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Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)
Yesterday, WBUR's, On Point program had an hour on Literary Tattoos.
"Tattoos were once for sailors and wayfarers — exotic souvenirs of adventure and romance. Now, they’re mainstream. Walk into any college gym – any gym, anywhere – and you know.
But literary tattoos – now there’s the high frontier. And even it is becoming wildly populated. Rimbaud on the forearm. Kafka on the whole arm. Sylvia Plath across the chest. Kundera on the abdomen. A big back covered in Proust. Oh my."
Do any LISNews folks sport literary tattoos?
Oregonlive.com relates this story about a unique library and one enthusiastic librarian.
"Guests who wander up to the Heathman Hotel's mezzanine discover one of the most exclusive libraries in the country: 4,000 volumes, all signed by the author and most of them first editions.
What's more, there's only one way to get a book in the collection: The author must spend a night in the hotel -- no exceptions.
And now, thanks to a 20-year-old librarian, the books are more accessible than ever."
The south Florida paper, the Sun Sentinel has a problem with public libraries.
"Some day in the future, boys and girls might read on their electronic devices about cavernous, well-air-conditioned, book-loaning storehouses from the past. They were called libraries.
Book reading devices such as the handheld iPad, the Amazon Kindle, or even a computer laptop, allow readers to download free library books without ever setting foot in a library."
So here is a newspaper, itself an industry on the brink of extinction, bitterly distracting its few final readers from that fact by attacking the local libraries as dinosaurs. Libraries, I should say, account for many of the print editions that the newspaper is still able to sell. Our library probably receives 40 copies of the daily Sun Sentinel. And yet you need to go down 27 paragraphs to get to this:
"The past five years in Palm Beach County have seen staggering growth: Circulation is up 36 percent, visitors 50 percent, and computer users 83 percent, according to the system's statistics."
You can almost hear the "wink, wink" that piggybacks onto the words, "according to the system's statistics," like libraries are making this stuff up. Thanks for the support.
Really, what does it cost to read an ebook, I mean a bestseller?
The Kindle is a minimum $139, but for that price you need a place with wifi to download a book. Add 3G for another $50 to truly be independent. -- Read More
Saw "How to Open a New Book" in Boing Boing today...
via the "submitterater"
Link: http://lisnews.org/how_open_new_book (posted here on September 1; I found this on a facebook post by the Dusty Bookshelf)
...to read the Bill of Rights.
New York Times Cityroom Blog: On a campaign blitz on Tuesday, NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg was dogged by questions about the Islamic Community Center project near Ground Zero.
In Philadelphia, where he endorsed the Democratic candidate for Senate, Joe Sestak, he tersely told off a critic. “Look, I would suggest you go from here directly to the library. Get a copy of the Bill of Rights and you’ll realize that everybody has a right to say what they want to say.”
Mr. Bloomberg also fielded questions about the Islamic center, known as Park51, in Washington, where he traveled to back the re-election campaign of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. He ended the day with an appearance at a fund-raiser for Michael N. Castle, the Delaware Republican vying for a Senate seat.
The Islamic center is a thorny issue for national politicians, with recent polls showing that most Americans oppose its construction. [ed- I like what one commenter says about it - "As someone who lives and works in lower Manhattan, I’ve noticed that one’s hysteria over Park51 seems to be inversely proportional to one’s proximity to it."]
According to their website, the Park51 facility will include a library.
Todays This Day in Tech blog from Wired relates how today Penguin publishes the first paperback books of substance, bringing the likes of Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie to the masses.
"Allen Lane, then with publisher The Bodley Head, had spent the weekend at the country estate of celebrated mystery writer Agatha Christie. (Lucky chap.) Whilst waiting at Exeter station for his train back home, he sought out at the bookstall something suitable to read for the trip.
“Appalled by the selection on offer, Lane decided that good quality contemporary fiction should be made available at an attractive price and sold not just in traditional bookshops, but also in railway stations, tobacconists and chain stores,” Penguin reports in a history of the company."
According the Boston.com, the digital archive will be launched on January 20, 2011, the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration.
The Library is the first one to go from hard copy to digital. Of the 13 presidential libraries only two, Clinton’s and Bush’s, were “born” digital.
Response from Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey to the so-called Fox news story by Anna Davlantes inquiring if libraries were no longer necessary.
Here's a snip: "I am astounded at the lack of understanding of public libraries that your Monday evening story, Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money? revealed. Public libraries are more relevant and heavily used today than ever before, and public libraries are one of the better uses of the taxpayers’ dollars. Let me speak about the Chicago Public Library which serves 12 million visitors per year. No other cultural, educational, entertainment or athletic organization in Chicago can make that claim.
The Chicago Public Library, through its 74 locations, serves every neighborhood of our city, is open 7 days per week at its three largest locations, 6 days per week at 71 branch libraries and 24/7 on its website which is filled with online research collections, downloadable content, reference help, and access to vast arrays of the Library’s holdings and info."