Librarian And Information Science News

Scrawled Insults and Epiphanies by Anthony Grafton

Marginalia are on the march. The New Yorker reported this fall on Oxford’s Marginalia Group, which “now has two thousand five hundred and three members, making marginalia to Oxford something like what a cappella is to Princeton.” They specialize in finding the snarkiest of the notes that generations of Oxford students have entered in their assigned books. The creator of the Oxford group, April Pierce, noted that the great libraries of London also house books full of readers’ written reactions.

From Scrawled Insults and Epiphanies by Anthony Grafton | The Gallery | The New York Review of Books

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University hiring: If you didn't get your Ph.D. at an elite university, good luck finding an academic job.

While elite universities, with their deep resources and demanding coursework, surely produce great professors, the data suggest that faculty hiring isn’t a simple meritocracy. The top schools generate far more professors than even just slightly less prestigious schools. For example, in history, the top 10 schools produce three times as many future professors as those ranked 11 through 20.

From University hiring: If you didn't get your Ph.D. at an elite university, good luck finding an academic job.

E-books proving costly for Richmond Public Library - News - Richmond News

Rising salaries, electronic book costs and a steep decline in book fines are putting financial pressure on the Richmond Public Library.

On Monday, the city’s finance committee approved a $200,000 temporary boost to the library’s collections budget, but not before questioning its practices.

“The whole idea of late charges wasn’t to make money or revenue. It was to ensure the material is fairly distributed. But then you become dependent on it,” said Buss, who told councillors there are opportunities to make money via 3D printing.

From E-books proving costly for Richmond Public Library - News - Richmond News

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Timeline.com - Is the Library Really Dead?

THE BRIEF
Libraries are in rough shape these days. Long treasured as bastions of knowledge, they’re being assailed on two fronts: funding cuts and technological disruption. Why borrow a book when you’ve got the Internet and a Kindle?

But rumors of the library’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The challenges that libraries face have spurred their radical reinvention as makerspaces and digital archives built to last thousands of years. 

The libraries of the future will preserve and transmit knowledge as always. You just might not recognize them.

From Timeline.com - Is the Library Really Dead?

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The most popular books at some of New York’s public libraries

But other titles were less predictable — a book on salesmanship was tops in Hell’s Kitchen, zombies are big in The Bronx, and a book about the infamous Kitty Genovese murder in Queens was the most checked out in Great Kills, Staten Island.
Here are the most popular books at a selection of library branches, based on January 2015 data for the NYPL

From The most popular books at some of New York’s public libraries | New York Post

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Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in man's attic

An historian has unearthed the first unseen Sherlock Holmes story in more than 80 years that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to help save a town bridge.
Walter Elliot, 80, found the 1,300-word tale starring the famous detective in a collection of short stories written for a local bazaar.

From Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in man's attic - Telegraph

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Waterstones' Source Code Has Reading List for Developers

Here’s an unusual way of recommending books to visitors – British chain Waterstones has just overhauled its website and it’s hidden a reading list for developers in the source code.

From Waterstones' Source Code Has Reading List for Developers

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San Jose: Public library gets $35k for online privacy literacy prototype

"This is a new direction," said Erin Berman, community programs administrator for technology and innovation for San Jose Public Library. "We've done programmatic things before, but we're trying to broaden the scope and have a real understanding of privacy."

From San Jose: Public library gets $35k for online privacy literacy prototype - San Jose Mercury News

Presidential libraries are a costly scam

That's a perfect metaphor for presidential libraries, which memorialize our leaders — and their often-monumental egos — in brick, concrete and stone. Like the ancients, presidents start planning these shrines before their rule comes to an end. So early this year, President Barack Obama will decree whether his own library will be in Chicago, New York or Hawaii.

From Presidential libraries are a costly scam | Tampa Bay Times

Presidential libraries are a costly scam

That's a perfect metaphor for presidential libraries, which memorialize our leaders — and their often-monumental egos — in brick, concrete and stone. Like the ancients, presidents start planning these shrines before their rule comes to an end. So early this year, President Barack Obama will decree whether his own library will be in Chicago, New York or Hawaii.

From Presidential libraries are a costly scam | Tampa Bay Times

Lost Dr. Seuss book coming out this year

This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!

From What Pet Should I Get? | Dr. Seuss Books | SeussvilleR

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Breathe a Small Sigh of Relief for the Contents of Middle Eastern Libraries

From The New York Times Arts Blog:

LONDON — At a moment when libraries and archives in the Middle East face threats of damage and destruction from war and ideology, the British Library has announced that it has now made four million images from its Endangered Archives program available online.

The initiative, established in 2004 and supported by the Arcadia Fund, has so far financed 246 projects in 78 countries, attempting to preserve manuscripts, records, newspapers, photographs, sound archives and even rock inscriptions that are at risk of loss or deterioration.

“What’s at stake is what beliefs and biases will shape the way history is told,” Holland Cotter wrote in The New York Times in a 2012 article about the Great Mosque in Djenné, Mali, and the Endangered Archives program’s attempt to preserve and digitize the thousands of Arabic manuscripts housed in the mosque and in the city.

The top three most desirable jobs to have in Britain today are: author, librarian and academic

New YouGov research reveals that the most desired jobs in Britain are not what you might expect; they are not even the most reliably well paid ones. Instead of actors and musicians, it seems that an aura of prestige still surrounds the quiet, intellectual life enjoyed by authors, librarians and academics.

From YouGov | Bookish Britain: literary jobs are the most desirable

Is Google's algorithm making the web stupid?

In Is Google making the web stupid?, Seth Godin suggests that the declining prominence of organic results in Google searches is significantly to blame:

If you want traffic, Google’s arc makes clear to publishers, you’re going to have to pay for it.

Which is their right, of course, but that means that the ad tactics on every other site have to get ever more aggressive, because search traffic is harder to earn with good content. And even more germane to my headline, it means that content publishers are moving toward social and viral traffic, because they can no longer count on search to work for them. It’s this addiction to social that makes the web dumber. If you want tonnage, lower your standards.

(Don’t miss the cited Aaron Wall article as well.)

From Google and blogs: “Shit.” – Marco.org

Wiki creator reinvents collaboration, again

This new wiki is composed of a server and a client written in CoffeeScript. The server is a minimal persistence engine that's designed for scenarios ranging from laboratory control systems to academic server farms. The pages it stores contain only JSON, rendered by the client, which does most of the work. Two JSON objects comprise a page: the story (a set of items) and the journal (which remembers how items were added, edited, moved, or deleted). You add items to the page by means of plug-ins that inject paragraphs of plain text, HTML, or markdown, as well as images, video, equations, raw data, charts, and computations. 

From Wiki creator reinvents collaboration, again | InfoWorld

Why science is so hard to believe

It’s their very detachment, what you might call the cold-bloodedness of science, that makes science the killer app. It’s the way science tells us the truth rather than what we’d like the truth to be. Scientists can be as dogmatic as anyone else — but their dogma is always wilting in the hot glare of new research. In science it’s not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe.

From Why science is so hard to believe - The Washington Post

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Google's Secret Weapon In The Battle For The Internet Of Things: Academia

Google Research, Google’s portal to the academic world, is making major investments right now, building up an innovation and research program dedicated to the nascent collection of products and technologies collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT). It's created a research grant program called Open Web of Things to attract talent to the company, as well as to fund and give technical support to promising research groups in academia. The application process is now closed, and Google will choose the recipients by this spring.

From Google's Secret Weapon In The Battle For The Internet Of Things: Academia | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

1 Billion Data Records Stolen in 2014

Data breaches increased 49% with almost 1 billion data records compromised in 1,500 attacks in 2014 – a 78% increase in the number of data records either lost or stolen in 2013, a new report by digital security firm Gemalto said. The Netherlands-based firm said about 575 million records were compromised in 2013.

Identity theft was by far the largest type of attack, with 54% of the breaches involving the theft of personal data, up from 23% in 2013.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/02/12/1-billion-data-records-stolen-in-2014-says-gemalto/

Why to Teach Dead White Authors, Even During Black History Month - The Atlantic

I went on to teach Shakespeare’s Othello, Emerson’s Self-Reliance, and other classics with the same fervor. Although James didn’t always seem engaged, many of my students were. So when you are determining what to teach this Black History Month, by all means, teach Baldwin and Wright and Ellison and Hurston and Walker and Hughes and Morrison and Brooks and Angelou—but don’t do so in isolation. Teach Lincoln on his birthday this February, and read from Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama this President’s Day. Black history, after all, is American and world history.

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I Still Want People To Brag About Their Great Library Experience

That got me wondering about a great library experience. We librarians would always wish for our library-using community members to tell their friends and family – especially the ones who don’t use the library – about their (hopefully great) library experience. Word of mouth marketing can’t be beat – right. How do other people react to those library stories? If librarians better understood the impact of people sharing their library stories would it change anything about the way we approach the delivery of the library experience?


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