Libraries

A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber”

There are several things going on here: first, what is the “talking rubber” technology? After talking to several historians of science and technology, I’m pretty sure it’s not a term that ever caught on. But it turns out that’s because this actual technology never caught on; although on first glance, this ad seems to describe magnetic tape—the technology behind cassette and VHS tapes—“talking rubber” describes actual rubber, not tape! In 1952, The Bell System Technical Journal chronicled “a magnetic recording medium composed of rubber impregnated with magnetic oxide and lubricant,” that was “particularly suited to applications requiring the continuous repetition of short transcribed messages.”
From A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber” | Ars Technica
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STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack

Jen Hatton, PR manager for the library system, says a hacker organization has blocked their server and is demanding tens of thousands of dollars to release their computers back to them. The attack has affected all 700 computers at 16 library branches. No library visitors can currently use the computers until the problem is solved. The library's technology staff is working with the FBI.
From STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack | KSDK.com
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In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline

In an era of extensive building and remodeling, the state Department of Education reports drops in the number of visits, registered users and loans of material. 
From In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline - StarTribune.com
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How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories

"What cannot be automated is the understanding of the implications of these findings for people," said Dr. Tom Lansdall-Welfare, who led the computational part of the study. "That will always be the realm of the humanities and social sciences, and never that of machines."
From How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories
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SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate

But here’s the thing: The characters will probably be white. Despite a push by book lovers for more ethnic diversity in published books, library shelves have remained largely uniform, with white authors penning tales about white people, statistics show. Those books fail to reflect the rich diversity of San Francisco, and point to a persistent problem across the country, librarians say.
From SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate
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Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals

The bar is a result of the Gates Foundation’s policy in support of open access and open data, which was first announced in 2014 but came into force at the beginning of 2017. “Personally, I applaud the Gates Foundation for taking this stance,” says Simon Hay, a Gates-funded researcher who is director of geospatial science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington. “The overwhelming majority of my colleagues in global health and fellow Gates grantees with whom I have chatted are highly supportive of these developments,” he says.
From Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals : Nature News & Comment
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Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup

Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002 -- before smartphones, Facebook or Twitter became ubiquitous. More than one in three (35%) appear to be heavy readers, reading 11 or more books in the past year, while close to half (48%) read between one and 10 and just 16% read none.
From Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup
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If You Discover Something in an Archive, It's Not Really a Discovery

From the Atlantic an article about how new "discoveries" in archives, including the National Archives, are not really discoveries at all.

Better Late Than Never

Seattle affiliate KOMONews reports that a book was returned forty years late, but with a note of apology. Here's the note:

""Sorry, I just cleaned (started emptying) my bedroom closet. It was in a box."" The book was about rattlesnakes.

Bucket-brigade of books marks opening of new library

Students, faculty and administrators lined the streets surrounding Ringling College in Sarasota Monday morning, forming a human chain to pass the final 200 books from Kimbrough Library into the college’s newly opened building up the block. The ceremonial “Passing of the Books” celebrated the opening of the Alfred R. Goldstein Ringling College Library, an $18 million structure that dwarfs its predecessor.
From Bucket-brigade of books marks opening of new library at Ringling | Bradenton Herald
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