If You Discover Something in an Archive, It's Not Really a Discovery

From the Atlantic an article about how new "discoveries" in archives, including the National Archives, are not really discoveries at all.

Better Late Than Never

Seattle affiliate KOMONews reports that a book was returned forty years late, but with a note of apology. Here's the note:

""Sorry, I just cleaned (started emptying) my bedroom closet. It was in a box."" The book was about rattlesnakes.

There's a New Congress in Town

...and a new POTUS on the horizon.

If you want to keep current with what legislation each house is considering, don't forget the wonderful resource, the Library of Congress which will report what is taking place sans spin (unlike Breitbard, Fox, National Review, etc.).

Here's a particularly interesting bill in process, S. 65: A bill to address financial conflicts of interest of the President and Vice President. Sponsor: Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] (Introduced 01/09/2017) Cosponsors: (23) Committees: Senate - Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Latest Action: 01/09/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. (All Actions)

For assistance with your research from a Law Library of Congress reference specialist, ask a Law Librarian.

Bucket-brigade of books marks opening of new library

Students, faculty and administrators lined the streets surrounding Ringling College in Sarasota Monday morning, forming a human chain to pass the final 200 books from Kimbrough Library into the college’s newly opened building up the block. The ceremonial “Passing of the Books” celebrated the opening of the Alfred R. Goldstein Ringling College Library, an $18 million structure that dwarfs its predecessor.
From Bucket-brigade of books marks opening of new library at Ringling | Bradenton Herald
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Memory of Mankind: All of Human Knowledge Buried in a Salt Mine

In Hallstatt, Austria, a picturesque village nestled into a lake-peppered region called Salzkammergut, Kunze has spent the past four years engraving images and text onto hand-sized clay squares. A ceramicist by trade, he believes the durability of the materials he plies gives them an as-yet unmatched ability to store information. Ceramic is impervious to water, chemicals, and radiation; it’s emboldened by fire. Tablets of Sumerian cuneiform are still around today that date from earlier than 3000 B.C.E. “The only thing that can threaten this kind of data carrier is a hammer,” Kunze says.
From Memory of Mankind: All of Human Knowledge Buried in a Salt Mine - The Atlantic

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Hacker cripples Hardin County Schools library system, demands ransom

“If we can’t, we’re going to have to rebuild the system from scratch. We won’t have to go back and re-scan every single book in the system because we have some listed on other files, so we won’t have to start from zero – but we won’t be starting far from zero either,” he said. In a complication, Edwards said school IT workers were backing up the library server files to an external hard drive when the  attack occurred. This resulted in the back-up also being corrupted. Regarding thwarting potential future hacking attempts, Edwards said, “We’ve had several conversations about really looking into where any and all of our vulnerabilities are at. This really makes you reevaluate computer security – it’s been an eye-opener.”  
From Hacker cripples Hardin County Schools library system, demands ransom
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How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity

Wolfe is an accidental sleuth. Her scholar’s passion is as much for old manuscripts as for the obscurities surrounding our national poet. Project Dustbunny, for example, one of her initiatives at the Folger Shakespeare Library, has made some extraordinary discoveries based on microscopic fragments of hair and skin accumulated in the crevices and gutters of 17th-century books.
From How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity | Culture | The Guardian
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Cliff Stoll discusses the Internet 20 years ago

What did he get right? What did he get wrong?

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A look at the Utah State Prison's banned-books list

Prison spokeswoman Maria Peterson said those details were lost in the shuffle when a new executive director started shortly after the ban was instituted; other leaders also retired and were replaced about the same time. "All of the people who were here, are no longer," she said. The ban was categorized as a security measure, accompanied by a brief explanation. Prison officials feared the books, Jensen said, could show inmates "how to control people, how to get people to do exactly what you want them to do."
From 'What is it about these two books that is so dangerous?': A look at the Utah State Prison's banned-books list | The Salt Lake Tribune
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Issaquah bookbinder among handful at libraries nationwide still operating a ‘mendery’

Donald Vass, who has spent the past 26 years mending and tending to books for the King County Library System, has seen mechanical and human-inflicted damage and more. At 57 and with not many years left before retirement, he says he believes he will be the last full-time traditional bookbinder ever to take up shears, brushes and needles here. The skills take too long to learn, he said, and no one is being groomed to take his place in “the mendery,” Room 111 at the library’s central service center, where not so many years ago, 10 people worked.
From Issaquah bookbinder among handful at libraries nationwide still operating a ‘mendery’ | The Seattle Times
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Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems

Badly worded or poorly conceived questions on standardized tests are not uncommon (remember the question about a “talking pineapple” on a New York test in 2012?). But here’s something new: The author of source material on two Texas standardized tests says she can’t actually answer the questions about her own work because they are so poorly conceived. She also says she can’t understand why at least one of her poems — which she calls her “most neurotic” — was included on a standardized test for students.
From Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems - The Washington Post
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UK Book sales the week before Christmas were highest in 10 years

Christmas trading for the UK book market saw its strongest sales in 10 years, new figures have revealed.  Nielsen BookScan reports that a total of £83.3m worth of print books were sold in the run-up to Christmas, which marks the highest since 2007.
From Book sales the week before Christmas were highest in 10 years | The Independent
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The Title Character Has Disappeared But His Story Lives On

Perhaps you're acquainted with Edinburgh University's Library Cat? Here's the Facebook page where I first met him. Sadly I must report that Library Cat has gone missing this past summer, and has not shown up at the Uni library nor any of his other favorite spots. There appears to be a usurper, the so-called Library Cat 2.0. Here's the story of Library Cat's tenure at the library and his disappearance. He will be missed greatly. But his ghostwriter, PhD student Alex Howard has published his inner thoughts in a wonderful volume, shown here. It's been published in the UK but is available elsewhere via BookDepository.com.

Barnes & Noble holiday sales sink as coloring-book fad fades

Barnes & Noble Inc. posted its first decline in holiday sales in three years, hurt by a downturn in the coloring-book category, bringing another sign that the Christmas season wasn’t kind to retailers. Same-store sales sank 9.1 percent for the nine-week holiday period, the New York-based company said on Thursday. Coloring books and other art supplies — products that had surged last year in part because adults were embracing them — were particularly weak. Still, Barnes & Noble expects to bolster its operating profit by keeping a tight lid on expenses.
From Barnes & Noble holiday sales sink as coloring-book fad fades – The Denver Post
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Information illiterate: Challenges libraries face in this fake news era

In such an environment, how is a librarian or faculty member supposed to respond to a bright student who sincerely asks, “How can you say that a blog post attacking GMO food is less credible than some journal article supporting the safety of GMO food? What if the journal article’s research results were faked? Have the results been replicated? At the end of the day, aren’t facts a matter of context?”
From Information illiterate: Challenges libraries face in this fake news era - Salon.com
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Privacy is still alive and kicking in the digital age

Privacy is a democratic value. It is free thought and independence. Studies show that people change their behavior when they feel watched. They seek information less freely, act and express themselves less freely, are afraid to stand out and go against the flow. Trevor Hughes, CEO of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, IAPP, has a good explanation of the importance of privacy: “As humans, we seek solitude when we feel vulnerable. Sometimes, this is related to physical vulnerability. We seek to exclude ourselves from our societies when we are sick, or in moments of particular risk (think: sleeping, toileting, sex, etc.). But we also seek to exclude ourselves when we feel emotionally vulnerable. We seek private space to explore new identities or ideas.” Privacy and the space to think and act without feeling watched is a prerequisite for individuals’ ability to act independently and freely. A private life ensures that each person can create his or her own unique identity and determine his or her life’s direction — the right to fail along the way or to go against the tide. The right to privacy is thus a prerequisite for active democracy. https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/25/privacy-is-still-alive-and-kicking-in-the-digital-age/

Internet history is fragile. This archive is making sure it doesn’t disappear

What’s online doesn’t necessarily last forever. Content on the Internet is revised and deleted all the time. Hyperlinks “rot,” and with them goes history, lost in space. With that in mind, Brewster Kahle set out to develop the Internet Archive, a digital library with the mission of preserving all the information on the World Wide Web, for all who wish to explore. Jeffrey Brown reports.

Full story
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Fake readers help save books

After allegations by an unidentified person made in November, an investigation by the Lake County clerk of courts' inspector general's office concluded that Finley was a fake, and the county has since requested a systemwide audit of its libraries.

The goal behind the creation of "Chuck Finley" was to make sure certain books stayed on the shelves - books that aren't used for a long period can be discarded and removed from the library system.

George Dore, the library's branch supervisor who was put on administrative leave for his part in the episode, said he wanted to avoid having to later repurchase books purged from the shelf. He said the same thing is being done at other libraries, too.

http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170102/fake-readers-help-save-books

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Call Me Ishmael - The Hobbit

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UC Santa Cruz "De-Duplicates" 80,000 Volumes

From Mercury News, a math professor protests after the library rids itself of a majority of its book collection.

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