Submitted by Blake on December 29, 2015 - 5:12pm
Most entries, but not all. Disturbingly, all of the worst entries I have ever read have been in the sciences. Wander off the big ideas in the sciences, and you're likely to run into entries that are excessively technical and provide almost no context, making them effectively incomprehensible.
This failure is a minor problem for Wikipedia, as most of the entries people rely on are fine. But I'd argue that it's a significant problem for science. The problematic entries reinforce the popular impression that science is impossible to understand and isn't for most people—they make science seem elitist. And that's an impression that we as a society really can't afford.
From Editorial: Wikipedia fails as an encyclopedia, to science’s detriment | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on December 29, 2015 - 4:54pm
The best way to pass along books for future generations to value is give them today. They do this better in Iceland than anywhere. An online article by Giulia Trentacosti described Iceland’s Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas book flood,” festival. The majority of Iceland’s books are published around Christmastime when it’s traditional to exchange new and used books. The flood comes from the fact Iceland is so literate.
“With around 330,000 inhabitants, Iceland is certainly one of the smallest book markets in the world. Nevertheless, it boasts one of the highest rates of books per capita.” They also each read an average of eight books annually, and “an impressive 98 percent read at least one.” Giving and reading books in a national pastime.
From The value of books is not restricted to price | At The Library Column | newsminer.com
Submitted by Blake on December 29, 2015 - 4:43pm
But here’s the thing: Unless you’re stuck in some sort of weird literary torture chamber, nobody is ever going to inject you with library book juice. And modern scientists say that just curling up with a book is not enough to make you sick.
“I have never heard of anyone catching anything from a library book,” infectious disease specialist Michael Z. David told the Wall Street Journal. David says that viruses and bacteria can indeed live on the pages of library books, but that the risk of actual infection is very, very low.
From Just How Gross Are Library Books, Exactly? | Mental Floss
Submitted by Blake on December 29, 2015 - 4:42pm
This release brings with it some long-needed upgrades, including:
Multi-language support for the user interface and a dozen languages built-in
New CSS-styled file directory listings, including responsive design for tablets and smartphones
Even more hardware is now supported, including our least-expensive hardware ever, the GL-iNet router that lets you build a LibraryBox for less than $25.
DLNA support for playing media from your LibraryBox on your TV or other DLNA compatible device
An improved upgrade process for future code releases that means no more need to SSH into your LibraryBox to upgrade it
General stability and speed improvements that make using LibraryBox even better for everyone
From LibraryBox v2.1 | Pattern Recognition
Submitted by Blake on December 29, 2015 - 11:11am
But even if a deal is struck or funding released, Drury said the cutbacks could continue at the library if that state funding is reduced.
"Depending on what the budget number is we may have to make these reductions permanent instead of reinstating them," Drury added.
Penny Talbert, executive director of the Ephrata Public Library, also in Lancaster County, said state funding for programs like hers has decreased heavily in recent years.
From Tested by budget battle and funding cuts, Pa. libraries buckle | PennLive.com
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 4:16pm
Eight of the top 20 selling books on Amazon currently are coloring books designed for adults. These books tend to be much more finely detailed than those for children. Popular topics include animals, fish, flowers and mandala spiritual symbols.
Michael O’Mara Books Ltd., a British publisher, says it got the ball rolling. “A staffer said how embarrassed she was to see her mother coloring and getting enormous enjoyment,” says Michael O’Mara, founder and chairman. “We thought, ‘Why not have a stab producing a coloring book aimed at adults?’ ”
From Adult Coloring Books Test Grown-Ups’ Ability to Stay Inside the Lines - WSJ
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 4:06pm
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 11:01am
It's been a year since the U.S. and Cuba began normalizing relations. Tourism, business and cultural exchanges are booming. And there is another curious benefactor of those warmer ties — Ernest Hemingway, or at least, his legacy. The writer lived just outside of Havana for 20 years, and that house, called the Finca Vigia, has long been a national museum.
But years of hot, humid Caribbean weather has taken a toll on the author's thousands of papers and books. A Boston-based foundation is helping restore those weathered treasures, and who better to lead that effort than the original dean of home repairs: Bob Vila, of public television's This Old House. He tells NPR's Carrie Kahn that he has a personal connection to Cuba. "I'm American-born Cuban," he says. "My Havana-born parents emigrated during the latter part of World War II, and I was born in Miami, raised there and partially in Havana up until the revolution in 1959."
From New Conservation Effort Aims To Protect Papa's Papers : NPR
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 10:59am
Riverby Books D.C., a used-bookstore on Capitol Hill, closed last year after owner Steve Cymrot was hit by a truck and killed. His son Paul reopened the store in the fall — and didn’t hesitate. “The business side of it never gave us a moment’s pause,” he said. “We’ve never had better business.”
And it’s a business with good economics. Used bookstores can beat Amazon and other online booksellers on price, offering shoppers both a browsing experience and a money-saving one. Also, profit margins on used books are better than new ones — so good that many indies are adding used sections.
Sensing a good deal, entrepreneurs are jumping in.
From In the age of Amazon, used bookstores are making an unlikely comeback - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 10:47am
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has written a forceful defense of the company's plans to offer limited, free internet access in India, comparing Facebook's Free Basics service with libraries and public hospitals. In an op-ed written for The Times of India, Zuckerberg says that although libraries don't offer every book to read and hospitals can't cure every illness, they still provide a "world of good," suggesting that just because free internet services like Free Basics only offer access to a limited number of sites — which third-parties can apply to join but that Facebook ultimately controls — they're still an essential public service.
From Zuckerberg compares free internet services to public libraries and hospitals | The Verge
Submitted by Blake on December 28, 2015 - 10:37am
Libraries cost money. Do we need large buildings, heavily staffed, full of paper, if “everything of importance” is online, in databases, collections, and so forth? For a university accountant, the answer is self-evidently not. A generation may be needed, but those volumes will be sold, the staff dismissed, and the building repurposed.
Such changes in information technology have happened before.
From When will the librarians start to throw offline literature away? at Roger Pearse
Submitted by Blake on December 24, 2015 - 1:47pm
With hundreds of thousands of books published every year, the choice of what to stock can prove bewildering for booksellers. The owner of one small bookshop in Tokyo has taken an unusual approach to the problem: Morioka Shoten, located in the luxury shopping district of Ginza, offers just one title to its customers.
From Japanese bookshop stocks only one book at a time | Books | The Guardian
Submitted by birdie on December 23, 2015 - 12:49pm
Amanda Brennan is a librarian for the Internet. Her career in meme librarianism began in graduate school at Rutgers, where she received a master’s in library science.
But instead of heading to a brick-and-mortar library, Brennan continued documenting online phenomena at Know Your Meme and then at Tumblr, where she solidified her profession as information desk for doge, mmm whatcha say and the other viral Internet sensations in need of classification, categorization and preservation.
Here's the meme-ish story from the Washington Post.
Submitted by Blake on December 22, 2015 - 4:43pm
Submitted by Blake on December 22, 2015 - 2:19pm
Big Talk From Small Libraries 2016 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2016 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.
If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 8, 2016. Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.
From 2016 Call for Speakers Now Open! – Big Talk From Small Libraries
Submitted by Blake on December 22, 2015 - 2:09pm
Submitted by Blake on December 22, 2015 - 9:34am
Last month nearly 200 entries turned up in a strange event on GitHub challenging programmers to write computer code that can generate 50,000-word novels. “The only rule is that you share at least one novel and also your source code at the end,” posted the event’s organizer, Darius Kazemi, who’s been staging “National Novel-Generating Month” every November since 2013.
From Computers Get Busy for National Novel-Generating Month - The New Stack
Submitted by Blake on December 21, 2015 - 2:24pm
Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.
From The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve : TreeHugger
Submitted by Blake on December 21, 2015 - 1:56pm
Submitted by Blake on December 21, 2015 - 1:55pm
This raises an interesting question: When one person finds a rare book, is their gain always at the expense of somebody else? “That can be true,” Barry says, “but among the booksellers I work with, especially those that belong to organizations like the ABAA or the ILAB, there’s an ethical obligation not to swindle each other or people who don’t know any better, like little old ladies selling their husband’s things. Personally, if I were to go to a garage sale and thought I had found a $5,000 book on sale for a dollar, I would feel conflicted. In most cases, though, the more common example is that you see a book you feel like you’ve seen before and decide to take a chance on it. It’s only after you get it home and do your research that you know if you’ve hit the jackpot—or overpaid.”
From Where the Wild Books Are | Collectors Weekly