Submitted by Blake on March 28, 2016 - 10:11am
Under the cover of night, the three men crept toward the dusty chancel of the church, carrying dimmed lanterns and an assortment of tools. It took them a few, breathless moments to find the right headstone in the darkness. Ignoring the threat engraved upon it — “cursed be he that moves my bones” — they lifted the heavy slab and began to dig up the grave beneath.
From Shakespeare’s skull probably isn’t in his grave - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on March 28, 2016 - 9:16am
The truth is that e-ink books are great for certain things. E-readers are perfect for taking fiction on holiday with you: You can carry a library’s worth of books on a device that has weeks of battery life. And, as a bonus, nobody can see that you’re reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Perfect.
The technology built into the e-readers is maturing rapidly. Highlighting, bookmarking and dealing with footnotes, end notes and cross-referencing is all standard. The biggest change from five years ago is that I can now see myself reading academic works on e-readers without major problems.
From E-books are more than just digital facsimiles, and publishers need to realize that, pronto | TechCrunch
Submitted by Blake on March 27, 2016 - 8:48pm
Which women, and when? Mapmaking spans genders, centuries, cultures, and technologies. A complete history of women in cartography would require many volumes of pages, and possibly a graduate degree. To make this series sensible for online readers, I’ve narrowed my selection to works by women mapping North America over the past 300 years. Within this “small” range is a diversity of stories, styles, and approaches that, collected together, should provoke curiosity about the many more ways women have mapped the world.
From The Little-Seen Maps and Stories of Women in Cartography - CityLab
Submitted by Blake on March 27, 2016 - 8:48pm
Impossibly so, as it turns out: After researching the topic for several years, Spellerberg concluded that page turners simply did not exist during the Victorian Era. In fact, according to Spellerberg, page turners didn’t exist during any historical period at all, making them the unicorns, if you will, of office collectibles, mythical objects that tell us more about how we imagine people lived rather than how they actually did.
From The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner | Collectors Weekly
Submitted by Blake on March 27, 2016 - 8:47pm
He’s not too concerned about the libraries being raided by art thieves who, in keeping and not sharing the works, strip them from their social connections. “I think if you have something nice, it’s even nicer to give it away,” says Ventral is Golden. "I once made a series of illustrations for my girlfriend about how we first met in Portugal... when I gave them to her two months later, she accidentally left the originals on the Metro in Paris. I like the idea that they’re still circulating on a continuous loop underneath the city.”
From This Artist is Distributing Mini Libraries of Zines and Collages | The Creators Project
Submitted by Blake on March 26, 2016 - 1:28pm
The Alliance will bring together groups pursuing a range of strategies and tactics—from hacker spaces crowdsourcing the open source development of software tools, to student groups hosting teach-ins and documentary screenings. They will be united by five substantive principles:
free expression: people should be able to speak their minds to whomever will listen.
security: technology should be trustworthy and answer to its users.
privacy: technology should allow private and anonymous speech, and allow users to set their own parameters about what to share with whom.
creativity: technology should promote progress by allowing people to build on the ideas, creations, and inventions of others.
access to knowledge: curiosity should be rewarded, not stifled.
Submitted by Blake on March 25, 2016 - 8:12pm
A new national research report [PDF] reveals the catalytic role that libraries and museums are playing in rebuilding troubled neighborhoods. These important "anchor institutions" are helping drive economic, educational and social efforts to raise the standard of living in their surrounding neighborhoods.
Published by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the research was recently shared at a meeting of Twin Cities community developers and museum and library professionals. The report captures the ways museums and libraries are leveraging their positions and resources to help fuel successful comprehensive community revitalization. It also offers best practice advice for other institutions.
Submitted by Blake on March 25, 2016 - 2:57pm
When it comes to presidential appointments, Merrick Garland’s nomination to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court is getting all of the attention. But there’s another appointment that’s flying way below the radar: Carla Hayden’s nomination to be librarian of Congress.
The Library of Congress rarely attracts the same political pomp that other federal bureaucracies receive, but as we await congressional hearings on the president’s seemingly innocuous nomination, it’s important to note that there’s a lot at stake. The library is in the midst of a massive crisis of mission, and undoubtedly, its next leader faces a daunting challenge to preserve — and possibly revitalize — a symbol of our country’s democracy and culture.
Submitted by Blake on March 24, 2016 - 5:09pm
The problem is that libraries aren’t treated fairly as cultural institutions. Instead councils are forced to contrast them with acute public services, such as child protection or social care. This is an impossible comparison.
Robbie Millen, literary editor of the Times, recently argued that councils are incapable of appreciating the real value of libraries as a symbol for culture, art and literature. He believes the answer is privatisation.
Submitted by Blake on March 24, 2016 - 4:37pm
A short-form novel “coauthored” by humans and an artificial intelligence (AI) program passed the first screening process for a domestic literary prize, it was announced on Monday. However, the book did not win the final prize.
Two teams submitted novels that were produced using AI. They held a press conference in Tokyo and made the announcement, which follows the recent victory of an AI program over a top Go player from South Korea. These achievements strongly suggest a dramatic improvement in AI capabilities.
Submitted by Blake on March 23, 2016 - 9:15pm
It may require a particle accelerator, X-ray vision, and a highly toxic metal, but researchers believe they could soon be reading from the libraries of Herculaneum, an ancient Roman town destroyed by a volcano to the benefit of archaeology.
Scientists have discovered that ancient scholars in the town which, along with its more-famous neighbor, Pompeii, was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius used a lead-based paint, which they may be able to read using X-ray technology, Sonia van Gilder Cooke wrote for the New Scientist.
Submitted by Blake on March 22, 2016 - 11:02am
Most Americans feel they are lifelong learners, whether that means gathering knowledge for “do it yourself” projects, reading up on a personal interest or improving their job skills. For the most part, these learning activities occur in traditional places – at home, work, conferences or community institutions such as government agencies or libraries. The internet is also an important tool for many adults in the process of lifelong learning.
Submitted by Blake on March 22, 2016 - 8:49am
But Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.
So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?
Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.
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