“Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

The proceedings for the first ALA Conference can be found in the November 30, 1876, issue of the Library Journal, which is available online in HathiTrust. Dennis Thomison, A History of the American Library Association 1876-1972, (Chicago, 1978), p. 5. Smith, Lloyd P., “The Qualifications of a Librarian,” American Library Journal 1: 70 (1876/1877). “The Proceedings,” American Library Journal 1: 140 (1876/1877). Ibid, 141 Ibid, 143
From “Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world

Located in Fez, Morocco, the al-Qarawiyyin library is part of the world's oldest continually operating university, al-Qarawiyyin University, which opened in 859. The library got several small additions and renovations over its millennium-long existence, but it wasn't until 2012 that Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni decided to give it a total face lift.
From Inside al-Qarawiyyin, the oldest library in the world - Tech Insider
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Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America

“Libraries are really gathering places,” says Jon Voss, the strategic partnerships director of Historypin. The global nonprofit is one of 14 winners of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries. “In popular thought or literature, we think of them as storehouses for materials, but that's really changed in the past 20 years at least.” In February, the Knight Foundation challenged people to reimagine libraries to fit the information needs of the 21st century. More than 600 groups submitted proposals, including some that would turn libraries into environmental monitoring hubs and spaces for children to interact with incarcerated parents. The winners will share a $1.6 million grant to realize their visions.
From Historypin Wins Knights Foundation Grant to Help Libraries Tell the History of Rural America - CityLab
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These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind

When a big-box store skips town for wider asphalt prairies, it leaves behind a great, empty space, waiting to be snatched up by a similarly large replacement. If, like me, you hope for a good use for these spaces, these libraries built in old big-box stores will blow your mind.
From These Libraries Built In Old Big-Box Stores Will Blow Your Mind | Bustle
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Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries

In the early to mid twentieth century, the majority of the city’s libraries had live-in superintendents. Like the superintendents who still live in many of the city’s residential buildings, these caretakers both worked and lived in the buildings for which they were responsible. This meant that for decades, behind the stacks, meals were cooked, baths and showers were taken, and bedtime stories were read. And yes, families living in the city’s libraries typically did have access to the stacks at night—an added bonus if they happened to need a new bedtime book after hours.
From Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries | 6sqft
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Film on Librarian Josh Hanagarne Wins Utah's Best Short Film

Competition winners are listed at the Utah Arts Festival site. Congrats to the World's Strongest Librarian!!

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Smaller Replacement for Donnell Library (NYC) Opening

Via email from Save NYPL: After eight (!) years of delays, the replacement for Donnell Library will open next Monday (June 27) at 10am. If you are free that day, please join us as we remind NYPL officials that the opening of the new (significantly smaller) library is no cause for celebration. Beloved for its children’s literature and foreign language collection, the Donnell Library was one of NYPL’s most heavily used circulating branches. But in a trial run for the defeated Central Library Plan, Donnell was sold to private developers for a pittance in 2007 and shuttered the following year. The deal was hatched in secret, and no public review preceded the sale. The new replacement library is less than a third the size of Donnell and has been shoehorned into the basement of a luxury condominium-hotel, where rooms start at $850 per night. The special collections will not be returning. Unfortunately, we can’t bring back the old Donnell. But with your support, we can prevent further sales of our libraries. Let’s rally to remind library executives and elected officials that public libraries belong to all of us!

How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it

The last decade has seen an enormous increase in the number of peer-reviewed open access research journals in which authors whose articles are accepted for publication pay a fee to have them made freely available on the Internet. Could this popularity of open access publishing be a bad thing? Is it actually imperiling the future of science? In this commentary, I argue that it is. Drawing upon research literature, I explain why it is almost always best to publish in society journals (i.e., those sponsored by research societies such as Journal of Wildlife Management) and not nearly as good to publish in commercial academic journals, and worst—to the point it should normally be opposed—to publish in open access journals (e.g., PLOS ONE). I compare the operating plans of society journals and open access journals based on 2 features: the quality of peer review they provide and the quality of debate the articles they publish receive. On both features, the quality is generally high for society journals but unacceptably low for open access journals, to such an extent that open access publishing threatens to pollute science with false findings. Moreover, its popularity threatens to attract researchers’ allegiance to it and away from society journals, making it difficult for them to achieve their traditionally high standards of peer reviewing and of furthering debate. I prove that the commonly claimed benefits to science of open access publishing are nonexistent or much overestimated. I challenge the notion that journal impact factors should be a key consideration in selecting journals in which to publish. I suggest ways to strengthen the Journal and keep it strong.
From How publishing in open access journals threatens science and what we can do about it - Romesburg - 2016 - The Journal of Wildlife Management - Wiley Online Library

Drowning in a Sea of Information

Information overload is something that’s been plaguing me for a while. It was only recently that I decided to take the time to understand why my brain doesn’t work the way it used to. I needed to do this to understand myself. The first step in admitting you have a problem is understanding that problem. I have an information problem. This is a millennial’s quest to understand information overload while struggling against it. Here’s everything I’ve learned.
From Drowning in a Sea of Information — Digital Culturist

What are you revealing online? Much more than you think

The best indicator of high intelligence on Facebook is apparently liking a page for curly fries. At least, that’s according to computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck (TED Talk: The curly fry conundrum), whose job is to figure out what we reveal about ourselves through what we say — and don’t say — online. Of course, the lines between online and “real” are increasingly blurred, but as Golbeck and privacy economist Alessandro Acquisti (TED Talk: Why privacy matters) both agree, that’s no reason to stop paying attention. TED got the two together to discuss what the web knows about you, and what we can do about the things we’d rather it forgot. An edited version of the conversation follows.
From What are you revealing online? Much more than you think |

Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio

Expensive to maintain, many of Ohio’s are now gone. In Coshocton and Middletown, in Butler County, Carnegie buildings are crumbling and condemned. “It’s very sad for me,” said Armentrout, a librarian at OhioHealth. “Unfortunately, in many cases there’s nothing that can be done other than condemn the building and wait for it to collapse. It seems that both of these communities could have saved these buildings long ago had they been organized enough to do it.” Sometimes the old buildings are purchased as a way to prevent their destruction.
From Carnegie’s huge library investment still felt in Ohio | The Columbus Dispatch
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Libraries halt Wi-Fi service after porn downloads

The director of the Houston County system said she took the action after the system’s internet service provider issued cease and desist notices, the Telegraph of Macon reported. An online movie distributor had demanded that the provider stop materials from being illegally downloaded. “We have safeguards in place but someone, a hacker, with the ability to get beyond our safeguards did this, and now everyone will suffer for it,” said Sara Paulk, director of the library system.
From Libraries halt Wi-Fi service after porn downloads | www.ajc.com
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Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat

A public poll for the Library of Congress to choose 65 books by US authors that had a profound effect on American life has thrown up some surprises. Herbert’s Dune, a 1965 science-fiction novel adapted into a film starring Sting, Pirsing’s cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and children’s favourite The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss – real name Theodore Geisel – all make the cut. So too does the prolific and popular Stephen King with The Stand. But literary giants such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike and Tom Wolfe do not. The library, the biggest in the world with more than 162m items, does not claim the list is a definitive rank of greatness.
From Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat | Books | The Guardian

The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

Hark is part of the Anthropodermic Book Project, a group of researchers that analyzes books rumored to be bound in human skin. He was first pulled into it when librarians at his own college asked him to investigate whether a book in the school’s collection might fall into that category. Scrawled on the inside cover of Biblioteca Politica, a Spanish political tract dating from the 17th century, was a note indicating that the binding was human in origin. The inscription became a well-known piece of campus lore, turning the title into a nuisance for Juniata’s librarians. They found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fielding questions from students about the book’s provenance, especially around Halloween.
From The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

Facebook is wrong, text is deathless

Text is surprisingly resilient. It's cheap, it's flexible, it's discreet. Human brains process it absurdly well considering there's nothing really built-in for it. Plenty of people can deal with text better than they can spoken language, whether as a matter of preference or necessity. And it's endlessly computable -- you can search it, code it. You can use text to make it do other things.
From Facebook is wrong, text is deathless

Join Me And Let's Talk IT Security at Internet Librarian In October

W14 - IT Security 101 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tracy Z Maleeff, Principal, Sherpa Intelligence LLC Blake Carver, Senior Systems Administrator, LYRASIS We all know we should use good passwords, keep everything updated, and follow other basic precautions online. Understanding the reasons behind these rules is critical to help us convince ourselves and others that the extra work is indeed worth it. Who are the bad guys? What tools are they using? What are they after? Where are they working? How are they doing it? Why are we all targets? Experienced workshop leaders discuss how to stay safe at the library and at home. They share ways to keep precious data safe inside the library and out—securing your network, website, and PCs—and tools you can teach to patrons in computer classes. They tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more. They share a range of tools and techniques, making this session ideal for any library staff.
From Internet Librarian Program for Sunday, October 16, 2016
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Digital forensics: from the crime lab to the library

Archivists are borrowing and adapting techniques used in criminal investigations to access data and files created in now-obsolete systems.
From Digital forensics: from the crime lab to the library : Nature News & Comment

Librarians Don't Read All Day

I could fill a book with the number of bizarre and/or frustratingly persistent questions I’ve been asked in my nearly 5 years of working in a public library, ranging from “Should I have a doctor look at this rash?” to “Do you work here?” when I’m clearly sitting behind a service desk with a name tag. But the question that irks me the most is an extremely common one: “Wow, you work at a library.  Do you just spend all your time reading?” This question is a close relative to “Working in a library must be so relaxing!” and it usually comes from casual library users or acquaintances who haven’t been in a library in at least a decade. And my reaction is always the same: “Yeah, right.”
From Librarians Don't Read All Day

Robert Dawson's Photographs of America's Public Libraries

His subjects are as diverse as the places they serve. There is a one-room “free library” shack in California’s San Joaquin Valley, then the polished marble floors of Chicago’s hangar-sized central branch. There are stately Carnegie Libraries, glassy modern edifices by Koolhaas and Safdie, strip-mall outposts, and steel-sided bookmobiles. The photographs are mainly architectural, but there are moving interior shots as well. In San Francisco, a grown woman learns to read. Visitors browse Chinese-language books in Queens. “Tool librarians” lend out hammers and clamps in Berkeley. And in towns large and small, oil-painted heroes of U.S. history peer over readers’ shoulders.
From Robert Dawson's Photographs of America's Public Libraries - CityLab

E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court

Electronic books should be treated just like physical books for the purposes of lending, an advisor to Europe's top court has said. Maciej Szpunar, advocate general to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), said in an opinion published (PDF) Thursday morning that public libraries should be allowed to lend e-books so long as the author is fairly compensated. A 2006 EU directive says that the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit rentals and loans belongs to the author of the work. However, countries may opt out of this rule for the purposes of “public lending,” provided that authors obtain fair remuneration.
From E-books fair game for public libraries, says advisor to top Europe court | Ars Technica
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