Robert Darnton closes the book | Harvard Gazette

As of June 30, the celebrated historian, digital library pioneer, and champion of books will leave the University he first saw as an undergraduate in 1957. A scholar of Enlightenment France and of the history of the book, he returned to Harvard in 1965 to join the Society of Fellows, decamped to Princeton University in 1968 for 39 years, and came back to Harvard in 2007.

From Robert Darnton closes the book | Harvard Gazette

New Title: Biblio Tech by John Palfrey

Review of a new book entitled Biblio TECH on how to keep libraries relevant in the digital age. John Palfrey’s lucid, passionate account of the state of American libraries reminds us both how important public libraries are to a healthy democracy and how close they are to going the way of the dodo bird. The author is the Head of School at Phillips Academy, Andover.

We are in the midst of a tectonic societal shift from print to digital and without a concerted effort to transform the library into its 21st century equivalent we just might lose these hubs of democracy for good.

The disconnect is huge; survey after survey remind us how important libraries are to their communities while in budget after budget funding for libraries continues to get slashed.

And In Further News, Boston Art Has Been Found

...right in the library. Misfiled.

The items were found during an eight-week search of the stacks. Fourteen library workers searched through 180,000 of the print stacks’ 320,000 items — about 60 percent of the inventory, the statement said.

Amy Ryan is still resigning as President of the Library.

Boston Library President Quits Over Missing Art

From the New York Times.

The president of the Boston Public Library resigned Wednesday amid a federal investigation into the disappearance of two artworks from the library’s collection, a Rembrandt and a Durer. Amy Ryan, who became the president of the library system in 2008, stepped down hours after announcing new security measures for the system’s holdings.

There's a New Chick at the Library

...a peregrine falcon chick that is.

MassLive reports that a baby chick has hatched on the rooftop of the W. E. B. DuBois Library at the U of Mass. There appear to be a few more still incubating.

The hatching was announced on Twitter, with photos taken from the library's falcon webcam . Enjoy!

Bing no longer a search-engine blip

By one measure, the search engine now executes a record one out of every five searches made on desktop computers in the US, a milestone Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella touted last month in a meeting with Wall Street analysts. But Bing’s standing internationally, and in fast-growing mobile search, is a fraction of that.

Still, executives and outside observers say Bing has gone from the butt of jokes and awkward product placement in movies to a tool comparable to Google’s in terms of its technology. The calls to shelve the business or sell it to a competitor have quieted. Microsoft has integrated Bing’s underlying data-crunching technology into its other software, and plans to tie it closely to its upcoming Windows 10 operating system.

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/bing-no-longer-a-search-engine-blip/

Information Please Librarian

From The Guardian, a selection of queries addressed to NYPL librarians including "Is this the place where I ask questions I can’t get answers to?" - Phone question, September 13, 1947

Setting the Right Environment: Remote Staff, Service Provider Participants, and Big-Tent Open Source Communities

I also believe that by using new technologies and strategies, distributed professionals can build a hosting service that is attractive to clients. We may not be able to stand around a water cooler or conference table, but we can replicate the essence of those environments with tools, policies, and a collaborative attitude. In doing so we have more freedom to hire the staff the make the right fit for our organization, no matter where they are located.

From Setting the Right Environment: Remote Staff, Service Provider Participants, and Big-Tent Open Source Communities | Disruptive Library Technology Jester

Technology Of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores Are Hanging In There

Technology Of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores Are Hanging In There

If the book is dead, nobody bothered to tell the folks at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C. Books of every size, shape and genre occupy each square inch of the converted row house — including the bathroom — all arranged in an order discernible only to the mind of Jim Toole, the store's endearingly grouchy owner.

Visitors are greeted by a makeshift sign listing words that are banned in the store, including "awesome," "perfect" and, most of all, "Amazon." The online giant has crushed many an independent bookstore — but not Toole's. "Hanging in here with my fingernails," he says with a harrumph.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/28/408787099/the-technology-of-books-has-changed-but-bookstores-a...

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A Year Later, #WeNeedDiverseBooks Has Left Its Mark On BookCon

Publishing's big week is almost over. The industry's annual convention, BookExpo America, ends Friday in New York, and on Saturday the publishing world opens its doors to the public with BookCon, where avid readers will get the chance to mix and mingle with their favorite authors.

Last year, the lack of diversity on author panels at BookCon spawned the We Need Diverse Books campaign, which in turn sparked renewed conversation about the lack of diversity in publishing. Ellen Oh, one of We Need Diverse Books' co-founders, says anger about the lack of diversity in publishing had been brewing for a long time, but when BookCon announced its guest list last year, it struck a nerve.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/29/410272351/a-year-later-weneeddiversebooks-has-left-its-mark-on...

A day in the life of a metadata librarian

What does a metadata librarian do? Learn all about what it is like to be a metadata librarian working on collections for the Mountain West Digital Library and the Digital Public Library of America.

http://dp.la/info/2015/05/27/a-day-in-the-life-the-metadata-librarian-fo...

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A Winning Librarian

From 2Paragraphs (written for the modern attention span):

500 Questions is the new TV quiz game where contestants try to answer a series of rapid-fire questions. The show is being broadcast for seven consecutive nights. Tonight, May 27 is the sixth night (8pm on ABC). .

The contestant who came closest to answering all 500 Questions was librarian Steve Bahnaman. The affable, knowledgeable man works at the Campbell University library.He planned to get a PhD in religion but “that ended up not being something I wanted to do.” Turns out he preferred “being around research and helping people with research.” Bahnaman will return to his job $110,000 richer after answering 167 of the 500 Questions.

Don't Write Off Paper Just Yet

Discussion on the demand for paper in our digital world. The need for certain paper has even risen. The author of the book On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History makes a few comments and a graph in the story shows that the demand for book paper is down over 30%.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/26/408794149/dont-write-off-paper-just-yet

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Interview with author Paolo Bacigalupi

What if the devastating drought in the western U.S. doesn't end? A few years ago, the science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi started exploring what could happen.

"Lake Powell and Lake Mead were hitting historic lows, and they weren't re-filling the way they were supposed to. Las Vegas was, in fact, digging deeper and deeper intakes into Lake Mead," he remembers. "This question of scarcity. This question of too many people needing too little water."

Those questions inspired Bacigalupi to write The Water Knife, a noir-ish, cinematic thriller set in the midst of a water war between Las Vegas and Phoenix. The novel follows three people: a climate refugee, a journalist, and a "water knife" — a secret agent for Las Vegas's ruthless water czar. Think Chinatown meets Mad Max.

Full piece:
http://www.npr.org/2015/05/23/408756002/what-if-the-drought-doesnt-end-the-water-knife-is-on...

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Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015

Advertising does not make content free. It merely externalizes the costs in a way that incentivizes malicious or incompetent players to build things like Superfish, infect 1 in 20 machines with ad injection malware, and create sites that require unsafe plugins and take twice as many resources to load, quite expensive in terms of bandwidth, power, and stability.

From Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015

On Edgar Allan Poe by Marilynne Robinson

In his prose poem Eureka, Poe concludes that God and the human soul are pervasively present in the universe itself. Truth is intrinsic to reality, as it is to consciousness. The pedantic voice of the postscript knows and does not know the meaning of the ciphers found at Tsalal, “I have graven it within the hills, and my vengeance upon the dust within the rock.” Poe has brought the tale to a region that, in his place and time, was far beyond the common understanding, and perhaps beyond his own as well, except in its deepest reaches, where he knew that God is just.

From On Edgar Allan Poe by Marilynne Robinson | The New York Review of Books

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E-books soar, traditional books sag in annual library statistics

Statistics provided by Sean B. Minkel, assistant director of Rapid City Public Libraries, show that the circulation of traditional books, audiobooks, magazines and DVDs was down 14.8 percent in 2014, compared with the circulation in 2013.

By contrast, the library system's circulation of electronic books (known as e-books) and other digital products rose by 34.3 percent in 2014.

From E-books soar, traditional books sag in annual library statistics

OCLC lays off 27 in Dublin as libraries struggle

“Over the last five years, OCLC has been in a period of significant investment in new products and services,” the nonprofit computer-service and research organization said in a statement. “To support that investment, we have increased staffing in a number of areas and completed acquisitions to strengthen our position.”

From OCLC lays off 27 in Dublin as libraries struggle | The Columbus Dispatch

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A campaign to place Little Free Libraries in police departments

And Little Free Library is trying to go beyond that. LFL has grown beyond small neighborhoods and aims to redefine the relationships between various police departments and the areas they serve. Using the simple idea that books begets community begets new understanding, LFL has developed “Libraries of Understanding,” a new program that aims to establish and rebuild the relationship between police and the community. Todd and Co. have designs on providing Little Free Libraries available to each of the 18,000 police departments across the country, so that people in any neighborhood, anywhere in the country can gather, exchange books, exchange ideas and hopefully, extend the idea of what it means to be a community.

From A campaign to place Little Free Libraries in police departments - Boing Boing

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Andreessens pair with H-P to send computers to Ferguson, Baltimore libraries

ublic libraries that provided a quiet refuge from civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore are about to receive a small bounty from Silicon Valley.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and his wife, philanthropist and educator Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, have teamed up with Hewlett-Packard to donate nearly $170,000 worth of computers, printers and other equipment.

From Andreessens pair with H-P to send computers to Ferguson, Baltimore libraries

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