Libraries

The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World

“The library was a means [for the kings] to show off their wealth, their power, and mostly to show that they were the rightful heirs of Alexander the Great,” says Gaëlle Coqueugniot, an ancient history research associate at the University of Exeter.
From The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World | Atlas Obscura
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What libraries of the future will look like

What probably won't change that much are librarians and the physical spaces they watch over. Pescovitz suspects that humans will always need some sort of guide to make a foreign landscape more familiar. Whether humanity turns that job into one for artificial intelligence is another matter, he says.
From What libraries of the future will look like - Business Insider
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Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel archive vanishes from Google's news archive

What’s different about Milwaukee is that the city is being asked to buy back something it already had—and, in the case of the library’s digital scans, had even helped build. “Our archives should be available again soon,” Journal-Sentinel president Chris Stegman wrote to Urban Milwaukee. “As we switch over to our new parent company’s systems we are also switching our archiving system from Google to Newsbank. There is a delay in the process but we hope to have them available again shortly. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope our solution is up and running soon.”
From Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel archive vanishes from Google's news archive
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Keep the Patrons Happy

Some Good Customer service "precepts" by Paula Laurita via Pub-Lib

Okay, my number one rule is no blood in the library. But aside from that I have a few general rules:

2. We don't work at the "no" factory. The first response isn't "we can't do that". Try and find the "yes" if possible without infringing on another patron. Some staff took this at first that we never say no. That's not a blanket yes to more computer time if someone else is waiting. It's not a blanket yes to extending a summer reading book when there is a holds list. But, is there really a reason why someone cannot have a special check-out period for Huck Finn while they are sailing on the Mississippi?

3. Take the money. Cousin Fred checked out a book using Cousin Beatrice's card. Fred racked-up the late fines, but doesn't have Beatrice's card. He wants to pay the fines. Take the money. Give Fred the cash register receipt. Save the account receipt for Beatrice. Don't inconvenience them both.

4. This isn't the cosmetics counter at the local department store. Don't chase people to make the sale. "May I help you find anything?" "No, I'm just browsing." "Okay, if I can help please let me know." Give people privacy and the gift of time to look.

5. No weltschmerz. Well thought out complaints are fine. General whining is not.

Tracking Excavator: Uncovering Tracking in the Web's Past

As users browse the web, their browsing behavior may be observed and aggregated by third-party websites ("trackers") that they don't visit directly. These trackers are generally embedded by host websites in the form of advertisements, social media widgets (e.g., the Facebook "Like" button), or web analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics). Though web tracking and its privacy implications have received much attention in recent years, that attention has come relatively recently in the history of the web and lacks full historical context. In this work, we conduct a longitudinal archaeological study of tracking on the web from 1996 to 2016. Our key insight: that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine enables a retrospective analysis of properties of the web, even though researchers did not anticipate in advance the need to study these properties over time. We evaluate the potential and limitations of the Wayback Machine for this purpose and offer strategies to overcome several challenges we encountered in relation to using its data to study tracking.
From Tracking Excavator
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Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation

A woman who worked as a custodian at Krause Memorial Library apologized for taking dozens of books, games and CDs, saying she never intended to hurt the Rockford library. “I feel bad for doing that to the library,’’ 33-year-old Sarah Lynn Fifelski told a judge at sentencing Tuesday. “I was grateful for the opportunity of working there and I feel bad for betraying their trust.
From Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation | WZZM13.com
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Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process

The Danville Public Library has spent the past two years purging its collection of worn, duplicate and rarely checked-out books. That hasn’t prevented the library’s director from receiving complaints from at least one resident convinced that books on the Confederacy are being targeted for removal. Residents have also criticized the library’s actions on Facebook. Danville Public Library Director Joe Zappacosta said the library has not set out to remove books on the Civil War and the Confederacy.
From Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process | Danville | godanriver.com
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