Libraries

Libraries

Hay-on-Wye: The Town of Books

Hay-on-Wye, also known by its Welsh name Y Gelli (“The Grove”), lies on the border between Wales and England, and is about halfway between the English cities of Bristol and Birmingham. Its English name is derived from the Norman word for an enclosed field (“hay” or “haie”) and from its setting on the banks of the River Wye. Earlier on in its thousand-year history, the town was the scene of immense political upheaval owing to its strategic location between Wales and England. The history of the castle at its center illustrates how tumultuous those times were. Built in A.D. 1200 by the local ruler, William de Breos II, Hay Castle replaced an older, smaller castle. After displeasing King John of England, William was forced to flee to France in 1211, and his wife and son were imprisoned.
From Hay-on-Wye: Interesting Thing of the Day
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Why I still won’t review for or publish with Elsevier–and think you shouldn’t either

Contrary to what a couple of people I talked to at the time intimated might happen, my scientific world didn’t immediately collapse. The only real consequences I’ve experienced as a result of avoiding Elsevier are that (a) on perhaps two or three occasions, I’ve had to think a little bit longer about where to send a particular manuscript, and (b) I’ve had a few dozen conversations (all perfectly civil) about Elsevier and/or academic publishing norms that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have had. Other than that, there’s been essentially no impact on my professional life. I don’t feel that my unwillingness to publish in NeuroImage, Neuron, or Journal of Research in Personality has hurt my productivity or reputation in any meaningful way. And I continue to stand by my position that it’s a mistake for scientists to do business with a publishing company that actively lobbies against the scientific community’s best interests.
From Why I still won’t review for or publish with Elsevier–and think you shouldn’t either – [citation needed]

English Wikipedia is in decline

English Wikipedia is in decline. As a long-time editor & former admin, I was deeply dismayed by the process. Here, I discuss UI principles, changes in Wikipedian culture, the large-scale statistical evidence of decline, run small-scale experiments demonstrating the harm, and conclude with parting thoughts.
From In Defense Of Inclusionism - Gwern.net
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Libraries Become Unexpected Sites of Hate Crimes

Because of a “sudden increase” in such crimes — three in a couple of weeks after one in a year — the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom is starting to formally track them, the office’s director, James LaRue, said in an email. He said it was difficult to know whether the uptick was “a blip or a trend.” “We hope to track the details, locations and frequency, the better to stay on top of it, develop training or webinars, and support our members,” he said.
From Libraries Become Unexpected Sites of Hate Crimes - The New York Times
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ALA warns Members it is "Concerned" about Trump Administration

From Central NY News:

Statement from ALA Prez Julie Todaro confirms that she is concerned how core values of free access, intellectual freedom and privacy will fit with the president elect Donald Trump's administration. [aren't we all]

"It is clear many of those values are at odds with messaging or positions taken by the incoming administration."

Will this statement soften the blow of Todaro's statement on November 15? (reprinted below):

“We are ready to work with President-elect Trump, his transition team, incoming administration and members of Congress to bring more economic opportunity to all Americans and advance other goals we have in common.”

Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Parchment

While most of the Old World was writing on papyrus, bamboo, and silk, Europe carved its own gruesome path through the history books.
From Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Parchment : Longreads
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What's the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf?

You work at the college library. You’re in the middle of a quiet afternoon when suddenly, a shipment of 1,280 books arrives. The books are in a straight line, but they're all out of order, and the automatic sorting system is broken. How can you sort the books quickly? Chand John shows how, shedding light on how algorithms help librarians and search engines speedily sort information.
From What's the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf? - Chand John - YouTube
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Chicago Offers Free Library Benefits to Public Transit Riders

Colson Whitehead, Rep. John Lewis Among National Book Award Winners

"The past week has mad me feel like I'm living my life all over again — that we have to fight some of the same fights," Lewis said. "To see some of the bigotry, the hate, I think there are forces that want to take us back."

When he later accepted his medal for young people's literature, for his work with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell on March: Book Three, Lewis drew from memories of his own childhood for a tearful speech.

"I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds," Lewis said.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/16/502349046/colson-whitehead-and-rep-john-lewis-among-winners-of-national-book-awards

I recommend listening to the piece so you can hear the emotion with which Lewis gives his speech.
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How To Weather the Trump Administration

"Head to the library" says the LA Times (or maybe you're already there). In small towns and large, in red states and blue, libraries poll better across the political spectrum than any public trust this side of the fire department. In districts where millage increases don’t require a two-thirds vote (and frequently where they do, as in California) modest library bonds usually win.

Librarians may be the only first responders holding the line between America and a raging national pandemic of absolutism. More desperately than ever, we need our libraries now, and all three of their traditional pillars: 1) education, 2) good reading and 3) the convivial refuge of a place apart. In other words, libraries may be the last coal we have left to blow on.

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I was Racially Profiled at the New York Public Library

At an event to honor Harry Belafone one guest stated that he was stopped and questioned upon his entrance to library, story from The New York Post.

Bad News for British Public Libraries

From Inside Higher Ed, Barbara Fister writes:

Last March, the BBC reported that 343 public libraries have closed in the U.K. and another 111 were scheduled to be closed this year. That’s about 15 percent of all public libraries in the UK. Nearly 300 libraries were handed over to community groups to sustain or were outsourced to commercial management. UK libraries have been forced to lay off a quarter of their staff because of budget cuts.

Some libraries deserve to close, says 'digital inclusion' charity

“I love libraries. But I love them when they’re fulfilling their potential. When they are not, I believe they are bringing the institution down. I believe they are letting local people down. And I’m fed up of seeing them get a free pass, when other community hubs ­and community centres­ are also at the brink of closures, and also faced with the really pointy end of the local council cuts,” said Tinder chief executive Helen Milner.
From Some libraries deserve to close, says 'digital inclusion' charity | Books | The Guardian
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Library of the Future

Book: Man and the Computer (1972) John G. Kemeny Man and the Computer is an expanded version of the widely acclaimed Man and Nature Lectures delivered at the American Museum of Natural History in the fall of 1971. Chapter 8 of the book is - Library of the Future

Time Lapse: Thousands of Books Get Reshelved Before the Rose Main Reading Room Reopens

In preparation for the reopening of the Rose Main Reading Room, watch 52,000 books being shelved...in just two minutes:
From Time Lapse: Thousands of Books Get Reshelved Before the Rose Main Reading Room Reopens - YouTube
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MIT task force releases preliminary “Future of Libraries” report

The MIT task force arranged ideas about the MIT Libraries into four “pillars,” which structure the preliminary report. They are “Community and Relationships,” involving the library’s interactions with local and global users; “Discovery and Use,” regarding the provision of information; “Stewardship and Sustainability,” involving the management and protection of MIT’s scholarly resources; and “Research and Development,” addressing the analysis of library practices and needs. The preliminary report contains 10 general recommendations in these areas.
From MIT task force releases preliminary “Future of Libraries” report | MIT News
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It's Not Too Late to Save the Stacks

For in-depth assignments, nothing replaces the chance to introduce students face-to-face to a nonvirtual librarian who can help them navigate the research process. One invaluable lesson of standing next to a real person undertaking real-time information browsing: Students learn that good information takes time to locate. Even the experts have to problem-solve through some deadends and overgeneralized hits before finding a good source. And when something suitable turns up, students can share that eureka moment or the relief of genuine gratitude with another person. All of this takes place in the physical space of the library and its community of books and people.
From It's Not Too Late to Save the Stacks - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 Bob Dylan

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 Bob Dylan The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 is awarded to Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".
From The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 - Press Release
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How to help libraries learn about open source

Right now, if you walked into my public library and pelted me with questions about open source—like, "What is it?" "How does it work?" "How can I use open source?"—I'd rattle off answers so fast you'd be walking out with a new tool or technology under your belt. Open source is a big world, so of course there are some things I don't know, but guess what? We have the Internet and books right at our finger tips. Saying that you don't know the answer is fine, and patrons will respect you for it. The key is helping them find the answer.
From How to help libraries learn about open source | Opensource.com
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Inside the New York Public Library's Last, Secret Apartments

Some have spent decades empty and neglected. "The managers would sort of meekly say to me—do you want to see the apartment?" says Iris Weinshall, the library's chief operating officer, who at the beginning of her tenure toured all the system's branches. The first time it happened, she had the same reaction any library lover would: There’s an apartment here? Maybe I could live in the apartment. "They would say, look, just be careful when you go up there," she says. "It was wild. You could have this gorgeous Carnegie…" "And then… surprise!" says Risa Honig, the library's head of capital planning.
From Inside the New York Public Library's Last, Secret Apartments | Atlas Obscura
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