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For years, thousands of children throughout the world have been studying a poem about sunflowers believing it to be the work of the 19th-century poet William Blake.
Reading lists have included it for study, websites have included it in lesson plans and four US state school boards have recommended it to students. There is even anecdotal evidence of one of Britain’s Ofsted inspectors accepting “the fact” of Blake’s authorship of the poem when it was presented to her by a group of young students via a project on their display board.
Now though, after a 12-year misunderstanding which illustrates how effectively the internet can spread misinformation, the record could finally be put straight thanks to the diligence of a Hertfordshire librarian and blogger.
Thomas Pitchford, aka “The Library Spider”, has verified that the poem – “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room” – was written by a 1980s US poet, Nancy Willard, and published in an anthology of hers dedicated to Blake’s work, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.
Story from The Independent.
Source: State Journal Register
Dateline: Urbana IL — Some Urbana residents are upset and calling for the library director's resignation after thousands of books were mistakenly removed from the shelves.
(See two previous articles below)
Director Debra Lissak says the removal at the Urbana Free Library was a "misstep" and some of the titles are being returned.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette says workers removed art, gardening, computer science, medicine and cooking books from the stacks when they were culling the collection to remove volumes that were more than a decade old.
About half the library's 66,000 adult non-fiction books meet that threshold, but not every older book was removed because the process was halted.
The Boston Herald reports on a project undertaken by Greenfield, MA Community College Librarian Hope Schneider.
On a wall in the corner of Greenfield Community College's Nahman-Watson Library, 128 artifacts from the library's card catalog hang preserved in a glass case — signed by the authors who penned the very books to which the cards once led.
The project has been 14 years in the making for librarian Schneider, who wanted to memorialize the cards after the library's catalog went digital in 1999. In the years that followed, Schneider sent cards to local authors and artists, asking if they would sign their card and make some contribution to the display. A decade later, after GCC's library was expanded, she resumed her quest — sending letters across the country to novelists, poets and politicians.
Library Director Deborah Chown said Schneider's project captures a time when people would find new books through serendipity — simply because it was next to another book or classified through a similar subject matter. Chown and Schneider don't deny the advantages that new library technology offers — the opportunity to search rapidly through online databases and access books, journals and newspaper articles.
But there was also some surprise and sadness when a tour of prospective students came through the library, saw the display and didn't recognize the cards.
Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.
The heart of this talk is about creating a shared collection of open source plans to benefit people. A way to maximize this idea is to have librarians involved facilitating knowledge transfer.
Kristy will be behind the glass tonight, and tomorrow afternoon, and plans to return whenever she is able to.
A recent survey found that half of all readers had no interest in buying e-books and that the vast majority of people who buy e-books continue to buy print books as well.
Among them are author Marilyn Johnson, who's written books about libraries (This Book Is Overdue) and the art of obituary writing (The Dead Beat). She says that "if you took my (physical) books away, I'd go crazy, but now that I've gotten hooked to readers (first a Kindle and now an iPad), I can't imagine doing without that (digital) library."
She finds her e-reader is essential when she's traveling. She even buys or borrows an e-book copy of a book she already owns "just to lighten my load and continue reading as I move through the landscape."
Johnson straddles any divide between print and digital.
Her ideal reading experience crosses all formats: "Hear the author read on an audiobook, read it myself on the page or e-reader, and own it in a beautiful dust jacket, alphabetized on a shelf, with my notes in the margins and an old review stuck in the pages, ready to be pulled down whenever I want."
Beall’s list, created by University of Colorado metadata librarian Jeffrey Beall, collates the academic journals which he regards as questionable. His hard work on outing journals whose business and academic practices are less than reputable has caught the eye of one of the publishers he named and shamed, and now he’s being sued.
Bogus academic journals are a growing problem. Earlier this year, Gina Kolata in the New York Times called them a “parallel world of pseudo-academia”. Most of these journals are based on an online subscription model and call themselves “open access”. The ease with which people can be published in some of these journals, with only a semblance of legitimate oversight, has been met with concern by academics, who fear that junk research is being given the appearance of a properly accredited paper.
Jeffrey Beall is being sued by India’s The OMICS Group, which, according to Jake New in The Chronicle of Higher Education, has been the subject of scrutiny for bad practices, such as spamming and steep fees for authors after publication, not only by Beall, but also by The Chronicle.
Poor eyesight can no longer be an excuse for not playing Scrabble at the Highland Public Library.
Vincent Alcorn, a Lakeland High School senior, made sure of that, creating a giant Scrabble set for the library for his Eagle Scout project.
“I worked along with librarian Dawn Dittmar to come up with the idea,” Alcorn said.
Did you push a button for your book to appear below? How useful was a book vending machine with only eight or so different titles? And how, in the 1950s, did you automate checking out a book without something like barcode technology?