Libraries

Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat

A public poll for the Library of Congress to choose 65 books by US authors that had a profound effect on American life has thrown up some surprises. Herbert’s Dune, a 1965 science-fiction novel adapted into a film starring Sting, Pirsing’s cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and children’s favourite The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss – real name Theodore Geisel – all make the cut. So too does the prolific and popular Stephen King with The Stand. But literary giants such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike and Tom Wolfe do not. The library, the biggest in the world with more than 162m items, does not claim the list is a definitive rank of greatness.
From Library of Congress asks for profound books, gets Dune and The Cat in the Hat | Books | The Guardian

The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin

Hark is part of the Anthropodermic Book Project, a group of researchers that analyzes books rumored to be bound in human skin. He was first pulled into it when librarians at his own college asked him to investigate whether a book in the school’s collection might fall into that category. Scrawled on the inside cover of Biblioteca Politica, a Spanish political tract dating from the 17th century, was a note indicating that the binding was human in origin. The inscription became a well-known piece of campus lore, turning the title into a nuisance for Juniata’s librarians. They found themselves spending an inordinate amount of time fielding questions from students about the book’s provenance, especially around Halloween.
From The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

Facebook is wrong, text is deathless

Text is surprisingly resilient. It's cheap, it's flexible, it's discreet. Human brains process it absurdly well considering there's nothing really built-in for it. Plenty of people can deal with text better than they can spoken language, whether as a matter of preference or necessity. And it's endlessly computable -- you can search it, code it. You can use text to make it do other things.
From Facebook is wrong, text is deathless

Join Me And Let's Talk IT Security at Internet Librarian In October

W14 - IT Security 101 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tracy Z Maleeff, Principal, Sherpa Intelligence LLC Blake Carver, Senior Systems Administrator, LYRASIS We all know we should use good passwords, keep everything updated, and follow other basic precautions online. Understanding the reasons behind these rules is critical to help us convince ourselves and others that the extra work is indeed worth it. Who are the bad guys? What tools are they using? What are they after? Where are they working? How are they doing it? Why are we all targets? Experienced workshop leaders discuss how to stay safe at the library and at home. They share ways to keep precious data safe inside the library and out—securing your network, website, and PCs—and tools you can teach to patrons in computer classes. They tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more. They share a range of tools and techniques, making this session ideal for any library staff.
From Internet Librarian Program for Sunday, October 16, 2016
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Librarians Don't Read All Day

I could fill a book with the number of bizarre and/or frustratingly persistent questions I’ve been asked in my nearly 5 years of working in a public library, ranging from “Should I have a doctor look at this rash?” to “Do you work here?” when I’m clearly sitting behind a service desk with a name tag. But the question that irks me the most is an extremely common one: “Wow, you work at a library.  Do you just spend all your time reading?” This question is a close relative to “Working in a library must be so relaxing!” and it usually comes from casual library users or acquaintances who haven’t been in a library in at least a decade. And my reaction is always the same: “Yeah, right.”
From Librarians Don't Read All Day

Robert Dawson's Photographs of America's Public Libraries

His subjects are as diverse as the places they serve. There is a one-room “free library” shack in California’s San Joaquin Valley, then the polished marble floors of Chicago’s hangar-sized central branch. There are stately Carnegie Libraries, glassy modern edifices by Koolhaas and Safdie, strip-mall outposts, and steel-sided bookmobiles. The photographs are mainly architectural, but there are moving interior shots as well. In San Francisco, a grown woman learns to read. Visitors browse Chinese-language books in Queens. “Tool librarians” lend out hammers and clamps in Berkeley. And in towns large and small, oil-painted heroes of U.S. history peer over readers’ shoulders.
From Robert Dawson's Photographs of America's Public Libraries - CityLab

Student catalogs VCU Libraries’ collection of pre-1800 books, greatly enhancing their research value

Over the past year, Neuhauser has been cataloging VCU Libraries’ trove of books published before 1800, allowing researchers to not only search by author, title and subject, but also now by a wide variety of material features. “Especially with older books, one thing that’s interesting to book historians like me is the material aspects of the books,” Neuhauser said. “Now that we have opened up the catalog to be searched by material terms, you can, say, look for all of VCU Libraries’ books that have a certain type of paper, or that have a specific type of binding, or have gold tooling, or have gilt edges and things like that.”
From Student catalogs VCU Libraries’ collection of pre-1800 books, greatly enhancing their research value

'Baby Got Books' Display Will Make You Want To Tackle Daunting Reads

This was definitely made by Sir Reads-A-Lot. The Virginia Beach Public Library recently shared a viral photo on Facebook of one of its book displays, featuring a twist on Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”  And it’s really going to make you appreciate big books. 
From 'Baby Got Books' Display Will Make You Want To Tackle Daunting Reads
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Scientific journal subscription costs in Finland 2010-2015: a preliminary analysis

Detailed information on journal subscription costs paid to individual publishers by the Finnish research institutions has been released by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and its Open Science and Research Initiative funded 2014–2017 (Kustantajahintatiedot Suomessa 2010–2015). With this, Finland becomes to our knowledge the first country where annual subscription fees for all individual publishers and all major research institutions have been made available, spanning the years 2010-2015. Similar information has been previously released for some, but not all publishers and research institutions in the UK and US; and related activities are ongoing in several countries (see the recent blog post by Stuart Lawson).
From Scientific journal subscription costs in Finland 2010-2015: a preliminary analysis — rOpenGov

Parfumiers are trying to capture the smell of old books

Finally, the book-smell industry is moving on and up. The market for products that smell like books is ramping up, with dozens of new products, from Demeter Paperback Cologne ("used bookstore": paper, violets and potpourri) to Byredo M/Mink (smells like ink); to Kilian Water Calligraphy ("blended to reflect a scent of Chinese ink sliding over rice paper") to Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite 17 Paper & Cotton ("coriander, white sage, birch wood, and tundra moss"); and Paper Passion ("the unique bouquet of freshly printed books").
From Parfumiers are trying to capture the smell of old books / Boing Boing
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