Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

Besides saving lives by making 48 million research papers accessible to patients and doctors, Sci-Hub to me signifies that the scientific community (well, admittedly, a tiny proportion of it), is starting to lose its patience and becomes ready for more revolutionary reform options. A signal that the community starts to feel that it is running out of options for evolutionary change. To me, Sci-Hub signals that publisher behavior, collectively, over the last two decades has been such a gigantic affront to scholars that civil disobedience is a justifiable escalation. Personally, I would tend to hope that Sci-Hub (and potentially following, increasingly radical measures) would signal that time has run out and that the scientific community is now ready to shift gears and embark on a more effective strategy for infrastructure reform.
Although I realize that it’s probably wishful thinking.

From bjoern.brembs.blog » Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

What Does It Take To Be A “Bestselling Author”? $3 and 5 Minutes

Gone are the days of having to be selected to put out a book. Gone are the days of having to go to a bookstore to see what is available. Now you can check online, with real time reviews, AND, real time “bestseller” rankings. It’s unsurprising that as the barriers to entry for the book business went down, so did the quality of the books being produced. These days, over one million books are published each year, with at least half of these self-published. So it’s almost obvious that, given the volume, you could game your way to the top of a category with very few sales. And yet, in spite of the fact that it’s as easy as I’ve shown to become an Amazon best-seller, those same people get to cash in on the goodwill and prestige build up in the title “bestselling author.” 

From What Does It Take To Be A “Bestselling Author”? $3 and 5 Minutes. | Observer

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IFLA issues Statement on Right to be Forgotten

IFLA urges library professionals to participate in policy discussions about the right to be forgotten, while both supporting the right to privacy for individual citizens and assisting individuals in their searches for information.  To this effect, library professionals should:

Raise awareness among policy makers to ensure that the right to be forgotten does not apply where retaining links in search engine results is necessary for historical, statistical and research purposes; for reasons of public interest; or for the exercise of the right of freedom of expression.

From IFLA issues Statement on Right to be Forgotten

Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate

We’re not being asked to choose between security and privacy. We’re being asked to choose between less security and more security.

This trade-off isn’t new. In the mid-1990s, cryptographers argued that escrowing encryption keys with central authorities would weaken security. In 2011, cybersecurity researcher Susan Landau published her excellent book Surveillance or Security?, which deftly parsed the details of this trade-off and concluded that security is far more important. Ubiquitous encryption protects us much more from bulk surveillance than from targeted surveillance. For a variety of technical reasons, computer security is extraordinarily weak.

If a sufficiently skilled, funded, and motivated attacker wants in to your computer, they’re in. If they’re not, it’s because you’re not high enough on their priority list to bother with. Widespread encryption forces the listener – whether a foreign government, criminal, or terrorist – to target. And this hurts repressive governments much more than it hurts terrorists and criminals.

From Don't Panic Making Progress On The "Going Dark" Debate [PDF]

Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland

That novel, once a prized possession of Van De Carr’s, is now gone, along with around 400 of his other books worth well over $350,000. Someone stole his van while it was parked outside a friend’s Oakland home this week.
“The thing about that book is it was as new as the day it was published. Just a perfect, perfect copy. It glistened,” Van De Carr lamented.
“It’s my livelihood, it’s how I make a living,” added Van De Carr, owner of Booklegger’s Books in Chicago. “Now, I have nothing.”

From Van filled with $350,000 in rare books stolen in Oakland - SFGate

Georgia Tech Discovers How Mobile Ads Leak Personal Data

Researchers found that 73 percent of ad impressions for 92 percent of users are correctly aligned with their demographic profiles. Researchers also found that, based on ads shown, a mobile app developer could learn a user’s:

gender with 75 percent accuracy,
parental status with 66 percent accuracy,
age group with 54 percent accuracy, and
could also predict income, political affiliation, marital status, with higher accuracy than random guesses.

From Georgia Tech Discovers How Mobile Ads Leak Personal Data

Baltimore librarian Carla Hayden nominated as Librarian of Congress: Will her Patriot Act opposition get in the way?

Carla Hayden is President Obama’s nominee for Librarian of Congress. She is CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, an African-American and a former president of the American Library Association.

What a contrast to James Billington, the long-time librarian who retired last year and was temporarily replaced by Acting Librarian David Mao. Billington’s background is from academia. He was not a professional librarian. What’s more, he was so far out of touch that he preferred fax to e-mail; and for the most part, this Reagan-era leftover hated e-books.

From Baltimore librarian Carla Hayden nominated as Librarian of Congress: Will her Patriot Act opposition get in the way? - TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond

LIBRARIES NEED TO PRIORITIZE PATRON PRIVACY & SECURITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Over the past few months, we have been approached by groups leading a charge to recognize patron security and privacy as an important part of library purchasing responsibility. The facts are that many of the platforms licensed by libraries today do not prioritize and sometimes neglect basic steps to ensure libraries can protect patron security and privacy. The reason is simple: Libraries do not demand it.

From LIBRARIES NEED TO PRIORITIZE PATRON PRIVACY & SECURITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD — Medium

You Could Look It Up

Book that has just been released: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

"Knowledge is of two kinds," said Samuel Johnson in 1775. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge--reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries.

You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. From The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny's Natural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language to The Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.

See: http://amzn.to/1Q05Jj5

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Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain

Calhoun was curious to see how the punctuation in his favorite books stacked up, so he wrote a script that strips the words from the pages. Next to Rougeux’s swirling posters, Calhoun’s visualizations are less abstract, more straightforward. In one, he simply leaves them as-is—a block of periods, commas and dashes in all their geometric, grammatical beauty. In another, he assigns each glyph a color, creating glowing heatmaps that show which marks are most prevalent.

From Charting Literary Classics’ Punctuation, From Austen to Twain | WIRED

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Fully Implement ESSA School Library Provisions

FULLY IMPLEMENT ESSA SCHOOL LIBRARY PROVISIONS
School librarians are on the front lines of librarianship. For many young minds they are the first contact with both librarians and libraries and provide the kinds of opportunities for imaginative exploration that libraries freely and democratically provide through their books, programs, and services. Children are allowed to explore literature and new ideas freely in school libraries while also developing a love of reading and strong skills in literacy that will help them throughout their life.

From Fully Implement ESSA School Library Provisions - EveryLibrary

New book about New York City special libraries released

Terry Ballard has written the book "50 Specialty libraries of New York City: From botany to magic," published by Chandos Elsevier.

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Libraries are for reading not knitting

Warnings about libraries spreading their resources too thin are partly based on the fact that book funds are in decline. But the real issue here is that society finds it difficult to take the authority of knowledge seriously. It cannot find any justification for quiet spaces and rows of bookshelves. The trust’s emphasis on extracurricular activities undermines the purpose of libraries – that is, to foster independence and self-realisation.

It seems the Carnegie Trust no longer wants us to read books – it would rather we drank tea and ate biscuits instead.

From Libraries are for reading not knitting - The Future Cities project

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The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library

In recent years, there has been much talk about what to do with the various library branches as they continue to adapt to the digital era. Originally, the Mid-Manhattan was due to be sold and its services moved into a fully renovated main building. Now those controversial plans have been scrapped in favor of a new “Midtown Campus Renovation,” and the Mid-Manhattan has been tapped for an overhaul, with designs set to be unveiled later this year, and completed by 2019. The carpets could certainly use a good cleaning, and it would be nice if the elevators and climate control worked better, but I hope the revamp won’t alter the branch’s freewheeling energy.

From The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library - The New Yorker

IFLA 2016 President's Meeting - Call to Action: Building the Change Agenda for the Information Profession

Call to Action: Building the Change Agenda for the Information Profession
IFLA President’s Meeting: Donna Scheeder
Thursday/Friday April 7-8, 2016 with Welcome Reception; Pre & Post Library Tours, April 6 & 9

This two day summit focuses on the exploration of building the change agenda at the global, national, institutional and personal level.  It brings together leading thinkers, information professionals, and experienced practitioners from different segments of the library and information services community who represent efforts to address new directions needed as a result of societal trends reflecting both regional and library sector perspectives.   Engage with public, academic, and institutional librarians as well as library educators, creative and critical makers, futurists, and others in conversation about the change agenda for the information profession.

From IFLA 2016 President's Meeting - Home

web application that runs the inlibraries.com website

inlibraries.com
Flask web application that runs the inlibraries.com website

The application generates a random library conference website based on the subdomain of the request URL. Underscores in the subdomain will be replaced with spaces.

Examples:

http://badgers.inlibraries.com
http://rabid_badgers.inlibraries.com

From inlibraries.com/README.md at master · waharnum/inlibraries.com

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Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library

Nashville Public Library officials have told Nashville’s chapter of Black Lives Matter that meetings that welcome only people of color can’t take place inside the city’s libraries.

That decision has outraged members of Black Lives Matter, who say the library canceled all future meetings the group had organized for later this month.

From Black Lives Matter 'color-only' rule runs afoul of Nashville library

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Libraries: Liberty and justice for all

Separate and unequal access to knowledge is the antithesis of library ideals. The American Library Association actively commits its programs and resources “to those efforts that combat prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination against individuals and groups in the library profession and in library user populations on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability.”

From Libraries: Liberty and justice for all

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NH bill would explicitly allow libraries to run Tor exit nodes

Inspired by the Library Freedom Project's uncompromising bravery in the face of a DHS threat against a town library in Kilton, NH, that was running a Tor exit node to facilitate private, anonymous communication, the New Hampshire legislature is now considering a bill that would explicitly permit public libraries to "allow the installation and use of cryptographic privacy platforms on public library computers for library patrons use."

From NH bill would explicitly allow libraries to run Tor exit nodes / Boing Boing

The Library Card

As we traveled around the U.S. reporting on the revival of towns and cities, we always made the local library an early stop. We’d hit the newspaper offices, the chamber of commerce, city hall, and Main Street for an introduction to the economics, politics, and stresses of a town. The visit to the public library revealed its heart and soul.

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