Submitted by Blake on November 4, 2018 - 10:18am
According to 2017 estimates released this summer by the Association of American Publishers, sales of adult fiction fell 16% between 2013 and 2017, from $5.21 billion to $4.38 billion. The numbers, though not a major worry, raise questions about the books the industry is publishing and what consumers want to read.
From What’s the Matter with Fiction Sales?
Submitted by Blake on November 3, 2018 - 9:39am
We invited scholars from across the academy to tell us what they saw as the most influential book published in the past 20 years. (Some respondents named books slightly outside our time frame, but we included them anyway.) We asked them to select books — academic or not, but written by scholars — from within or outside their own fields. It was up to our respondents to define “influential,” but we asked them to explain why they chose the books they did. Here are their answers.
From What’s the Most Influential Book of the Past 20 Years? - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Submitted by Blake on November 1, 2018 - 1:29pm
A northwest Iowa library has been inundated with donations from in and outside of the state after a man burned several LGBTQ children’s books during a gay pride festival.
In a Facebook Live video from almost two weeks ago, Paul Dorr with the religious group Rescue The Perishing stood outside of the Prairie Winds Events Center about a mile away from the Orange City Public Library and read aloud from four LGBTQ children’s books before tossing them into a barrel of fire. He called the books “filthy”, “disgusting” and “shameful."
From Donations Pour Into Northwest Iowa Library After Man Burns LGBTQ Books | Iowa Public Radio
Submitted by Blake on October 30, 2018 - 6:05pm
When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?
The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt.
From How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book : NPR
Submitted by Blake on October 30, 2018 - 1:57pm
What yet-unwritten stories lie within the pages of Clara Barton’s diaries, writings of Civil Rights pioneer Mary Church Terrell, or letters written to Abraham Lincoln? With today’s launch of crowd.loc.gov, the Library of Congress is harnessing the power of the public to make these collection items more accessible to everyone.
You are invited to join the Library of Congress via crowd.loc.gov to volunteer to transcribe (type) and tag digitized images of text materials from the Library’s collections. People who join us will journey through history first-hand and help the Library while gaining new skills – like learning how to analyze primary sources and read cursive.
Finalized transcripts will be made available on the Library’s website, improving access to handwritten and typed documents that computers cannot accurately translate without human intervention. The enhanced access will occur through better readability and keyword searching of documents and through greater compatibility with accessibility technologies, such as screen readers used by people with low vision.
From Let’s go! Explore, transcribe, and tag at crowd.loc.gov | The Signal
Submitted by Blake on October 26, 2018 - 10:21am
Submitted by Blake on October 25, 2018 - 9:03am
Book thief detective Ken Sanders tells us how he spent three years of his life hunting down a local book thief and organising the sting that led to his arrest. Sanders has been interested in books since his early years and runs a rare books store in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has seen some very unique publications pass through, including works by Everett Ruess, a poet who walked into the wilderness of Utah in 1930 and has never been seen since.
From Antiquarian bookseller Ken Sanders on hunting down book thieves - France 24
Submitted by Blake on October 24, 2018 - 5:49pm
MIT Press and the University of Michigan Press have both announced plans to start selling their ebook collections directly to libraries by creating their own distribution platforms.
The publishers previously did not have a mechanism for selling to institutions directly. Instead, access to ebooks was largely brokered through third-party acquisition services such as EBSCO, ProQuest, OverDrive, Project Muse and JSTOR.
From University presses take control of ebook distribution
Submitted by Blake on October 23, 2018 - 7:57am
“State agencies generally have a preference for large corporations rather than individuals because there’s always a revolving door between state agencies and corporations that are in the same area,” Oliver speculated, though he said it’s unclear why any preferential treatment to Ancestry might have been given.
This is not the first time Reclaim the Records has sued a state or local government over rejecting a FOIL request, although its legal strategy for compelling states to give over records for genealogy research is new. They’ve successfully used this technique to get genealogy records like the New York City Marriage Index for 1930–1995.
From Ancestry.com Is In Cahoots With Public Records Agencies, A Group Suspects
Submitted by Blake on October 20, 2018 - 8:22pm
Now available through the Stanford Libraries’ SearchWorks catalog, Spotlight gallery, and the Cantor’s website, this archive – of 3,600 contact sheets and 130,000 images – provides a unique ability to view the world through the lens of Warhol’s 35mm camera, which he took with him everywhere he went during the last decade of his life. The collection, which is the most complete collection of the artist’s black-and-white photography ever made available to the public was acquired by the Cantor from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. in 2014.
From Cantor, Stanford Libraries make Warhol photography archives publicly available | Stanford News
Submitted by Blake on October 20, 2018 - 8:00am
Perhaps people living in medieval societies were less preoccupied with the intricacies of other minds, simply because they didn’t have to be. When people’s choices were constrained and their actions could be predicted based on their social roles, there was less reason to be attuned to the mental states of others (or one’s own, for that matter). The emergence of mind-focused literature may reflect the growing relevance of such attunement, as societies increasingly shed the rigid rules and roles that had imposed order on social interactions.
From Why You Should Read Fiction
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2018 - 11:50am
The Library of Congress just cut the ribbon on the National Screening Room, an online trove of cinematic goodies, free for the streaming.
Given that the collection spans more than 100 years of cinema history, from 1890-1999, not all of the featured films are in the public domain, but most are, and those are free to download as well as watch.
Archivist Mike Mashon, who heads the Library’s Moving Image Section, identifies the project’s goal as providing the public with a “broad range of historical and cultural audio-visual materials that will enrich education, scholarship and lifelong learning.”
From The Library of Congress Launches the National Screening Room, Putting Online Hundreds of Historic Films | Open Culture
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2018 - 11:50am
The effects were most marked when it came to literacy. Growing up with few books in the home resulted in below average literacy levels. Being surrounded by 80 books boosted the levels to average, and literacy continued to improve until libraries reached about 350 books, at which point the literacy rates leveled off. The researchers observed similar trends when it came to numeracy; the effects were not as pronounced with information communication technology tests, but skills did improve with increased numbers of books.
From Growing Up Surrounded by Books Could Have Powerful, Lasting Effect on the Mind | Smart News | Smithsonian
Submitted by Blake on October 16, 2018 - 10:31am
Submitted by Blake on October 15, 2018 - 11:27am
Submitted by Blake on October 10, 2018 - 11:11am
Libraries Work!, a research report released last month, demonstrates that every dollar invested in Victorian public libraries generates more than four times that value in benefits to the local community.
From Libraries are about democracy, not just books
Submitted by Blake on October 7, 2018 - 4:33pm
The longtime non-profit’s physical space remains easy to comprehend, at least, so Graham starts there. The main operation now runs out of an old church (pews still intact) in San Francisco, with the Internet Archive today employing nearly 200 staffers. The archive also maintains a nearby warehouse for storing physical media—not just books, but things like vinyl records, too. That’s where Graham jokes the main unit of measurement is “shipping container.” The archive gets that much material every two weeks.
The company currently stands as the second-largest scanner of books in the world, next to Google.
From The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists” | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on October 5, 2018 - 7:17am
But the message sent to Cerf’s email wasn’t a technical request. And it hadn’t been sent just to him. Instead, an email with the subject line “SF-LOVERS” had been sent to Cerf and his colleagues scattered across the United States. The message asked all of them to respond with a list of their favorite science fiction authors. Because the message had gone out to the entire network, everybody’s answers could then be seen and responded to by everybody else. Users could also choose to send their replies to just one person or a subgroup, generating scores of smaller discussions that eventually fed back into the whole.
About 40 years later, Cerf still recalls this as the moment he realized that the internet would be something more than every other communications technology before it. “It was clear we had a social medium on our hands,” he said.
From In 1979, a chain email about science fiction spawned the modern internet.
Submitted by Blake on September 30, 2018 - 6:01pm
“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” he wrote. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours… need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible.”
According to anonymous sources, the Wayback Machine has since become more selective about accepting omission requests.
In a “post-fact” era, where fake news is rampant and basic truths are openly and brazenly disputed, the Wayback Machine is working to preserve a verifiable, unedited record of history — without obstruction.
“If we allow those who control the present to control the past then they control the future,” Kahle told Recode. “Whole newspapers go away. Countries blink on and off. If we want to know what happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, [the internet] is often the only record.”
From Inside Wayback Machine, the internet’s time capsule
Submitted by Blake on September 27, 2018 - 3:49pm
He was paid a 50,000 euro ($80,000) salary as an archives director in Valencia’s provincial government, would show up to the office every morning at 7:30am to clock in using the fingerprint scanner before heading home, only returning to the office at 3:30pm to clock out.
He kept up the routine for 10 years before colleagues began to raise suspicions. After Spanish newspaper El Mundo broke the story 18 months ago, he was finally sacked, despite his insistence that he had done nothing wrong.
“I have only done what they have asked me to do,” he told the paper in January.
From Spanish public servant who skipped work for a decade gets nine-year ban