Librarian And Information Science News

This 'Future Lover' Is A Library

"The more I visit libraries the more I find myself opening up to them," writes Ander Monson in his essay collection Letter to a Future Lover. It's not surprising that an author would be attracted to libraries; they are, after all, some of the last places in the world dedicated to the preservation and celebration of literature. They're also at risk of becoming endangered, casualties of budget cuts, increased Internet availability, and apathy. But for Monson, libraries are something more than just buildings filled with books. He's interested in libraries as a concept, as a living, adapting exchange of ideas, as a way people can connect with one another, even across generations: "To keep a story on a shelf or to remember then retell it means that it will be more likely to exist to those who come after we have gone. It will all be gone in time. Maybe this is the best we can do." Full piece here: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/05/381651740/this-future-lover-is-a-library

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Borrow a BIKE @ your Library (you have to live in Yorkshire UK)

From CyclingWeekly: The first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library was established in December with the aim of giving everyone in the county access to a bike. Now, community groups, charities and not-for-profit businesses are being invited to make applications for funding to set up their own libraries. The public are asked to donate old or unwanted bikes at a number of deposit stations in the county.                                                                                      

 More info here.  Anyone have experience with bike libraries in the US or Canada? Would you want your county/municipality to have a bike library?

Paperbackswap goes from free to fee

Paperbackswap.com sent the following email to users of the site on February 1.

Dear Members,

Happy February!

We are proud that we have been able to provide PaperBackSwap to you for free for the past 10 years. However, we have stated from the beginning that there may come a time when we need to charge a nominal fee in order to support the club's growth and to offer new services.

In order to maintain the service levels that you have come to expect, PaperBackSwap needs to begin charging swap fees of 49 cents per book request. As explained below, there are other options for you to consider, and also a way to avoid swap fees by using PBS Printed Postage which would allow you to continue to swap for free!

2015 will be our eleventh year of providing this club for book lovers all over the country. It’s been a decade of fabulous growth, in which we’ve overseen the exchange of nearly 20 million books; by any calculation, our members have saved millions of dollars. Through the years, our site has sustained itself with optional services (such as Printed Postage fees and new-book sales). We’d like to do more with the club - fix things that aren’t working well, enhance others, and introduce new features (such as a mobile app, and continuing to investigate ebook swapping). We really can’t do that without some “elbow room” from revenue.

Beginning February 15, 2015, as a member in good standing at PaperBackSwap, you can select:

A Standard Membership at $20 per year ($18 for early subscribers), that includes unlimited swapping, new features, and a 500-item Wish List. Best Value!

A Limited Membership at $12 per year, where you'll get the ability to request 30 books without paying swap fees, some new features, and your Wish List limit will stay at 200 items.

For those who don’t swap often or who don't want to commit to an annual membership, there is an “A la Carte” option at 49 cents per book request, with a Wish List limit of 100 items.

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A Google-Analytics-style dashboard for your library building

Open Hardware & Libraries
http://measurethefuture.net/
Imagine having a Google-Analytics-style dashboard for your library building: number of visits, what patrons browsed, what parts of the library were busy during which parts of the day, and more. Measure the Future is going to make that happen by using simple and inexpensive sensors that can collect data about building usage that is now invisible. Making these invisible occurrences explicit will allow librarians to make strategic decisions that create more efficient and effective experiences for their patrons.

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School Librarians, a Disappearing Breed in Philadelphia

Philly.com reports:

When Laureal Robinson became Spring Garden's principal five years ago, she had a goal in mind: to reopen the school library with a certified librarian.

"We had to adopt a back-to-basics approach," Robinson said. "We had to make it as easy as possible for children to get books in their hands."

Spring Garden's budget is just as tight as every other school's in the Philadelphia School District - it has no full-time counselor or nurse - but Robinson made reopening a library a priority. For five years she planned, using community partnerships to bring in books. In September, she hired a three-day-a-week librarian.

"Having a librarian," the principal said, "just helps to support what's going on in the classroom, with teachers. I just felt like it was a necessity. It would be remiss not to have a library."

Robinson is bucking a trend. In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in city schools. Now there are 11 - for 218 schools.

Anita Florence Hemmings: Passing For White At Vassar

Interesting history of an early Vassar grad who later became a librarian:

Anita Hemmings was a black woman who was passing for white, and it almost got her kicked out of Vassar on the very eve of her graduation in 1897. Hat tip to Robin Bradford @Tuphlos

Safely graduated from what was perhaps the most prestigious women’s college in the nation, Anita went on to join the staff of the Boston Public Library as their foreign cataloguer, doing translations and bibliographies. She was proficient in seven languages, including Latin, French, and ancient Greek.

By 1914 she was listed in Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. That listing noted that she “favors woman suffrage.” She also became a friend of African American civil rights activist W. E. B. Dubois.

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Google’s slow fade with librarians

https://medium.com/message/googles-slow-fade-with-librarians-fddda838a0b7

Don’t get me wrong, we’re doing pretty great on our own, better than ever really. We’ve gotten a bit more independent, not putting all of our eggs into any one basket, gotten better at establishing boundaries. Still not sure, after all that, how we got this all so wrong. Didn’t we both want the same thing? Maybe it really wasn’t us, it was them. Most days it’s hard to remember what we saw in Google. Why did we think we’d make good partners?

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Back to His Usual Library Duties


Phil saw his shadow this morning, so there's six more weeks of winter. Now, back to his usual activities at the
Punxsutawney Library.

reshelving? weeding? posing for tourists? more burrowing?

100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement

There are solutions to community issues laying dormant in the minds of our friends and neighbors. It's time for a paradigm shift to one in which public leaders engage with their communities and take action based on the voices of their constituents. (And where communities demand that kind of interaction.) So go, get out there, engage your elected and appointed leaders, and use your voice to impact positive change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-fishman-lipsey/100-great-ideas-for-the-for-the-future-...

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Beirut libraries struggle with funding

Since the first library opened in Bachoura, the budget of ASSABIL grew from $12,000 in 1998 to $620,000 in 2011. In addition to managing the Beirut network, the organization also supports about 25 public libraries throughout Lebanon with resources, training and evaluations, among other things.

Despite the organization’s success, many obstacles remain. Funding is a major issue, as ASSABIL is responsible for raising the majority of its budget on its own. In the past, it has brought in money through a vast array of projects, from collaborating with migrant workers to a partner library project in Beirut that focuses on bridge-building between Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/01/lebanon-beirut-public-libraries.html

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Other Little Free Libraries could be ordered to cease

One of Shreveport's Little Free Libraries was ordered to cease operations Thursday, and others in the city could face the same fate.

Alan Clarke, the MPC's zoning administrator, said the book swaps are, by definition, libraries equivalent to Shreve Memorial Library, and under city law a library can only exist in a commercially-zoned area.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/local/2015/01/29/mpc-orders-little-free-library-ce...

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Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded about 2,000 books %u2014 including children%u2019s stories, poetry, philosophy, and tomes on sports, health, culture and science %u2014 into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2015/02/01/iraqi-libraries-ransacked-islamic-state-gro...
and
http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Islamic-State-militants-ransack-libraries-in-Mosul-60540...

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Software that can publish every draft of a book simultaneously shows the true beauty of the creative process - Quartz

Once his book, Benjamin Buckingham And The Nightmare’s Nightmare, was finished, Mazurek publicly shared the GitHub project so anyone could see the changes he made to the story along the way. Mazurek said that he originally hadn’t intended to make the project public, that he had just used GitHub as a way of keeping track of his thoughts and making sure he could access his work from multiple computers. But after he showed the project to his friends, they convinced him that there was artistic value in sharing the changes made along the way, as well as the novel itself.
http://qz.com/335942/an-author-used-a-tool-for-programmers-to-write-a-book/

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Never trust a corporation to do a library%u2019s job %u2014 The Message %u2014 Medium

In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google%u2019s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.

After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.

https://medium.com/message/never-trust-a-corporation-to-do-a-librarys-job-f58db4673351?repos...

Get your loved ones off Facebook.

The issue here isn't what we have to hide, it's maintaining an important right to our freedom -- which is the right to privacy, and the right to have a say in how information about us is used. We've giving up those rights forever by using Facebook.

http://saintsal.com/facebook/

Paper Books Will Never Die

This blog post on Gizmodo makes the case for paper bound books.

"So how can I be confident that paper books are going to be with us for a long time to come? First of all, because they're lovely and I refuse to believe they'll ever disappear. But also because paper books are still a fantastic and irreplaceable piece of technology.

Believe it or not, paper book sales have made a modest comeback in the past year. Ebooks are mainstream. But paper books have too many benefits to simply die out anytime soon."

Library social worker helps homeless seeking quiet refuge

Meet the nation's first full-time library social worker. Instead of trying to keep homeless residents from taking shelter in the urban haven of public libraries, San Francisco has adopted a new approach: employing a trained professional to address the needs of these visitors. The NewsHour’s Cat Wise reports.

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In South Florida, A Lover and Donor of Unique Books

It all started with his work as a library volunteer. From The Sun Sentinel:

For Arthur Jaffe, books weren't just to be read. They were to be treasured as works of art. Jaffe, who donated a lot of money and his vast collection of hand-crafted books to Florida Atlantic University, died Sunday. He was 93.

Though he passed away this week, his legacy will live on through the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU's Wimberly Library, where he spent 13 years as curator before retiring in 2011. The collection has grown from Jaffe's original donation of 2,800 handmade books to 12,000 today.

The Jaffe collection includes children's pop-ups, wood cuts and lithographs. There are several versions of the Bible, classics like "Moby Dick" and "Hamlet," and more unusual volumes, such as "Ghost Diary" by Maureen Cummins, a rare book made of glass. Even after retiring in 2011, he continued to visit the center on a regular basis. In 2012, he launched a project that seemed unusual for the book arts center: a documentary on the tattoos of FAU students.

"Here was a 91-year-old looking at all these tattooed kids and saying, 'they're all walking books,'" Cutrone said. "Sometimes you think of older people as being set in their ways, but that was not Arthur. He was willing to see the other side of things."

Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It's Essential to Copyright

Unfortunately, there is tremendous pressure in DC right now to rewrite the law and undermine that balance. Fair use has been under assault for decades, thanks to laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it illegal to bypass a technical protection measure under most circumstances even if your conduct is an otherwise lawful fair use. Now, more than ever, we must insist that fair use is indispensable to copyright. That’s how we take copyright back.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/fair-use-not-exception-copyright-its-essential-copyright

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Alexandria Still Burns. This is What a Librarian Looks Like

Maybe you've heard about a photo/video project by Kyle Cassidy that was looking for funding last year. You'll be happy to know that the project has been funded on Kickstarter.

On June 29th, 2014 618 backers carried our Kickstarter across the finish line with $12,245, allowing us to not only photograph and interview more than 300 Librarians at the ALA conference in Las Vegas, but to also fund the stretch goals of creating a series of stock photographs for libraries to use, doing five hours of video interviews, and doing some photography for the new Joan of Dark book on knitting projects for book lovers.

If you're not familiar with the project, here's more about it .

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