Brilliant Idea: More Than 80,000 Of Einstein's Documents Going Online

They include work related to his most famous formula — E=mc² — and personal papers, such as letters to and from his former mistresses.

Full piece on NPR

The NPR piece suggest that this gallery is a good place to start browsing.


Popular Authors Publish New Haggadah (Passover Seder Book)

NEW YORK — Authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander, seated together at a Brooklyn diner, would like to continue a discussion that has lasted for centuries.

They have collaborated on a text dating to Biblical times and revisited each year by millions of Jews worldwide. "New American Haggadah," just published by Little, Brown and Company, is a new edition of the Passover narrative that has been edited by Foer and translated by Englander.

They are a contrast — the earnest Foer and the expansive Englander — but they share skepticism about organized religion and anxiousness about what it means to be a Jew. Both have included Jewish themes in their fiction, whether the grandson of a Holocaust survivor seeking answers about the past in Foer's "Everything Is Illuminated" or the tug of war between religious and secular culture in Englander's "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges."

Foer, inspired by Seders (the traditional Passover gatherings) he has attended, says he thought of the project about six years ago.


Inside Edition Who Is Lurking In Your Public Library

[Edit 2/23 9:15am] It's now on the site: To be broadcast Wednesday, Feb. 22 New York, NY – Feb 22nd – It’s the last place you think you’d be a victim – the public library. But an INSIDE EDITION investigation found that crimes are being committed across the country in these supposedly safe havens, from petty thefts to violent, sexual assaults.

Unrest in Afghanistan over Burning of Korans (Again)

Troops at a US base in Afghanistan mistakenly burned Korans and other religious texts, in an effort to eliminate materials containing "extremist communications." This has sparked riots reminiscent of those caused by pastor Terry Jones burning a Koran in his church last year. Read the latest at The New York Times; CNN; MSNBC.

Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only

As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:

bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.

Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?

Nancy Pearl's Publishing Deal With Amazon

Nancy Pearl and have struck a deal to republish some lesser recognized titles that are favorites of the Book Lust author and librarian hero.

However, not everyone is thrilled with the idea. As reported in The Seattle Times:

...Overnight, this 67-year-old Seattle grandmother has become a greedy betrayer of the small, sometimes-struggling, bookshops that so supported her. "Yes," says J.B. Dickey, owner of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop about such an assessment. "By aligning herself with Amazon, she's turning her back on independents. Amazon is absolutely antithetical to independent bookselling, and, to many of us, truth, justice and the American way."

If things sound like they've gotten a little heated over Pearl's latest project, they have.

On Wednesday, announced it was issuing "Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries series, a line of Pearl's favorite, presently out-of-print books to share with readers hungry for her expert recommendations."

About six books a year would be published in versions that include print books and eBooks, says the Seattle-headquartered merchandising Goliath that in 2010 had sales of $34 billion, or about $1,077 per second.

Is the Loss of Objective Search a Bad Thing?

Imagine a research database, that upon searching for "wind energy," gives top results about the benefits of turbine technology to one student, while another student (with a different search history, or in a different state) is instead shown articles that focus on the noise and vertigo that wind turbines produce. Sound fishy? Google has unveiled a more personal search that does exactly this sort of thing, called "Search, plus Your World. Is this more about advertising revenue than providing access to information? For a nice review of the issue, see a competitor's Escape your search engine Filter Bubble! When, if ever, would you want filtered results?

Ten Stories That Shaped 2011

It's time again to look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly library stories of the past year.

Honorable Mention: Lenny Bruce Should Have Been a Librarian

Hot on the heels of the popular book Go the Fuck to Sleep comes a straight-talking site that all library marketers should take note of: Go the Fuck to the Library.

10. Neither Fax nor E-mail nor IM

Print-based industries are struggling, and the United States Postal Service is no exception. I couldn't help but hear the Postmaster General boast about not paying bills online and wonder how many analogous things librarians do, such as instructing students in the "old ways" of doing research.

9. Terry Jones burns a Quran

A copy of the Quran was burned by pastor Terry Jones in his church on March 20, 2011. Although not widely covered by mainstream media, the burning was condemned by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. During the ensuing protests in Afghanistan, at least 30 people were killed. Among the dead were United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan employees, who were shot and decapitated.

8. Occupy Wall Street makes a "People's Library"

The OWS movement in New York City got attention for forming a library. When the protests ended, things didn't go so well for the library, however. Depending on who you ask, it's either the "destruction of a library" or the "eviction of illegal squatters who had some books confiscated."

7. Greg Mortenson: Humanitarian or Swindler?

Though not as flashy as the James Frey or Jayson Blair scandals, Mortenson's publications were also charged with containing inaccurate and possibly fabricated information. A 60 Minutes hit piece was followed by a class action lawsuit against Mortenson's charities.

6. Borders Goes Bankrupt

Wonderful Polish Christmas Tree Made from Books ...& a How-To

Last Saturday we made first ever Christmas tree from books built in Poland. It is standing in the University Library of <a href="">UWM in Olsztyn</a>. It's 2,5 meter tall, and made from more than 1600 books. Mainly Orwell's 1984, and Picture this by Joseph Heller.

Canadian Library Association Dismayed by Seizure of Occupy Wall Street Movement Library

Topic: The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is dismayed by the reported seizure of The People’s Library, which had been operated by the New York Occupy Wall Street movement, and echos the support of the American Library Association for the volunteers who are working to re-establish the library. CLA President Karen Adams stated: “The Occupy Movement libraries are meeting the information needs of specific communities, and are documenting the history of those communities. Libraries are critical to an open and democratic society.


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