September 2011

NYC Village Book Seller Busts Library Thief

A serial thief who repeatedly stole books from the New York Public Library and sold them to unwitting downtown stores was busted after a furious shopkeeper laid a trap for him, The New York Post has learned.

Andrew Hansen — who is banned from the library — saw his criminal career come to a thrilling end in the East Village Monday night as he tried to off-load a batch of ill-gotten goods.

Donald Davis, owner of East Village Books at 99 St. Marks Place, said he had been fooled by Hansen, 27, before and was prepared this time around.

“He walks in. I had gone to dinner. My friend was watching the store for me, [and] he called me on my cellphone,” Davis recalled yesterday. “We had a code set up so that he would say, ‘Where’s my delivery?’ Then I knew the guy was there.”

When he got back to his shop, Davis confronted Hansen, who has a lengthy rap sheet.

“He would tear all the labels off of them so it would look like they were not from the library, [but] there were remnants of the stickers that used to be on the books,” said Davis, adding that the books were mostly graphic novels that go for up to $40 each.

“He starts to move to the door. He wants to get out, and he’s trying to leave. I said, ‘You’re not going anywhere. The police are on their way!’ ” Davis recalled.

Wikipedia Unveils Probably the Coolest QR Thingy Ever Made

Wikipedia today introduced a program called QRPedia, a QR code creation service that lets users snap a picture of a QR code and be automatically directed to a linked mobile Wikipedia entry in whatever written language their phone uses. If there’s no article in their language for the designated topic, the program directs them to the most relevant related article that is available in that language. If you don’t have a QR reader on your phone, I use the Google iPhone app, myself.

I dare you to find a cooler example of QR codes in action than QRPedia. Originally built at England’s Derby Museum and Gallery (by the museum’s Wikipedian in Residence!) the service is now available to anyone online. Multiple museums around the world have already put it to use, posting QR codes on the wall next to items on display. That’s what the Internet is for, people, for taking the reality we’re standing in front of and exploding it with a world of additional information available on demand.

Full piece at ReadWriteWeb

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools
Students, teachers and librarians across the United States are questioning whether schools should block Web sites.
Entire categories of Web sites had been blocked, including those that involved games, violence, weapons, even swimsuits, said Judy Gressel, a librarian. “It just got to the point that it became hard to conduct research,” she said, adding that students could not read sites about, say, military weapons for a history paper.

Library Science: An ArtSpace Exhibit

Artspace is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition Library
, conceived by New York-based curator Rachel Gugelberger. The exhibition
contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationships to the library, with a
focus on how these interactions are changing as libraries adapt to the digital world. From
its socio-cultural meaning to its architectural space and classification tools, the library
informs the methodology and practice of the artists in Library Science, presenting the
work of 17 artists in a variety of media including drawing, photography, sculpture,
installation, painting and web-based projects.

The e

xhibition title refers to Eleanor Antin’s “Library Science” of 1971, a conceptual
work that appropriated library classification methods to represent and archive the
identities of living women. Additionally, the title refers to the field of Library and
Information Science, specifically, studies on library resource usage, human interaction
with library systems, information organization and retrieval technologies and the
acquisition, cataloging, classification and preservation of library materials.

While some of the artists in Library Science explore traditional libraries, others utilize the
Internet as a digital library. Several artists contemplate evidence of physical use or
explore the poetic connections between the organic and the synthetic, instinct and
knowledge. Artists include: Erica Baum (NY), Jorge Méndez Blake (Mexico), David
Bunn (CA), Chris Coffin (NY), Madeline Djerejian (NY), Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S.
Davidson (NY), Philippe Gronon (France), Jose Hernandez (NJ), Candida Höfer
(Germany), Nina Katchadourian (NY), Reynard Loki (NY), Loren Madsen (CA), Allen
Ruppersberg (NY), Mickey Smith (NY), Blane De St.Croix (NY), Xiaoze Xie (CA).

In conjunction with the exhibition at Artspace, Connecticut artists were invited to submit
proposals for research residencies towards creating site and situation-specific projects at
local libraries. Selected artists are: Colin Burke (The Whitney Library of the New Haven
Museum), Heather Lawless (The New Haven Free Public Library), Carol Padberg
(Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University), and Tyler Starr (Robert B. Haas Family
Arts Library at Yale). In addition, an exhibition at The Institute Library, timed to open
with Library Science, will feature a series of new library-based portraits made by
Meredith Miller and Rob Rocke. All participating institutions are in walking distance
from the gallery. A statewide film festival of movies in which the library plays a starring

role is also planned, organized in partnership with the Connecticut Library Consortium.

Library Science seeks to encourage librarians to forge relationships with artists and
support the creation and presentation of new artwork by providing assistance with
research and access to information. The project will also reach out beyond New Haven to
library patrons throughout Connecticut via an online exhibition catalogue. Library
Science is generously supported with funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation, the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and

Artspace is New Haven’s largest independent visual arts venue, showcasing a mix of
local and national artists in a downtown corner storefront anchoring an affordable
housing complex. Our mission is to catalyze artistic efforts; to connect artists, audiences
and resources; and to redefine art spaces.

The Men of the Stacks Librarian Calendar

We know what people think: Dewey, glasses, shushing, books, hairbuns, Party Girl and card catalogs. Yes, we know what people think. We know that the American, library profession is approximately 80% White and 72% female; and we know that tens of thousands of librarians are expected to reach age 65 in the next 5 years. We also know that this is not us.

There is an entire population of professional librarians out there who disagree with the way the library profession is perceived in contemporary media outlets and in the historical consciousness of the American mind. Different people and different associations will use different means to try to change those perceptions. This is ours.

The website:
To purchase:
FB fan page:

Navigating NPRs Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

Navigating NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books
Over the summer, NPR solicited the input of its listeners to rank the top science fiction and fantasy books of all time. Over 60,000 people voted for the top picks which were then compiled into a list by their panel of experts. The result? This list of 100 books with a wide range of styles, little context, and absolutely no pithy commentary to help readers actually choose something to read from it.

SF Signal have, once again, come to the rescue. This flowchart is designed to help you follow your tastes, provide context, and fulfill (indeed exceed!) any need for pithy commentary you might harbor.

Amazon’s grip tightens on the entire book-publishing chain

Amazon’s low-priced bestsellers and Kindle e-reader are famous for changing the book industry. What’s not so well known is how deeply Amazon’s tentacles reach into all parts of the industry, including its growing interest in inking deals with authors to publish some of the hit books Amazon sells.

Booksellers and publishers are crying foul, saying they’re being cut out of the chain by an aggressive Goliath. But some authors who have recently signed with Amazon Publishing say the company simply offered them a better, fairer deal than traditional publishers.

Full piece at: CNNMoney

Discussion and comments on article at Amazon Sellers thread

Evolving Libraries: Toga parties, Read-to-Dogs, Martini meetups, Stuffed-animal sleepovers Keep Libraries Relevant

From The Chicago Tribune:

The Read-To-Dogs program is one of the many unusual ways that libraries throughout Chicagoland are engaging citizens of all ages. Kids can read to dogs, send their stuffed animals on sleepovers or visit a magical forest, and parents can attend a toga party, taste gourmet chocolate or even meet up at a martini bar, all thanks to their local libraries.It was obvious that the read-to-dogs program has caught the interest of 7-year-old Ella, who casually petted cockapoodle Jake with her right hand and held the book “Nobody’s Dog” with her left while confidently breezing through sentences studded with multisyllabic words.