Learning to Read. Again.

What does reverse outlining have to do with text mining? He might not realize it, but Aaron Hamburger, in a nice Opinionator essay that enumerates the virtues of outlining in reverse for creative writing, has made a fantastic justification for new research techniques of the digital humanities. Using his piece as a springboard, I argue here that historians would be well served to expand their notion of what it means to read—as oppose to analyze—a text or set of texts with digital methods.

From Learning to Read. Again.

Some public libraries home to rare and valuable treasures

When it comes to where one might find rare works of art or valuable historical artifacts, most people think of museums or perhaps the Boston Public Library, particularly after the high-profile “loss” earlier this year of valuable prints by Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt that were ultimately found 80 feet from where they should have been filed.

Many would be surprised to find, housed amid the book and DVD collections in many local public libraries, historical treasures ranging from the rare and valuable to the curious, such as Woburn’s swatch of the wool coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated.

For the most part, local libraries are not in the business of actively collecting historical artifacts, but rather have amassed a hodgepodge of donated items of historical value and interest, said Jake Sadow, statewide digitization project archivist with the Boston Public Library.

From Some public libraries home to rare and valuable treasures - The Boston Globe

Phoenix libraries unveil treadmill desks

We've all been to the library to check out books, rent DVD's, and surf the web. But now at three Phoenix libraries you can do more; work out.

Fit Phoenix unveiled a new way for people to improve their health all while reading a book. These treadmill desks are available to use at three Phoenix libraries including; Palo Verde, Harmon, and Yucca.

"What you do is come to the library with your library card, check into the computer like you normally would with one of the normal , but it has a treamil with it, and you'll be able to walk slowly at 2 miles and hour while you use the computer," said Jon Brodsky.

From Phoenix libraries unveil treadmill desks - Story | KSAZ

Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California

In November, researchers at UC Berkeley will begin a three-year project to restore and translate thousands of century-old audio recordings of Native California Indians. The collection was created by cultural anthropologists in the first half of the 20th century and is now considered the largest audio repository of California Indian culture in the world.

Nearly a third of the 2,713 recordings come from Ishi, the storied last member of the Yahi tribe who lived the last years of his life inside the University of California’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Ishi died in 1916 from tuberculosis. He was 54 years old.

From Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California | The California Report | KQED News

When Book Lovers Guarded Their Prized Possessions With Tiny Artworks

Books aren’t quite an endangered species yet, and the Association of American Publishers reports that sales of physical books are actually on the rise. Nevertheless, many who consider themselves avid readers have still never seen a bookplate in person—which makes sense, considering the trend peaked around a century ago. In fact, the use of bookplates started much earlier, with the oldest known plates dating to mid-15th-century Germany.

From When Book Lovers Guarded Their Prized Possessions With Tiny Artworks | Collectors Weekly


Hey Airbnb, take it easy on libraries

Libraries recently drew unexpected fire from Airbnb, one of tech's hottest startups. But the truth is libraries play an essential role in fostering technological innovation in communities.

From Hey Airbnb, take it easy on libraries, they're leading the charge in tech more than ever - TechRepublic


What Libraries Can (Still) Do

I’m an optimist. I think the pessimists and the worriers—and this includes some librarians—are taking their eyes off the ball. The library has no future as yet another Internet node, but neither will it relax into retirement as an antiquarian warehouse. Until our digital souls depart our bodies for good and float away into the cloud, we retain part citizenship in the physical world, where we still need books, microfilm, diaries and letters, maps and manuscripts, and the experts who know how to find, organize, and share them.

From What Libraries Can (Still) Do by James Gleick | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books


Phantoms among the Folios: A Guide to Haunted Libraries

American Libraries is no exception. However, unlike less reputable media, we go to original sources whenever possible to ascertain whether or not our spooks are spurious. And in so doing we have uncovered a hauntful of genuinely eerie events hiding amid the folktales.

From Phantoms among the Folios: A Guide to Haunted Libraries | American Libraries Magazine


Preserving One Couple’s Hidden Library | Internet Archive Blogs

As a boy, Dorothy’s husband, the late George Maycock, bounced around foster homes – one across the street from a university library.  He spent awe-filled hours walking among the library stacks, sometimes just touching the volumes, sometimes sitting on the floor to read.  Years later, this experience inspired George to recreate that feeling in the stacks by amassing his own collection, with Dorothy’s help.  Their library covered myriad topics, from math to science, religion, and biography.  The library even had its own card catalog, that Dorothy created and maintained.

Needless to say, when we heard of Dorothy’s dilemma, we wanted to help.

From Preserving One Couple’s Hidden Library | Internet Archive Blogs


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.




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