Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 8:27pm
But what we’re left with is the real prospect of foreign powers manipulating public discourse, and no clear way to fix it. As with false reporting, Facebook has laid out a plan for more aggressive action against fake accounts, but it’s running up against more serious limits. Even more than false information, disinformation campaigns happen largely outside of Facebook’s control. What should be a reassuring document ends up as an admission of defeat. This is what Facebook can do to fight the problem -- and what it can’t do. The bigger message may be that if we want to protect public discourse, we’ll need more than algorithms.
From The most important part of Facebook's disinformation strategy is what it leaves out - The Verge
Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 8:24pm
Children's fiction helped drive UK book sales to a record £3.5bn last year, the Publishers Association (PA) has said.
The 6% rise came despite the waning popularity of ebooks, which saw sales fall by 3% to £538m last year.
Sales of children's books rose 16% to £365m, with the increase due mainly to the purchase of printed works.
From Book sales hit a record as children's fiction gains in popularity - BBC News
Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 3:50pm
The proposed cuts are on top of pink slips that went out in March to more than half of the aides who staff elementary school libraries. The remaining aides had their schedules reduced to as little as two hours a week.
"I just can't even imagine how that's going to be cost effective, because there's just going to be so much lost — lost materials, lost time, lost educational experiences," said Elaine Sabetti, the library technician at Pershing Middle School in San Carlos. "I don't know how they can even do it."
From New Round Of Layoffs May All But Decimate San Diego School Libraries | KPBS
Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 3:49pm
“When I started off, it was mysterious exactly where these misquotations were coming from, and it was interesting that sometimes you could find these clues that pointed to how they may have originated,” said Mr. O’Toole, an alias for Gregory F. Sullivan, a former teacher and researcher in the Johns Hopkins computer science department who now spends his time writing.
From That Wasn’t Mark Twain: How a Misquotation Is Born - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 12:25pm
This paper studies emerging technologies for tracking reading behaviors (“reading analytics”) and their implications for reader privacy, attempting to place them in a historical context. It discusses what data is being collected, to whom it is available, and how it might be used by various interested parties (including authors). I explore means of tracking what’s being read, who is doing the reading, and how readers discover what they read. The paper includes two case studies: mass-market e-books (both directly acquired by readers and mediated by libraries) and scholarly journals (usually mediated by academic libraries); in the latter case I also provide examples of the implications of various authentication, authorization and access management practices on reader privacy. While legal issues are touched upon, the focus is generally pragmatic, emphasizing technology and marketplace practices. The article illustrates the way reader privacy concerns are shifting from government to commercial surveillance, and the interactions between government and the private sector in this area. The paper emphasizes U.S.-based developments.
From The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world | Lynch | First Monday
Submitted by Blake on April 27, 2017 - 11:05am
Few people realize how much these raters contribute to the smooth functioning act we call “Googling.” Even Google engineers who work with rater data don't know who these people are. But some raters would now like that to change. That's because, earlier this month, thousands of them received an e-mail that said their hours would be cut in half, partly due to changes in Google's staffing policies.
From The secret lives of Google raters | Ars Technica
Submitted by birdie on April 26, 2017 - 10:18am
Dozens rally for Evanston's only African-American librarian in work dispute according to the The Chicago Tribune
Lesley Williams, head of Adult Services at the library, said she is on paid administrative leave, ordered by library administrators as they consider disciplinary action in response to what has been called a "personnel matter."
While she said she could not go into specific details about the issue, Williams said she is accused of "gross incompetence, insubordination and not contributing to a healthy work environment." She is the only black librarian in a community made up of 20% of African-Americans.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 25, 2017 - 12:02am
Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at the age of 88.
His publisher William Morrow & Company said in a statement that Pirsig died at his home in South Berwick, Maine, "after a period of failing health."
Pirsig wrote just two books: Zen (subtitled "An Inquiry Into Values") and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals.
Submitted by birdie on April 21, 2017 - 10:46am
Yes, according to Vox.com
the history of card catalogs is weirdly fascinating.
So don't disengage just yet...
The Library of Congress just released a book on the history of the card catalog, and while I can physically feel you clicking away from this article even as I type I recommend that you don't.
The Card Catalog makes a persuasive case that cataloging knowledge is fundamental to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, and that a working library catalog is, in some ways, a basic necessity of civilization. And since cataloging is a calling that attracts neurotic and obsessive personalities, the history of the library catalog charts a weird, twisty path, with a lot of back-tracking followed by enormous leaps forward.
Submitted by birdie on April 19, 2017 - 12:31pm
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqis guarding Baghdad’s many checkpoints, on the lookout for car bombs and convoys, don’t know what to make of Ali al-Moussawi when he pulls up in a truck displaying shelves of glossy books.
The mobile bookstore is the latest in a series of efforts by the 25-year-old to share his passion for reading and revive a love for books in Baghdad, which was once the literary capital of the Muslim world but is now better known for bombs than poems.
Submitted by birdie on April 19, 2017 - 9:48am
From the Huffington Post:
When the first daughter tweeted about applauding librarians last week, she was not met with much praise. As we know, her father has slashed library budgets wherever he could (and doesn't seem to want to read any books).
Ivanka: This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!
One of hundreds of responses:
"Defunding libraries as proposed in your dad's budget hurts hardworking Americans," the nonprofit EveryLibrary tweeted back at Trump, before adding, "Cuts to federal funding for libraries are absolutely unconscionable, cruel, and unnecessary. #saveIMLS #library."
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 18, 2017 - 12:57am
We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages―of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important―and universal―information technology.
Submitted by birdie on April 14, 2017 - 10:15am
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 13, 2017 - 9:23am
If you do a Google search for "card catalog" it will likely return Pinterest-worthy images of antique furniture for sale — boxy, wooden cabinets with tiny drawers, great for storing knick-knacks, jewelry or art supplies.
But before these cabinets held household objects, they held countless index cards — which, at the time, were the pathways to knowledge and information. A new book from the Library of Congress celebrates these catalogs as the analog ancestor of the search engine.
Full story on NPR
Submitted by birdie on April 12, 2017 - 5:38pm
Bill Cosby’s “Little Bill” children’s book series was among the 10 “most challenged” books in 2016, according to a list compiled by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
It’s the first time the Cosby series has attracted a complaint, the organization said. The “Little Bill” books, first published in 1997, tell the adventures of Bill Jr., a 5-year-old Philadelphia boy. Story from the New York Times.
Submitted by birdie on April 12, 2017 - 5:03pm
You guessed it, the notebooks of Marie Curie.
Via Open Culture, here's a report on the papers and other belongings of the discoverer of polonium and radium, Marie Curie who worked in her future husband Pierre's lab. (I love that movie).
Her notebooks, her clothing, her furniture, pretty much everything surviving from her Parisian suburban house, is radioactive, and will be for 1,500 years or more.
If you want to look at her manuscripts, you have to sign a liability waiver at France’s Bibliotheque Nationale, and then you can access the notes that are sealed in a lead-lined box.
Submitted by birdie on April 10, 2017 - 11:39am
Librarians like Peeps, right? Can someone please explain (in the comments) how this came to be?
Anyway, here's a recipe for culinarily ambitious librarians (and others) who want to make delicious honey saffron-scented HOMEMADE PEEPS!!
From the New York Times Melissa Clarks thoughts about her Peeps project. And here is the recipe should you choose to undertake it.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 6, 2017 - 9:23am
The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others
First published in 1952 with eight revised later editions, the ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter has long served as the standard glossary for the book trade. Nicely illustrated with photographs and drawings, The Dictionary of the Book updates Carter’s classic volume with additional coverage on book-printing terms, typography, papermaking, and binding, among other topics. A former museum library director and curator of manuscripts at different institutions, Berger is highly qualified to compile this informative and important work. A venerable bibliophile who delights in all aspects of book production and history, he hopes the readers will get as much 'pleasure out of this book' as he did in compiling it. (Booklist)
Berger is a passionate bibliomaniac with a scholar's eye for details and a bibliophile's eye for the beauty in the details. He takes a language defined (now) long ago by John Carter and refined more recently by Nicolas Barker and brings it into the 21st century with a deft blend of deference and irreverence and more than a dash of humor, to make learning the arcane patois of books an educational treat and a great read. He adds from his own vast knowledge and experience a fresh perspective which will delight beginners and cognoscenti alike, and offers us all a chance to look afresh at our world of books. (John Windle, Owner, John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller in San Francisco)
The Dictionary of the Book is a reference work that is as wide-ranging and encyclopedic as its author. Sid Berger has produced an essential tool for the trade. (Phil Salmon, Bromer Booksellers)
This is not an ABC of book terms, this is an A to Z of all things bookish! From bookbinding to paper making to library terminology, this glossary leaves nothing out and its definitions are clear, concise and on target. No librarian’s shelf should be without it. (Valerie Hotchkiss, Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professor & Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois)
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 3, 2017 - 8:22pm
Excerpt: The information that is in the book is now out on the Internet and in many other places, and was even at the time. I mean, Bill himself got it from the public library, so it was out there in other forms and I think people who were determined to act out violently probably would have found that information or found ways to do it in any case. ... So drawing sort of a direct, causal link I think is problematic. But my sense is that none of that has been any great consolation for Bill throughout his life. ...
I think Bill has for many years wrestled with ... feeling on the one hand that you deserve redemption, that you deserve a second chance, and on the other hand feeling that you have done something wrong and that you feel a sense of guilt over. And clearly I think Bill is a complex enough person to hold on to both of those emotions at once.
Full piece on NPR.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 1, 2017 - 3:17pm
Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History
Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.