Is it too early for ‘best books’ lists? Nope

Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn scanned the best-books picks from Publishers Weekly, Amazon Books and Library Journal and mined a little data: out of 30 books, only three made more than one list. Reviewers are an eclectic bunch.

From Is it too early for ‘best books’ lists? Nope | The Seattle Times

Topic: 

Will a Nebraska community tech center force us to consider libraries without books?

With a $7 million investment, an Omaha foundation hopes to make technology as readily available as books to the public in a unique new library.

From Will a Nebraska community tech center force us to consider libraries without books? | netnebraska.org

Topic: 

Posthumous books could come with a lot of dollar signs

Add to this the growth of websites that let publishers directly track book lovers’ sentiments, making them feel less at the mercy of critics and other cultural gatekeepers who may raise their eyebrows at the circumstances of a posthumous publication.

The strategy appears to be working. Fans of the late Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel (who died in 1991) turned a book, pieced together from pages long buried in Geisel’s files, into an instant bestseller when it was published in July. A month later, a work by J.R.R. Tolkien (whose death came in 1973) that had been previously published in an obscure academic journal was released to some fanfare in the United Kingdom —and is slated for publication here in April.

Meanwhile, the latestby Pulitzer winner Oscar Hijuelos, who died in 2013 while putting the finishing touches on the novel, emerged this month.

From Posthumous books could come with a lot of dollar signs - The Boston Globe

Topic: 

How search engines make us feel smarter than we really are

The latest research suggest that though technology probably doesn’t make us stupid, it can, however, cause us to believe that we are smarter than we really are. Knowing you can search the internet is similar to knowing that you can consult a dictionary or a home encyclopedia or make a visit to the library when truly puzzled – but it’s different in that your brain, and the brains of every other cybercitizen, has become accustomed to the power to almost effortlessly reach into the internet and in a second or two bring back the info previously missing from your head, and you can do that mid-conversation, or while driving, or in the subway or on the couch or in line for a concert. That effortlessness and in-our-pockets availability seems to deeply affect how we categorize what is in our heads and what is not. When we consider all there is to know about a given subject, the convenience of search engines seems to blur the way we think about what we do and do not personally know about the world.

From How search engines make us feel smarter than we really are / Boing Boing

Topic: 

Ebooks for All Building digital libraries in Ghana with Worldreader

Of course, Kindles and Christianity are different beasts. But the fundamental posturing can feel eerily close. Those of us who work in technology tend to take religious-like stances over its ability to change the world, always for the better.

From Ebooks for All — Craig Mod

New Study Finds Low Levels of Digital Library Borrowing

The newest industry report from BISG, “Digital Content in Public Libraries: What Do Patrons Think?,” found that even though over half of library patrons surveyed are aware that their local libraries carry e-books and digital audiobooks, relatively few had borrowed them in the previous year. Only 25% of patrons reported that they had borrowed an e-book within the past year, and even fewer (9%) said they had checked out a digital audiobook.

The low rates came despite the fact that 58% of patrons said they know that their library offers both e-books and digital audiobooks. Library patrons also borrowed digital content less frequently than they use it outside libraries; 44% of patrons said they had read an e-book in the past year, while 12% had listened to a digital audiobook.

From New Study Finds Low Levels of Digital Library Borrowing

A Slippery Number: How Many Books Can Fit in the New York Public Library?

In just the past decade, vexingly different figures have been reported — 1.8 million in The New York Times in 2009, four million by The Associated Press in 2013. The library and its current president, Anthony W. Marx, seemed content until two years ago to put the number at about three million, although the figure of 3.5 million had long been used, and appears in the lead paragraph of a Times article from Oct. 1, 1905. (Puzzlingly, the headline says 4.5 million.)

From A Slippery Number: How Many Books Can Fit in the New York Public Library? - The New York Times

Luxury living Private libraries

Luxury living: Private libraries

As our major Books & Manuscripts sales approach, we present five exclusive homes with magnificent private libraries — all from Christie’s International Real Estate

From Luxury living Private libraries

Topic: 

3 small cities strive to book new libraries

If only Oprah were here.

“And you get a library, and you get a library, and you get a library!”

But alas, three small Clark County libraries will have to do it the hard way.

Ridgefield, Woodland and Washougal are in the hunt for new libraries to feed the minds of their growing cities, and they are all edging slowly toward their targets.

“Right now, if you go into any of those three communities it’s a very tight space, and once we find a space that fits the needs of the community, it opens up opportunities for everyone,” said Rick Smithrud, executive director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation.

From 3 small cities strive to book new libraries | The Columbian

California State Library's new CIO mulls 'virtual libraries'

The California State Library’s new chief information wants citizens across the state to be able to visit his institution — from the comfort of their own computer.

David Wanjiru, who started the job on Nov. 2, told StateScoop that one of his long-term plans is to stand up a “virtual library,” where users could watch video tours of the research institution’s archives or explore its museum exhibits. To create this resource, Wanjiru would outfit staff members with GoPro cameras that would record images of the library, he said.

From California State Library's new CIO mulls 'virtual libraries' - StateScoop

Topic: 

Public library set to open in polygamous community in Utah

A public library is set to open next year in a polygamous town on the Utah-Arizona border that hasn't had one for decades because of controlling sect leaders who try to limit followers' exposure to the outside world.

The library is expected to open in March 2016, Washington County Library System director Joel Tucker said. The plan is to put the library in an old schoolhouse the center of town, near the public school and town hall in Hildale, Utah.

The community is dominated by a polygamous sect led by jailed leader Warren Jeffs. He and other sect leaders try to limit members' exposure to the outside world by prohibiting Internet and books.

From Public library set to open in polygamous community in Utah | The Salt Lake Tribune

Amazon Books should be the future of brick-and-mortar retail chains

But that might be what it takes for these stores to thrive. What happens when Amazon slowly but surely competes more and more with physical locations? The company’s already expanding its grocery business, for instance, and is reducing the amount of time it takes to ship items to customers with multiple services. Amazon Books — if it’s successful — could easily become an Amazon Market. There are other advantages, too. If an item on the shelf is sold out, retail stores could provide incentives for people to pull out their phones and have the item shipped to their home later on. Surely that’s better than just losing the customer.

From Amazon Books should be the future of brick-and-mortar retail chains | Gigaom

Topic: 

A Storied Bookstore and Its Late Oracle Leave an Imprint on Islamabad

Saeed Book Bank is an institution in Islamabad, displaying 200,000 titles, mostly in English, and stocking more than four million books in its five warehouses

From A Storied Bookstore and Its Late Oracle Leave an Imprint on Islamabad - The New York Times

Topic: 

Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists’ Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication

The incentive structure of a scientist’s life is increasingly mimicking economic principles. While intensely criticized, the journal impact factor (JIF) has taken a role as the new currency for scientists. Successful goal-directed behavior in academia thus requires knowledge about the JIF. Using functional neuroimaging we examined how the JIF, as a powerful incentive in academia, has shaped the behavior of scientists and the reward signal in the striatum. We demonstrate that the reward signal in the nucleus accumbens increases with higher JIF during the anticipation of a publication and found a positive correlation with the personal publication record (pJIF) supporting the notion that scientists have incorporated the predominant reward principle of the scientific community in their reward system. The implications of this behavioral adaptation within the ecological niche of the scientist’s habitat remain unknown, but may also have effects which were not intended by the community.

From PLOS ONE: Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists’ Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication

Stronger Locks, Better Security

What if, in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, or cybersecurity attacks on companies and government agencies, the FBI had come to the American people and said: In order to keep you safe, we need you to remove all the locks on your doors and windows and replace them with weaker ones. It's because, if you were a terrorist and we needed to get to your house, your locks might slow us down or block us entirely.  So Americans, remove your locks! And American companies: stop making good locks!

From Stronger Locks, Better Security | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Firefox maker Mozilla: We don't need Google's money anymore

The organization once banked on the millions that Google paid for search traffic from the Firefox browser. Now it relies on Yahoo, Baidu and others, and it expects revenue to grow.

From Firefox maker Mozilla: We don't need Google's money anymore - CNET

Topic: 

The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images

Privacy, as we understand it, is only about 150 years old.
Humans do have an instinctual desire for privacy. However, for 3,000 years, cultures have nearly always prioritized convenience and wealth over privacy.
Section II will show how cutting edge health technology will force people to choose between an early, costly death and a world without any semblance of privacy. Given historical trends, the most likely outcome is that we will forgo privacy and return to our traditional, transparent existence.

From The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images — The Ferenstein Wire — Medium

Church libraries offer spiritual, uplifting books

Some of these libraries offer hidden treasures in the form of rare or out-of-print books, pamphlets and other documents.

“Our library probably runs like most church libraries of this size. It’s on an honor system,” said The Rev. Paul Moore, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Silver City. “I filter incoming books to ensure that they contain material that is consonant with our mission and ministry. People usually read them while they are here, or if they take them home, bring them back when they’re done.”

From Church libraries offer spiritual, uplifting books

Topic: 

The Future Of Libraries Is Collaborative, Robotic, And Participatory

The big question, of course, is whether libraries will have the resources to do the things they need to do. If they can't find alternative sources of funding, probably from the private sector, they're going to be stuck. Crowdfunding and social lending are strong and growing possibilities, as Kickstarter has shown. But, as the report says, they may need to provide "a wider range of public and commercial services" as well.

From The Future Of Libraries Is Collaborative, Robotic, And Participatory

Topic: 

Video: Campus Libraries Rethink Focus as Materials Go Digital

Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association, sees a coming transformation of academic libraries thanks to technology. She says they are taking on greater roles in creating teaching materials and scholarship — and preserving tweets as well as books.

From Video: Campus Libraries Rethink Focus as Materials Go Digital - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Pages

Subscribe to LISNews: RSS