November 2011

A Pyschologically Healthy Library

The Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library recently received the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award from the Ohio Psychological Association. Leslie Hartley, adult services manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library. Kudos!

The application process for this award was part of the library’s ongoing wellness initiative, spearheaded by Hartley.

“The evaluation team was impressed by the library staff’s quick recovery and teamwork following the widespread economic meltdown of 2009, and their success in rebuilding their work teams and service model,” said Hartley.

The library’s award-winning wellness initiative, also recognized by Ohio, includes a demonstration garden, nutrition and exercise information, participation in charity events such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon and several 5K runs, and inclusion of the broader community in the library’s wellness activities.

The library’s wellness program is being nominated for a national Psychologically Healthy Workplace award as well.

Story from Chillicothe Gazette.

In Minneapolis, The Library is A Cultural Center Too

Third part in a series about Libraries in Crisis from Huffington Post.

In case you hadn’t heard, books aren’t quite as popular as they used to be. “So the question, and it’s a huge question, is, ‘What even is a library anymore?'” said Cesar Pelli, the world-renowned architect and designer of the Minneapolis Central Library.

While this large urban library has greater resources than many of its suburban and rural counterparts — the building itself, which opened in 2006, cost some $138 million — librarians across the country are looking to institutions such as this to show the way forward. For their part, the librarians here say their hope is that this library can be more of a cultural center than a book repository.

When visitors walk into the Minneapolis building, the first collection they see is about 300 computers, each of which is in use about 90 percent of the time. Nationwide, the number of physical books borrowed from libraries is slowly declining, although books remain a core reason why people visit their libraries. The staff in Minneapolis estimates that computer access is the primary reason that most patrons, especially low-income and unemployed people, visit.

Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ is released as e-book

Simon & Schuster released an e-book edition of Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic “Fahrenheit 451” on Tuesday. First published in 1953, “Fahrenheit 451” is a dystopia in which reading is banned and it is the job of firefighters to burn books. 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.

The irony of releasing an e-book edition of a novel built around the death of print books was not lost on Bradbury, which is why he resisted the e-book idea. The Associated Press reports that the author was dismissive of the form, saying that e-books “smell like burned fuel.” Bradbury, a noted futurist who at one time was a consultant for NASA, told the New York Times in 2009 that the Internet is “meaningless; it’s not real…. It’s in the air somewhere.”

But the 91-year-old author has since changed his mind — about e-books, at least. Hence “451” is available to digital readership.

Full article in the LA Times

NPR also has this related piece: Fahrenheit 451: What’s The Temperature At Which E-Books Burn?

Facebook’s Settlement With FTC Confirmed: Privacy Changes Must Be Opt In

Facebook’s Settlement With FTC Confirmed: Privacy Changes Must Be Opt In
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just issued a statement on the Facebook Blog confirming that his company has settled with the FTC over charges that it has violated user privacy over the year. Facebook is now “required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences”, effectively making all future privacy control changes opt in. Facebook must also submit to privacy audits every 2 years for the next 20 years, bar access to content on deactivated accounts, and avoid misrepresenting the privacy or security of user data. The settlement will hinder Facebook’s ability to release new products, as users are typically resistant to change and may be reluctant to opt in to new privacy controls.

Liblime Versus Koha: What Is The Libraryland Opposite of Open Source?

Liblime Versus Koha: What Is The Libraryland Opposite of Open Source?
“Briefly, it seems to me that the core idea of Open Source is “Thou shalt not require money or otherwise restrict the use of the product in any form” while the core idea of Trademark is “Thou shalt not use this product in any form without getting my permission (usually by paying me money)”. These two concepts seem to be diametrically opposed. This isn’t a case of another company using the same name to mean something entirely different. This is a company that specializes in supporting open source software trying to trademark the name of the software that they support. They work in this field! LIBLIME SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!”

Yale Puts The Voynich Manuscript Online

The Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has put one of my favorite books online. Written in Central Europe at the end of the 15th or during the 16th century, the origin, language, and date of the Voynich Manuscript—named after the Polish-American antiquarian bookseller, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912—are still being debated as vigorously as its puzzling drawings and undeciphered text. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character, drawn in ink with vibrant washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red.

Survey Says Americans tepid about libraries

Americans tepid about libraries
Many Americans don’t use libraries, favor locally sourced food and would choose President Barack Obama over his predecessor George W. Bush if the two were vying in a presidential election.
A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll showed Obama ahead of Bush by 40 to 31 percent in a hypothetical race but 40 percent of the key independent voters, who are often said to decide elections, chose neither.

But libraries, apparently, are on the wane. Two thirds of people said they never go to the library, or do so only once or twice a year.

Mourning a Cultural Hub Disguised as a Used Bookstore

Mourning a Cultural Hub Disguised as a Used Bookstore
Still, more than just another bookstore is closing in Mr. Dawson’s plans to shut down his eerily orderly kingdom of antiquated arcana with the scrap-metal Don Quixote statue out front. The Raconteur bucked the awful economy, the impossible economics of the book business and the big-box magnets sucking life from suburban downtowns. Even if he went out on his own terms, that seems small consolation to adherents.