Mississauga workers’ strike shuts down 18 public libraries

“How do they justify giving (library) director Rose Vespa a 7.3 per cent salary increase the same year we got .5 per cent,” asked librarian and CUPE Local 1989 president Laura Kaminker, after a strike Monday shut down all 18 public libraries in Mississauga. Contract negotiations between the city and the union representing about 390 members who work in the libraries broke down over the weekend, with no immediate plans to resume talks. Late fees won’t be applied while the shutdown continues, and online services are not impacted by the strike.
From Mississauga workers’ strike shuts down 18 public libraries | Toronto Star
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The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade

Victorian sexuality is often considered synonymous with prudishness, conjuring images of covered up piano legs and dark ankle-length skirts. Historian Matthew Green uncovers a quite different scene in the sordid story of Holywell St, 19th-century London’s epicentre of erotica and smut.
From The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade | The Public Domain Review
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How Amazon’s team of old-school book reviewers influences what we read

In a company driven by engineers and run by algorithms and metrics, Amazon’s small group of book editors is an anomaly of sorts. But through the Amazon Book Review and other methods, it’s trying to build Amazon’s presence and influence in the world of literary culture.
From How Amazon’s team of old-school book reviewers influences what we read | The Seattle Times

NY Libraries unsure about opioid antidote program

With heroin and opioid abuse now the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the state, a new law makes it possible for public libraries around the state to provide treatment to combat overdoses. But area libraries are unsure whether they'd take part in the voluntary program. On June 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill to allow public libraries to maintain and administer opioid antagonists, such as the antidote naloxone, commonly known by the brand name narcan, for the treatment of overdoses. The original bill was sponsored by Sen. George Amedore of Niskayuna, a co-chair of the New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin Addiction and Opioid Abuse that visited Lake Placid in May.
From Libraries unsure about opioid antidote program - AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise
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What do modern libraries loan? Human books

"A Human Library is just like a real library but instead of paperbacks and hard covers, we have real people on our bookshelves," said Ronni Abergel, cofounder of the Human Library Organization. "You can borrow the bipolar or the Muslim or the transgender or the homeless, and in this way you get a chance to talk to this person and you may just realize what you have in common."
From What do modern libraries loan? Human books
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Take it from me: Your local library needs a cat

Critics might wonder whether the energy spent campaigning for — or against — a cat in the library would be better spent improving literacy rates and building up the collection. But both recent cases underscore the rapidly changing role of American libraries in an era in which people can receive a deluge of information in the palm of their hand.
From Take it from me: Your local library needs a cat - The Washington Post
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ArXiv preprint server plans multimillion-dollar overhaul

To attract support from donors, arXiv’s operator, Cornell University Library in Ithaca, New York, is hoping to come up with a “compelling vision”, Rieger says. Scientists seem to love arXiv: 95% of the survey’s 36,000 respondents said that they were very satisfied or satisfied with it. And most want to keep it just the way it is, although perhaps with some modernization. They were enthusiastic about the possibility of tweaks to improve the site’s search functions, and about allowing references to be hyperlinked directly to research papers, for example (see ‘What do arXiv users want?’). Some wanted the site to broaden into new subject areas, such as chemistry — although such expansion would require the recruitment of scientists who are willing to moderate the manuscripts, notes David Morrison, chair of arXiv’s scientific advisory board.
From ArXiv preprint server plans multimillion-dollar overhaul : Nature News & Comment
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Was Roald Dahl the Best Children’s Author of All Time?

For one thing, he was ruthless. Or, if that’s too strong a word, let’s just say he did not coddle his readers, young or old (and as for what he wrote for grown-ups, he is surely the only successful children’s book author to ever get away with writing stories and novels for adults that are often, as my aunt would have said, prurient, and often just this side of pornographic).
From Was Roald Dahl the Best Children’s Author of All Time? - The Daily Beast
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Join Me For My IT Security 101 Workshop At Internet Librarian

W14 - IT Security 101 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tracy Z Maleeff, Principal, Sherpa Intelligence LLC Blake Carver, Senior Systems Administrator, LYRASIS We all know we should use good passwords, keep everything updated, and follow other basic precautions online. Understanding the reasons behind these rules is critical to help us convince ourselves and others that the extra work is indeed worth it. Who are the bad guys? What tools are they using? What are they after? Where are they working? How are they doing it? Why are we all targets? Experienced workshop leaders discuss how to stay safe at the library and at home. They share ways to keep precious data safe inside the library and out—securing your network, website, and PCs—and tools you can teach to patrons in computer classes. They tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more. They share a range of tools and techniques, making this session ideal for any library staff.
From Internet Librarian Program for Sunday, October 16, 2016

“Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

The proceedings for the first ALA Conference can be found in the November 30, 1876, issue of the Library Journal, which is available online in HathiTrust. Dennis Thomison, A History of the American Library Association 1876-1972, (Chicago, 1978), p. 5. Smith, Lloyd P., “The Qualifications of a Librarian,” American Library Journal 1: 70 (1876/1877). “The Proceedings,” American Library Journal 1: 140 (1876/1877). Ibid, 141 Ibid, 143
From “Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world

Located in Fez, Morocco, the al-Qarawiyyin library is part of the world's oldest continually operating university, al-Qarawiyyin University, which opened in 859. The library got several small additions and renovations over its millennium-long existence, but it wasn't until 2012 that Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni decided to give it a total face lift.
From Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world - Tech Insider
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Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America

“Libraries are really gathering places,” says Jon Voss, the strategic partnerships director of Historypin. The global nonprofit is one of 14 winners of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries. “In popular thought or literature, we think of them as storehouses for materials, but that's really changed in the past 20 years at least.” In February, the Knight Foundation challenged people to reimagine libraries to fit the information needs of the 21st century. More than 600 groups submitted proposals, including some that would turn libraries into environmental monitoring hubs and spaces for children to interact with incarcerated parents. The winners will share a $1.6 million grant to realize their visions.
From Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America - CityLab
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These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind

When a big-box store skips town for wider asphalt prairies, it leaves behind a great, empty space, waiting to be snatched up by a similarly large replacement. If, like me, you hope for a good use for these spaces, these libraries built in old big-box stores will blow your mind.
From These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind | Bustle
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Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.
From Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries | 6sqft
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Film on Librarian Josh Hanagarne Wins Utah's Best Short Film

Competition winners are listed at the Utah Arts Festival site. Congrats to the World's Strongest Librarian!!

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Smaller Replacement for Donnell Library (NYC) Opening

Via email from Save NYPL: After eight (!) years of delays, the replacement for Donnell Library will open next Monday (June 27) at 10am. If you are free that day, please join us as we remind NYPL officials that the opening of the new (significantly smaller) library is no cause for celebration. Beloved for its children’s literature and foreign language collection, the Donnell Library was one of NYPL’s most heavily used circulating branches. But in a trial run for the defeated Central Library Plan, Donnell was sold to private developers for a pittance in 2007 and shuttered the following year. The deal was hatched in secret, and no public review preceded the sale. The new replacement library is less than a third the size of Donnell and has been shoehorned into the basement of a luxury condominium-hotel, where rooms start at $850 per night. The special collections will not be returning. Unfortunately, we can’t bring back the old Donnell. But with your support, we can prevent further sales of our libraries. Let’s rally to remind library executives and elected officials that public libraries belong to all of us!

How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it

The last decade has seen an enormous increase in the number of peer-reviewed open access research journals in which authors whose articles are accepted for publication pay a fee to have them made freely available on the Internet. Could this popularity of open access publishing be a bad thing? Is it actually imperiling the future of science? In this commentary, I argue that it is. Drawing upon research literature, I explain why it is almost always best to publish in society journals (i.e., those sponsored by research societies such as Journal of Wildlife Management) and not nearly as good to publish in commercial academic journals, and worst—to the point it should normally be opposed—to publish in open access journals (e.g., PLOS ONE). I compare the operating plans of society journals and open access journals based on 2 features: the quality of peer review they provide and the quality of debate the articles they publish receive. On both features, the quality is generally high for society journals but unacceptably low for open access journals, to such an extent that open access publishing threatens to pollute science with false findings. Moreover, its popularity threatens to attract researchers’ allegiance to it and away from society journals, making it difficult for them to achieve their traditionally high standards of peer reviewing and of furthering debate. I prove that the commonly claimed benefits to science of open access publishing are nonexistent or much overestimated. I challenge the notion that journal impact factors should be a key consideration in selecting journals in which to publish. I suggest ways to strengthen the Journal and keep it strong.
From How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it - Romesburg - 2016 - The Journal of Wildlife Management - Wiley Online Library

Drowning in a Sea of Information

Information overload is something that’s been plaguing me for a while. It was only recently that I decided to take the time to understand why my brain doesn’t work the way it used to. I needed to do this to understand myself. The first step in admitting you have a problem is understanding that problem. I have an information problem. This is a millennial’s quest to understand information overload while struggling against it. Here’s everything I’ve learned.
From Drowning in a Sea of Information — Digital Culturist

What are you revealing online? Much more than you think

The best indicator of high intelligence on Facebook is apparently liking a page for curly fries. At least, that’s according to computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck (TED Talk: The curly fry conundrum), whose job is to figure out what we reveal about ourselves through what we say — and don’t say — online. Of course, the lines between online and “real” are increasingly blurred, but as Golbeck and privacy economist Alessandro Acquisti (TED Talk: Why privacy matters) both agree, that’s no reason to stop paying attention. TED got the two together to discuss what the web knows about you, and what we can do about the things we’d rather it forgot. An edited version of the conversation follows.
From What are you revealing online? Much more than you think |

Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio

Expensive to maintain, many of Ohio’s are now gone. In Coshocton and Middletown, in Butler County, Carnegie buildings are crumbling and condemned. “It’s very sad for me,” said Armentrout, a librarian at OhioHealth. “Unfortunately, in many cases there’s nothing that can be done other than condemn the building and wait for it to collapse. It seems that both of these communities could have saved these buildings long ago had they been organized enough to do it.” Sometimes the old buildings are purchased as a way to prevent their destruction.
From Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio | The Columbus Dispatch
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