Books

Librarians and the communication revolution

In the book Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media author McChesney explains why we are in the midst of a communication revolution that is at the center of twenty-first-century life. Yet this profound juncture is not well understood, in part, because our media criticism and media scholarship have not been up to the task. Why is media not at the center of political debate? Why are students of the media considered second-class scholars?

This book provides strong evidence of how and why the American media system is failing to fulfill its role as an institution of American constitutional democracy, but it goes further to argue that we are living in a uniquely opportune moment - a "critical juncture" - during which we have the chance to make changes to the system.

Librarians whose profession is intertwined with media and communications should understand the policies and structures of the media landscape and be active participants in creating policies and structures that benefit the free flow of useful information to all groups of people.

Local Officials Look to Make American Cities More Livable

According to Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, local officials are searching for new ways to innovate and make urban centers more livable. Judy Woodruff talks with Katz and Bradley, authors of "The Metropolitan Revolution," about major moves at U.S. city halls to breath new life into the American economy and democracy.

And Yet Another Urbana Story...

Source: State Journal Register
Dateline: Urbana IL — Some Urbana residents are upset and calling for the library director's resignation after thousands of books were mistakenly removed from the shelves.
(See two previous articles below)

Director Debra Lissak says the removal at the Urbana Free Library was a "misstep" and some of the titles are being returned.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette says workers removed art, gardening, computer science, medicine and cooking books from the stacks when they were culling the collection to remove volumes that were more than a decade old.

About half the library's 66,000 adult non-fiction books meet that threshold, but not every older book was removed because the process was halted.

Discarded Books as Photo Project...and then...Book

Do you ever feel sentimental about weeded books? Then this one's for you. (The NYT recommends that you view it full screen).

While books may not necessarily make for a better reading experience (ed. but it's ok to have a preference one way or the other), they are superior as subject matter for a photo project. (I defy you, dear reader, to find a loving portrait of a Nook.)

To wit, witness Kerry Mansfield’s “Expired,” a twenty-page photo series whose substance is the physicality of discarded and withdrawn library books. She brings the lens in close, showing worn edges and torn covers and photographing the ephemera of the library experience: the check-out cards and the paper pockets they went into

Ray Bradbury's Books to Go to Waukegan Library

From the Daily Herald:

Author Ray Bradbury moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and spent the rest of his life on the West Coast, but his fondness for Waukegan IL never dissipated.

After his death, in June of last year, library officials learned Bradbury had bequeathed his personal book collection to the County Street facility. It's no small gift.

"Every room had a bookshelf overflowing," said Rena Morrow, the library's marketing, programming, and exhibits manager. The collection contains some books that could be valuable, such as first editions of noted works or autographed books, Morrow said.

The library also stands to receive copies of books Bradbury wrote, including some in foreign languages. The collection's value is being appraised.

The library may receive some of Bradbury's personal belongings, too.
"We'd like to get one of his typewriters," library Executive Director Richard Lee said. "He had four."

Japan's Amazing Book Towers

Kotaku.com shows us books stacked up in a variety of different formations.

Traditionally, books in Japanese bookstores are stacked in small piles or placed on shelves—like anywhere else. The book tower trend isn't exactly new and puts a flourish on retail presentation, whether it's the straight up "tower pile" or the "spiral pile" variation.

Back in 2009 to mark the launch day of Haruki Murakami's new book 1Q84, Tokyo book retailer Sanseido changed its shop sign to "Books Murakami Haruki" and unveiled a book tower that was then copied by other stores. Now, it seems there are even manga towers and spirals—but don't think every bookstore does this.

Free with Your Books at the Chappaqua Library

From CBS News:

You may want to avoid curling up in bed with any books that you bought at Chappaqua Library’s used book sale.

A single bed bug was found hanging on a stage curtain in the auditorium that hosted the sale. During the event, the room was crawling with buyers and fears persist that a bug may have hitched a ride on one of the $17,000 worth of used books that were sold.

“We don’t want to sweep it under the rug,” assistant library director Martha Alcott told CBS 2?s Dave Carlin on Thursday night.  Other areas of the library were given the all-clear, but some families said they weren’t taking any chances.  “We put all the books that we got into this big bag,” said 7-year-old Niamh Lee.

Most Chappaqua Library patrons consider themselves bookworms, but they said they aren’t willing to scratch and suffer for their reading habits.

Reading Erotica in Prison

A San Francisco appeals court ruled that a werewolf erotica novel must be returned to Andres Martinez, an inmate of Pelican Bay State Prison, after prison guards took it away from him on the grounds that it was pornography. Although the court grants that novel in question, The Silver Crown, by Mathilde Madden, is "less than Shakespearean," it argues that the book nevertheless has literary merit and shouldn't be banned under prison obscenity laws.

Story from NPR's The Two-Way.

Book Explores How Biotech Creates Weird Wildlife

Ray Suarez talks with writer Emily Anthes about the sometimes wild and weird outcomes when scientists experiment on animals. In her new book, "Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts," Anthes looks at the ethical limits of -- and our emotional reactions to -- the use of animals to explore biotechnology.

Author Reflects on the Long, Deadly Road to WWII Victory



In honor of the 69th anniversary of D-Day, Ray Suarez talks to historian Rick Atkinson about his new book, "The Guns at Last Light," which chronicles the brutal fight for victory at the end of World War II.

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