Beyond all of the philosophical reasons to support libraries, there are three very concrete reasons I can think of: -- Read More
Discoverability: With the volume of books being published each year growing exponentially, it’s increasingly difficult for any book to rise above the noise and connect with its audience. While “curation” is the buzzword du jour, librarians have been curating books forever, and there are far more libraries than bookstores in this country. Most library websites are better than your average independent booksellers’, too, and as ebooks become increasingly popular, being visible on more than Amazon, B&N and Goodreads will be a critical advantage. As ebook business models evolve, direct partnerships with libraries become an option, too, like the recent innovative deal between the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and Douglas County Libraries.
Consider Facebook—it's human contact, only easier to engage with and
easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes
it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with
people and more connected to simulations of them.
In "Alone Together", MIT technology and society professor Sherry
Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically
alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are
looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and
social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving
of today's self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next
generation who will chart the path between isolation and
When Tina Fey visited the Bay Area in April on her book tour for “Bossypants,” she made just two stops. She gave an interview before a sold-out crowd at the Orpheum Theater, as part of the City Arts & Lectures series. And she dropped by the Mountain View headquarters of Google.
J. Patrick Lewis's wordplay, humor, and technical facility—as well as his love of writing for children—have earned him an important place in history: today the Poetry Foundation named him the nation's third Children's Poet Laureate.
"And if somebody says to me, You’re a prolific writer—it seems so odd. It’s like the difference between geological time and human time. On a certain scale, it does look like I do a lot. But that’s my day, all day long, sitting there wondering when I’m going to be able to get started. And the routine of doing this six days a week puts a little drop in a bucket each day, and that’s the key. Because if you put a drop in a bucket every day, after three hundred and sixty-five days, the bucket’s going to have some water in it."
A Book Store. That’s Right. Book, Singular.
The book is Mr. Kessler’s account of NASA’s 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander mission, reported during 90 days inside mission control, in Tucson, alongside 130 leading scientists and engineers. Publishers Weekly calls the book a “slightly offbeat firsthand account of scientific determination and stubborn intellect” that “delivers a fascinating journey of discovery peppered with humor.”
The store is part marketing ploy, to be sure (Mr. Kessler is a creative director at an advertising agency), but also part meditation on the meaning of the book in an age of e-readers and a bankrupt Borders.
In Elite Library Archives, a Dispute Over a Trove
In a move that has turned scholarly heads, Paul Brodeur, a former investigative reporter for The New Yorker, who donated thousands of pages of his work to the library, is demanding that the papers be returned. He claims that an institution renowned for its careful stewardship of historical documents has badly mishandled his.
The charges are roiling the genteel world of research archivists, who usually toil in dust-jacket obscurity, and inciting a lively debate about which pieces of the past are worth preserving.