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It's that time again... let's look back at this year's top library headlines.
10. Bird Flu Study is Published
After researchers found a way to spread H5N1 to humans, an interesting test ensued of the bounds of free speech versus public health. Citing concerns over bioterrorism, a government panel wanted to ban publication of the scientific findings. The paper was printed, in full, in the journal Science.
9. Remember Those Boycotts?
Multiple generations of librarians have lamented over costly journal prices. Aside from the continued drive for
public access to funded research, libraries and now finally scholars are boycotting Elsevier and the American Chemical Society. Here's hoping the Open Access movement against profiteering publishers keeps growing.
Quote of the Year
"The economics of publishing print no longer worked and that's why we're going to go all digital" - Newsweek editor Tina Brown. How does your employer intend to survive?
8. Begun, the E-Book Wars Have -- Read More
With the recent stories about disasters, legal wrangling, and futurism, let's look at a hands down, slam dunk, win-win idea for libraries: dogs! Many school and public libraries use therapy dogs in their reading programs, calming children to widespread acclaim. Academic libraries also make use of therapy dogs, calming homesick students during finals week. These projects involve minimal costs and have a profound impact. Don't let a lawyer or administrator use absurd logic to deny you this wonderful opportunity to have patrons perceive the library as a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. And remember: refusing to allow a service animal in to a building is also a violation of federal law. What are your dogs in libraries stories?
As Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, the resulting power failures knocked out several major Web sites, including Gawker and The Huffington Post.
We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.
Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.
The website for Library World Records, the Guinness Book of World Records for libraries and books is now back online.
Library World Records is fascinating book first published in 2004 after research work began on the book in 2002. The book was further extensively updated in a second edition in December 2009. Library World Records provides hundreds of intriguing and comprehensive facts about ancient and modern books, manuscripts and libraries around the world.
A much bigger brand new 3rd edition of the book is being researched at the moment and further details of this brand new edition will be revealed on this website around winter 2012.
A recent article at the tech news blog, Gigaom, provides food for thought for libraries. In the piece, the author describes the value of simplicity and delivering what users want in terms of content, using the example of a news service called Evening Edition. One of the quotes from this post that stands out is "Of course, sifting through vast quantities of information in order to show people the important stuff is what newspapers are supposed to do..." Substitute the word 'newspapers' for 'librarians' and we are talking the same language.
With the publication of the Freeh report relative to the child abuse scandal at The Pennsylvania State University, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Morrisey is calling for the outright physical destruction of many campus monuments to coach Joe Paterno. Not mentioned in the piece by Morrisey is Paterno Library on-campus which otherwise bears the coach's name.
More interesting than the beta launch of a news aggregator called Wavii, is the recap of of such things in Science Fiction novels and stories of the past at Technovelgy.com
"This same idea was first explored in science fiction decades ago. In his 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise. Arthur C. Clarke described the personal interest profile that could be used to gather all relevant items of information from news feeds."