First lady: Libraries, museums are 'necessities,' not extras

"Whether you're bringing virtual classes in STEM education to remote areas and inner-city communities, or teaching our children about their Native American and African-American heritage, so many of you are working to close the heartbreaking opportunity gaps that limit the horizons of too many people in this country," Mrs. Obama said.

From First lady: Libraries, museums are 'necessities,' not extras - SFGate


What Privacy Rights Do You Have At The Library?

Take a moment to think about the last time you visited the library. Did you visit to check out a book? Or to use the Internet?

It’s becoming more common to the visit for the latter — a 2009 study found that almost half of those living below the poverty line access the web via their local public library.

But, in the age of data collection by both federal agencies and private companies, some librarians say it’s increasingly difficult to maintain patron privacy and intellectual freedom.

From What Privacy Rights Do You Have At The Library? | Radio Boston


Fantasy must shake off the tyranny of the mega-novel

Series novels are common in many genres of fiction, none more so than crime, mysteries and thrillers. The formula of a lone detective investigating a new murder in each book has changed little in the decades between Agatha Christie and Lee Child. Serials, which tell one ongoing story with the same cast of characters that continues through each volume, are considerably rarer. But it’s exactly this serial format that has come to dominate the fantasy genre.

From Fantasy must shake off the tyranny of the mega-novel | Books | The Guardian


Life Is Triggering. The Best Literature Should Be, Too.

That’s why one of college’s most important functions is to learn how to hear and deal with challenging ideas. Cocooning oneself in a Big Safe Space for four years gets it exactly backwards. “Safety” has been transformed by colleges from “protection from physical harm” to “protection from disturbing ideas.”

From Life Is Triggering. The Best Literature Should Be, Too. | The New Republic

The internet is running out of room – but we can save it

The meeting sparked headlines warning of a "full" internet and the potential need for data rationing, but the reality is more nuanced. The crunch is real, caused by fast growth of online media consumption through the likes of Netflix and Youtube, but physics and engineering can help us escape it. The internet just needs a few tweaks.

From The internet is running out of room – but we can save it - tech - 15 May 2015 - New Scientist

Rare book experts join forces to stop tome raiders

From Rare book experts join forces to stop tome raiders | Books | The Guardian Lawyers and librarians, booksellers and auctioneers will descend on the British Library next month for a major conference whose title – The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril – conveys the seriousness of the problem.


The race to preserve disappearing data

THE IRONY of Cerf’s concern is that the digital age is anything but dark. We are in the era of big data, exploding with exponentially more bits and bytes each year. By one back-of the-envelope estimate, the number of digital photos we snap in two minutes exceeds all the photographs taken during the entire 19th century. Faster computing speeds; sensors on our phones, cars, and transit systems; and falling costs of technologies to sequence genomes and launch satellites contribute to the data deluge. We’re entering the era of the “Internet of Things,” in which virtually any object or organism on the planet could one day collect and transmit data.

From The race to preserve disappearing data - Ideas - The Boston Globe


Obama Foundation Announces South Side as Home for Library

The Barack Obama Foundation selects Chicago as home for future Barack Obama Presidential Center. The President and First Lady reflect on their roots in Chicago's South Side and announce plans to bring the future Obama Library, Museum and Foundation home to Chicago.

From Obama Foundation Announces South Side as Home for Library - YouTube

Impact of the Library

In most Buffalo neighborhoods, getting listed on the National Register opens up tax credits for the restoration of old buildings, both residential and commercial. Property owners typically depend on professional architectural historians to write National Register nominations. In turn, professional architectural historians depend on the Library’s collection for historical evidence, visual and otherwise, to make the case for National Register eligibility. We have the region’s largest collection of period photographs, atlases, and architectural drawings.

From Impact of the Library |


Librarians Versus the NSA

Macrina, 30, is not your grandmother's librarian. She has a kaleidoscopic illustration from a Mother Goose book tattooed on her arm, occasionally poses for selfies in red lipstick, and wears a small piece of hardware called a security token around her neck like a pendant. Macrina has worked as a public librarian for nearly a decade, but she's not shelving books; she's fighting Big Brother.

From Librarians Versus the NSA | The Nation

NSA phone surveillance not authorized: U.S. appeals court

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday revived a challenge to a controversial National Security Agency program that collected the records of millions of Americans' phone calls, saying the program was not authorized by Congress.

From NSA phone surveillance not authorized: U.S. appeals court | Reuters


What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS EFF

Librarians have long understood that to provide access to knowledge it is crucial to protect their patrons' privacy. Books can provide information that is deeply unpopular. As a result, local communities and governments sometimes try to ban the most objectionable ones. Librarians rightly see it as their duty to preserve access to books, especially banned ones. In the US this defense of expression is an integral part of our First Amendment rights.

From What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS | Electronic Frontier Foundation


more Google searches now take place on mobile devices than on computers

Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.1 This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach people throughout all the new touchpoints of a consumer’s path to purchase.

From Inside AdWords: Building for the next moment


How serious a loss was the burning of the Library of Alexandria to human knowledge? : AskHistorians

I know this is a pretty open-ended question, but I think what I'm really trying to get at is whether the meme of a tragic and dramatic blow to the stockpile of accumulated human knowledge is really accurate, whether it's accurate in a limited context (i.e. it sucked for Greece but didn't matter much in the long run), or whether it's a total myth and really nothing too critical or unique was lost due to duplication/transportation/etc.

From How serious a loss was the burning of the Library of Alexandria to human knowledge? REddit : AskHistorians


World's most unusual libraries - Boing Boing

Public libraries are a cornerstone of modern civilization, yet like the books in them, libraries face an uncertain future in an increasingly digital world. Undaunted, librarians around the globe are thinking up astonishing ways of reaching those in reading need, whether by bike in Chicago, boat in Laos, or donkey in Colombia. Improbable Libraries showcases a wide range of unforgettable, never-before-seen images and interviews with librarians who are overcoming geographic, economic, and political difficulties to bring the written word to an eager audience.

From World's most unusual libraries - Boing Boing


NPR Asks Do We Really Need Libraries?

"Public libraries are arguably more important today than ever before," Marx says. "Their mission is still the same — to provide free access to information to all people. The way people access information has changed, but they still need the information to succeed, and libraries are providing that."

Or as Andrew Carnegie said many years ago: "A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert."

From Do We Really Need Libraries? : NPR History Dept. : NPR


Mark Twain stories, 150 years old, uncovered by Berkeley scholars

Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley have uncovered and authenticated a cache of stories written by Mark Twain when he was a 29-year-old newspaperman in San Francisco. Many of the stories are 150 years old.

From Mark Twain stories, 150 years old, uncovered by Berkeley scholars | Books | The Guardian


Cites & Insights June 2015 (15:6) available

Cites & Insights 15:6 (June 2015) is
now available for downloading at

The print-oriented two-column version is 24 pages long. For those
reading online or on an e-device, or who wish to follow links in the
issue, a 46-page single-column 6x9" version is available at

The June 2015 issue includes:
The Front: Making It Easy, Making It Hard: A Personal Note on
Counting Articles pp. 1-4

This oddity offers some notes on OA publishers and
journals that make it easier--or harder--than usual to find out how
many articles appear in a journal over a given year, from the utter
simplicity of MDPI, SciELO and j-stage to the utter...well, read the

Intersections: Who Needs Open Access, Anyway? pp. 4-24

Noting and discussing a range of commentaries by people
who are either "I'm all for OA, but..." (where the
but is the most important word in that phrase) or
discussing ways in which others attempt to undermine OA: clearing out
two years of "oa-anti" tags.


Aren’t libraries already doing that?

Kids have access to thousands of free books and ebooks from their public libraries right now in the United States. Think of what we could do if we worked together to invest in ebooks and our existing infrastructure instead of building yet another app and hoping that this time the things we promised would come true.
From Aren’t libraries already doing that? — The Message — Medium

A Hearty Laugh for Work Weary Librarians

After a long day of answering questions and serving up information to the public (students, etc), a librarian could use a laugh. So pick up a copy of Roz Warren's OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES: A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR (HOPress, 2015) and see what might be between the covers that tickles your funnybone.

Here's an excerpt from one story: Freeze! It's the Library Police [a librarian's fantasy of recovering stolen books]

"Open up bitch! It's LIBRARY SQUAD!

Library Squad! A group of enraged middle-aged librarians. We're brainy, we're relentless. We'll hunt you down. We'll never give up. We know the Dewey Decimal Sysytem and we're not afraid to use it. And we always get our book.

And if you resist? We'll shush you. Permanently."

In addition to her library duties at the Bala Cynwyd Library right outside Philadelphia, Roz Warren writes forThe New York Times, The Funny Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Jewish Forward and The Huffington Post. And she‘s been featured on the Today Show. Our Bodies, Our Shelves is her thirteenth humor book. Years ago, Roz left the practice of law to take a job at her local public library “because I was tired of making so damn much money.” She doesn't regret it.

Our Bodies, Our Shelves, ISBN 9780692406465


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