Libraries

Germany vs Elsevier: universities win temporary journal access after refusing to pay fees

The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017. 
From Germany vs Elsevier: universities win temporary journal access after refusing to pay fees
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The illiteracy-promoting interior design abomination called "backwards books"

The rationale is that the pages of books provide a more neutral backdrop than those pesky spines, which detract from the look that the designers are going for, which seems to be a bland uniformity. A quick search revealed that there are a number of designers who think this is a good idea.
From The illiteracy-promoting interior design abomination called “backwards books” - The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century
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Making Manuscripts In The Middle Ages - YouTube Video from Getty Museum

An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society's rulers--emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops--commissioned the most splendid manuscripts.
From Making Manuscripts - YouTube
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Raspberry Pis as Catalog Computers

As library budgets and fundings continue to be diminished, we must look for creative outlets to increase reallocation. Libraries should also look to increase their usage of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) when available and see how FOSS directly aligns with the views and policies of the library system. We are effectively able to integrate both monetary reallocation and the usage of FOSS by replacing old catalog computers with Raspberry Pis. This report will detail an estimation of the initial investment and future reallocation by using Pis as well as explain how using FOSS betters patron privacy and overall security.
From rPi Catalog Computer Case Study
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The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books?

Now, however, Amazon's ebook project comes to a crossroads. The Kindle team has always professed two goals: to perfectly mimic a paper book, and to extend and improve the reading experience. That's what readers want, too. In a world filled with distractions and notifications and devices that do everything, the Kindle's lack of features becomes its greatest asset. But readers also want to read everywhere, in places and ways a paperback can't manage. They want more tools, more features, more options, more stuff to do. Amazon's still working out how to satisfy both sides. Whatever route it takes, the next decade of Kindle is likely to be even more disruptive than the last. First it changed the book business. Next it might help change books themselves.
From The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books? | WIRED
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Have a Cold? Go To Work or Stay Home?

From The Philadelphia Inquirer a question many library workers have to answer these days.

The Future Library

A few years ago, in a forest just outside of Oslo, 1000 trees were planted. In 2114, after a century of growth, the trees will be cut down and made into paper for an anthology of books. Meet the Future Library, an artwork by Katie Paterson.
From The Future Library
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Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

Can you believe it's almost 2018? That means it's time to look back at some of the notable library-related stories from the past year.

10. Librarians Fight Fake News

The problems with fake news caused many of us to revamp our web evaluation handouts into guides for spotting bogus information sources.

9. Elsivier Roundup

Elsivier made several headlines this year, in the form of boycotts and resignations. Their buyout of bepress also raised eyebrows.

In related news, Beall's List went dark in January.

8. ALA's Trump Statements

Late last year, many librarians were quick to jump on an initial (and now retracted) press release by the American Library Association about being "ready to work with President-elect Trump." Recent statements have taken a far more militant tone.

7. Milo's Book Cancelled

What Public Libraries Will Lose Without Net Neutrality

Via the Verge, New York Public Library’s CEO and president Anthony Marx and associate director of information policy Greg Cram discuss the issue, explaining exactly which library resources an open internet protects, who would be hurt the most by net neutrality’s rollback, and why handing the internet to ISPs could threaten the basic foundation of American democracy.

The rollback of net neutrality opens the possibility for ISPs to start to play with how we pay for the internet, but because [it hasn’t] been rolled back yet, we don’t have evidence that they will in fact do those things. It’s a little speculative at this point. I think everyone is speculating a little bit in this. But the indications we got from the ISPs are that there will be paid prioritization and for us, there are specific things that would likely end up in the slow lane.

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