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"I’ll use the numbers from my native UK here simply because I have a better grasp of them. As a country we spend some £1 billion a year (currently around $1.7 billion) on supporting the library system. There’s some 60 million citizens meaning that we can, from that sum, afford to pay perhaps £20 (as with most numbers I use, there’s a lot of rounding here, the numbers are not meant to be accurate, just informative as to magnitude and so on) for each subscription. That’s a lot less than Amazon is currently demanding but I would bet a very large sum of money that an adequate bulk discount could be arranged for such a slug of customers."
It is very common for librarians to serve as liaisons to academic departments. They teach classes, purchase materials, answer reference questions, assist with research endeavors, and generally get involved with the odds-and-ends of those units. Some librarians also liaise with defined user communities such as first-year students, international students, or students associated with particular residence halls.
This classic approach enables librarians to connect their expertise with different user segments that likely share similar needs, interests, or perspectives. In short, these librarians serve as the human interface of the library.
Amazon is testing an ebook and audiobook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” that would cost $9.99 a month. According to pages that were pulled down, it will offer access to over 600,000 titles.
Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks. So we turned to Twitter to find out where your SFF librarian loyalties lie. Here are your favorites, as well as a few of our own!
Top fictional librarians are from Buffy, Discworld, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Sandman and others. Check 'em out!
How about that headline folks?
From New Scientist:
IN THE small town of Fayetteville in northern New York, you'll find the local library in an old furniture factory dating from the turn of the 20th century. The refurbished building retains hints of its industrial past: wooden floors, exposed beams, walls lined with carefully labelled tools.
But instead of quietly perusing stacks of books, many of the patrons are crowded around a suite of 3D printers. One machine is midway through a pink mobile phone case; another is finishing up a toy sword.
This is Fayetteville's maker lab – and it may very well be the future of libraries.
In 2011, Fayetteville became the first public library in the US to set up a maker lab. Besides 3D printers, the space features a laser cutter, electronics kits, workshop tools, Raspberry Pi computers and an array of sewing machines. It functions somewhere between a classroom and a start-up incubator – a place where people from all over the region can get involved with state-of-the-art technology.
Since the lab opened, similar spaces have been popping up across the country, including in cities like Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Denver and Detroit. According to the American Library Association, about 1 in 6 libraries now dedicates some of its space to maker tools and activities. The New York Public Library – one of the largest in the country – is watching these developments to inform its upcoming renovation.
This from the usually forward looking site io9, "A historian has reconstructed the lost library of books that accompanied Charles Darwin during his five-year scientific voyage across the world, allowing the public to read the more than 400 volumes that served as reference and inspiration for the young naturalist whose theories would revolutionize biology.
The library was dispersed at the conclusion of the voyage. But now, nearly 180 years later, it has been electronically reconstructed in its entirety by historian John van Wyhe and is freely available at his Darwin Online website. The collection consists of more than 195,000 pages containing over 5,000 illustrations."
Here's the link to the Charles Darwin Beagle Library
Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i8.pdf
Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books. The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.
From The New York Times:
The two-day event, called the MTA Zine Residency, had been organized by a librarian and an archivist at the Barnard College library, which they said has the largest circulating collection of zines in an academic library. After producing zines on the F train, the group was planning to reconvene Monday on the Staten Island Ferry to put the finishing touches on their creations. The organizers of the residency said they hoped that the participants would sell or donate copies of their completed zines to the Barnard collection.
Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard, said that the relative quiet and lack of phone and Internet connections made the subway a natural place to compose zines.
“There really is a pleasure to writing while you’re in motion,” she said. “I’ve always felt that time is most my own.”
Where is it illegal to chew gum and/or be in a gay relationship? Singapore of course.
Story from NPR's The Two-Way Blog , interpret the name of the blog as you see fit.
The two books are And Tango Makes Three, inspired by two real male penguins who hatched an egg together, and The White Swan Express, about four couples — one of which is a lesbian couple — who travel to China to adopt baby girls. The books will be pulped, according to Time Magazine.
“We were all envisioning the mayor pulling up in a Subaru and taking an axe to it,” says Barbara Arendt, who spearheaded the library’s construction. “We didn’t realize we were behaving egregiously.”
FCC Chairman Wheeler’s draft proposal—which no one but other commissioners have been able to read in detail—will not single-handedly boost global competitiveness nor will it kill E-rate as we know (and value) it. It is, however, an important first step in connecting all learners to the high-capacity broadband critical for digital opportunity. Wi-Fi doesn’t work without adequate broadband to support it, and there is more work to be done to further improve and strengthen the E-rate program for more productive years ahead. But to further delay action will shortchange our nation’s public libraries and the communities they serve.
I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemo?lu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.
Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.
Digital publishing is a case of technological disruption. Its challenge to the gatekeeper of a traditional publisher is now clear. Can’t get your book published? Do it yourself, and do it a whale of a lot faster—meaning you can capitalize quickly on issues of the day.
But I’ll propose that disruption has three predictable phases.
Full piece American Libraries
From the New Yorker, a story of one man's favorite activity while in prison.
ps - don't do heroin.
The City of Lincoln has evicted a Little Free Library from its location near a church in the Indian Village neighborhood, saying the library box can't sit in a public right of way.
The city gave the group and the church, New Visions Community-Southminster site, until Thursday to move the box onto private property or face fines that could hit $500.
A sweet surprise was waiting for Cambridge students during the exam period – hidden within the pages of a library book. During a stock check of the Newnham College Library, a student discovered a secret stash of chocolate concealed within the pages of The Oxford Companion to English Literature by Margaret Drabble, herself a Newnham alumna. The mysterious treat-giver had hollowed out the pages of the book and stowed a Crunchie and a Dairy Milk bar within.
Scrawled inside the pages is a message encouraging the lucky finder to enjoy the contents.
The note reads: “Dear student, congratulations on finding this book.
“Take your prize and return with one for the next person.”
The tome is not a Newnham College library book, and it believed to have been spirited in for the express purpose of concealing the chocolate bars.
Jo Tynan, a spokeswoman for Newnham College, told the News: “We do regular stock checks at the library and a student stock taker came across this book last week. “It didn’t have any issue numbers on it so she opened it and the inside had been completely hollowed out.”
SAGE Publishers is retracting 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring” involving a professor in Taiwan.
SAGE and Nayfeh then confronted Chen with the allegations, and weren’t satisfied with the responses, so in September 2013 they alerted NPUE to the case. Chen resigned from NPUE on February 2, 2014, according to the release, and in May Nayfeh retired and resigned as editor in chief of the JVC.
Recently, Netflix royally pissed off Verizon by calling out the ISP for slow streaming video. The two companies went back and forth for a while, with Verizon demanding that Netflix cut it out, and Netflix essentially saying "Ok, fine. But we might bring them back. You should serve your customers better." Now Google is offering an even more granular service called the "Video Quality Report," which will allow users to check out their YouTube streaming quality and compare to other providers in the area.
Students at the University of South Florida will be soaring to new academic heights, with drones.
College students will be getting their hands on more than just books at USF come the fall semester. The Tampa campus plans to offer remote-controlled drones for students to check out for school-related projects.
It's a bold move considering that more places are starting to limit the access of drones, including the National Park Service, which announced a temporary ban on the use of drones on Friday. The NPS announcement basically bars the access of unmanned devices to 84 million acres of land in the U.S.
Yet, USF is taking a different approach to drones, making the technology more accessible to its students. The library purchased two drones with some leftover money from a grant to remodel its facility with new technology. These drones are capable of taking aerial video and photography.
Edan Lepucki's debut, California, sold thousands of copies even before the official publication date when talk-show host Stephen Colbert urged readers to pre-order it from a national independent chain as a protest against the "books-and-everything else" giant, Amazon. It was a powerful campaign and regardless of how one feels about the online retailer, and the stranglehold many acknowledge it has on the global book market, this encouragement to support local and independent booksellers and to champion the work of a new novelist definitely gets my vote.