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With Wikipedia blacked out for 24 hours in protest of a pair of anti-piracy bills under review in the U.S. Congress, students scrambling to write early-semester research papers without the open-source encyclopedia posted panicked remarks to Twitter. And just as fast as the 18-22-year-old cohort tweeted about their plight, 30-somethings nostalgic for late nights spent poring over Encyclopedia Britannica sent snarky retorts. But at dozens of universities, students received supportive tweets from a place where Wikipedia is often a dirty word: the library. “No Wikipedia, No fears.... The library is always here with all the answers you will ever need!” tweeted the staff at Temple University.
Churchill library to be created in DC
An international group seeking to preserve the legacy of Winston Churchill is announcing plans Thursday to create the first U.S. research center devoted to the longtime British leader.
The new National Churchill Library and Center will be established between 2013 and 2015 at George Washington University with an $8 million pledge from the Chicago-based Churchill Centre. Rare books and research materials will be transferred to the university's library and housed in a new street-front center with exhibit space, officials told The Associated Press.
The Final Provocation
The final provocation of the faculty will come when publishers start paying for legislation making institutional open access policies and personal “networked dissemination” of one’s own research illegal. That will be the moment when faculty start hearing “don’t” from publishers, because that will be the moment that publishers try to deliberately and publicly interfere with decisions about their institutions or their research that the faculty have made themselves. When or if that time comes, we might finally see widespread revolt against the worst abuses of commercial scholarly publishers. The question is whether in their drive for profits the offensive publishers will finally be brazen enough to alienate the community that provides all their free content.
Oxford library fine figures revealed
Oxford University’s libraries accrued almost £130,000 in library fines last year.
Universities across the country amassed fines totalling £50 million, While Oxford’s takings are significantly more than that of universities such as Imperial College London, who collected just £26,703, they remain some way off the £1.8m amassed by the University of Leeds.
Academic publishers have become the enemies of science
The US Research Works Act would allow publishers to line their pockets by locking publicly funded research behind paywalls. The free dissemination of lifesaving medical research around the world would be prevented under the Research Works Act. This is the moment academic publishers gave up all pretence of being on the side of scientists. Their rhetoric has traditionally been of partnering with scientists, but the truth is that for some time now scientific publishers have been anti-science and anti-publication. The Research Works Act, introduced in the US Congress on 16 December, amounts to a declaration of war by the publishers.
Facebook user “joe1915” writes wall posts that would be familiar to any college student these days: He stresses about tests, roots for his university’s football team, and shows off photos from campus dances.
But Joe McDonald isn’t an average smartphone-toting student. He died in 1971 — 33 years before Facebook arrived on the Web.
Donnelyn Curtis, the director of research collections and services at the University of Nevada at Reno, created Facebook profiles for Mr. McDonald and his wife, Leola Lewis, to give students a glimpse of university life during the couple’s college days. Ms. Lewis graduated in 1913, and Mr. McDonald earned his degree in mechanical engineering two years later.
With approval from Mr. McDonald’s granddaughter, Peggy McDonald, Ms. Curtis said she’s using archival material for a history project designed to appeal to a wider audience than the typical patrons of special collections.
“We’re just trying to help history come alive a little bit for students,” she said. At first, only extended family members bothered to “friend” with the pair’s profiles, but as the audience grew, Ms. Curtis said she had to find a humorous voice that would appeal to contemporary students who use Facebook every day.
Curious to know more about how Rudolph really went down in history? It's all in the pages of a long-overlooked scrapbook compiled by the story's author, Robert L. May, and housed at his alma mater, Dartmouth College.
May donated his handwritten first draft and illustrated mock-up to Dartmouth before his death at age 71 in 1976, and his family later added to what has become a large collection of Rudolph-related documents and merchandise, including a life-sized papier-mache reindeer that now stands among the stacks at the Rauner Special Collections Library. But May's scrapbook about the book's launch and success went unnoticed until last year, when Dartmouth archivist Peter Carini came across it while looking for something else.
"No one on staff currently knew we had it. I pulled it out and all the pieces started falling out. It was just a mess," Carini said.
The scrapbook, which has since been restored and catalogued, includes May's list of possible names for his story's title character – from Rodney and Rollo to Reginald and Romeo. There's a map showing how many books went to each state and letters of praise from adults and children alike.
The scrapbook also chronicles the massive marketing campaign Montgomery Ward launched to drum up newspaper coverage of the book giveaway and its efforts to promote it within the company. -- Read More
Howard facing lawsuit after librarian found guilty of sexual misconduct charges
Five Howard University students have filed suit in federal court alleging that school officials did not do enough to protect them from an employee later convicted of sexual harassment and assault.
The students, all women, say that a librarian, their work-study supervisor at Howard University’s Founders Library, verbally and physically assaulted them from September 2010 to April 2011. The suit alleges that even though students complained about his conduct, nothing was done until D.C. police were notified.
Israeli pulp fiction collection distinguishes ASU Libraries
Bright, lively illustrations splash across the covers of small, aged booklets that comprise the IsraPulp collection at Arizona State University. The collection is the sole compilation of Israeli pulp fiction in the United States and contains a wide variety of works. Many of these booklets, known as chapbooks and about the size of a DVD case, are several decades old and representative of popular magazine style publications printed on rough, delicate chip paper.
Playboy collection arouses interest at UWO
Despite any embarrassment I might feel, the fact is that Playboy -- the monthly men's periodical started in 1953 by Hugh Hefner -- can offer some fascinating insight into our changing times and culture.
"You have to remember it's not just centrefolds and pictures," says Marnie Harrington, a librarian with UWO's Faculty of Information and Media Studies who worked with the collection after it was donated to the Weldon Library by a private donor about three years ago.
The collection is stored in a "research consultation room" on Weldon's second floor.