Libraries

Cities Are Driving a Public Library Boom in Australia

Perth opened a new central library last spring in a gleaming cylindrical building that is both a book silo and an architectural exclamation point for one of the world’s most isolated cities. Perth has experienced 50 years of steady growth, topped by a downtown building boom to serve Western Australia mining, making it the nation’s Houston or Denver. So it was high time for the first new municipal building since a concert hall in 1972. The striking design stacks seven levels on the edge of a low bluff overlooking Perth’s rapidly developing recreational waterfront. When I visited one Saturday afternoon, visitors were taking in the view from upper-level balconies, and the floors dedicated to kids were hopping with children exploring the world of ideas.
From Cities Are Driving a Public Library Boom in Australia – Next City
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A Case For Federally Funding Public Libraries

Under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, federal funding for public libraries would be eliminated. Our guest explains why he calls the plan an attempt to suppress transparency. He also discusses why he says libraries are “essential” to society, and on this “Take Action for Libraries Day,” how people can advocate for continued funding.
From A Case For Federally Funding Public Libraries | Wisconsin Public Radio
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The end of Academia.edu: how business takes over, again

The lessons to be drawn from this, are the same ones that Siva Vaidhyanathan listed when talking about the Google Books projects. The academic production of knowledge should not be used to make profit, but to improve society. Academic knowledge is, or at least should be a common. The fact that academic knowledge is now part of the ‘for profit’ business can only be understood as the failing of the state and the dominance of neoliberalism. The market destroys academia and the only way to change that is to set up our own platforms. Platforms that only have one goal: to give that knowledge back to society. Fortunately, in a way, this policy shift in Academia.edu now opens a space for new platforms offering genuinely open access for a community of scholars around the world, craving to read and discuss each others' findings, but increasingly constrained by insane paywalls.
From The end of Academia.edu: how business takes over, again | diggit magazine
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The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence

These days, nearly all of the films from all of the major studios are shot and edited digitally. Like Lubezki, filmmakers have switched to digital because it allows a far greater range of special effects, filming conditions, and editing techniques. Directors no longer have to wait for film stock to be chemically processed in order to view it, and digital can substantially bring down costs compared with traditional film. Distribution of films is likewise entirely digital, feeding not only the digital cinema projectors in movie theaters but also the streaming video services run by the likes of Netflix and Hulu. The industry’s embrace of digital has been astonishingly rapid.
From The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence - IEEE Spectrum

The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world

This paper studies emerging technologies for tracking reading behaviors (“reading analytics”) and their implications for reader privacy, attempting to place them in a historical context. It discusses what data is being collected, to whom it is available, and how it might be used by various interested parties (including authors). I explore means of tracking what’s being read, who is doing the reading, and how readers discover what they read. The paper includes two case studies: mass-market e-books (both directly acquired by readers and mediated by libraries) and scholarly journals (usually mediated by academic libraries); in the latter case I also provide examples of the implications of various authentication, authorization and access management practices on reader privacy. While legal issues are touched upon, the focus is generally pragmatic, emphasizing technology and marketplace practices. The article illustrates the way reader privacy concerns are shifting from government to commercial surveillance, and the interactions between government and the private sector in this area. The paper emphasizes U.S.-based developments.
From The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world | Lynch | First Monday
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The Fascinating History of Card Catalogs

Yes, according to Vox.com the history of card catalogs is weirdly fascinating.

So don't disengage just yet...

The Library of Congress just released a book on the history of the card catalog, and while I can physically feel you clicking away from this article even as I type I recommend that you don't.

The Card Catalog makes a persuasive case that cataloging knowledge is fundamental to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, and that a working library catalog is, in some ways, a basic necessity of civilization. And since cataloging is a calling that attracts neurotic and obsessive personalities, the history of the library catalog charts a weird, twisty path, with a lot of back-tracking followed by enormous leaps forward.

Bookstore on wheels turns heads in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqis guarding Baghdad’s many checkpoints, on the lookout for car bombs and convoys, don’t know what to make of Ali al-Moussawi when he pulls up in a truck displaying shelves of glossy books. The mobile bookstore is the latest in a series of efforts by the 25-year-old to share his passion for reading and revive a love for books in Baghdad, which was once the literary capital of the Muslim world but is now better known for bombs than poems.

AP.

Ivanka Trump Gets Schooled by Librarians

From the Huffington Post:

When the first daughter tweeted about applauding librarians last week, she was not met with much praise. As we know, her father has slashed library budgets wherever he could (and doesn't seem to want to read any books).

Ivanka: This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!

One of hundreds of responses:

"Defunding libraries as proposed in your dad's budget hurts hardworking Americans," the nonprofit EveryLibrary tweeted back at Trump, before adding, "Cuts to federal funding for libraries are absolutely unconscionable, cruel, and unnecessary. #saveIMLS #library."

File This Under Nostalgia: New Book Pays Tribute To The Library Card Catalog



If you do a Google search for "card catalog" it will likely return Pinterest-worthy images of antique furniture for sale — boxy, wooden cabinets with tiny drawers, great for storing knick-knacks, jewelry or art supplies.

But before these cabinets held household objects, they held countless index cards — which, at the time, were the pathways to knowledge and information. A new book from the Library of Congress celebrates these catalogs as the analog ancestor of the search engine.

Full story on NPR
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Bill Cosby's Books on Most Challenged List

Bill Cosby’s “Little Bill” children’s book series was among the 10 “most challenged” books in 2016, according to a list compiled by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

It’s the first time the Cosby series has attracted a complaint, the organization said. The “Little Bill” books, first published in 1997, tell the adventures of Bill Jr., a 5-year-old Philadelphia boy. Story from the New York Times.

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