone else’s profile? Will there be a new round of data mausoleums, offering to sell us peeks at the past? Is data like defaulted debt, ready to be bought and sold at a fraction of the price and subject to a secondary market?

From The Collection and the Cloud – The New Inquiry

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Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.

"Frank Schembari loves books — printed books. He loves how they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place...Schembari is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar irony of the Internet age: Digital natives prefer reading in print."

The scoop from the Washington Post.

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The World’s Weirdest Library - The New Yorker

It is a library like no other in Europe—in its cross-disciplinary reference, its peculiarities, its originality, its strange depths and unexpected shallows. Magic and science, evil eyes and saints’ lives: these things repose side by side in a labyrinth of imagery and icons and memory. Dan Brown’s hero Robert Langdon supposedly teaches “symbology” at Harvard. There is no such field, but if there were, and if Professor Langdon wanted to study it before making love to mysterious Frenchwomen and nimbly avoiding Opus Dei hit men, this is where he would come to study.

From The World’s Weirdest Library - The New Yorker

Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.

As a result, an unequal system has developed.

From Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students - The Washington Post

James Patterson pledges $1.25 million to school libraries

This morning, Patterson announced his plan to give away $1.25 million to school libraries. In partnership with children’s publisher Scholastic, he will make individual donations of $1,000 to $10,000. The money can be used for books, reading programs or even technology and repairs. Scholastic Reading Club has pledged to match each grant with bonus points that can be used for books and classroom materials.

From James Patterson pledges $1.25 million to school libraries - The Washington Post

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Kids and Family Reading Report From Scholastic Inc.

The Kids & Family Reading Report is a national survey of children ages 6–17 and their parents exploring attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun. It is a biannual report with 2015 unveiling the fifth edition in the series.

From Kids and Family Reading Report | Scholastic Inc.

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Philly Mayor Nutter Apologizes Again For Trying To Close Libraries « CBS Philly

Mayor Nutter’s budget address to city council this past week featured a deja-vu moment.
He apologized for trying to close libraries back in 2008, even though he had delivered the very same apology in his budget address last year.
It was on March 6, 2014 that Mayor Nutter, delivering his budget to City Council, ad libbed a surprising apology for trying to close 11 library branches.

From Mayor Nutter Apologizes Again For Trying To Close Libraries « CBS Philly

Diversity in kids’ books grew (some) last year

So why aren’t people more excited about an increase in multicultural materials for children?

The numbers of African-American books don’t show steady growth, for one thing. 2013 was a very low year. So 2014 looks better, but it actually recorded only 7 books more than in 2008. And in 2001, there were more books about African-Americans: 201.

From Diversity in kids’ books grew (some) last year : 77-square

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This freaking app can sanitize the [heck] out of any book

Clean Reader — available for free from the Apple store or Google Play — is the brainchild of Jared and Kirsten Maughan in Twin Falls, Idaho. He works in R&D at a dairy processor; she’s a dietitian who’s currently staying home to take care of their four children. The idea came to them when they were trying to find books for their precocious fourth grade daughter. “In order to challenge her as a reader,” Jared says, “we had to present her with books that were a little bit older.” But after starting a book she had checked out of the library, she told her parents, “It had some pretty significant swear words in it.”

From This freaking app can sanitize the [heck] out of any book - The Washington Post

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Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official

Open credentialing systems allow people to control information about themselves — what they learned in college, and what they learned everywhere else — and present that data directly to employers. In a world where people increasingly interact over distances, electronically, the ability to control your online educational identity is crucial.

From Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official - NYTimes.com

Locating old podcast episodes

I've been away at a job with an employer that is in the middle of a crisis. The crisis has been getting worse and frankly I have not been keeping on top of much of anything. When alternative download formats for podcasts were being rolled out, Archive.org was used for storage. Essentially that acts as our backup. Since the iTunes Music Store has dropped the podcast listing for the time being, users looking for old episodes can visit Archive.org to find more.

As to rebooting the podcast(s), we need to take things one step at a time. I need to ride out the crisis with my current employer as it is. Whether or not my current employer survives the crisis is thankfully not up to me.

Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage”

Last month, the Harvard MetaLAB released Cold Storage, a mini-documentary about the Harvard Depository (HD), a 127,000-square-foot “guarded compound” 25 miles from campus where approximately 9 million of Harvard Library’s lesser-used books, pamphlets, records, etc. are stored in a space reminiscent of Home Depot.  

From Harvard Library’s “Cold Storage” - The Fine Books Blog

11 Of The Coolest Librarians From Pop Culture

If that clichéd version of a librarian doesn’t sound familiar, you must be one of the lucky ones who knows the cardigan-wearing, tea-drinking, bright-eyed mistresses of the Dewey Decimal system. Your kind of librarian helps you find just the right book every time, and she always winks as she waves your late fee. Whether you know the crotchety, nightmare-inducing vision from your high school or the soft voice and vanilla-scented angel from the days of early reading, most people think of one these conventions when they think of librarians.

From 11 Of The Coolest Librarians From Pop Culture, Because Not Every Librarian Is Like the One From Your High School | Bustle

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In the first Hebrew city, a final farewell to Yiddish

What he learned in that advertisement was that the Tel Aviv municipal library would be giving away its entire Yiddish book collection – an opportunity, from his standpoint at least, that could not be missed. “I came with an empty suitcase, and I plan to fill it entirely with these books,” says Kleiner, who hails from Dusseldorf, where he began learning Yiddish about five years ago. What he’s mainly in the market for, he reports, are Yiddish-language biographies and diaries.

From In the first Hebrew city, a final farewell to Yiddish - Jewish World Features - Israel News | Haaretz

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Why we can't live without books in pictures and words

Children’s authors and illustrators including Chris Riddell, Michael Morpurgo and Rachel Renee Russell tell us why they can’t live without books, as part of our World Book Day celebrations

From Why we can't live without books in pictures and words | Children's books | The Guardian

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How the Disabled Benefit from Libraries

All across America, public libraries are either closing or having their funding reduced to such a level that their futures remain uncertain. The effect these closings will have on the wider public remains unclear, though it’s guaranteed not to be good.

And for the disabled people who depend on libraries to provide a slice of normality in a life that already faces enough uphill battles, where will they turn?

From How the Disabled Benefit from Libraries | Reading, Writing, Research

Woman who performed sex acts at library fired

The rules include no men or minors on camera for any reason and no "actions that may be deemed obscene in your community," according to the website.

From Woman who performed sex acts at library fired | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun

Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project

The importance of this is astronomical for the people as a whole and for the revival of the country's library community, in particular. Since its inception four years ago, the Future Library Network of public and municipal libraries in Greece has prospered and advanced all manner of learning, creativity, technological understanding and innovation. It currently consists of 140 Public and Municipal Libraries, with 7,354 individual members and has renovated 8 children's libraries in Central Macedonia and established 9 Media Labs across the country. It's hosted over 9,800 events in more than 100 Greek cities which have drawn in over 300,000 participants. It's also organized training programs for "future librarians" and has distributed approximately 50,000 books and all matter of technological equipment to over 120 libraries nationwide. Its yearly Summer Campaign has so far hosted 8,402 activities and events for 200,000 children aimed at promoting Reading & Creativity.

From Reviving the Library in Greece: The Future Is Now for the Future Library Network and the INELI-Balkans Project | Sara Lee Bentley

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