Libraries

Caetlin Benson-Allott explores the legacy of VHS and VCR.

This week, the Japanese company Funai Electric announced that it would cease production of VCRs. Since it was reportedly the last company to make the increasingly obsolete players, the news effectively rang the death knell of a technology that had survived long past its own moment. To better understand the enduring legacy of VHS, I called Caetlin Benson-Allott, an associate professor in the English department at Georgetown, where she teaches courses on film and media studies.
From Caetlin Benson-Allott explores the legacy of VHS and VCR.
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The last free-ranging library cat in Illinois

Stacks, believed to be the last full-time, free-ranging library cat in Illinois, hops onto the desk, stretches out luxuriously and falls into her signature near-snooze, a restful state that invites pats from shy tweens, curious senior citizens, even a 1-year-old who proclaims ecstatically from her mother's arms, "Like cat!"
From The last free-ranging library cat in Illinois - Chicago Tribune
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America's broken digital copyright law is about to be challenged in court

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the US government over ‘unconstitutional’ use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
From America's broken digital copyright law is about to be challenged in court | Technology | The Guardian
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The Enduring Appeal of Libraries Around the World

Therein lies the beauty of libraries, past and present. Often referred to as cathedrals of knowledge—and free ones, at that—libraries remain civic and cultural icons within their communities where visitors can do everything from read international publications and learn computer skills to launch a business idea. In an age when information is ubiquitous and universally accessible at the click of a button, libraries are adapting to an increasingly digital society while remaining true to their heritage as a welcoming gathering place, with their alluring stacks of books, striking architecture and knowledgable staffs. https://blueprint.cbre.com/the-enduring-appeal-of-libraries-around-the-world/
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The 53rd Street Library: Okay, If You Hate Books -- NYMag

The new branch does indeed provide the perfect haven for checking stock prices and Twitter. Patrons can tap and scroll in tranquility, unmolested by the odor of caffeine, the need for a password, the feel of greasy tables, or a barista’s stare. As a place to research a school project or browse for esoteric bedtime reading, on the other hand, it offers dismaying advice: Try elsewhere. Order a book from the website. Download an e-book. Walk ten blocks to the perpetually derelict, perpetually to-be-renovated Mid-Manhattan branch for the Russian-language edition of Anna Karenina that used to be in the Donnell’s World Languages collection. “We didn’t take those books and cast them aside,” says NYPL vice-president Christopher Platt. “They were strategically moved and aligned to other collections.”
From The 53rd Street Library: Okay, If You Hate Books -- NYMag
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WV Public Libraries Sustain Damage in Flooding

Five feet of flood water destroyed the Rainelle Public library’s entire print and digital collections. According to a press release from the West Virginia Library Commission, the Clendenin Public Library was declared a catastrophe. Flood waters forced out windows and left 8 inches of mud throughout the building. All books were destroyed, and the structural integrity of the facility is in doubt.
From Public Libraries Sustain Damage in Flooding | West Virginia Public Broadcasting
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Carla Hayden Confirmed To Head Library Of Congress

Hayden's confirmation unanimously passed a rules committee vote in June. However, the vote by the full body was held up for five weeks as a result of a Republican-led hold-up, The Washington Post reports. No reason was given for the delay, but some conservatives have reportedly taken issue with positions she took as the leader of the American Library Association, as well as her lack of academic organizations.
From Carla Hayden Confirmed To Head Library Of Co | WBAL Radio 1090 AM
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Pokemon Go sends swarms of players to bookstores and libraries. But will they remember the books?

Strand communications director Whitney Hu told PR Week she wasn't worried about the increased traffic caused by players hoping to get their virtual hands on a Bulbasaur. "[T]here is so much room to run around and find corners that we haven’t had that conversation yet," she said. "Most of our employees know more about it than our managers do, anyway." Libraries are also seeing an uptick of visitors because of the game. Some, like Cincinnati are posting pictures of the creatures on their Instagram feeds. 
From Pokemon Go sends swarms of players to bookstores and libraries. But will they remember the books? - LA Times
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Steinhardt Study Identifies “Book Deserts” – Poor Neighborhoods Lacking Children’s Books – Across the Country

To create a national picture of “book deserts,” the new study, funded by JetBlue, examined access to children’s books in six urban neighborhoods across the United States, representing the Northeast (Washington, D.C.), Midwest (Detroit), and West (Los Angeles). In each of the three cities, the researchers analyzed two neighborhoods: a high-poverty area (with a poverty rate of 40 percent and above) and a borderline community (with a roughly 18 to 40 percent poverty rate). Going street by street in each neighborhood, the researchers counted and categorized what kinds of print resources—including books, magazines, and newspapers—were available to purchase in stores. (While online book sales have grown in recent years, three out of four children’s books are still bought in brick and mortar stores.)
From Steinhardt Study Identifies “Book Deserts” – Poor Neighborhoods Lacking Children’s Books – Across the Country | At a Glance
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Announcing the development of SocArXiv, an open social science archive

SocArXiv announces a partnership with the Center for Open Science to develop a free, open access, open source archive for social science research. The initiative responds to growing recognition of the need for faster, open sharing of research on a truly open access platform for the social sciences. Papers on SocArXiv will be permanently available and free to the public.
From Announcing the development of SocArXiv, an open social science archive – SocOpen: The SocArXiv blog
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