Anita Florence Hemmings: Passing For White At Vassar

Interesting history of an early Vassar grad who later became a librarian:

Anita Hemmings was a black woman who was passing for white, and it almost got her kicked out of Vassar on the very eve of her graduation in 1897. Hat tip to Robin Bradford @Tuphlos

Safely graduated from what was perhaps the most prestigious women’s college in the nation, Anita went on to join the staff of the Boston Public Library as their foreign cataloguer, doing translations and bibliographies. She was proficient in seven languages, including Latin, French, and ancient Greek.

By 1914 she was listed in Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. That listing noted that she “favors woman suffrage.” She also became a friend of African American civil rights activist W. E. B. Dubois.

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Google’s slow fade with librarians

https://medium.com/message/googles-slow-fade-with-librarians-fddda838a0b7

Don’t get me wrong, we’re doing pretty great on our own, better than ever really. We’ve gotten a bit more independent, not putting all of our eggs into any one basket, gotten better at establishing boundaries. Still not sure, after all that, how we got this all so wrong. Didn’t we both want the same thing? Maybe it really wasn’t us, it was them. Most days it’s hard to remember what we saw in Google. Why did we think we’d make good partners?

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Back to His Usual Library Duties


Phil saw his shadow this morning, so there's six more weeks of winter. Now, back to his usual activities at the
Punxsutawney Library.

reshelving? weeding? posing for tourists? more burrowing?

100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement

There are solutions to community issues laying dormant in the minds of our friends and neighbors. It's time for a paradigm shift to one in which public leaders engage with their communities and take action based on the voices of their constituents. (And where communities demand that kind of interaction.) So go, get out there, engage your elected and appointed leaders, and use your voice to impact positive change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-fishman-lipsey/100-great-ideas-for-the-for-the-future-...

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Beirut libraries struggle with funding

Since the first library opened in Bachoura, the budget of ASSABIL grew from $12,000 in 1998 to $620,000 in 2011. In addition to managing the Beirut network, the organization also supports about 25 public libraries throughout Lebanon with resources, training and evaluations, among other things.

Despite the organization’s success, many obstacles remain. Funding is a major issue, as ASSABIL is responsible for raising the majority of its budget on its own. In the past, it has brought in money through a vast array of projects, from collaborating with migrant workers to a partner library project in Beirut that focuses on bridge-building between Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/01/lebanon-beirut-public-libraries.html

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Other Little Free Libraries could be ordered to cease

One of Shreveport's Little Free Libraries was ordered to cease operations Thursday, and others in the city could face the same fate.

Alan Clarke, the MPC's zoning administrator, said the book swaps are, by definition, libraries equivalent to Shreve Memorial Library, and under city law a library can only exist in a commercially-zoned area.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/local/2015/01/29/mpc-orders-little-free-library-ce...

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Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded about 2,000 books %u2014 including children%u2019s stories, poetry, philosophy, and tomes on sports, health, culture and science %u2014 into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2015/02/01/iraqi-libraries-ransacked-islamic-state-gro...
and
http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Islamic-State-militants-ransack-libraries-in-Mosul-60540...

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Software that can publish every draft of a book simultaneously shows the true beauty of the creative process - Quartz

Once his book, Benjamin Buckingham And The Nightmare’s Nightmare, was finished, Mazurek publicly shared the GitHub project so anyone could see the changes he made to the story along the way. Mazurek said that he originally hadn’t intended to make the project public, that he had just used GitHub as a way of keeping track of his thoughts and making sure he could access his work from multiple computers. But after he showed the project to his friends, they convinced him that there was artistic value in sharing the changes made along the way, as well as the novel itself.
http://qz.com/335942/an-author-used-a-tool-for-programmers-to-write-a-book/

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Never trust a corporation to do a library%u2019s job %u2014 The Message %u2014 Medium

In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google%u2019s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.

After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.

https://medium.com/message/never-trust-a-corporation-to-do-a-librarys-job-f58db4673351?repos...

Get your loved ones off Facebook.

The issue here isn't what we have to hide, it's maintaining an important right to our freedom -- which is the right to privacy, and the right to have a say in how information about us is used. We've giving up those rights forever by using Facebook.

http://saintsal.com/facebook/

Paper Books Will Never Die

This blog post on Gizmodo makes the case for paper bound books.

"So how can I be confident that paper books are going to be with us for a long time to come? First of all, because they're lovely and I refuse to believe they'll ever disappear. But also because paper books are still a fantastic and irreplaceable piece of technology.

Believe it or not, paper book sales have made a modest comeback in the past year. Ebooks are mainstream. But paper books have too many benefits to simply die out anytime soon."

Library social worker helps homeless seeking quiet refuge


Meet the nation's first full-time library social worker. Instead of trying to keep homeless residents from taking shelter in the urban haven of public libraries, San Francisco has adopted a new approach: employing a trained professional to address the needs of these visitors. The NewsHour’s Cat Wise reports.

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In South Florida, A Lover and Donor of Unique Books

It all started with his work as a library volunteer. From The Sun Sentinel:

For Arthur Jaffe, books weren't just to be read. They were to be treasured as works of art. Jaffe, who donated a lot of money and his vast collection of hand-crafted books to Florida Atlantic University, died Sunday. He was 93.

Though he passed away this week, his legacy will live on through the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at FAU's Wimberly Library, where he spent 13 years as curator before retiring in 2011. The collection has grown from Jaffe's original donation of 2,800 handmade books to 12,000 today.

The Jaffe collection includes children's pop-ups, wood cuts and lithographs. There are several versions of the Bible, classics like "Moby Dick" and "Hamlet," and more unusual volumes, such as "Ghost Diary" by Maureen Cummins, a rare book made of glass. Even after retiring in 2011, he continued to visit the center on a regular basis. In 2012, he launched a project that seemed unusual for the book arts center: a documentary on the tattoos of FAU students.

"Here was a 91-year-old looking at all these tattooed kids and saying, 'they're all walking books,'" Cutrone said. "Sometimes you think of older people as being set in their ways, but that was not Arthur. He was willing to see the other side of things."

Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It's Essential to Copyright

Unfortunately, there is tremendous pressure in DC right now to rewrite the law and undermine that balance. Fair use has been under assault for decades, thanks to laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it illegal to bypass a technical protection measure under most circumstances even if your conduct is an otherwise lawful fair use. Now, more than ever, we must insist that fair use is indispensable to copyright. That’s how we take copyright back.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/fair-use-not-exception-copyright-its-essential-copyright

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Alexandria Still Burns. This is What a Librarian Looks Like

Maybe you've heard about a photo/video project by Kyle Cassidy that was looking for funding last year. You'll be happy to know that the project has been funded on Kickstarter.

On June 29th, 2014 618 backers carried our Kickstarter across the finish line with $12,245, allowing us to not only photograph and interview more than 300 Librarians at the ALA conference in Las Vegas, but to also fund the stretch goals of creating a series of stock photographs for libraries to use, doing five hours of video interviews, and doing some photography for the new Joan of Dark book on knitting projects for book lovers.

If you're not familiar with the project, here's more about it .

X-ray technique 'reads' burnt Vesuvius scroll

There's rare books and then there's even more rare scrolls. From the BBC:

For the first time, words have been read from a burnt, rolled-up scroll buried by Mount Vesuvius in AD79.
The scrolls of Herculaneum, the only classical library still in existence, were blasted by volcanic gas hotter than 300C and are desperately fragile.

Deep inside one scroll, physicists distinguished the ink from the paper using a 3D X-ray imaging technique sometimes used in breast scans. They believe that other scrolls could also be deciphered without unrolling.

The work appears in the journal Nature Communications.

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Reading Rainbow Welcome to Reading Rainbow | Best Reading Apps for Kids

Introducing the re-imagined Reading Rainbow experience, featuring an unlimited library of acclaimed children's books and video field trips.
https://www.readingrainbow.com/

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet

http://www.openculture.com/2014/07/j-k-rowling-plotted-harry-potter-with-a-hand-drawn-spread...

“If you think about Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that’s it,” writes /Film’s Germain Lussier. “Those columns pretty much encompass the whole story.” Rowling, of course, hardly counts as the only novelist to write with such techniques, and based on this example, hers don’t get nearly as elaborate as some.

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Library offers new way to share books

The Montgomery County Library System soon will add a new offering to its usual items for check-out.

Instead of just borrowing a book, selected county residents will be able to take a "Little Free Library" out on loan - and set it up in their neighborhood or in front of a business.

Melissa Baker, library marketing and program coordinator, explained that Little Free Library is a movement started by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks in Wisconsin in 2009.

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/woodlands/news/article/Library-offers-new-way-to-share-boo...

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Artist Draws His Impression of 99 Branches of the Toronto Library

From August through October of last year, 25-year-old artist and geographer Daniel Rotsztain boarded buses, trains, streetcars and his bike with an inky pen in hand and plenty of paper. His goal was to capture the city’s bastions of books by drawing each one of them in a “homey, but blue print style”— a feat he sometimes conquered amidst scorching heat and drizzling rain.

The project was born out of a conversation Rotsztain had with friends about their favourite library branches. "It’s a love letter to the library,” he told The Toronto Star. It is hard to just wander randomly, but to have this quest oriented me well to explore every corner of every borough of the city.”

He is releasing the images on his website and is eagerly anticipating drawing the 100th library to open in the Scarborough Centre area this spring.

Hat tip to Steven Cohen Library Stuff.

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