The Best Books I Read in 2015 | Bill Gates

I just looked over the list of books I read this year, and I noticed a pattern. A lot of them touch on a theme that I would call “how things work.” Some explain something about the physical world, like how steel and glass are used, or what it takes to get rid of deadly diseases. Others offer deep insights into human beings: our strengths and flaws, our capacity for lifelong growth, or the things we value. I didn’t set out to explore these themes intentionally, though in retrospect it make a lot of sense since the main reason I read is to learn.

From The Best Books I Read in 2015 | Bill Gates

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Want to get your male students to read? Become an action fiction author

The classrooms of Chris Raabe and John Kalkowski sit on opposite ends of the hall in Millard’s Andersen Middle School.

During the day they teach seventh-graders — Raabe, English, and Kalkowski, reading. On nights, weekends and summers, they write young adult fiction — sci-fi- and action-infused book series aimed at the same age group they’re teaching. And each job feeds the other.

Writing books makes them better at teaching sentence structure and storytelling subtext. Hanging around with seventh-graders all day helps them know what seventh-graders are like and what they’d like to read

Full article:
http://www.omaha.com/living/want-to-get-your-male-students-to-read-become-an/article_841b9fd...

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Today's "Bedbugs Found @YourLibrary" Brought To You By Philadelphia

The discovery of bedbugs has forced several branches of the Free Library to temporarily close. Not that library officials want you to know this.

From Bedbugs Found at Two Library Branches | News | Philadelphia Magazine

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Our (Bare) Book Shelves, Our Selves

Although the study did not account for e-books, as they’re not yet available in enough countries, Dr. Evans said in theory they could be just as effective as print books in encouraging literacy.

“But what about the casual atmosphere of living in a bookish world, and being intrigued to pull something off the shelf to see what it’s like?” she asked. “I think that will depend partly on the seamless integration of our electronic devices in the future.”

From Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves - The New York Times

Online Services Of Yesteryear

Before we were watching Netflix movies, video-conferencing with our friends, and playing real-time video games on the Internet, we were using online services, such AOL, CompuServe, and GEnie to talk about movies, type letters to our buddies, and play ASCII, turn-based games.

From ​Before the Web: Online services of yesteryear | ZDNet

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In response to controversy, hundreds pack Mount Horeb library for reading of transgender book

MOUNT HOREB — In a turnout that stunned organizers, nearly 600 people filled the library here Wednesday night to hear a public reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl, with many in the crowd expressing strong support for a local family with a transgender child.

From http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/in-response-to-controversy-hundreds-pack-mount-horeb-library-for/article_095da109-0caf-534e-9879-3cb4e0c769ee.html

Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University

Now, a graduate student has discovered a treasure the library didn’t know it had: a first edition of the King James Bible.

The 1611 Bible, which surfaced in late October, is a so-called “He Bible,” named for a typographical error in the Book of Ruth that was corrected in the middle of the first printing. Of the fewer than 200 King James first editions known to survive, most are “She” copies.

From Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University - The New York Times

Bad Librarian Hits Huff Po!

It may be unprofessional for a librarian to smile, but by the time I was done reading these comments, I had a big grin on my face. The lesson? You just can't let the hotheads and the crazies get you down. Instead, you have to laugh. The important thing is that I wasn't alone. My fellow librarians always have my back. And just like that, I was back to loving my job. But the next time I'm wrongly accused by a paranoid patron, I just might enlist my pals in the Seth Myers Clan of the Sea Pirates Mafia to steal her information and send it to Vladimir Putin.
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High Treason (1929), movie preservation success story

In 2005, Kevin Tripp, executive director and archivist for the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association, responded to a caller in Washington State who had inherited a box of old motion picture films. The films included the sound version of the 1929 sf thriller High Treason, long thought lost. Tripp arranged for the nitrate film to be transferred to the Library of Congress for restoration. The British Film Institute premiered the restored version in 2014.

Librarians in uproar after borrowing record of Haruki Murakami is leaked

Librarians in Japan have ditched their traditional regard for silence to accuse a newspaper of violating the privacy of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s best-known contemporary writer, after it revealed his teenage reading habits.

As a schoolboy in the western port city of Kobe, Murakami delved into the three-volume complete works of the French writer Joseph Kessel, according to library cards leaked to the Kobe Shimbun newspaper.

From Librarians in uproar after borrowing record of Haruki Murakami is leaked | Books | The Guardian

Publication delays at PLOS and 3,475 other journals: Calling for a journal review service

Calling for a journal review service
Acceptance and publication times are not the only factor to consider when selecting a journal. Traditionally, the impact factor — average citations for articles published in the two preceding years — has been a primary criteria. However, any single metric is insufficient to make an informed decision on where to submit. A host of other journal attributes matter such as readership, aesthetics, communication, friendliness, flexibility, features, and web nativity.

I propose a journal review service. Like yelp for scientific publishing except that author reviews will be CC-BY.

From Satoshi Village

Cites & Insights 16:1 (January 2016) available

It's an odds-and-ends issue, and what may be oddest of all is that it's still around...

The January 2016 Cites & Insights (16:1) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ16i1.pdf

In which your blogger loses it about the library field

We should and often try to work collectively and collaboratively, but the massive brain drain from low wages along with a lack of time and training for those who are willing to learn means that these efforts are frequently stymied when the lead developer or a majority of the coders go to our vendors because they are paid and appreciated for those efforts.

The fact that I’m now looking at our subscriptions (even for part of our collection) SUPER critically for the first time in years is a huge step for my institution. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Basically, libraries have somewhat fucked ourselves on this one with administration joining in who want everything but don’t want to pay for it to be done by their own staff because that would require us to be paid what we’re worth.

From In which your blogger loses it about the library field | Digital Projects

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Language, Policed: The Monster of Bad Spelling

And what is good spelling worth lately? A few years ago, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Virginia Heffernan that fetishized typos in the digital age because when spell-check fails because “curious readers…get regular glimpses of raw and frank and interesting mistakes that give us access to unedited minds.” That may be true, but even in the age of emoji and spellcheck, the ability to privilege bad spelling—both as a reader and as a writer—leans in part on being a fluent speller in the first place, certified as worthy to receive, judge, and transmit culture and knowledge. Spelling well is still classy today because it’s still a display of class.

From Language, Policed: The Monster of Bad Spelling - The Awl

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Newspaper archives reveal major gaps in digital age

In-depth interviews about the archiving practices at nine legacy newspapers and one born-digital publication reveal that legacy newspapers maintain archives of their print editions in paper, microfilm and PDF versions. Archiving of Web-only content and multimedia elements, however, is spotty or nonexistent. The public has limited or no access to digital photo and graphic archives at most newspapers.

From Newspaper archives reveal major gaps in digital age

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Internet Archive! How You Can Put Knowledge into the Hands of Millions

Today is #GivingTuesday, the one day you are encouraged to give to your favorite charities. This GivingTuesday, I hope the Internet Archive will be at the top of your list. By giving a small amount, you can put knowledge in the hands of millions of people, for years and years.

From How You Can Put Knowledge into the Hands of Millions | Internet Archive Blogs

NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history

NCSU Libraries have recently collected more than 1.2 million tweets from more than 380,000 Twitter accounts as part of its “New Voices and Fresh Perspectives: Collecting Social Media” initiative.
This type of archiving can be used to supplement traditional data collection methods. With standard practices, a historian might use personal notes, correspondence or intellectual papers to generate a historical perspective of that time’s events. With the focus on social media, the research team hopes to supplement these traditional forms of data with data that may be more relevant in today’s society. 
“People aren’t writing formal letters anymore,” said Jason Casden, interim associate head of Digital Library Initiatives.

From NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history - Technician: Features

Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites

This week, the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier filed suit against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, two sites where academics and researchers practiced civil disobedience by sharing the academic papers that Elsevier claims -- despite having acquired the papers for free from researchers, and despite having had them refereed and overseen by editorial boards staffed by more volunteering academics.

This is the latest salvo in a long-simmering battle between people who value scholarly and scientific knowledge as a commons that must be shared to be valuable, and multinational corporations that see returns to shareholders as their first duty, with academic advancement and knowledge creation taking a back-seat.

From Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites / Boing Boing

The Internet Isn't Available in Most Languages

At the moment, the Internet only has webpages in about five percent of the world's languages. Even national languages like Hindi and Swahili are used on only .01 percent of the 10 million most popular websites. The majority of the world’s languages lack an online presence that is actually useful.

From The Internet Isn't Available in Most Languages - The Atlantic

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The Irony of Writing About Digital Preservation - The Atlantic

Last month, The Atlantic published a lengthy article about information that is lost on the web. That story itself is in jeopardy.

From The Irony of Writing About Digital Preservation - The Atlantic

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