Submitted by Blake on March 21, 2016 - 9:18am
At most libraries, a person can expect to borrow books, CDs or videos but never a device.
But in a yearlong pilot project, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has allowed its members to check out — literally and figuratively — the Speck air-quality monitor developed by the Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab that measures indoor air-particulate pollution levels.
In fact, the trial has been so successful that all 19 libraries soon will have Speck monitors available for checkout for three weeks, with a library-system inventory now totaling 120 monitors through support from three local foundations.
Pilot-project success also has inspired Airviz, the CMU spinoff that sells the device, to give free Specks to 100 libraries nationwide along with support material and training, with a 15 percent discount on additional monitors. CMU robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh led Speck’s development.
Submitted by Blake on March 20, 2016 - 6:34pm
Below is an excerpt from A Loaded Gun, by Jerome Charyn, who writes that Emily Dickinson was not just “one more madwoman in the attic,” but rather a messianic modernist, a performance artist, a seductress, and “a woman maddened with rage—against a culture that had no place for a woman with her own fiercely independent mind and will.” This story is recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky.
Submitted by Blake on March 20, 2016 - 6:33pm
Look, the impact of this “ethics” policy is going to be small. The number of people who want to listen to podcasts but won’t figure out how to download one without Steve Inskeep walking them through the process is tiny. There are plenty of ways NPR One can be effectively marketed through digital channels. But the issue here isn’t the impact of the policy — it’s what it tells us about NPR’s underlying strategy. Again, I have enormous sympathy for the people making these decisions at NPR — just as I had enormous sympathy for those working through an analogous set of questions at newspapers 5 or 10 years ago. But if you see a future, at a certain point you’ve got to commit to getting there.
Submitted by Blake on March 20, 2016 - 3:18pm
As the digital revolution fundamentally reshapes how we live our lives, libraries are grappling with how to reinvent themselves in a world in which they are no longer a primary gatekeeper to knowledge. As I wrote in 2014 for the Knight Foundation’s blog, “perhaps the future of libraries lies in a return to their roots, not as museums of physical artifacts for rental, but as conveners of information and those who can understand and translate that information to the needs of an innovative world.” As the Knight Foundation wraps up their most recent Challenge on reinventing libraries for the 21st century (which has attracted over 225 submissions to date) and as the nation prepares for a new Librarian of Congress to shepherd the organization into the digital era, what might the future of libraries look like?
Submitted by Blake on March 20, 2016 - 10:16am
Submitted by Blake on March 19, 2016 - 7:58pm
Poor mothers often spend way too much time hunched over a washboard. What if they could use those hours to curl up with their kids and read a book instead? A group of friends at Oxford University plans to find out by developing a combination childhood education and laundry services center, a concept they've dubbed a "Libromat."
The five team members have extensive backgrounds in childhood education, and they pooled their talents to apply for the 2015 Hult Prize, a $1 million award for young social entrepreneurs tackling some of the world's biggest problems.
This year's challenge: provide self-sustainable education to impoverished urban areas.
From Rinse, Spin, Read To Kids: It's A Mashup Of Laundromat and Library : Goats and Soda : NPR
Submitted by Blake on March 19, 2016 - 3:52pm
Submitted by Blake on March 18, 2016 - 9:08am
“Academic libraries, in particular those that are at public institutions, want to allow walk-in access, certainly,” said Ann Campion Riley, president of the Association of Research and College Libraries and acting director of libraries at the University of Missouri at Columbia. “But we do have to balance that with security concerns for students and other users.”
From San Jose State University library attack highlights safety issues
Submitted by John on March 17, 2016 - 8:27pm
Submitted by Blake on March 17, 2016 - 3:20pm
There’s been a growing trend in libraries for several years to create maker spaces — places where cutting-edge creative activities such as computer-aided design, robotics, programming, circuitry and audio-visual editing take their place alongside low-tech crafts like sewing and jewelry-making.
“Certainly it focuses on technology, which is new,” said Multnomah County Library director Vailey Oehlke, who is also the president of the National Public Library Association. “But I’d also suggest that libraries have a long history of responding to the ways in which community and the world around us is changing. There’s a need in our community for people to understand these new skills.”
From Oregon Libraries Invest In Cutting-Edge Maker Labs . Radio | OPB
Submitted by Blake on March 17, 2016 - 3:15pm
For thousands of years, people have traveled to libraries in search of knowledge. Once civilization dawned, people needed a place to store information and archives, and thus libraries were born. The earliest libraries are traced to present-day Iraq and stored cuneiform data on clay tablets. China’s creation of paper in the 2nd century BC helped spread knowledge westward at a faster pace, and more libraries appeared in sacred and private spaces.
From Time Travel: The History of Libraries :: Travel :: Galleries :: Paste
Submitted by Blake on March 16, 2016 - 9:21pm
While e-books retailers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble can collect troves of data on their customers’ reading behavior, publishers and writers are still in the dark about what actually happens when readers pick up a book. Do most people devour it in a single sitting, or do half of readers give up after Chapter 2? Are women over 50 more likely to finish the book than young men? Which passages do they highlight, and which do they skip?
From Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on March 16, 2016 - 9:20pm
The ancient al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez isn’t just the oldest library in Africa. Founded in 859, it’s the oldest working library in the world, holding ancient manuscripts that date as far back as 12 centuries. But modern life had taken a toll on the library, with its buildings falling into disrepair. That’s why in 2012, the Moroccan Ministry of Culture asked TED Fellow and architect Aziza Chaouni to rehabilitate the library so that it can reopen to the general public. She describes the challenges inherent in undertaking a daunting, historic project. (Spoiler alert: she was successful; the library reopens in May 2016!)
From Restoring the world’s oldest library |
Submitted by Blake on March 16, 2016 - 5:02pm
“Internet access is not a choice, it’s a modern-life necessity,” said Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the NYCLU. “The city’s public Wi-Fi network should set the bar for privacy and security to help ensure that New Yorkers do not have to sacrifice their rights and freedoms to sign online.”
From NYCLU: City’s Public Wi-Fi Raises Privacy Concerns | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) - American Civil Liberties Union of New York State
Submitted by Blake on March 16, 2016 - 9:05am
Article from Idaho Mountain Express.
Included are: Jenny Emery Davidson—Ketchum Community Library, LeAnn Gelskey—Hailey Public Library and Kristin Gearhart—Bellevue Public Library.
Submitted by Blake on March 15, 2016 - 2:08pm
It was a small act of information age defiance, and perhaps also a bit of a throwback, somewhat analogous to Stephen King’s 2000 self-publishing an e-book or Radiohead’s 2007 release of a download-only record without a label. To commemorate it, she tweeted the website’s confirmation under the hashtag #ASAPbio, a newly coined rallying cry of a cadre of biologists who say they want to speed science by making a key change in the way it is published.
From Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet - The New York Times
Submitted by rteeter on March 15, 2016 - 12:33pm
The Gilroy branch of the Santa Clara County Library (Calif.) apparently forgot about Black History Month until a user asked about it.
Submitted by Blake on March 14, 2016 - 8:09am
Our mission is to build and operate a nonprofit search engine for the Web.
The Web is now a critical resource for humanity, of which search engines are the arbiters. They decide which websites get traffic, which companies survive, which ideas spread.
The Web is currently in danger because the only arbiters available to us are all profit-seeking companies.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with profit-seeking. It has been a tremendous driver for innovation, and will continue to be. What is wrong is not being able to choose an alternative.
This is why we are building a new kind of search engine: open, transparent and independent.
Just like an arbiter should be.
From Our mission - Common Search
Submitted by Blake on March 13, 2016 - 8:28pm
Possibly the biggest barrier to open access is that scientists are judged by where they have published when they compete for jobs, promotions, tenure and grant money. And the most prestigious journals, such as Cell, Nature and The Lancet, also tend to be the most protective of their content.
“The real people to blame are the leaders of the scientific community — Nobel scientists, heads of institutions, the presidents of universities — who are in a position to change things but have never faced up to this problem in part because they are beneficiaries of the system,” said Dr. Eisen. “University presidents love to tout how important their scientists are because they publish in these journals.”
From Should All Research Papers Be Free? - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on March 13, 2016 - 5:24pm
Mayor Kenney's ambitions $600 million "Rebuild" plan is aimed at fixing up many of those aging libraries and repairing run-down recreation centers.
The six-year initiative also calls for reorganizing space in some library buildings and creating new space in others.
The proposed makeover involves adding pre-kindergarten classrooms in some library branches as part of another major Kenney initiative: His goal of adding 10,000 "quality" Pre-K slots for 3- and 4-year-olds by 2020.
From Kenney's plan could turn a page on Philadelphia's crumbling libraries