Libraries are LOUD… For rich people, that’s not a problem. They live in spacious homes, glide along in hermetically sealed cars, book weekends in restful spas, dine in restaurants where the nearest table is 6 feet away. Quiet is one of the sweetest luxuries they’re able to afford. But most rich people don’t use libraries. For the rest of us, refuge from this cacophonous world is getting harder and harder to come by. Let’s hope librarians are listening to all the patrons asking them not to take it away.
San Francisco Animal Care & Control has been relying on public contributions and occasional Chronicle donations of old newspapers to line animal cages and catch waste from puppies who don’t know how to take their business outside yet. But Thursday, an animal control van parked at the San Francisco Public Library was loaded with two 32-gallon recycling bins full of old newspapers from the library as part of a new program to ensure that the shelter has a consistent stream of paper.
“This most likely will take care of 100 percent of our newspaper needs,” said animal care supervisor Eric Zuercher.
How’s that for a happy subject? “While bookstores are failing, libraries are thriving“… But libraries afford the valuable loan aspect of book reading. In this digital age, some people still want to hold physical books, not tablets, but that doesn’t mean people actually want to buy a print version. Paper versions that only occupy a house for a week, though, are much more likely to be taken home and thus libraries continue to survive in an increasingly online world.
Interesting question on shrinking shelf space at book stores… how will that impact us? How will shrinking shelf space impact publishing?
However, the shelf space is shrinking.
It is hard to see these lost shelves being replaced by others and therefore the volume of print itself may have to shrink further. Some believe that a direct marketing approach will replace the High Street and to a degree it is true, but unfortunately the biggest direct marketer today is Amazon. The one that knows more about your book buying habits, tastes, dislikes and your disposable income is only one click away. Many direct marketers merely only handle the marketing and throw the fulfilment over to – yes, Amazon.
Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might “help authors create even better books.”
Fleeing Islamist extremists torched a library containing historic manuscripts in Timbuktu, the mayor said Monday, as French and Malian forces closed in on Mali’s fabled desert city. Ousmane Halle said he heard about the burnings early Monday.
“It’s truly alarming that this has happened,” he told The Associated Press by telephone from Mali’s capital, Bamako, on Monday. “They torched all the important ancient manuscripts. The ancient books of geography and science. It is the history of Timbuktu, of its people.”
The mayor said Monday that the radical Islamists had torched his office as well as the Ahmed Baba Institute — a library rich with historical documents — in an act of retaliation before they fled late last week.
Timbuktu, long a hub of Islamic learning, is also home to some 20,000 manuscripts, some dating back as far as the 12th century. Owners have succeeded in removing some of the manuscripts from Timbuktu to save them, while others have been carefully hidden away from the Islamists.
The destructions recall tactics used by the Taliban in 2001 when they dynamited a pair of giant Buddhas carved into a mountain in Bamiyan province. Around the same time, the Taliban also rampaged through the national museum, smashing any art depicting the human form, considered idolatrous under their hardline interpretation of Islam. In all, they destroyed about 2,500 statues.
Andrew pointed the way to today’s “Minimalism with an Exception” comic from Wasted Talent… “Someday I will live in a library that is also a maze (so I have lots of walls for art). It will look like a castle from the outside and treehouse from the inside, all the exterior walls will be giant windows. It will have a reading enclave, an art studio and a machine shop. Also it will be on an island with chickens and goats. This is all going to happen when I am a zillionaire.”
This week’s episode talks about the ethics of information handling, promulgates a reading of a new open source license that could be used in LIS realm software projects, and provides a brief news miscellany.
- Associated Press: Ohio judge weighs whether to keep rape trial open
- Reuters: Lawyer for accused Ohio rapist blames online group for notoriety
- The text of copyleft-next 0.1.0 as presented
- France24: France orders Twitter to identify racist users
- Scott Ott, a local Republican politician in eastern Pennsylvania
- PJ Tatler: Government-Approved Islam Books Coming to Library Near You
- British sociologist Dr. Tiffany Jenkins
- The Scotsman: Tiffany Jenkins — Libraries are on a slippery pole
- Censored Genius: Libraries, Chasing the 1%
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