Submitted by birdie on June 20, 2014 - 1:31pm
Ricardo Thornton to Join President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Yesterday, President Obama announced his intent to appoint DC Public Library employee Ricardo Thornton Sr. to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, PCPID.
Thornton has worked at the DC Public Library since 1978. He is a Member of Project ACTION!, a coalition of adults with disabilities. He is also a Member of the D.C. Developmental Disabilities Council, an actor with the theatre group Players Unlimited, and an international ambassador with the Special Olympics. Thornton and his wife Donna were the subjects of Profoundly Normal, a made-for-TV movie. In 1997, The Washingtonian magazine named Thornton a “Washingtonian of the Year.”
The PCPID is comprised of 34 members, including 19 citizen members and thirteen ex officio (Federal Government) members. Citizen members of the PCPID are appointed to serve for a maximum of two years.
To learn more about Ricardo, click here.
Submitted by birdie on June 20, 2014 - 10:14am
From Boing Boing:
In Kansas, 9-year-old Spencer Collins has been told by authorities that he must stop sharing books with his neighbors, and close the little free library in his yard. Its slogan was "take a book, leave a book," but city government is mostly about the taking.
Collins loves reading. He doesn't just dive into a book -- he swims through its pages. "It's kind of like I'm in a whole other world and I like that," he said. "I like adventure stories because I'm in the adventure and it's fun."
When he tried to share his love for books, it started a surprisingly frustrating adventure.
"When we got home from vacation, there was a letter from the city of Leawood saying that it was in code violation and it needed to be down by the 19th or we would receive a citation," said Spencer's mother, Sarah Collins. The Bookcase was considered an illegal accessory building."
Submitted by Blake on June 20, 2014 - 7:55am
Worldreader, headquartered in San Francisco but with offices in Barcelona, Accra, and Nairobi, was co-founded in 2009 by former Amazon.com executive David Risher and Colin McElwee. The genesis of the non-profit was predicated on two simple notions:
Everyone should have access to books.
Technological advances are quickly making digital books cheaper and easier to distribute in more scalable ways than physical books.
David and Colin spent a year or so preparing, gathered some Kindles, and in March 2010 went to Ghana to test the idea with twenty students.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 19, 2014 - 4:08pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 18, 2014 - 9:12am
Submitted by birdie on June 17, 2014 - 9:09pm
From USA Today, an interview with Romance Writers of America's Librarian of 2014, Sean Gilmartin.
Interviewer: From your bio on RWA's website: Growing up, (Sean) would read his mother's romance novels, partially for the juicy parts, and knew that one day he would write a romance himself.
Why romance novels? What about them appeals to you personally?
Sean: Love is a complicated and strange thing. I have always been drawn to the bond that love creates between people, whether that is romantic or not. I am fascinated by love that blossoms unexpectedly. To have a rough and tough character who vows to never open his or her heart, only to have it stolen by the last person they expected … ah, it gets me every time!
As a teen librarian I keep up-to-date with YA novels and many of them have some form of romance in them. If you think about popular songs or movies, there is usually some aspect of a loving relationship between two characters. It's almost inescapable. When I read romance I get hopeful and happy because two people are finding a love that completes them. I find it so satisfying when I finish a novel and everybody lives happily ever after.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 17, 2014 - 8:35am
Cites & Insights 14:7 (July 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i7.pdf
This special issue does something I don't believe has ever been done before (and is unlikely ever to be done again): looks at every journal from every publisher on Beall's lists to see whether they're plausible predators--whether they could reasonably attract any sensible author.
Full notice and commentary here.
Submitted by birdie on June 16, 2014 - 1:25pm
From the Guardian:
There is sometimes a wistful note in Barack Obama's voice when he speaks in public these days. The US president makes regular references to his "remaining time in office" and notes that there are just two and a half years to finish the work that will define his legacy. That legacy will find a physical home in his presidential library, the museum-archives America's leaders build after leaving office to stand as a testament to their time as the world's most powerful man.
Mr Obama's library is still years from completion but every step in its planning process serves as another reminder that his presidency is reaching the beginning of its end. Monday is the deadline for cities to submit their proposals to be a host site for what will one day be known as the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
Submitted by Blake on June 16, 2014 - 7:15am
Paperback Trading Post will close next weekend after nearly four decades in business.
By next Sunday evening, the store’s old, metal cash register will have rung up its final sale.
Gerry Maciuba ran the shop for 38 years, mostly in the first floor of his home, which he dubbed “the big yellow house on Seneca.”
He suffered from muscular dystrophy and died on Jan. 5 at age 66.
Rose Maciuba, 62, walked around the store Saturday morning, rattling off all the genres offered. Tens of thousands of used paperbacks fill wooden shelves stretching from floor to ceiling.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 13, 2014 - 5:49pm
If there’s still room on the list of “things I didn’t go to library school to do,” I’d like to add riding a bookcycle around town. Special training in peddling a heavy bicycle isn’t something they should add to the library school curriculum.
But that’s at least a realistic way to get library services out to people who might need them, especially those children who don’t read over the summer and fall behind.
If only all those children were being sent to enriching summer camps. That’s what rich people do for their children, after all.
What rich people aren’t doing much of these days is giving money to libraries, but at least one person thinks they should.
Full commentary by the Annoyed Librarian
Submitted by birdie on June 13, 2014 - 12:20pm
Submitted by birdie on June 13, 2014 - 10:13am
In a New York Times review by William Grimes, entitled "A History of Awesome in One Room", the JP Morgan Library's new exhibit from Oxford's Bodleian Library is described as featuring "some of the loftiest texts ever recorded"; the poetry of Sappho, the Magna Carta, the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, Euclid’s Elements, Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Shelley's Frankenstein and an illustrated score by Felix Mendelssohn.
"Marks of Genius” works hard at its theme. Stephen Hebron, the Bodleian’s curator of the exhibition, carefully traces the changing meanings of genius since antiquity in a concise but wide-ranging catalog essay. The exhibit runs through mid-September at The Morgan Library.
Submitted by birdie on June 12, 2014 - 4:05pm
From Marketplace.org: I was at a dinner table about a year ago, right after the first Edward Snowden leaks, when I heard for the first time an argument I've heard many times since.
"Why should I care? I'm not doing anything wrong." This appears to be the opinion of the majority when it comes to the idea of the government using surveillance to fight terrorism. By Pew Research's estimates, 56 percent of Americans support the government listening in while it fights the "bad guys." And it has been this way for something like 12 years -- right after the September 11th attacks and the beginning of the war on terror.
All of this thinking about surveillance, government, and legislation has also reminded me of a chapter in my own history that I haven't thought of in a while. During my junior year of college in 2003, I worked in the D.C. office of a moderate Republican Congressman. My main job was to answer constituent correspondence with letters that represented the Congressman's policy positions, which he would then sign. One day near the end of my spring semester, I had an assignment I couldn't complete: I was supposed to answer a constituent letter about a proposed expansion of the Patriot Act. The letter had been sent, and signed, by librarians throughout the Congressman's home state who were opposed to the Patriot Act's allowance of officials to access library records. They were asking the Congressman to oppose any extension or expansion of the legislation, and really to roll it back entirely. As I was preparing to tell the librarians that the congressman fully supported the legislation, I made a discovery. One of the librarian signatures on the constituent letter was familiar to me. It belonged to my mother.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 12, 2014 - 12:14am
The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.
Submitted by Blake on June 11, 2014 - 3:34pm
At the core of Pollen is an argument:
First, that digital books should be the best books we’ve ever had. So far, they’re not even close.
Second, that because digital books are software, an author shouldn’t think of a book as merely data. The book is a program.
Third, that the way we make digital books better than their predecessors is by exploiting this programmability.
That’s what Pollen is for.
Submitted by birdie on June 11, 2014 - 2:43pm
Laurence Copel, youth outreach librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans, is the inaugural recipient of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. On June 29, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) will present her with a $3,000 check, $1,000 travel expenses, a certificate and "an odd object from Handler's private collection" during the American Library Association's Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
"Copel is recognized for her extraordinary efforts to provide books to young readers of the Ninth Ward," said ALA president Barbara Stripling, adding that she "is a brilliant example of how librarians can serve as change agents. Her leadership and commitment show the vital role that librarians and libraries play in energizing and engaging the communities that they serve."
Known to the children in the Lower Ninth Ward as the Book Lady, Copel moved to New Orleans from New York City in 2010 and opened a library in her home through self-funding and small donations while living on $350 a week. She also converted her bicycle to a mobile book carrier allowing her to reach children and families that could not travel to her home. Story via Shelf-Awareness.com.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 11, 2014 - 10:03am
A U.S. appeals court says a digital library of more than 10 million scanned and searchable texts amounts to "fair use," ruling against a group of authors who claimed copyright infringement.
More info here
Submitted by Blake on June 10, 2014 - 10:12am
“Anyway,” I said, when we were finished, “Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote an ornery letter to his editor complaining about popular fiction. He went on and on about all the ‘scribbling’ women who sold hundreds of thousands of copies while he sold none. He thought they were dumb simply by virtue of being popular. Don’t you understand?” I scooped a lock of hair behind her ear in a way that said I would support her if she decided to have our baby. “You don’t gain credibility by being widely read, Ruth, you gain credibility by being accepted by rich, white, men.”
Submitted by Blake on June 10, 2014 - 9:29am
"I'm curious whether there are good prospects for 'time capsule encryption,' one of several ways of storing information that renders it inaccessible to anyone until certain conditions — such as the passage of time — are met? Libraries and archives could offer such technology as part of accepting papers and manuscripts, especially in the wake of the 'Belfast Project' situation, where a library promised confidentiality for accounts of the Troubles in North Ireland, and then found itself amidst subpoenas from law enforcement looking to solve long-cold cases. But the principle could apply to any person or company thinking that there's a choice between leaving information exposed to leakage, or destroying it entirely. Some suggested solutions are very much out of the box."
Submitted by Blake on June 10, 2014 - 9:27am
Indeed, Academia.edu, PLOS, and Arxiv.org are doing something remarkable: They’re mounting a full-frontal assault on a multi-billion-dollar industry and replacing it with something that makes much, much less money.
They’re far more efficient and fairer, and they vastly increase the openness and availability of research information. I believe this will be nothing but good for the human race in the long run. But I’m sure the executives of Elsevier, Springer, and others are weeping into their lattes as they watch this industry evaporate.
Maybe they can get together with newspaper executives to commiserate.