Only for the Fortunate Few? School Libraries in Chicago

From The Chicago Sun-Times: A beautiful new library opened last week in Humboldt Park for the 800 students of Daniel R. Cameron Elementary School. Puffy pillows await children for story time; new chairs sit at brand new tables, and shelves of books line the long, light-filled room. Quotes from children’s literature adorn the freshly painted walls. “Let the wild rumpus start!” reads one from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

A very grateful Cameron community celebrated the opening with Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who praised the room as “absolutely amazing” and told children that libraries were her favorite place as a girl.

“You are fortunate now to have a library,” Byrd-Bennett said at Thursday’s festive ribbon-cutting. “We know you’re going to be successful because you have this precious resource.”

But still, 252 of the 527 Chicago Public Schools that are staffed by union teachers lack a librarian, and 18 more schools have just a part-time librarian, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. By CPS’ count of 658 schools, which includes charters, 517 schools have libraries, according to district spokesman Joel Hood, who did not provide a count of librarians.

Beall's List

Some academic journals have embraced a “gold open access model” of publishing, wherein the scholars whose work appears in the journal pay for the privilege. Bob speaks with Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian at the University of Colorado Denver who has assembled a list of "predatory journals" - journals that may be more interested in profit than academic contributions

MP3 here.

Kickstart Library A to Z illustrations, book and advocacy tools...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875601273/library-a-to-z-illustrations-book-and-advoca...
Libraries are great. But are they just about books? No! To highlight this we'll produce a visual A to Z of what makes libraries so fantastic.

At Library Camp East Gary from Voices for the Library proposed a session to crowd source an A to Z of words that reflected the positive activities and values of libraries, as well as positive representations in books, songs, films and other media.

We've a great illustrator (Josh Filhol) lined up to take the A to Z list that attendees at the Library Camp and Voices for the Library helped pull together and turn it into a series of brilliant images.

Once we have a series of 20+ images (we may need to combine some letters due to lack of "words" - we'll decide as we get suggestions in!), they will be put together in a few different ways:

Secret Libraries of New York City

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/secret-libraries-of-new-york-city
As the debate continues over the renovation of the main branch of the New York Public Library — a design by Norman Foster that would radically overhaul the stacks and other features of the historic Beaux-Arts building — we are looking at some of the city's less visible libraries. The NYPL has an incredible branch system around the boroughs, but it's only a part of New York City's literary resources. From private clubs, to nonprofit societies, to pop up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city.

One NYC Indie Bookstore Survives By Being Small And Specialized

http://www.npr.org/2014/05/03/309045602/one-nyc-indie-bookstore-survives-by-being-small-and-...

Posman's Chelsea store is one of three that the small independent chain currently operates in Manhattan. The other two are in Grand Central Station and at Rockefeller Center. John Mutter, editor-in-chief of Shelf Awareness, an online newsletter about books and publishing, stated that each separate store caters to a specific market, and that niche marketing is one reason Posman has succeeded where others have failed. The Grand Central store is aimed at commuters; the Rockefeller Center store caters to tourists and travelers; and the Chelsea Market store is filled with cookbooks.

Even in this age of e-books and the convenience of buying online — a market dominated by Amazon — plenty of readers still love browsing through bookstores.

The novel is dead (this time it's for real)

Literary fiction used to be central to the culture. No more: in the digital age, not only is the physical book in decline, but the very idea of 'difficult' reading is being challenged. The future of the serious novel, argues Will Self, is as a specialised interest

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/02/will-self-novel-dead-literary-fiction

F Scott Fitzgerald stories published uncensored for the first time

Sexual innuendo, drug references and antisemitic slurs removed by newspaper editors restored in new edition of Taps at Reveille

The original editions of the stories, she said, "will give people the sense that Fitzgerald is actually a bit edgier, particularly in his later stories; that there is more grit in these tales than people think."

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/01/f-scott-fitzgerald-stories-uncensored-sexual-in...

The false promise of the digital humanities

Technology Is Taking Over English Departments
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117428/limits-digital-humanities-adam-kirsch

"It makes no sense to accelerate the work of thinking by delegating it to a computer when it is precisely the experience of thought that constitutes the substance of a humanistic education. The humanities cannot take place in seconds. This is why the best humanistic scholarship is creative, more akin to poetry and fiction than to chemistry or physics: it draws not just on a body of knowledge, though knowledge is indispensable, but on a scholar’s imagination and sense of reality."

Teen Makes Robotic Hand for Younger Friend on Library's 3D Printer

Feel good story via American Profile.


Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan.

“It definitely made me proud,” says Mason, a junior at Louisburg (Kan.) High School. Matthew’s mother, Jennifer Shields, noticed last fall that her son’s birth defect was making the third-grader self-conscious and affecting him socially. But even with health insurance, the single mother knew she couldn’t afford a professionally made prosthetic.

Researching online, Jennifer found Robohand, the mechanical hand invented by South African carpenter Richard van As, who lost four fingers in a circular saw accident, and theatrical props maker Ivan Owen, in Bellingham, Wash. The pair posted the free digital design last year on thingiverse.com. “I looked at the plans, but had no idea how to do it,” recalls Jennifer, 43.

Her teenaged son Mason, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. A straight-A student who aspires to be an engineer, he previously had read about three-dimensional printer technology. “I downloaded all the files and spent about three hours scaling the hand to fit Matthew,” Mason says.

Your own personal librarian

The Multnomah County Library has taken a step further into the digital era, offering patrons a more personal online experience than ever before.

Several weeks ago, the library quietly launched My Librarian, an online tool that lets readers connect with a real-life librarian, without actually visiting a library branch. Instead, readers can build a relationship with one of 13 librarians through video chats, blogs and phone calls to discuss their favorite books.

Full story

Inside the Supreme Court 'gamble' on same-sex marriage

"Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality," follows the five-year legal battle over same sex marriage that ensued after California passed Proposition 8. The book digs beneath the surface with personal narratives of those who had been the public face of this major civil rights case. Jeffrey Brown talks to journalist and author Jo Becker.

Opting Out Is Nearly Impossible

http://time.com/83200/privacy-internet-big-data-opt-out/

The myth that users will “vote with their feet” is simply wrong if opting out comes at such a high price. With social, financial and even potentially legal repercussions involved, the barriers for exit are high. This leaves users and consumers with no real choice nor voice to express our concerns.

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be Paper

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/

“Reading is human-technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Norway’s University of Stavenger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sustained attention.”

Toronto Public Library Asked To Remove Hop On Pop For Encouraging Violence

Here's [PDF] the Materials Review Committee Reconsideration of Materials Summary for 2013 from the Toronto Public Libraries... It lists a complaint against Hop on Pop... Encourages children to use violence against their fathers: Remove from collection and issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop. "

Freeze! It's the Library Police

Observations from librarian/writer Roz Warren:

After 15 years of library work, this is what I’ve learned:

Most library patrons are decent, honest, honorable people who wouldn’t dream of stealing from us.

The scum who do want to steal from us will do so and can’t be stopped.

A while back, a woman applied for a library card at my library, received it, then checked out our entire astrology section and carried it off forever.

She ignored all of the polite overdue notices we emailed her. Then she ignored the many fretful mailings the library dunned her with.

Something else I’ve learned, working at the library? Dunning an unrepentant book thief is a complete waste of postage.

And, of course, she never darkened our doors again. Why would she? She had what she’d come in for.

Those astrology books were hers now.

She was an astrology buff, so maybe she was just doing what that day’s Horoscope had told her to do. “You‘re a Virgo and your moon is in Saturn? This is a good month to steal library books.”

My supervisor, who takes this kind of thing seriously, stewed about our astrology book thief for weeks. She longed to phone her up and say “Shame on you! Return our books this minute. Or else.”

But that goes against library policy, so her hands were tied.

Reprinted from Broad Street Review.

...and More Happy Librarians & Patrons...in Gastonia, NC

I'm on a mission to find all librarian & patron "Happy" videos...suggestions? 

Check out the boogey-ing cop.

Coldplay announce lyric sheet treasure hunt for Ghost Stories album

Coldplay have announced an international scavenger hunt for handwritten lyrics from their new album. The words to all nine of Ghost Stories' songs have been concealed in haunted tales at libraries around the world, beginning with a library in Mexico City.

"¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!" Coldplay tweeted yesterday, sending their Mexican fans on a race to the English literature section of the city's Vasconcelos library. There, in a translated copy of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a lucky scavenger found Chris Martin's lyrics for Ghost Stories' lead single, Magic.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/29/coldplay-announce-lyric-sheet-treasure-hunt

My Life in Typefaces

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books — remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

Amazon Book List Reveals What's Hot In American Regional Cuisine

From upstate New York's heirloom veggie craze to the Pacific Northwest's baking boom, regional fare is taking off.

But with zillions of cookbooks coming out every year, how do you figure out which culinary jewels will be worth your precious time and shelf space?

Amazon, that giant aggregator of all things, breaks down about 500 regional cookbooks into manageable bites by curating what it considers the best of its vast collection.

Full story on NPR

Great American Eats map

149 pass librarian board exams

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Tuesday that 149 out of 533 passed the Librarian Licensure Examination given by the Board for Librarians in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Legazpi this April 2014.

The members of the Board for Librarians who gave the licensure examination are Yolanda C. Granda, chairperson; Lourdes T. David and Agnes F. Manlangit, members.

Full story

Linked to this to show that there are places where you have to be licensed to be a librarian.

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