GITenberg a collaborative, trackable, scriptable digital library using Git

https://github.com/GITenberg/
GITenberg
Project GITenberg is a Free and Open, Collaborative, Trackable and Scriptable digital library. It leverages the power of the Git version control system and the collaborative potential of Github to make books more open.
https://gitenberg.github.io/
Currently there are over 20,000 some odd books in GITenberg.
a collaborative, trackable, scriptable digital library using Git

Unpopular books flying off branch libraries’ shelves

At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/07/bpl-push-reduce-books-community-branches-stirs-c...
The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs.

Petition To Stop Hennepin County Library's plan to shut down the KidLinks and Teenlinks websites

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/77615-save-kidlinks-teenlinks-birthtosix

Hennepin County Library is planning to shut down the KidLinks and TeenLinks websites. Tell the Hennepin County Commissioners to support children and teens by continuing to provide reading development through these outstanding online resources.

Taxes go to operation of presidential libraries

In the nearly 60 years since the federal government became the official caretaker of former U.S. presidents' historical documents, presidential libraries have engaged in a delicate dance to keep the private foundations that build them and the taxpayers who keep them running from stepping on each other's toes.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-presidential-libraries-funding-met-20140808-story.html

This Sex-Ed Book Is Way Too Sexy, Parents Complain

Teaches ninth-graders about masturbation, like they've never heard of it before
California parents are complaining that a new sex-education book for ninth-graders has way too much hot, naked sex in it.
http://time.com/3094386/sex-ed-teens-fremont-parents-virginity/

Omaha's proposed budget would cut funding for libraries

If you’ve been patiently waiting for a library copy of a best-seller like “The Fault in Our Stars,” the City of Omaha’s proposed budget for next year might come with some bad news.

The plan headed to the City Council for a public hearing Tuesday comes with a cut for the city’s libraries; the department’s $13.1 million budget is down about 5 percent from last year.

To avoid cutting staff or library hours, officials have plans to reduce the library’s materials budget — which means fewer opportunities to buy new books, e-books, DVDs and other materials, and longer wait times for some of the most popular titles.

Full article:
http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/omaha-s-proposed-budget-would-cut-funding-for-libraries/arti...

Amazon's Battle Over Ebooks Heats Up

More than 900 authors protest Amazon in NYT ad

More than 900 authors have signed an open letter condemning Amazon's boycott of Hachette authors over the online retailer's contractual dispute with the publisher.

Full piece here.

Technology making us "smarter than you think"

With every advance in technology, skeptics lament the loss of a more meaningful and simpler time, arguing that attention spans are shrinking and critical thinking is corroding. But in his book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, journalist Clive Thompson offers a different take. Brooke spoke with Thompson last year about how all of the YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, and Wikipedia pages have produced a unique human intelligence.

Google, Barnes & Noble Team Up To Take On Amazon

Google and Barnes & Noble are joining forces to tackle their mutual rival Amazon, zeroing in on a service that Amazon has long dominated: the fast, cheap delivery of books.

NYT

Aiming to Be the Netflix of Books

Monthly subscription services from Amazon, Oyster and Scribd offer access to unlimited e-books, but many newer books aren’t yet available.

NYT article

Mike, the Liberian Librarian. Trying to Help His People While Dealing With Civil Wars, Illiteracy and Now Ebola

Via Huff Post:

In his 60 years Michael Weah, like most Liberians, has had to contend with realities most of us in the United States can not even comprehend. Thirty-four years ago, when he was 26, came the bloody military coup staged by Samuel Doe, that upended what had been the social and political order in Liberia since its colonization by American freemen and former slaves in 1820. Then in 1989 Charles Taylor overthrew Doe, and Liberia slid into a period of on-again-off-again civil wars.

During the period of the civil wars, when life in Monrovia was restricted by a curfew that began in the late afternoon, Michael Weah established a small lending library, supplying anyone who asked with reading material - books, magazines, newspapers, donated from overseas. All he asked was that when a person was through with the reading material they pass it on to someone else who would use it to sustain them through the interminable periods of daily isolation.

During the decade-plus of civil wars, the initial operation grew into the We-Care Library, the only real library in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city. Every day the library is literally jammed with school children of all ages, who come to study, do their home work, and expand their horizons.

The library recently had to close due to the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. As Mike wrote the other day to friends in the U.S. and Canada, "family wise, I have lost three persons: my doctor, the man who clears our books from the port, and a young nephew. Everybody fled from the house when the young boy started to show the symptoms. He died alone and his body is still lying on the porch where he passed. The health workers were called about six hours ago. They may come or may not."

How a New Dutch Library Smashed Attendance Records

From Shareable:

Facing declining visitors and uncertainty about what to do about it, library administrators in the new town of Almere in the Netherlands did something extraordinary. They redesigned their libraries based on the changing needs and desires of library users and, in 2010, opened the Nieuwe Bibliotheek (New Library), a thriving community hub that looks more like a bookstore than a library.

Guided by patron surveys, administrators tossed out traditional methods of library organization, turning to retail design and merchandising for inspiration. They now group books by areas of interest, combining fiction and nonfiction; they display books face-out to catch the eye of browsers; and they train staff members in marketing and customer service techniques.

With out-facing books, the New Library looks more like a bookstore than a library. Oooh, nice!

Harsh Children's Book Reviews

From Quartz.

"One hundred years before post-millennial parents were deeming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs inappropriate for young vegans, the children’s librarians of the New York Public Library kept a card catalog of hand-typed kids’ book reviews.

“There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library,” says Lynn Lobash, who oversees reader services at the NYPL. “But these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”

Fave comment written in 1975 on an index card is "Just what we've been waiting for. A DIRTY TEENAGE NOVEL" about Judy Blume's Forever.

Summer Reading Programs Finishing Up

Many public libraries have summer reading programs. Does yours? Please comment below to let us know how it's going/gone...

From My Eastern Shore Maryland:

STEVENSVILLE — Whoever said summer reading is a drag hasn't been to the Queen Anne's Public Library this summer. On July 31, parents and children gathered at the library in Stevensville for the Summer Reading Wrap-Up, an event to celebrate the end of the library's annual summer reading program. Children built structures with Legos, made art pieces on paper plates, watched science demonstrations, and talked about the books they've read this summer.

George Burchill, a 9-year-old from Stevensville, said that his favorite books this summer have been the “Ranger's Apprentice” series by John Flanagan. The soon-to-be fourth-grader has read 21 books so far over summer vacation, all several hundred pages long. Asked how he could read so much in that amount of time, he laughed, “Most of the day I read.”

Sad Book Returned to NYPL After 54 Years

From Melville House:

Every so often, a book is returned to the library so late, it makes headlines. The due date of the sad book in this particular headline was August 17, 1959.

The New York Public Library recently received a copy of Ideal Marriage by Th.H. Van de Velde, M.D. The librarian reports it’s a “very wordy” and scientific guide to sex from 1926. (It’s “certainly more juicy than The Tropic of Cancer,” writes Billy Parrott of the Mid-Manhattan Library.)

It was such a source of shame, it wasn’t returned by the patron, but by his in-laws after the patron’s death:

We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law’s things. Funny thing is the book didn’t support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage… it failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!

A shocked in-law

Free David Lankes book

You can now download a free copy of the book Expect More for free from David Lankes' website

Book is $9.99 on Amazon - Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today's Complex World

David Lankes comments on Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt: Perhaps, you may think, I am an ivory tower academic blind to the coming disruptive change…like when the Internet was going to put libraries out of business… then Google…then Netflix…then Yahoo! Answers. Here’s the plain truth: there is a HUGE disruptive change happening in libraries, and it is facilitated by things like Google and Kindle Unlimited. Libraries are shifting from collection-focused buildings to centers of innovation focused on communities. If you think of libraries as places filled with books, you are in for a bit of a shock. Any library that can be replaced by a $10 a month subscription to stuff SHOULD be replaced.

Full post here.

Librarian and Romance Writer Enthusiast

Special to USA Today: Librarian of the year, man of RWA, aspiring cover model … these were just some of the names Sean Gilmartin was called while attending this year's Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio.

"I (Gilmartin) was very close to adding car thief" to the list but luckily I can leave that out. Apparently, when a driver is holding a sign that clearly states Barbara Samuel, who just happens to be a seven-time RITA winner and RWA Hall of Famer, that vehicle is not for you. Needless to say, I didn't steal her ride from the airport but ironically was only a few hotel rooms down from her. Barbara, if you're reading this, I promise I wasn't stalking you at the conference; we really just kept running into each other. By coincidence. A lot.

That was the start of my RWA and the launch into my hashtag on Twitter: #SeanDoesRWA. I intended for it to be a way for family and friends to easily follow my escapades, but it actually turned into my best communication tool. People all over the conference were saying hello and despite not having met in person, we were chatting daily. I would then run into someone, standing in line for a book signing or whatnot, and we would actually meet. It was a surreal and incredible experience that lessened the fear deep inside of me that fueled my preconceived notion that as a librarian I would not fit in. It didn't matter that RWA has a special award for librarians — no, I was certain that I would feel isolated in the midst of 2,000 romance authors. I could not have been more wrong, and people could not have been more friendly, kind, and gracious to me every single day of RWA.

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt: “I’m enough of a realist to assume that consumers will gravitate to the cheapest, most convenient source of content, whether that’s Amazon or the public library,” said Jimmy Thomas, executive director of Colorado’s Marmot Library Network. “Amazon continues to set a high standard of convenience libraries should attend to. And every time this huge corporation does something on a massive scale, libraries should be reminded to approach services differently. Competing with Amazon on its own terms is not a good direction for libraries. But thinking about how to complement Amazon is worthwhile.”Full piece

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