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News

Parade float sparks political firestorm

A parade float that rolled down the streets of Norfolk, Neb., on Friday is drawing national attention and statewide debate.

The float featured a wooden outhouse labeled 'Obama Presidential Library', next to an upright figure in overalls.

Parade organizers said the float was one of the most popular in the show and received an honorable mention award.

Story at Nebraska local news station: http://www.ketv.com/news/parada-float-sparks-political-firestorm/26817664#ixzz36n4oShkm

Washington Post story.

FOX News story here.

Story in Nebraska newspaper.

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Three Cities Face Off for President Obama's Library

From the Guardian:

There is sometimes a wistful note in Barack Obama's voice when he speaks in public these days. The US president makes regular references to his "remaining time in office" and notes that there are just two and a half years to finish the work that will define his legacy. That legacy will find a physical home in his presidential library, the museum-archives America's leaders build after leaving office to stand as a testament to their time as the world's most powerful man.

Mr Obama's library is still years from completion but every step in its planning process serves as another reminder that his presidency is reaching the beginning of its end. Monday is the deadline for cities to submit their proposals to be a host site for what will one day be known as the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

Cites & Insights 14:6 (June 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:6 (June 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i6.pdf

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EBSCO to Share (Some) Metadata

After a long-standing feud over allowing their metadata to be accessed by subscribers via other discovery services, EBSCO has announced a metadata sharing policy wherein they "will be making available all metadata (and full text when contractually allowed)" . . . except for when they don't want to: "The only EBSCO research databases that are not yet included in the above policy are those resources that are built upon and subscribed to primarily for their subject indexing."

Thousands Of Artifacts Seized At 91-Year-Old Indiana Man's Home

Federal agents, art experts and museum curators descended on the home of a 91-year-old man in central Indiana on Wednesday to take control of a huge collection of artifacts from Native American, Russian, Chinese and other cultures.

Story at NPR

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Another Q&A App Launches. U Jelly?

Jelly is a new app that lets you share pictures of objects you cannot identify. People you know are then asked to identify the objects for you. Is this an inefficient, narcissism-enabling way of obtaining information, or yet another revolutionary killer app? At what point should your library get on board?

Another Top Ten Library Stories of 2013

Peter Scott, Creator of Hytel-net and Publishers Catalogs, Dead at 66

According to a posting by family members on Peter's facebook page, Peter died calmly in his sleep at St. Paul's Hospital, Palliative Care Unit in Saskatoon on December 30.

He was an important figure in information and library science, beloved by many.

Here are some biographical bits:

Peter Scott was born February 14, 1947, in Walthamstow UK and moved to Canada in 1976. He was the Internet Projects Manager in the University of Saskatchewan Library in Saskatoon. Along with another Saskatoon librarian, Darlene Fichter he served as the editor and content developer for many online directories.

He was the creator of HYTELNET (1991), the first electronic browser for Internet resources, developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. Peter wrote a blog, Peter Scott's Library Blog for Credo Reference. Other web creations are: Twitter Compendium, RSS Compendium, Weblogs Compendium, allrecordlabels.com, Blogging The Blues, Peter Scott's Library Blog, Libdex - (Sold in 2005) and Publishers' Catalogues . This reporter (birdie) first met Peter (via internet) when I asked him to add my company to the listing thirteen years ago. In the interim, we remained good virtual friends.

He was also also a blues singer and harmonica player, and had the distinction of winning a Juno Award for having his song "TV Preacher" on the album "Saturday Night Blues" which won "Best Roots and Traditional Music Album" in 1992.

Ten Stories That Shaped 2013

Once more we look back at the notable library happenings of the past year.

Memorable Stories

10. Timbuktu Library Rescue

In January, Islamic militants torched an archive that had contained many ancient manuscripts. Fortunately, prior to this, people had removed the materials from the city.

9. The Hudson Falls Free Library Reading Contest

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) available

Walt Crawford is at in again. In a 140 character world he is busting out 34 pages of analysis and commentary.

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) available

The issue contains one essay:
Words: The Ebook Marketplace, Part 2 pp. 1-34

More on the last few years in the ebook marketplace, this time focusing on ebook pricing, ebook and ereader sales, software, the past and future, (intentional) humor, rights--not so much DRM as ebook readers' rights, and a few miscellaneous pieces.

If you're waiting for "ebooks and pbooks" (note and, not versus)...that's coming in January 2014.

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JSTOR Introduces Individual Subscriptions

JSTOR recently launched a direct subscription service called JPASS. Researchers wanting more content than their library provides can pay for access. Is this the future of aggregator publishing?

Jeff Bezos To Buy Washington Post

Unexpected breaking news on a late Monday afternoon right before markets close in New York City:

MIT Didn't Target Swartz; Missed 'Wider Background'

Aaron Swartz, an advocate for open access to academic journals, committed suicide in January after being charged with hacking into MIT computers and illegally downloading nearly 5 million academic journal articles from JSTOR, one of the largest digital archives of scholarly journals in the world. At the time of Swartz's death, the 26-year-old faced 13 federal felony computer fraud charges — and the near certainty of jail time.

In this NPR blog All Tech Considered, MIT denied "targeting" the programmer and claimed no wrongdoing. But the report raises concerns about existing university policies and whether MIT should have been actively involved in supporting Swartz.

History Group Slams Open Access

In a stunning demonstration of Poe's law, the American Historical Association has released a policy statement favoring the restriction digital theses ("with access being provided only on that campus") for fears that open access versions could be read. The basis for this argument is FUD about a tenure system that apparently cannot be changed. See Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle for more coverage.

Mendeley and RefWorks Flow: The next, next generation of citation management software

A decade or so ago, ISI's EndNote bought out most of the competition, practically obtaining a monopoly on the reference manager business. In the early Library 2.0 boom, web-based products like Zotero and CSA's RefWorks became the norm. Thomson Reuters played catch up by introducing EndNote Web, and NoodleBib and other adware/freemium clones cropped up in what is now again a crowded marketplace.

Mendeley, recently purchased by Elsevier, has gained fame by offering social media integration and and sharing cababilities. It notably works on the old Questia model of selling itself directly to individual users, not institutions. ProQuest is also putting the finishing touches on RefWorks Flow, which features similar collaboration tools.

The way these newer products allow users to share articles with peers raises interesting questions about them potentially being used as a new "Napster for subscription journals," especially since they are now both owned by major publishers. See my comment for some more philosophical questions....

The Taksim Square Book Club

Protest is taking a new form in Istanbul where I was fortunate enough to visit about a month ago. Individuals are standing in their beloved square and reading books of their choice.

Violent scenes are still occurring around Turkey, including in Istanbul once again this past weekend, but the Standing Man protests continue unabated.

The images in this article explore one aspect of the protest in Taksim Square, ongoing since before the communal standing took off. Public reading and informal education has been notable since the earliest days of the protest, but has since merged with the Standing Man to form "The Taksim Square Book Club".

The chosen reading material of many of those who take their stand is reflective, in part, of the thoughtfulness of those who have chosen this motionless protest to express their discontent.

Join the Board of Directors of Librarians Without Borders

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<p>Librarians Without Borders is recruiting Board members with non-profit management experience, to help us develop communications and fundraising strategies. Join our team! <a href="http://lwb-online.org/?p=4822">More information, including the application, can be found here</a>.

Boy Killed at Boston Marathon Was Son of Injured School Librarian

In 2012, Martin Richard, the 8-year-old Dorchester boy who was killed in the marathon explosions, marched at Boston’s City Hall to call for peace.

Richard’s second-grade class was there to “express themselves in a positive manner and become more engaged in the politics of the city,” according to a Boston.com story about the march.

The school says it is grieving for Martin and his family. It released his statement and identified Martin’s mother, another victim of the bombing, as a school librarian:

The Neighborhood House Charter School is mourning today the loss of our beloved student Martin Richard, during the tragic events at the Boston Marathon yesterday. He was a bright, energetic young boy who had big dreams and high hopes for his future. We are heartbroken by this loss.

We are also praying for his mother, Denise, our school librarian and sister Jane, another Neighborhood House Charter student, who were seriously injured yesterday. Our thoughts are with his father, Bill Richard, and older brother, Henry. They are a wonderful family and represent the very best this city has to offer.

Police: JFK library event a fire or explosion

Explosion at the Boston Marathon
Story here

There was also an expolsion at JFK Library

A third event just after 3 this afternoon at John F. Kennedy library is now being called either a fire or “an incendiary” device and it is too soon to say if it is tied to the explosions at the finish of the Marathon.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said earlier today “a third incident — explosion — was at the JFK Library” on Columbia Point. But he said that information could be “premature.”

Full article

UPDATE: Fire at JFK library likely unrelated

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LibraryThing Offers Free Accounts through this Sunday, March 31

In reaction to the recent purchase of Goodreads by Amazon.com, LibraryThing announced the following:

In the wake of Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, we’ve had some blow-back on the fact that LibraryThing charges for a membership to add more than 200 books. In fact, when you go to pay, it’s pay-what-you-want. The money helps pay for the site, and keeps us advertisement-free for members. Also, we believe customers should be customers, with the loyalty and rights of customers, not the thing we sell to our real customers.

However, some people don’t like it. And we want everyone. So, as a test and a welcome, we’re giving out free year’s accounts to everyone who signs up through the end of Sunday. We’ve also upgraded everyone who signed up since 4pm yesterday.

More on their site.

They neglected to mention however that they too are part-owned by Amazon.com (40% due to previous small business purchases by Amazon). This was referenced in the NYTimes article about Amazon's purchase of Goodreads.

"The deal is made more significant because Amazon already owned part or all of Goodreads’ competitors, Shelfari and LibraryThing. It bought Shelfari in 2008. It also owns a portion of LibraryThing as a result of buying companies that already owned a stake in the site. Both are much smaller and have grown much more slowly than Goodreads."

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