Pedalling books, Toronto friends share their love of reading with a mobile library

In the summer, they cycle the streets of Toronto with 18 kilograms of books in tow. The titles find their way from their bike to the hands of readers in city parks. In the winter, the volumes live in the cosy confines of a neighbourhood bar, where the pair leaves a small library and hosts a monthly reading series.

From Pedalling books, Toronto friends share their love of reading with a mobile library | Toronto Star

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A Brief History of Books That Do Not Exist

I have spent many pleasant nights imagining ghost books, those phantom texts of possibility and wonder. Their unprintable Dewey Decimal classifications divide them into (at the very least) three basic categories: books that can only be read once, books that cannot be read in one life time and the largest, aforementioned group, books that don’t exist.

From A Brief History of Books That Do Not Exist | Literary Hub

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The Best Facts I Learned from Books in 2015

Kathryn Schulz: "Last year, I learned a piece of information so startling that I spent months repeating it to anyone who would listen. It came from my colleague Elizabeth Kolbert’s book “The Sixth Extinction,” and it is this: sixty-six million years ago, when the asteroid that ended the cretaceous period struck the Yucatán Peninsula, dinosaurs in Canada had roughly two minutes to live.

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Where in the world has Almina Carnarvon been?

The Geisler Library at Central College in Pella, Iowa added the book "The life and secrets of Almina Carnarvon : a candid biography of the 5th Countess of Carnarvon of Tutankhamun" fame to their collection in August 2012. It has checked out via interlibrary loan 11 times in 3 years. The book has a subject connection with the popular television show Downton Abbey and that is likely the cause of some of the demand for the book.

One of the librarians made a map showing the travels of the book:
http://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=GeislerILL&tripid=738041

The librarian that made the map passed on this additional comment - We joke that this book is out of Iowa more than it is in it.

WorldCat record for the copy held by the Geisler Library - http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/800850742

Grant Opportunities For CollectionSpace

CollectionSpace is pleased to announce a mini-grant opportunity for new adopters, implementers, and community leaders.

Are you ready to implement and need some assistance? Would an additional set of hands help to guide you through the planning process?  Is there a project you have in mind that would build capacity in your community around CollectionSpace?  Are you looking to use CollectionSpace but don’t have access to a technical team?

Mini-grants of up to $7,500 for single institutions/collections and up to $25,000 for collaborations among organizations and/or collections are now available.

Questions? Email [email protected] or attend our November walkthrough, where we’ll answer any and all questions about the grant. More information about the walkthroughs can be found on our community calendar.

From Grant Opportunities | CollectionSpace

New York Public Library Invites a Deep Digital Dive

Most items in the public-domain release have already been visible at the library’s digital collections portal. The difference is that the highest-quality files will now be available for free and immediate download, along with the programming interfaces, known as APIs, that allow developers to use them more easily.

Crucially — if wonkily — users will also have access to information from the library’s internal rights database, letting them know which items are free of what the library is carefully calling “known United States copyright restrictions.”

From New York Public Library Invites a Deep Digital Dive - The New York Times

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Neal Stephenson - Why I Am a Sociomediapath

I feel that now is the time when I should devote as many of my waking hours as possible to doing what I'm good at, and to minimize time spent reading comment threads and viewing pictures of other people's cats. So far, it's been working well; I completed SEVENEVES recently and have three other novel projects in the works. Somewhat perversely, however, using social media has now become part of a novelist's job. It's one thing if you stay off social media altogether and cultivate an identity as a Luddite or recluse. But if you have a public Facebook page, Google+ identity, and Twitter feed, as I do, and you don't actively use them to talk about and promote your work, it strikes people as being a little weird--it sends a mixed message.

From Neal Stephenson - Social Media

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Authors Guild Petitions Supreme Court to Rule on Google Copying Millions of Books Without Permission

Today, the Authors Guild, the nation’s largest and oldest society of professional writers, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States requesting that it review a lower court ruling that allowed Google, Inc. to copy millions of copyright-protected books without asking for authors’ permission or paying them. At stake, the Guild claims, is the right of authors to determine what becomes of their works in the digital age. Read the full press release here.

From Authors Guild Petitions Supreme Court to Rule on Google Copying Millions of Books Without Permission - The Authors Guild

American Libraries Edits Upset Authors

We probably do not need to spell out why we are disappointed by this but, just for the record, we have two major problems:

These were not superficial changes and the editors at American Libraries should have spoken to us before publishing them.
More substantially, we feel it is grossly inappropriate for a magazine that is supposed to represent libraries and librarians to insinuate a vendor’s perspective directly into an article without the authors’ knowledge or permission. This is especially true when the vendor has a very obvious financial motive for being part of the conversation.
Let us state for the record that we did not speak to anyone at Gale/Cengage about this article, we had no role in developing or carrying out the survey, we did not see those quotes prior to publication and would not have included them in our article if we had.

Importantly, our problem is not with Gale/Cengage but with the way American Libraries is handling their relationship with them in the context of the article we wrote.

From Um … about that American Libraries article we wrote | Stewart Varner

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Should scientific papers be anonymous?

Hanel, a psychologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, posted a manuscript recently calling for anonymity in science articles. More than that, Hanel suggests stripping identifiers from virtually all academic output: doing away with name-based citations, CVs on researchers’ web sites, author names on book chapters, titles on academic journals, and more.The immodest proposal — made available on arXiv, a preprint server, before peer review — is akin to destroying the academic village in order to rid it of pests. But while some of what Hanel recommends is impossible at best, and perhaps even counterproductive, his overarching point seems pretty solid. When it comes to protecting the scientific literature from bias, the safeguards that academics now use are sorely inadequate.­

From Should scientific papers be anonymous? - STAT

How ‘Do Not Track’ Ended Up Going Nowhere

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was also a member of the task force, took matters into its own hands. It released a final version of a free plugin called the Privacy Badger for Firefox and Chrome browsers in August. Whenever a user turns on Do Not Track within the browser setting, Privacy Badger acts as an enforcer — it scans any website to determine if the publisher has agreed to honor this privacy request. If it can’t find a policy, it scans for third-party scripts that appear to be tracking — and blocks them.

“At the core of our project is the protection of users’ reading habits and browsing history,” the EFF wrote in introducing Privacy Badger. “And a conviction that this is personal information that should not be accessed without consent.”

From How ‘Do Not Track’ Ended Up Going Nowhere | Re/code

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Scholarly HTML: interoperable exchange of scholarly articles

Abstract
Scholarly HTML is a domain-specific data format built entirely on open standards that enables the interoperable exchange of scholarly articles in a manner that is compatible with off-the-shelf browsers. This document describes how Scholarly HTML works and how it is encoded as a document. It is, itself, written in Scholarly HTML.

From Scholarly HTML — Markedly Smart

Why I Miss Old Fashioned Library Cards

Was looking at the back of the book to see who had previously checked it out an invasion of their privacy?  The Kobe Shimbun had discovered Murakami’s reading when the old books with their library slips were being discarded.  That was not intrusive hacking but something closer to dumpster diving.

That information about readers still exists but is now hidden within the library, its access confined to those who operate the check-out system.  The system is more efficient but I miss seeing how many readers preceded me.  My reading is a bit more isolated as a result, the literary equivalent of Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone.  But my reading choices are no longer public knowledge.

From History News Network | Why I Miss Old Fashioned Library Cards

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Rhizome Awarded $600,000 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build Webrecorder

Rhizome is thrilled to announce today that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the institution a two-year, $600,000 grant to underwrite the comprehensive technical development of Webrecorder, an innovative tool to archive the dynamic web. The grant is the largest Rhizome has ever received and arrives at the start of its 20th anniversary year in 2016.

The web once delivered documents, like HTML pages. Today, it delivers complex software customized for every user, like individualized social media feeds. Current digital preservation solutions were built for that earlier time and cannot adequately cope with what the web has become. Webrecorder, in contrast, is a human-centered archival tool to create high-fidelity, interactive, contextual archives of social media and other dynamic content, such as embedded video and complex javascript, addressing our present and future.

From Rhizome

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Sacramento’s ‘Library of Things’ Lets You Borrow GoPros, Sewing Machines, and Ukuleles

 The program makes great sense in urban communities, which thrive on publicly connected spaces and resources. Other cities have similar services—the Berkeley Public Library, for instance, created a Tool Lending Library stocked with weed eaters, hedge trimmers, demolition hammers, and electric plumbing snakes.

Reddit users discussed the idea in the Today I Learned community. They noted some of the non-book items they can check out at their own local libraries.

From Sacramento’s ‘Library of Things’ Lets You Borrow GoPros, Sewing Machines, and Ukuleles | Upvoted

(thanks little_wow)

Will Future Historians Consider These Days The Digital Dark Ages?

We are awash in a sea of information, but how to historians sift through the mountain of data? In the future, computer programs will be unreadable, and therefore worthless, to historians.

From Will Future Historians Consider These Days The Digital Dark Ages? : NPR

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It’s 2016 already, how are websites still screwing up these user experiences?!

We’re a few days into the new year and I’m sick of it already. This is fundamental web usability 101 stuff that plagues us all and makes our online life that much more painful than it needs to be. None of these practices – none of them – is ever met with “Oh how nice, this site is doing that thing”. Every one of these is absolutely driving the web into a dismal abyss of frustration and much ranting by all.

And before anyone retorts with “Oh you can just install this do-whacky plugin which rewrites the page or changes the behaviour”, no, that’s entirely not the point. Not only does it not solve a bunch of the problems, it shouldn’t damn well have to! How about we all just agree to stop making the web a less enjoyable place and not do these things from the outset?

From Troy Hunt: It’s 2016 already, how are websites still screwing up these user experiences?!

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X-Rated at the Library: The NYPL's erotica collection

X-Rated at the Library
The New York Public Library’s erotica collection (yes, it has one) includes seedy Times Square ephemera, early transgender magazines and copies of Playboy.

From X-Rated at the Library - Video - NYTimes.com

Top 10 Research Tips for a Great School Year from CIA Librarians

On the Central Intelligence Agency website , the fifteenth most popular story of 2015 was Top 10 Research Tips for a Great School Year from CIA Librarians, https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2015-feature....

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w3id.org - Permanent Identifiers for the Web

The purpose of this website is to provide a secure, permanent URL re-direction service for Web applications. This service is run by the W3C Permanent Identifier Community Group.

Web applications that deal with Linked Data often need to specify and use URLs that are very stable. They utilize services such as this one to ensure that applications using their URLs will always be re-directed to a working website. This website operates like a switchboard, connecting requests for information with the true location of the information on the Web. The switchboard can be reconfigured to point to a new location if the old location stops working.

There are a growing group of organizations that have pledged responsibility to ensure the operation of this website. These organizations are: Digital Bazaar, 3 Round Stones, OpenLink Software, Applied Testing and Technology, Openspring, and Bosatsu Consulting. They are responsible for all administrative tasks associated with operating the service. The social contract between these organizations gives each of them full access to all information required to maintain and operate the website. The agreement is setup such that a number of these companies could fail, lose interest, or become unavailable for long periods of time without negatively affecting the operation of the site.

From w3id.org - Permanent Identifiers for the Web

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