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Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future
Even the librarians imitate Apple's dress code, wearing matching shirts and that standard-bearer of geek-chic, the hoodie. But this $2.3 million library might be most notable for what it does not have — any actual books.
That makes Bexar County's BiblioTech the nation's only bookless public library, a distinction that has attracted scores of digital bookworms, plus emissaries from as far away as Hong Kong who want to learn about the idea and possibly take it home.
Two authors, Mohsin Hamid and Anna Holmes, weigh in on the pros and cons of e-reading, from the Sunday New York Times.
While many are quick to point to technology and a shifting digital age as the end of books and libraries, more than ever, public libraries are becoming a vital hub of civic engagement for communities as societies grapple with a number of social challenges and public policy solutions.
That was the essence of remarks by Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, during a convening of USC’s Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy’s “Conversations on Philanthropy” series at the California Club.
- See more at: http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/58045/could-this-be-the-golden-age-of-public-libraries/
Ohio’s libraries creating ‘Digitization Hubs’ to preserve historical materials
The Columbus Metropolitan Library has landed $188,219 in federal and state grants to buy equipment for a statewide effort creating a network of “Digitization Hubs” to preserve historical materials.
Staplercide! The lives and deaths of academic library staplers.
We have experienced 15 deaths in my library this semester. Three victims were decapitated. The bodies of two other victims were never found. Others were abused and left for dead. My library is facing a crisis. Staplercide—the murder of library staplers—is at an all-time high.
What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?
The books On the Road, Atlas Shrugged, and The Cat in the Hat, the films The Bridge on the River Kwai, Funny Face, and The Prince and the Showgirl, the play Endgame (“Fin de Partie”), and more. . .
Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years – an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1957 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2014, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” (Mouse over any of the links below to see gorgeous cover art from 1957.) Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2053.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in Canada and the EU are different – thousands of works are entering their public domains on January 1.
According to a posting by family members on Peter's facebook page, Peter died calmly in his sleep at St. Paul's Hospital, Palliative Care Unit in Saskatoon on December 30.
He was an important figure in information and library science, beloved by many.
Here are some biographical bits:
Peter Scott was born February 14, 1947, in Walthamstow UK and moved to Canada in 1976. He was the Internet Projects Manager in the University of Saskatchewan Library in Saskatoon. Along with another Saskatoon librarian, Darlene Fichter he served as the editor and content developer for many online directories.
He was the creator of HYTELNET (1991), the first electronic browser for Internet resources, developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. Peter wrote a blog, Peter Scott's Library Blog for Credo Reference. Other web creations are: Twitter Compendium, RSS Compendium, Weblogs Compendium, allrecordlabels.com, Blogging The Blues, Peter Scott's Library Blog, Libdex - (Sold in 2005) and Publishers' Catalogues . This reporter (birdie) first met Peter (via internet) when I asked him to add my company to the listing thirteen years ago. In the interim, we remained good virtual friends.
He was also also a blues singer and harmonica player, and had the distinction of winning a Juno Award for having his song "TV Preacher" on the album "Saturday Night Blues" which won "Best Roots and Traditional Music Album" in 1992.
A New Year’s Vision of the Future of Libraries as Ebookstores
As the New Year approaches, I have a vision of the future that brings bookstores to every town and invigorates libraries. In this vision, libraries of the future are our local bookstores. I see a future where libraries let people borrow digital books—or buy them.
This New York Times story has the details.
"A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works Arthur Conan Doyle published before January 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law, and can be freely used by new creators without paying any licensing fee to the Conan Doyle estate."
Read to Win the War: 13 Vintage Posters Promoting American Libraries
Ever since the internet came along, our relationship to libraries has changed dramatically. But recent studies show that these institutions—pillars of the OG sharing economy—are still viewed as essential to American communities. So it's fascinating to take a look through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's collection of posters and propaganda from the American Library Association, an organization founded in 1876 and still going strong in its quest to make libraries—both physical and digital—cultural hubs for learning and leisure.
American Library Association Archives Posters
The Cleveland Public Library Found a Lost First Edition Copy of 'A Christmas Carol'
Cleveland librarian Kelly Brown had far more modest plans when she first began collecting items for a holiday traditions display at the Cleveland Public Library. But when she began poking around the stacks, she stumbled on a fairly unexpected Yuletide surprise: a first-edition copy of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Does reading actually change the brain?
"The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," says Gregory Berns. "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense. Now we're seeing that something may also be happening biologically."
What Surveillance Valley knows about you
This isn’t news to companies like Google, which last year warned shareholders: “Privacy concerns relating to our technology could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services.”
Little wonder then that Google, and the rest of Surveillance Valley, is terrified that the conversation about surveillance could soon broaden to include not only government espionage, but for-profit spying as well.
Several new e-book subscription services are analyzing the data of readers and providing it free to writers.
Read full story in the NYT
The word "ungoogleable" has been removed from a list of new Swedish words after a trademark spat. But it raises the question of what can and can't be found with a search engine.
For some, it seems, being ungoogleable is an unfortunate state of affairs. For others, the ignorance of Google's algorithms is bliss.
Two Canadian cities, Vancouver and Montreal, have the world’s best public library systems, according to a new survey by German researchers.
Library mavens at the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf studied libraries in 31 major world cities, from London and Los Angeles, and from Shanghai to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Los Angeles finished in the middle of the pack in the ranking (16th), which took into account the wide array of services that libraries provide to their readers, including availability of printed books and digital information.
Two U.S. library systems finished third and fourth: Chicago and San Francisco. And the very bottom of the rankings were London (30th) and Dubai (31st).
Synchronicity bookshelf - a fun way to explore books using your local library. Read the details here.
A tough nut to crack to be sure, but Randall Munroe has taken a stab at it on his wonderfully quirky What If? site.
"The average person can read at 200-300 words per minute. If the average living writer, over their entire lifetime, falls somewhere between Isaac Asimov and Harper Lee, they might produce 0.05 words per minute over their entire lifetime. If you were to read for 16 hours a day at 300 words per minute, you could keep up with a world containing an average population of 100,000 living Harper Lees or 400 living Isaac Asimovs."
According to the Atlantic Magazine:
A new Pew study finds that not only do Americans adore libraries, but a majority of us think they’re adjusting to new technology just fine.
Some 94 percent of Americans say that having a public library improves a community and that the local library is a “welcoming, friendly place.” 91 percent said they had never had “a negative experience using a public library, either in person or online.”
These sound like incredible approval ratings for any U.S. public institution. So I wondered: Just how incredible are they? How do other icons of Americana compare?