Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age - The New York Times

Now, in a digital-age sacrifice intended to serve grand intentions, the Harvard librarians are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest volumes and feeding some 40 million pages through a high-speed scanner. They are taking this once unthinkable step to create a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the Internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for.

From Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age - The New York Times

One Users Google Search History - visualized

Every one of these Google queries tells a little story about me: A search for advice, a quest for more knowledge, a hope for inspiration or reminder. On the 1st of March 2012 at 2.35pm, I typed in "Bloomberg" for the first time in my life – something that would result in an internship almost exactly one year later. And, apparently very desperate, I searched for the error "cannot read property of 0 undefined" on the 1st of October 2011 at 5.02pm; trying to understand Javascript for the first time of my life.

But when we climb up and look at all these Google search queries from further apart, we can see other narratives about a person's life. We can see the bigger picture. A picture that is built out of these queries, but explains them at the same time. This blog post is about the insights out of my over 40,000 Google search queries between the 10th of June 2010 and the 19th of April 2015.

From My Google Search History – visualized · Lisa Charlotte Rost


Newest "Captain Underpants" banned from MI book fair

Parents who want their children to have the latest Captain Underpants novel can either mail an order to Scholastic or purchase the book online.

“I support the decision of the parent group and the principal for handling it this way,” said Martin in calling the move “appropriate.”

Martin said this was not an attempt to censor what books are available. Instead, it was an effort to ensure that parents are involved in what might be viewed as a controversial topic for their kids.

From Newest "Captain Underpants" banned from local book fair - WXYZ.com

A Penny for Your Books

“We are taking garbage [and] running it through a very sophisticated salvage process in our warehouses, to create or find or discover products people want, and then we sell them at a very, very cheap price,” Ward explains. Garbage isn’t a value judgment: His company, along with several other enormous used-book-selling operations that have popped up online in the past decade, is literally buying garbage. Thrift stores like Goodwill receive many more donations than they can physically accommodate. Employees rifle through donations, pick out the stuff that is most likely to sell and send the rest to a landfill. The same thing happens at public libraries; they can take only as many donations as their space and storage will allow, so eventually they have to dispose of books, too. (For libraries, the process is a little more complicated; they can’t legally sell books, so they essentially launder them through groups with names like Friends of the Library, which sell the discards and donate the proceeds to the library.)

From A Penny for Your Books - The New York Times


Rinse, Spin, Read To Kids: It's 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.

Full story here: http://goo.gl/oVunIi


Library Acquires Robert Dawson’s Images of Public Libraries

The Library of Congress has acquired 681 photographs from "The Public Library: An American Commons," a photographic survey by Robert Dawson of public libraries in the United States. The photographs significantly expand the Library’s holdings that describe the American public library—as architecture, community spaces and a reflection of the contemporary social landscape.

"Robert Dawson’s extensive survey provided the perfect opportunity for the Library of Congress to represent the public library’s role in the 21st century. His photographs also offer a fascinating comparison to our interior and exterior views of libraries newly built at the start of the 20th century," said Helena Zinkham, director for Collections and Services at the Library of Congress.

The Dawson collection is the largest acquisition of library photography by the Library of Congress since the early 1900s.

From Library Acquires Robert Dawson’s Images of Public Libraries | News Releases - Library of Congress

Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

The new rules for exemptions to copyright's DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

From Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Telcos Selling What You Thought Was Your Private Cell Phone Data

SAP's Consumer Insight 365 ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 million to 25 million mobile subscribers. SAP won't disclose the carriers providing this data. It "tells you where your consumers are coming from, because obviously the mobile operator knows their home location," said Lori Mitchell-Keller, head of SAP's global retail industry business unit.
There is a lot of marketer interest in that information because it is tied to actual individuals. For the same reason, however, there is potential for resistance from privacy advocates.
"The practices that carriers have gotten into, the sheer volume of data and the promiscuity with which they're revealing their customers' data creates enormous risk for their businesses," said Peter Eckersley, chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog. Mr. Eckersley and others suggest that anonymization techniques are faulty in many cases because even information associated with a hashed or encrypted identification code can be linked back to a home address and potentially reidentified by hackers.

From The $24 Billion Data Business Telcos Don't Want to Discuss | Digital - Advertising Age

Groundbreaking University of California policy extends free access to all scholarly articles written by UC employees Office of Scholarly Communication

Today the University of California expands the reach of its research publications by issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy, allowing future scholarly articles authored by all UC employees to be freely shared with readers worldwide. Building on UC’s previously-adopted Academic Senate open access (OA) policies, this new policy enables the university system and associated national labs to provide unprecedented access to scholarly research authored by clinical faculty, lecturers, staff researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and librarians – just to name a few. Comprising ten campuses, five medical centers, and nearly 200,000 employees, the UC system is responsible for over 2% of the world’s total research publications. UC’s collective OA policies now cover more authors than any other institutional OA policy to date.

From » Groundbreaking University of California policy extends free access to all scholarly articles written by UC employees Office of Scholarly Communication

Girl in the Moon: Rare books gifs - John Dee, volvelles, apples and things

Culture Themes is a twitter account that organises monthly themed days on Twitter, primarily for museums. This month it was museum gifs - #musgif - and I put together a couple for the RCPmuseum account from some of the star objects from the RCP's forthcoming John Dee exhibition.

To make the first three gifs, I set up the department camera on the department tripod and took a series of photos, stop-motion animation style. Then I layered up the individual images in Photoshop (other editing software is available), cropped them, resized them and saved them as gifs. To make the last, I took a pre-existing photograph and played about with it in Photoshop.
It was quicker and easier that I thought it would be, and I'm delighted with how well the gifs show off the materialty of the books.

From Girl in the Moon: Rare books gifs - John Dee, volvelles, apples and things

Northwestern University archivists aim to resurrect outdated technology

"Certainly digital archiving is becoming the new normal, but it's not replacing paper," Feeney said. "It's coming in as an addition to the paper. There may be a change around the corner, but right now we've continued receiving more and more electronic files but we're continuing to receive the traditional material in the same or greater quantities."

While Northwestern archivists said their program could be the first in the nation to tap into the junk drawers of the public for mobile devices, Dennis Meissner, president of the Society of American Archivists, said that the problem of turning on and deciphering outdated technology is not a new one. Technologies such as microfilm, magnetic media and wax media are just some of the devices that archivists have had to tackle.



New top-level domains a money grab and a mistake: Paul Vixie

"I think it is a money grab. My own view is that ICANN functions as a regulator, and that as a regulator it has been captured by the industry that they are regulating. I think that there was no end-user demand whatsoever for more so-called DNS extensions, [or] global generic top-level domains (gTLDs)," he said.

From New top-level domains a money grab and a mistake: Paul Vixie | ZDNet


The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

The idea that writing should be clear, concise, and low-jargon isn’t a new one—and it isn’t limited to government agencies, of course. The problem of needlessly complex writing—sometimes referred to as an “opaque writing style”—has been explored in fields ranging from law to science. Yet in academia, unwieldy writing has become something of a protected tradition.

From The Ig Nobel Prize and Other Efforts to Eradicate Complex Academic Writing - The Atlantic

An open letter to the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees about SPL’s “anti-book” agenda

SPL cannot keep going down this road to ruination. We love our libraries, and we demand that Seattle Public Library carry the torch of knowledge for generations to come.

From The Seattle Review of Books - An open letter to the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees about SPL’s “anti-book” agenda


The Library: a new short film on the wonder of libraries

Director Jason LaMotte was profoundly affected by his neighbourhood library in Houston Texas – and the magical feeling it carried was the inspiration behind his new film The Library

From The Library: a new short film on the wonder of libraries - video | Children's books | The Guardian


4 ideas journalism can borrow from libraries | Poynter.

Over the years, I’ve watched libraries adapt in order to stay relevant. They’ve modified their programming and their collections to reflect changing users and use cases. Many of these modifications and projects are ones that journalists should check out – no pun intended – because they’re equally relevant to our field. Here are my favorites.

From 4 ideas journalism can borrow from libraries | Poynter.


Mobile library delivers books on horseback in rural Indonesia

An Indonesian villager is encouraging rural children to read by delivering books with his free mobile library on the back of his favorite horse Luna.

Three times a week Ridwan Sururi, 42, travels with his "horse library" on the dirt tracks of Indonesia's Central Java Province to provide books for young readers in an area where libraries are rare and school resources are limited.

"The purpose of this library is to encourage reading. The reason why I used the horse is because, in my opinion, the horse attracts children," Sururi explained.

All of the books in the mobile library were given to him by friends and donors.

From Mobile library delivers books on horseback in rural Indonesia | Reuters


Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance

Most of us, most of the time, use immensely popular technologies without masks or noise. We post in what you might call corruptible silence. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google, we document our personal spaces, our frailties, our desires, questions and answers. We are naked, exposed and eminently traceable, now and into the future, by an ever-increasing range of data-hungry agents. To concerned citizens living this reality, and to thoughtful designers of technology, what Brunton and Nissenbaum offer is a compelling moral defence and some ready-to-hand tools for a small, distributed revolution of resistance.

From Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Technology | The Guardian

The man who digitizes newspapers

Tryniski's site, which he created in his living room in upstate New York, has grown into one of the largest historic newspaper databases in the world, with 22 million newspaper pages. By contrast, the Library of Congress' historic newspaper site, Chronicling America, has 5 million newspaper pages on its site while costing taxpayers about $3 per page. In January, visitors to Fultonhistory.com accessed just over 6 million pages while Chronicling America pulled fewer than 3 million views.

From The man who digitizes newspapers


LibraryBox offers users a chunk of the Splinternet

One of the pioneers is LibraryBox, an open-source hardware and software project put together by Jason Griffey, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

The box is a low-powered Wi-Fi router that can be run from a solar panel, battery or even a bicycle charger. Users can copy material from the internet, including entire websites, on to an attachable USB stick, then broadcast it to nearby users.

From LibraryBox offers users a chunk of the Splinternet | The National



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