Meet the man who is turning D.C. libraries into a national model

But Reyes-Gavilan’s ambitions go beyond bricks and mortar. He wants to put the D.C. Public Library at the forefront of American libraries, to be a model for the nation by embracing a “hacker” culture that treats library patrons not as passive consumers of information, but as creators. His mantra is “libraries are not their buildings,” but “engines of human capital.”
From Meet the man who is turning D.C. libraries into a national model - The Washington Post

Proposed Alaska state budget cuts zero out funding for library internet

“It’s taken off, and people are just starting to see the many opportunities that it brings us,” Julene Brown says. “It’s just kind of ironic to see these state agencies that are trying to figure out how to deliver services with the budget cuts that they’re face. This video conferencing is one way they’re able to do that.” Back in Haines, Miles Curtis says with the world becoming increasingly paperless, access to the web is no longer just a privilege. “It’s gotten to a point where I would consider it a right,” he says. “Everything is going in the direction where it would be difficult to function, and have access to the information that everyone should be entitled to.”
From KHNS Radio | KHNS FM » Proposed state budget cuts zero out funding for library internet
Topic: 

In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed Because Of Late Fines

Alexander is more careful than most.Half of the current cardholders at the Biblioteca branch owe money, and most — 65 percent — are barred from borrowing materials and using computers because they owe $10 or more. San Jose’s charges are exponentially higher than comparable cities like San Francisco, where there is no charge for late materials for users 17 and younger and a charge of 10 cents a day for adults. “Fifty cents a day for middle-class families is a slap on the wrist,” said Maria Arias Evans, the principal of Washington Elementary School in San Jose, which is behind the Biblioteca Latinoamericana. Given the choice between paying fines “and putting food on the table and a roof over the children’s head, it’s a no-brainer: It is better not to check out library books.”
From In San Jose, Poor Find Doors to Library Closed - The New York Times

Reading Project - Take My Books Please

Piles of books were left in high-traffic locations around NYC which were all taken and have now travelled to more than 30 countries as part of The Reading Project. Part-commentary on the way we live today and part-experiment, the project saw stacks of books accompanied only by a simple note that encouraged passers-by to take a book for free, read it and on completing the book, email me.
From Reading Project — MADE BY SHERRY
Topic: 

The Future of Academic Style: Why Citations Still Matter in the Age of Google

Academic style, however, is another thing entirely. This is not to say that there is not “style” in academic writing, contrary to both popular belief and a lot of self-skewering academic jokes. Academic style is dull, jargon-filled, overly ornate, hubristic, timid, and generally bad, and no one says so more than academics themselves. Eric Hayot dug into this reflexive disdain in a recent essay in the journal Critical Inquiry, exploring the oddities of the ways that literary scholars seem to think about scholarly writing, pointing out that “it’s weird for a profession to have one theory of language for its objects and another for its products.” If scholars genuinely care about academic writing, Hayot suggests, we might begin by giving up our contempt for the aspects that make it uniquely our own.
From The Future of Academic Style: Why Citations Still Matter in the Age of Google - The Los Angeles Review of Books

Google BigQuery Public Datasets Includes GDELT HathiTrust and Internet Archive Book Data

Google BigQuery Public Datasets A public dataset is any dataset that is stored in BigQuery and made available to the general public. This page lists a special group of public datasets that Google BigQuery hosts for you to access and integrate into your applications. Google pays for the storage of these data sets and provides public access to the data via BigQuery. You pay only for the queries that you perform on the data (the first 1 TB per month is free, subject to query pricing details). It includes the GDELT HathiTrust and Internet Archive Book Data. This dataset contains 3.5 million digitized books stretching back two centuries, encompassing the complete English-language public domain collections of the Internet Archive (1.3M volumes) and HathiTrust (2.2 million volumes).
From Google BigQuery Public Datasets — Google Cloud Platform

Library Leadership for the Digital Age

To understand the demands for digital leadership, they conducted a comprehensive study of successful digital organizations, as defined by the extent to which they met their mission and achieved profitability. They found ten surprisingly consistent practices among these digital leaders, and for purposes of making the case for digital leadership in libraries; I am borrowing their ten descriptors of successful digital organizations as my headings and adding some interpretation to connect these practices from a broader context of organizational types specifically to academic libraries. . So what are these successful digital organizations doing? 1. Building a comprehensive digital strategy that can be shared broadly and repeatedly across the organization. 2. Embedding digital literacy across the organization. 3. Renewing focus on business fundamentals 4. Embracing the new rules of customer engagement. 5. Understanding global differences in how people access and use the Internet. 6. Developing the organization's analytical skills. 7. Focusing on the customer experience. 8. Developing leaders with skill sets that bridge traditional and digital expertise. 9. Paying close attention to cultural fit when recruiting digital leaders. 10. Understanding the motivations of top talent.
From

When our culture’s past is lost in the cloud

We tend to think of memory as a purely mental phenomenon, something ethereal that goes on inside our minds. That’s a misperception. Scientists are discovering that our senses and even our emotions play important roles in recollection and remembrance. Memory seems to have emerged in animals as a way to navigate and make sense of the world, and the faculty remains tightly tied to the physical body and its material surroundings. Just taking a walk can help unlock memory’s archives, studies have shown.
From When our culture’s past is lost in the cloud - The Washington Post
Topic: 

Librarians Who Lend Out More Than Books

Cool story from Mental Floss on many of the things that can be borrowed from a library other than books, tapes, etc. Among the objects for loan are neckties, kitchen equipment, guitars and puppets. Let us know if your library loans non-book objects in the comments section.
Topic: 

Don't mourn the loss of libraries-the internet has made them obsolete

We can, and should, still love books, but we should not be sentimental about libraries, because they are a means to an end. Access to information is now widely available via smartphones: three quarters of us have one, it was one in five in 2010. Library and information services have to be designed with that reality in mind. The true inequality remains access to books and reading. Children who grow up with and around books do better educationally than those who don’t. That is where childcare, nurseries and schools are the key. Libraries must adapt to the changing habits of adults, where there is a clear and irreversible trajectory there. But they must never abandon children. As Groucho Marx once said: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
From Don't mourn the loss of libraries – the internet has made them obsolete - Telegraph
Topic: 

Publicly Funded Research Should Be Publicly Available #FASTR

When you pay for federally funded research, you should be allowed to read it. That’s the simple premise of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (S.779, H.R.1477), which was just passed out of a major Senate committee. Under FASTR, every federal agency that spends more than $100 million on grants for research would be required to adopt an open access policy. Although the bill gives each agency some flexibility to develop a policy appropriate to the types of research it funds, each one would require that published research be available to the public no later than 12 months after publication.
From Tell Congress: It’s Time to Move FASTR | Electronic Frontier Foundation

How libraries can save the Internet of Things from the Web's centralized fate

Everyone thinks libraries have a positive role to play in the world, but that role differs greatly based on whether you’re talking to a librarian or a patron. Ask a patron what libraries have in common and they’d probably answer: they share books with people. Librarians give a different answer: they share a set of values. It’s time for libraries to step up to those values by supporting access to the Internet and taking the lead in fighting to keep the Internet open, free, and unowned.
From How libraries can save the Internet of Things from the Web's centralized fate / Boing Boing
Topic: 

Thinking Out Loud About Patron Privacy and Libraries #nisoprivacy | Librarian by Day

There are many reasons people relinquish person information, perhaps they don’t know how it will be used or they don’t have a choice or they do it willingly, none of this is an indication that expectations about privacy have changed. The argument that this behavior is an indication that people no longer expect privacy and therefore it is acceptable to collect and use data is deeply problematic. The idea of reasonable expectation of privacy reinforces the status quo and ignores the needs of minorities. It benefits large corporations and an elite few. Instead we should endeavor that policies, rules, and guidelines reflect what we want, not what we have come to expect.
From Thinking Out Loud About Patron Privacy and Libraries #nisoprivacy | Librarian by Day

Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study

A new study shows that knowledge of government surveillance causes people to self-censor their dissenting opinions online. The research offers a sobering look at the oft-touted "democratizing" effect of social media and Internet access that bolsters minority opinion. The study, published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, studied the effects of subtle reminders of mass surveillance on its subjects. The majority of participants reacted by suppressing opinions that they perceived to be in the minority. This research illustrates the silencing effect of participants’ dissenting opinions in the wake of widespread knowledge of government surveillance, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.
From Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study - The Washington Post
Topic: 

Defund libraries. Create a nation of fools.

Libraries are a final safety net. People use libraries to search for jobs, read newspapers and books, take computer classes and inform themselves. They’re a particularly valuable resource for educating children. An informed and educated population would see through the Koch brothers’ goals and fight back against their enrichment at the expense of the poor and middle classes. Defunding libraries can only serve to keep the population pliant and ignorant.
From Editorial: Defund libraries. Create a nation of fools. | The Platform | stltoday.com
Topic: 

Shakespeare’s skull probably isn’t in his grave

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
Topic: 

E-books are more than just digital facsimiles, and publishers need to realize that, pronto

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

The Little-Seen Maps and Stories of Women in Cartography

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
Topic: 

The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner

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
Topic: 

This Artist is Distributing Mini Libraries of Zines and Collages

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
Topic: 

Pages

Subscribe to LISNews: RSS Subscribe to LISNews: - All comments