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CNN, among others, reports that an earthquake ranging 5.6-5.8 hit in Chino Hills outside Los Angeles. It will be days before a final magnitude score for the earthquake is settled upon. The report by MSNBC notes that location is key to whether damage occurs.
Much of this brings up a point we don't think about in librarianship too much. If we rely on a remote server that gets hit by a natural disaster, what do we do? Do we have local backups? Is there something we can fail over to?
A prime example of a problem is Twitter. The majority of Twitter's servers are located in one of the most geologically active areas of North America. If an earthquake hit, Twitter would be probably toast without a backup outside San Francisco.
Great centralization may be great for cognitive processing but it is so vulnerable. During the Cold War it was found that a way to disrupt the Soviet side was to blow up a factory. Typically all production was centered in a single factory. If you hit the shoe factory, there might not be shoes for a while. If you hit the radio factory, folks might have to turn to smugglers from Western Europe to bring in Telefunken devices and other such things.
While there are Web 2.0 sites with great promise, the biggest worry is excessive centralization. If a site goes down, what do you do? If you had important documents saved only to GoogleDocs, what do you do when it goes away? The recent Amazon S3 outage showed just how fragile cloud computing is as it requires a near-perfect world without disruption in which to operate effectively.
There are some moves afoot for decentralization. The PGP web of trust is one great example of decentralizing a backbone to a public-key encryption system. identi.ca is based off a program licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License. The underlying software, known as Laconica, allows for decentralized microblogging across multiple servers. A major step forward in creating resilience is decentralization.
When the one big server blows up, where will you go for your data? -- Read More
If you've ever wanted to own a library, you might just have missed your chance.
Lexington's Northside public library branch building was auctioned off at 11 am today and sold to the University of Kentucky for $1.2 million, just the amount is was appraised at last year.
Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, noted in his Twitter post earlier that it appears that Starbucks is closing 600 stores. For libraries pondering whether or not it is best to have a coffee shop in the mix, this brings up a point of business economics we rarely have to encounter. Coverage by Mahalo's team of the stories relative to the event can be found online at Mahalo.
Iowa Floods: Information and News
Adult Services Blog, Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Dubuque
Iowa Road Closures, Travel Advisories and Maps
Iowa 511 Traveler Information
Iowa Department of Transportation
Flood-Related Disease Precautions and Information
Iowa Department of Health
Iowa State Agencies Assisting in Disaster Recovery
Iowa Governor's Office
Individual Disaster Assistance
Iowa Department of Human Services
June Severe Weather
Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Often, when attending classes or sessions on library design, I'll hear about how such and such library adopted a sci-fi theme for their youth area. Or this and so library went with a Where the Wild Things Are theme for their children's section.
Here's a wild idea, why not adopt a library and book theme for your kid's area and then get some furniture that looks like big freakin' books?
If not for a library, with some venture capital I'd open a coffee house with furniture like this!
We never had this as kids! Toronto Public Library offers a new literacy playground.
From the light-up entrance to the silver rocket ship to the wall of spinning blocks, this is so not the library you grew up with.
The Toronto Public Library today opens the first of several planned KidsStops – an indoor literacy playground – located in the S. Walter Stewart branch in East York, which has been closed since September 2006 for a major renovation.
The Schenectady Daily Gazette has a follow up story to the one posted here about the Schenectady Public Library closing for a year while they remodel and retrofit the library with new HVAC and electrical equipment.
From the article:
Officials announced Saturday that the county will solicit additional bid requests for revised construction plans, with the hope that the alternatives will cost less than the current $7.7 million plan, tackle many of the same overdue updating priorities and close the library for considerably less than the 10 to 12 months forecast, which drew a firestorm of protest.
In a country known for being in the forefront of architectural modernism, but that also has a love for history, The Prague Post reports on a controversy surrounding the construction of "The Octopus", the nickname of the as yet unbuilt national library. The building, described here, has become "so deeply ingrained in Prague public's psyche it's almost as though [it] has already been built."
The dispute over the new building has continued for months, as the design by architect Jan Kaplický dubbed “the Octopus” divided city officials and the public. Prague Mayor Pavel Bém, originally a supporter of the innovative purple design, is now one of its loudest opponents.
The latest solution appears to have come from National Gallery Director Milan Knížák, who considers the current Congress Center "extremely ugly", but nevertheless, wants it to "be rebuilt as a new National Library building" instead of allowing construction of "the octopus" . Reconstructing the old communist building (already reconstructed for the 2000 International Monetary Fund and World Bank summit and currently hosting cultural and scientific events) would help promote Prague as a tourist destination, serve its residents and solve the problems currently facing the National Library.”
As the hardware needed to set up and install a surveillance camera gets cheaper and the fear of crime goes up, more cameras are found in more places, including your public library.
The Boston Globe has a story on security cameras in general and their use in public spaces like schools and libraries. However, I found this quote troubling:
Kathleen O'Doherty, director of the Woburn Public Library, will not say on record whether that facility has cameras.
Visitors to India may want to check out the Delhi Public Library located in Old Delhi. The library recently underwent a remodeling to bring it up to date with more modern facilities. Study areas are now available as is high speed internet access, DVDs, and a new youth area.
The library is intended to act as a safe and serene place away from the noise pollution so common in the area.
More from ThaiIndian News.