New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

moking outside of public libraries in New York may soon be banned.

State lawmakers have introduced a bill to add libraries to the restriction put in place in 2012 that prohibits smoking within 100 feet of school entrances or exits.

“Today, I am proud to extend that smoke-free protection even further to include the entrances and exits of our state’s libraries,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, in a statement. He's sponsoring the bill with Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx.

From New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

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How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces

Today, perhaps taking a cue from Franklin, libraries across America are creating space for their patrons to experiment with all kinds of new technologies and tools to create and invent.

From How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces - The Atlantic

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Loving Books in a Dark Age

Books took effort, time, skill. Books required dead calves, polished skins, the making of ink and colours and pens, the ruling of guidelines. They had to be written out by hand, carefully, and corrected and punctuated and decorated; they had to be sewn together so they would stay in their proper order. They required craft. They also required words, either a book to copy or else someone to invent and dictate. They mattered for their content, of course: Bede helped change people’s minds about the proper date of Easter, the way to date our lives in the history of the world, what happened in Britain when it became both Christian and Anglo-Saxon. But books also began to matter for themselves, even when they were practical books for reading and not jewelled, painted lovelies.

Books were becoming independent of the way they were meant to be read. It came to this: books were worth burning.

From Loving Books in a Dark Age : Longreads Blog

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Publishing Heavyweights Petition To End Cuba Book Embargo

More than 50 major players in the U.S. publishing industry are petitioning the White House and Congress to end the Cuba trade embargo as it pertains to books and educational materials.

Calling the book embargo "counter to American ideals of free expression," the petition — endorsed by publishing companies, authors and agents — says "books are catalysts for greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development, free expression, and positive social change."

From Publishing Heavyweights Petition White House, Congress To End Cuba Book Embargo : The Two-Way : NPR

The Mass-Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Dead

We may never know what Lee’s will stipulates, but the estate’s first action in the wake of Lee’s death is both bold and somewhat baffling: The New Republic has obtained an email from Hachette Book Group, sent on Friday, March 4 to booksellers across the country, revealing that Lee’s estate will no longer allow publication of the mass-market paperback edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. 

From The Mass-Market Edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Dead | New Republic

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Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds

Men and women are equally likely to finish a book – but men decide much faster than women if they like a story or not, according to analysis of reading habits by Jellybooks.

The start-up, which focuses on book discoverability and reader analytics, has tested hundreds of digital titles on hundreds of volunteer readers over the last few months. Working with many of the UK’s major publishers, it uses a piece of JavaScript in the ebooks to look at readers’ habits: when they pick up, complete or abandon a title. The test groups were made up of significantly more female volunteers, with a 20/80 male/female split.

From Men make up their minds about books faster than women, study finds | Books | The Guardian

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Amazon Books to open at UTC mall in La Jolla CA this summer

Amazon will open its second physical bookstore, appropriately named Amazon Books, this summer at Westfield UTC mall, according to new signage posted in front of the e-commerce company’s future brick-and-mortar location.

From Amazon Books to open at UTC mall in La Jolla this summer | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

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JK Rowling accidentally heightens feud between two Scottish libraries

JK Rowling is perhaps one of the UK's most beloved authors, and frequently charms us all with her excellent tweets.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, as she found when she sparked a jealous fight between two libraries.
Orkney Library and Shetland Library have both been arguing over the Harry Potter author.
They have previously had mild spats over who could get the most famous people to follow them:

From JK Rowling accidentally heightens feud between two Scottish libraries - Telegraph

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San Jose library amnesty weighed as unpaid fines near $7 million

Diaz, who has since paid off his penalties, is not alone. The city's library system is facing a staggering and mounting $6.8 million in unpaid fines across its 23 branches -- the most library director Jill Bourne has seen in nearly three years on the job. That figure is roughly five times the amount of unpaid fines racked up a few years ago in Chicago, a city nearly three times San Jose's population. It also exceeds unpaid fines at public libraries in other major Bay Area cities such as Oakland, which has $3 million in outstanding fines, and San Francisco, which stands at $4.6 million.

From San Jose library amnesty weighed as unpaid fines near $7 million - San Jose Mercury News

Apple gets smacked by $450-million e-book price-fixing fine

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear Apple's appeal of a lower court decision that it conspired with five publishers to increase e-book prices. Apple must now pay $450 million as part of its anti-trust e-book settlement. Amazon, however, is probably grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-gets-smacked-by-450-million-e-book-price-fixing-fine/

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LibraryBox & Google Summer of Code

I am thrilled to be able to announce that The LibraryBox Project has been invited to be one of the projects included in the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Google Summer of Code.

If you aren’t familiar with the Google Summer of Code, it is a program that gets undergraduates connected to open source projects via mentor organizations. The goal is to give the students experience working on useful open code, while projects benefit from their skills to set and meet development goals. Google pays the students a stipend, and the whole open source community wins.

From LibraryBox & Google Summer of Code | Pattern Recognition

A Plagiarism Scandal Is Unfolding In The Crossword World

This renowned mathematician is bent on proving academic journals can cost nothing

But in the four years that have passed, little has changed. Despite a decades-old "open access" movement — which aims to put research findings in the public domain instead of languishing behind expensive paywalls — the traditional approach to publishing remains firmly entrenched.

So Gowers is now launching his second attack, this time with a lot more intention.

This week, he debuted a new online mathematics journal called Discrete Analysis. The nonprofit venture is owned and published by a team of scholars. With no publisher middlemen, access will be completely free for all.

From This renowned mathematician is bent on proving academic journals can cost nothing - Vox

The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things

For Pasanek, finding 18th-century descriptions of the mind also involves a search process performative of his topic. The first decade of his database’s existence maps closely to the history of keyword-searching in the electronic archives, a process no 18th-centuryist today can avoid. While looking for metaphors of mind might once have involved tracking down known examples and following up scholarly hunches, now it involves weighing evidence that accumulates on very different scales. Like the “desultory” readers Pasanek recalls flicking, rifling, indexing their way through books, making connections that never quite line up or that exhaust those that could be made, Pasanek himself works with a large and still-growing stock of somewhat random examples.

From The Searcher of Patterns and the Keeper of Things - The Los Angeles Review of Books

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Time to Make, and Eat, a Book!

The 8th Annual Edible Book Festival is a super fun way to get to know others in the community who have a bent for books, and baking prowess to boot. This is a world wide festival that promotes the book arts. It’s a family friendly adventure, where kids are encouraged to participate from start (creating the book) to finish (eating the book). Judging is based on Best Book, Best Tasting, and Most Creative. In the end, all proceeds go towards WNY Book Arts Center. 

8th Annual Edible Book Festival

Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 3 PM – 6 PM

Western New York Book Arts Center | 468 Washington St, Buffalo, New York 14203

From Time to Make, and Eat, a Book! – Buffalo Rising

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Tim Tierney's call for 'fair' e-book prices for Canadian libraries adopted by FCM

Canadian municipalities are asking the federal government to find ways to bring down e-book prices for their public libraries, a move led by an Ottawa councillor. 

From Tim Tierney's call for 'fair' e-book prices for libraries adopted by FCM - Ottawa - CBC News

Library workers oppose 'precarious work'

A group of unionized employees still in contract talks with the city is challenging Mayor John Tory to end what it calls “precarious work” being carried out by a large chunk of the city’s library staff who work part time, have limited access to benefits, and face unstable work hours.

The Toronto Public Library Workers Union, Local 4948, whose contract expired Dec. 31, launched a campaign Friday, including a four-minute horror movie spoof, to get its message out.

Local president Maureen O’Reilly called precarious work “the epidemic of our time” and said Toronto is “one of the biggest offenders, especially in the library.”

From Library workers oppose 'precarious work' | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun

The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science

As a beginning graduate student in the social sciences, what sort of software should you use to do your work? More importantly, what principles should guide your choices? These pages offer some answers. The short version is: you should use tools that give you more control over the process of data analysis and writing. I recommend you write prose and code using a good text editor; analyze quantitative data with R or Stata; minimize error by storing your work in a simple format (plain text is best), and make a habit of documenting what you’ve done. For data analysis, consider using a format like RMarkdown and tools like Knitr to make your work more easily reproducible for your future self. Use Pandoc to turn your plain-text documents into PDF, HTML, or Word files to share with others. Keep your projects in a version control system. Back everything up regularly. Make your computer work for you by automating as many of these steps as you can.

From The Plain Person’s Guide to Plain Text Social Science

How Presidential Libraries Work

“They’re really getting big,” says Hufbauer, who points out that the private funding allows “presidents to build gigantic temples dedicated to themselves.”

That means that presidential scandals or mistakes may get glossed over, and presidential successes highlighted. “The decision about what to display in the very first exhibits is made by the president, along with the National Archives and key advisors who help determine the story and presentation of those artifacts,” says Susan Donius, director of the office of presidential libraries.

From How Presidential Libraries Work

Data Is a Toxic Asset

We can be smarter than this. We need to regulate what corporations can do with our data at every stage: collection, storage, use, resale and disposal. We can make corporate executives personally liable so they know there's a downside to taking chances. We can make the business models that involve massively surveilling people the less compelling ones, simply by making certain business practices illegal.

From Data Is a Toxic Asset - Schneier on Security

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