Remember Hydrox?

Is it or isn't it the Public Librarians favorite cookie? Rumor has it that they're coming back. But as you are library folk, rumor doesn't quite cut it.

Post inspired by recent conversation on Publib list Publib Archives.

Please comment yay or nay. Any votes for 'Nilla Wafers?

Oyster to Exit E-Book Subscription Business

It’s not so easy to offer a Netflix-like experience.

The Oyster e-book subscription service that launched with much fanfare in 2013 has posted a note on its blog stating it will be exiting that business over the next few months and offering refunds to subscribers who request them. The service provides access to more than 1 million e-books on an all-you-can read basis for $9.95 a month.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/oyster-to-exit-e-book-subscription-business-1442887235

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Margaret Atwood: ‘People bond to the books. Nobody wants my shoelaces’

People see my head on a book and attach a tall body to it. The image of somebody that you have accorded status to in your mind is a large one; the Greeks always made the gods quite tall. I’m short. Shorter than you think.

From Margaret Atwood: ‘People bond to the books. Nobody wants my shoelaces’ | Life and style | The Guardian

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When It Comes To Book Sales, What Counts As Success Might Surprise You

When It Comes To Book Sales, What Counts As Success Might Surprise You

Whenever you read about book awards you hear they help boost sales. But what you might not know is just how much those sales need boosting. Two prestigious awards announced nominees this week; in the U.K. the Man Booker unveiled its short list and in the U.S. the National Book Awards announced its long lists.

The awards news came on the heels of a survey from the Authors Guild about the sorry state of author incomes. So what happens to writers who never get anywhere near an awards ceremony?

Washington Post critic Ron Charles reviews the kinds of books that get nominated for literary awards. These are not the blockbusters, the books written by the likes of Stephen King and Nora Roberts that make millions.

Full piece:
http://www.npr.org/2015/09/19/441459103/when-it-comes-to-book-sales-what-counts-as-success-m...

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Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful

The underlying issue has little to do with whether one prefers the “free market” or government. The real question is how government organizes the market, and who has the most influence over its decisions. We are now in a new gilded age similar to the first Gilded Age, when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. As then, those with great power and resources are making the “free market” function on their behalf. Big Tech — along with the drug, insurance, agriculture and financial giants — dominates both our economy and our politics.

From Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful - NYTimes.com

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Talking books at 'Living Library'

"I had never thought about it as a child," Fox said. "For me as a storyteller it helped me to uncover the feelings I had about being in a religious minority. That was very illuminating as I heard myself verbalize it."

From Talking books at 'Living Library' - The Manchester Journal

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Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all solving the same problems

Between them, Apple, Google, and Microsoft pretty much set the agenda for the entire consumer electronics industry. They employ a great number of the smartest and most creative technologists in the world and produce the most influential innovations. Whether it’s Windows, the iPhone, or Google’s titular search, these three American giants’ contributions have shaped our social and economic milieux as much as our technological one. Their futures promise to be as different as their pasts, however the present products and services on offer from each company show them to be closer than ever. They all seem to be solving the same problems.

From Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all solving the same problems | The Verge

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E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep

Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. These findings of the study that compared the biological effects of reading an LE-eBook to a printed book are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 22, 2014.

From E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep | HMS

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History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books

What would it look like to reimagine the book not as pages of text, but as a global distributed gallery of illustrations, drawings, charts, maps, and photographs that together comprise one of the world’s greatest art collections? In Fall 2013 I approached the Internet Archive with the idea of using computer algorithms to extract every image found on all 600 million pages of their digitized book collection, along with the text surrounding each image and the basic metadata about the book. In just over a month I did precisely that, creating a massive gallery that is slowly being uploaded to Flickr.

From History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books - Forbes

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"We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer

Every time you play a free to play game, you just build this giant online database of who you are, who your friends are and what you like and don’t like. This data is sold, bought and traded between large companies I have worked for. You want to put a stop to this? Stop playing free games. Buy a game for 4.99 or 9.99. We don’t want to be making games like this, and we don’t want another meeting about retention, cohorts or churn.

From "We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer | TouchArcade

Buffalo and The Future of The Book

Speculation on the future of the book changes by the hour (the one that I’m working toward is a blended portfolio of digital, public libraries, and independent bookstores), but there is great opportunity in the midst of all of this chaos. Because of the digital disruption that continues to democratize the publishing industry, it is now entirely possible for independent authors, publishers, and readers to (quite literally) choose their own adventures without any involvement from an agent, a NYC publisher, or a big-box retailer (like Barnes & Noble).

From Buffalo and The Future of The Book | Buffalo Rising

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Police officials say downtown library branch is draining resources, 'culture change' needed (Omaha)

Frequent disturbances, rowdy behavior and even reports of sex in the stairwell spurred Omaha police to ask library officials Wednesday to clean up the downtown library.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Capt. Katherine Belcastro-Gonzalez told the Omaha Public Library Board that the branch is draining police resources.

Full article:
http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/police-officials-say-downtown-library-branch-is-draining-res...

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(2012) Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices

Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.

A memo from Harvard Library to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.

From Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices | Science | The Guardian

Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing

The El Pueblo library evolved from a partnership that includes Reading Advantage, a Brentwood-based nonprofit, the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, the county library and its Pittsburg branch, and the Grace Worship Center.

"They love being able to go home with books," said Terris Allen, a volunteer with Grace Worship Center, which also runs after-school and tutoring programs at the learning center that opened in June. "They can start their own personal library. This is something they can keep with them, and pass it down to a little brother or sister as they grow older so there is always a book in the house."

From Two East Contra Costa nonprofits set up libraries at public housing - ContraCostaTimes.com

'Dissent,' a New Type of Security Tool, Could Markedly Improve Online Anonymity

Researchers at the Dissent Project are building a new kind of anonymity tool that, when used in conjunction with the Tor anonymity network, could significantly improve online anonymity.

Unlike Tor's onion routing architecture, which routes internet traffic through a series of "onion layers" to obscure your identity, Dissent implements a dining cryptographers network, or DC-net, which makes possible cryptographically-provable anonymity.

From 'Dissent,' a New Type of Security Tool, Could Markedly Improve Online Anonymity | Motherboard

N.H. Public Library Resumes Support Of 'Tor' Internet Anonymizer

The Kilton Public Library in West Lebanon had decided to use its spare bandwidth to serve as a relay for the network. New Hampshire Public Radio reports the library had turned off the relay node after police and Homeland Security warned the library that, among other bad things, the network could allow criminals to move child pornography anonymously.

From N.H. Public Library Resumes Support Of 'Tor' Internet Anonymizer : The Two-Way : NPR

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The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction

Half of the titles on this year’s National Book Awards longlist for Nonfiction can be classified as memoirs. But within that flexible category is immense variety: there’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’s open letter to his son, about how to “live free in this black body”; Sally Mann’s photo-filled account of her familial and artistic life in the American South; Carla Power’s story of friendship with Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi and their joint study of the Koran; Tracy K. Smith’s chronicle of “growing up in a bookish family and the dawning of her poetic vocation”; and Michael White’s record of travelling through Europe and the U.S. to see the paintings of Vermeer while going through a painful divorce.

From The National Book Awards Longlist: Nonfiction - The New Yorker

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Girl, 12, finds porn on Amazon search for teenage books

Nicola, who lives in the south of England, said her daughter was looking for free books to download for a new Kindle which she was to be given as a present.
"I'm trying to protect my teenager in every way possible," she said.
"I'm doing all the things that I ought to do and a company like Amazon is not only allowing her to access it but is actually offering it to her when she's not even looking for it.

From Girl, 12, finds porn on Amazon search for teenage books - BBC News

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Pedal Powered Libraries

Alicia M. Tapia's bicycle-based, pop-up free library in San Francisco, and similar efforts elsewhere, described in the blog of San Francisco based bike maker Public Bikes. http://blog.publicbikes.com/2015/09/pedal-powered-libraries. Includes link to Alice M.Tapia's site, http://bibliobicicleta.com.

Libraries branch out into creative lending

Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Maine), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls (Lewiston, Maine), fishing rods (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Frisbees and Wiffle balls (Mesa, Ariz.), and mobile hot-spot devices (New York and Chicago).

From Libraries branch out into creative lending - SFGate

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