Library Freedom Project and Werner Koch are 2015 Free Software Awards winners

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the winners of the 2015 Free Software Awards at a ceremony held during the LibrePlanet 2016 conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). FSF president Richard M. Stallman presented the two awards: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

http://www.fsf.org/news/library-freedom-project-and-werner-koch-are-2015-free-software-award...

A Mashup Of Laundromat and Library

Poor mothers often spend way too much time hunched over a washboard. What if they could use those hours to curl up with their kids and read a book instead? A group of friends at Oxford University plans to find out by developing a combination childhood education and laundry services center, a concept they've dubbed a "Libromat."

The five team members have extensive backgrounds in childhood education, and they pooled their talents to apply for the 2015 Hult Prize, a $1 million award for young social entrepreneurs tackling some of the world's biggest problems.

This year's challenge: provide self-sustainable education to impoverished urban areas.

From Rinse, Spin, Read To Kids: It's A Mashup Of Laundromat and Library : Goats and Soda : NPR

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Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards

Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards
An author’s relationship with a transgender artist and a memoir of growing up in an African-American community in Chicago among subjects of books honoured

From Margo Jefferson and Maggie Nelson win National Book Critics Circle Awards | Books | The Guardian

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San Jose State University library attack highlights safety issues

“Academic libraries, in particular those that are at public institutions, want to allow walk-in access, certainly,” said Ann Campion Riley, president of the Association of Research and College Libraries and acting director of libraries at the University of Missouri at Columbia. “But we do have to balance that with security concerns for students and other users.”

From San Jose State University library attack highlights safety issues

OCLC Pulls a Qwikster with WorldCat Discovery

In 2015, OCLC announced that WorldCat Discovery Services would replace FirstSearch at the end of the calendar year. The Discovery interface, similar to Open WorldCat, features a revamped design, faceted results, and improved listings of related editions and formats. However, it lacks a few advanced search functions available via the FirstSearch version. In response to complaints about these missing options, the retirement date for FirstSearch was extended to 2016. This week it was announced that FirstSearch would continue into 2017, while work is done building a new platform to support full-featured searching. Since Worldcat Discovery will apparently also be enhanced with new capabilities, OCLC's prolonged development cycle and plans to maintain two product lines seem confounding.

Oregon Libraries Invest In Cutting-Edge Maker Labs

There’s been a growing trend in libraries for several years to create maker spaces — places where cutting-edge creative activities such as computer-aided design, robotics, programming, circuitry and audio-visual editing take their place alongside low-tech crafts like sewing and jewelry-making. 

“Certainly it focuses on technology, which is new,” said Multnomah County Library director Vailey Oehlke, who is also the president of the National Public Library Association. “But I’d also suggest that libraries have a long history of responding to the ways in which community and the world around us is changing. There’s a need in our community for people to understand these new skills.”

From Oregon Libraries Invest In Cutting-Edge Maker Labs . Radio | OPB

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Time Travel: The History of Libraries

For thousands of years, people have traveled to libraries in search of knowledge. Once civilization dawned, people needed a place to store information and archives, and thus libraries were born. The earliest libraries are traced to present-day Iraq and stored cuneiform data on clay tablets. China’s creation of paper in the 2nd century BC helped spread knowledge westward at a faster pace, and more libraries appeared in sacred and private spaces.

From Time Travel: The History of Libraries :: Travel :: Galleries :: Paste

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Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read

While e-books retailers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble can collect troves of data on their customers’ reading behavior, publishers and writers are still in the dark about what actually happens when readers pick up a book. Do most people devour it in a single sitting, or do half of readers give up after Chapter 2? Are women over 50 more likely to finish the book than young men? Which passages do they highlight, and which do they skip?

From Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read - The New York Times

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Restoring the world’s oldest library

The ancient al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez isn’t just the oldest library in Africa. Founded in 859, it’s the oldest working library in the world, holding ancient manuscripts that date as far back as 12 centuries. But modern life had taken a toll on the library, with its buildings falling into disrepair. That’s why in 2012, the Moroccan Ministry of Culture asked TED Fellow and architect Aziza Chaouni to rehabilitate the library so that it can reopen to the general public. She describes the challenges inherent in undertaking a daunting, historic project. (Spoiler alert: she was successful; the library reopens in May 2016!)

From Restoring the world’s oldest library |

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NYCLU: City’s Public Wi-Fi Raises Privacy Concerns

“Internet access is not a choice, it’s a modern-life necessity,” said Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the NYCLU. “The city’s public Wi-Fi network should set the bar for privacy and security to help ensure that New Yorkers do not have to sacrifice their rights and freedoms to sign online.”

In order to register for LinkNYC, users must submit their e-mail addresses and agree to allow CityBridge to collect information about what websites they visit on their devices, where and how long they linger on certain information on a webpage, and what links they click on. CityBridge’s privacy policy only offers to make “reasonable efforts” to clear out this massive amount of personally identifiable user information, and even then, only if there have been 12 months of user inactivity. New Yorkers who use LinkNYC regularly will have their personally identifiable information stored for a lifetime and beyond.

From NYCLU: City’s Public Wi-Fi Raises Privacy Concerns | New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) - American Civil Liberties Union of New York State

The women who lead some of Idaho's libraries

Article from Idaho Mountain Express.

Included are: Jenny Emery Davidson—Ketchum Community Library, LeAnn Gelskey—Hailey Public Library and Kristin Gearhart—Bellevue Public Library.

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Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet

It was a small act of information age defiance, and perhaps also a bit of a throwback, somewhat analogous to Stephen King’s 2000 self-publishing an e-book or Radiohead’s 2007 release of a download-only record without a label. To commemorate it, she tweeted the website’s confirmation under the hashtag #ASAPbio, a newly coined rallying cry of a cadre of biologists who say they want to speed science by making a key change in the way it is published.

From Handful of Biologists Went Rogue and Published Directly to Internet - The New York Times

Editorial: Embarrassing to Forget Black History Month

The Gilroy branch of the Santa Clara County Library (Calif.) apparently forgot about Black History Month until a user asked about it.

Common Search: We are building a nonprofit search engine for the Web

Our mission is to build and operate a nonprofit search engine for the Web.
Why?

The Web is now a critical resource for humanity, of which search engines are the arbiters. They decide which websites get traffic, which companies survive, which ideas spread.

The Web is currently in danger because the only arbiters available to us are all profit-seeking companies.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with profit-seeking. It has been a tremendous driver for innovation, and will continue to be. What is wrong is not being able to choose an alternative.

This is why we are building a new kind of search engine: open, transparent and independent.

Just like an arbiter should be.

From Our mission - Common Search

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Should All Research Papers Be Free? - The New York Times

Possibly the biggest barrier to open access is that scientists are judged by where they have published when they compete for jobs, promotions, tenure and grant money. And the most prestigious journals, such as Cell, Nature and The Lancet, also tend to be the most protective of their content.

“The real people to blame are the leaders of the scientific community — Nobel scientists, heads of institutions, the presidents of universities — who are in a position to change things but have never faced up to this problem in part because they are beneficiaries of the system,” said Dr. Eisen. “University presidents love to tout how important their scientists are because they publish in these journals.”

From Should All Research Papers Be Free? - The New York Times

Mayor's plan could turn a page on Philadelphia's crumbling libraries

Mayor Kenney's ambitions $600 million "Rebuild" plan is aimed at fixing up many of those aging libraries and repairing run-down recreation centers.

The six-year initiative also calls for reorganizing space in some library buildings and creating new space in others.

The proposed makeover involves adding pre-kindergarten classrooms in some library branches as part of another major Kenney initiative: His goal of adding 10,000 "quality" Pre-K slots for 3- and 4-year-olds by 2020.

From Kenney's plan could turn a page on Philadelphia's crumbling libraries

Censor bans first publication in Ireland in 18 years

The Censorship of Publications Board put a prohibition order on all editions of 'The Raped Little Runaway', written by Jean Martin.

The order applies to to all editions of the book by any publisher.

From Censor bans first publication in Ireland in 18 years - Independent.ie

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At Calif. Campuses, A Test For Free Speech, Privacy And Cybersecurity

A controversy over a secretly installed data monitoring system is simmering at university campuses across California.

Last summer, hackers broke into the computer network at the UCLA medical center. A few months later, the University of California system's president quietly ordered a new security system to monitor Internet traffic on all UC campuses.

"And the people who had to put the box in place were ordered to do so and also ordered to keep quiet about it," says Ethan Ligon, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

From At Calif. Campuses, A Test For Free Speech, Privacy And Cybersecurity : All Tech Considered : NPR

Koch Brothers Anti-Library Robocalls In IL

The Koch Brothers have finally launched their attack on libraries. 

On Thursday, the Koch Brother's super PAC "Americans for Prosperity" started robocalls against the Plainfield IL library referendum. They have targeted the library for defeat as part of their anti-tax agenda. "Americans for Prosperity" is good at quoting facts that don't exist and slinging mud at the common good. We need your help to answer this Koch funded anti-library smear campaign now, and your help in future to build a defense against their anti-library agenda. 

From Kochbrothers - EveryLibrary

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New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

moking outside of public libraries in New York may soon be banned.

State lawmakers have introduced a bill to add libraries to the restriction put in place in 2012 that prohibits smoking within 100 feet of school entrances or exits.

“Today, I am proud to extend that smoke-free protection even further to include the entrances and exits of our state’s libraries,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, in a statement. He's sponsoring the bill with Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx.

From New York seeks smoking ban outside libraries

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