February 2008

History on the rocks: Librarian says Turkey Foot Rock is upside down

Charley Hively [Not Murphy!] sent over This One on some detective work by a librarian in OH. For decades Turkey Foot Rock has served as the Ohio Historical Society’s monument to the role Native Americans played in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

And perhaps for decades it’s been upside down, the result of careless moving around that no one noticed for 60 or so years until an amateur archaeologist from Columbus discovered it last year.

Jim Murphy, a retired Ohio State University librarian who has a master of science degree in geology from Case Western Reserve University, insists the rock, which has gone through a strange odyssey over the years, is upside down.

He’s sure of it.

“It’s obviously upside down and ought to be right-side-up,” he said.

Writes of passage: Why books will still live

Howard Gardner Wonders What will happen to reading and writing in our time?

Could the doomsayers be right? Computers, they maintain, are destroying literacy. The signs – students’ declining reading scores, the huge drop in leisure reading, the fact that half the adult population reads no books in a year – all point to the day when a literate American culture is a distant memory. By contrast, optimists foresee the Internet ushering in a new, vibrant participatory culture of words. Will they carry the day?

Children’s Book May Return To Shelves

A controversial children’s book about two male penguins that was removed from general circulation at Loudoun County public elementary schools may be put back on the shelves in many school libraries, Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III said Tuesday night. Hatrick decided earlier this month that only parents and teachers would have access to the book, “And Tango Makes Three,” after a parent complained that it promoted a gay agenda. But at Tuesday’s School Board meeting, Hatrick said he had “exceeded the authority” given to him by the board.

Abandoning Print, Not Peer Review

Abandoning Print, Not Peer Review: A recent announcement out of Indiana hasn’t received the same attention, but may represent a larger challenge in the end to the traditional model of scholarly publishing, which has evolved to a system with expensive print and online publications and limited access for readers. A professor at Indiana University who is editor of an anthropology journal published traditionally has started a new journal — online and free — using tools made available by the library. After a one-year experiment, the journal is now officially launched and is already attracting many more readers than the establishment print model ever did.

How do you build a public library in the age of Google?

Slate Has Posted a slide-show essay about the architecture of libraries.

an Extinction Timeline, predicts that libraries will disappear in 2019. He’s probably right as far as the function of the library as a civic monument, or as a public repository for books, is concerned. On the other hand, in its mutating role as urban hangout, meeting place, and arbiter of information, the public library seems far from spent. This has less to do with the digital world—or the digital word—than with the age-old need for human contact.

Library look, revised

The LA Times Takes A Look at “libraries.” In a city derided for its cerebral shortcomings, the home library — once merely a quaint signature of old money — is asserting itself as a showcase for personal taste, designers say. Los Angeles houses may balloon with gadget-laden spa baths, elaborate outdoor kitchens and high-tech media lounges, but it’s the humble bookcase-lined reading room that’s becoming a symbol of respite and refinement.
“It is such a cliché,” says Sara Nelson, editor in chief of the trade magazine Publishers Weekly. “When I see homes with leather-bound volumes of the complete works of Shakespeare or Thackeray, I assume those books have never been read.”

Writer, historian and antique book dealer Victoria Dailey recalls the time a decorator came into the bookstore she once owned and announced, “I want the look of books.”

“It was so insulting to the books,” Dailey says. “Just to pretend you have books is offensive.”

Sun Microsystems, The University of Alberta Libraries and The Alberta Library create Centre of Excel

The initiative will enhance and support respective organizational projects, as well as an extensive, province-wide, multi-faceted digital library. As part of the COE the participants intend to provide a seamless search and retrieval experience resulting in unprecedented access to information for students, faculty and the public, as well as creating an enduring preservation environment.

TalkShoe Errors Delay Uncontrolled Vocabulary Until Thursday

As noted at the show’s blog, the thirty-first episode of Uncontrolled Vocabulary is delayed until Thursday at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (3:00 AM GMT Friday, 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time Thursday). Details on how to participate can be found at the show blog. Technical issues with TalkShoe prevented recording an episode at the appointed hour on the regular day.

Folks with stories as well as fun things happening in their library or other sort of knowledge management organization can also contact the LISTen team. Interviews are possible still this week. By calling any of the four telephone numbers posted based around the planet, a voicemail can be left for the team to consider.