Libraries

Libraries

Synchronized Shelving in New Zealand

How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better

Richardson's system actually works: they're using it in NYPL and many affiliated libraries. It makes reading ebooks from the library one trillion times better, and it lets anyone improve it, at anywhere in the stack -- it lets commercial suppliers play, too, but prevents them from locking libraries, publishers or readers in. It is a model of how mission-driven public agencies and nonprofits can be truly game-changing in online ecosystems that have been dominated by a single, monolithic corporation.
From How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better / Boing Boing
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Keep the Patrons Happy

Some Good Customer service "precepts" by Paula Laurita via Pub-Lib

Okay, my number one rule is no blood in the library. But aside from that I have a few general rules:

2. We don't work at the "no" factory. The first response isn't "we can't do that". Try and find the "yes" if possible without infringing on another patron. Some staff took this at first that we never say no. That's not a blanket yes to more computer time if someone else is waiting. It's not a blanket yes to extending a summer reading book when there is a holds list. But, is there really a reason why someone cannot have a special check-out period for Huck Finn while they are sailing on the Mississippi?

3. Take the money. Cousin Fred checked out a book using Cousin Beatrice's card. Fred racked-up the late fines, but doesn't have Beatrice's card. He wants to pay the fines. Take the money. Give Fred the cash register receipt. Save the account receipt for Beatrice. Don't inconvenience them both.

4. This isn't the cosmetics counter at the local department store. Don't chase people to make the sale. "May I help you find anything?" "No, I'm just browsing." "Okay, if I can help please let me know." Give people privacy and the gift of time to look.

5. No weltschmerz. Well thought out complaints are fine. General whining is not.

Tracking Excavator: Uncovering Tracking in the Web's Past

As users browse the web, their browsing behavior may be observed and aggregated by third-party websites ("trackers") that they don't visit directly. These trackers are generally embedded by host websites in the form of advertisements, social media widgets (e.g., the Facebook "Like" button), or web analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics). Though web tracking and its privacy implications have received much attention in recent years, that attention has come relatively recently in the history of the web and lacks full historical context. In this work, we conduct a longitudinal archaeological study of tracking on the web from 1996 to 2016. Our key insight: that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine enables a retrospective analysis of properties of the web, even though researchers did not anticipate in advance the need to study these properties over time. We evaluate the potential and limitations of the Wayback Machine for this purpose and offer strategies to overcome several challenges we encountered in relation to using its data to study tracking.
From Tracking Excavator
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Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation

A woman who worked as a custodian at Krause Memorial Library apologized for taking dozens of books, games and CDs, saying she never intended to hurt the Rockford library. “I feel bad for doing that to the library,’’ 33-year-old Sarah Lynn Fifelski told a judge at sentencing Tuesday. “I was grateful for the opportunity of working there and I feel bad for betraying their trust.
From Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation | WZZM13.com
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Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process

The Danville Public Library has spent the past two years purging its collection of worn, duplicate and rarely checked-out books. That hasn’t prevented the library’s director from receiving complaints from at least one resident convinced that books on the Confederacy are being targeted for removal. Residents have also criticized the library’s actions on Facebook. Danville Public Library Director Joe Zappacosta said the library has not set out to remove books on the Civil War and the Confederacy.
From Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process | Danville | godanriver.com
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'Treasure trove' of 5,500 films will be made accessible by Halifax Public Libraries

Thousands of hard-to-find films will be saved for the public as an iconic rental store gets set to close.  Halifax Public Libraries and Dalhousie University said Tuesday they will buy the films from Halifax's Video Difference. "To have parts of that collection live on and be available for the public is really part of the lasting legacy of Video Difference," Halifax Public Libraries chief librarian and CEO Asa Kachan said in an interview.
From Video Difference film collection being bought by Halifax Public Libraries, Dalhousie - Nova Scotia - CBC News
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Library use in England fell dramatically over last decade, figures show

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has measured the public’s usage of libraries in England since 2005. In the 12 months to March 2016, it reported that just 33.4% of adults had used a public library, compared with 48.2% of adults in 2005/2006, when the survey began. This marks a drop of 30.7% over the decade, and is the first time the government department has highlighted a “significant decrease” in the proportion of adults who used public libraries. In comparison, the proportion of adults visiting heritage sites, museums and galleries increased over the decade.
From Library use in England fell dramatically over last decade, figures show | Books | The Guardian
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IFLA Trend Report Update For 2016

In 2013, the IFLA Trend Report identified five high level trends which are in the process of transforming our global information environment. These evolving developments spanned access to information, education, privacy, new forms of digital engagement and technological transformation. Deliberately conceived to embody more than a stationary snapshot of detected trends, the IFLA Trend Report was designed to serve as a catalyst for wider discussion, analysis and action across the international library community. Key themes and questions • Re-envisioning library services and the future role of libraries • Does the digital disruption of education present new opportunities? • Libraries need to play a physical and digital role in their communities • How can libraries communicate their achievements more effectively? • Learners still need a blend of digital and face-to-face environments • How can librarians embrace innovation without replacing themselves?
From Update 2016 | IFLA Trend Report
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Librarians Continue Disappearing From Chicago Schools

In 2012, Chicago Public Schools had 454 librarian positions in the budget. That dropped to 313 in 2013 and 252 in 2014. Last year there were 217 library positions in the budget. This year, there are just 160 librarians budgeted. “Less than 300 librarians was crazy,” Wiltse said. “We were pretty confident that that was a low point that really needed attention and needed correcting. And now, here we are.”
From Librarians Continue Disappearing From Chicago Schools | WBEZ
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Welcome to The Last Bookstore

Great video of the owner of LA's Last Bookstore (11 & 1/2 minutes but worth it)

Too Poor to Afford the Internet

All summer, kids have been hanging out in front of the Morris Park Library in the Bronx, before opening hours and after closing. They bring their computers to pick up the Wi-Fi signal that is leaking out of the building, because they can’t afford internet access at home. They’re there during the school year, too, even during the winter — it’s the only way they can complete their online math homework.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/opinion/too-poor-to-afford-the-internet.html?_r=0

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New Book on the "Bad-Ass" Timbuktu Archivists

The heroic story of the men who saved thousands of manuscripts from being destroyed by al-Qaeda from the Times Literary Supplement, London.

Librarians, of all groups, may not usually be associated with “bad-ass” fearlessness in the face of extreme violence. Yet in 2012, two of them secretly evacuated about 340,000 early Islamic manuscripts from archives in Timbuktu, when the ancient city was occupied by a coalition of al-Qaeda jihadists and Tuareg separatists. Joshua Hammer, an American journalist, has written a pacy and engaging account of this risky act of cultural salvation. Acting calmly and cannily, the heroes of the story loaded manuscripts into metal trunks and shipped them to safety up the River Niger under the noses of al-Qaeda. It is an inspiring story. The manuscripts had been gathered from private homes and mosques across the Sahel by an enterprising archivist starting in the 1970s and later by his librarian son, Abdel Kader Haidara. These documents formed a detailed record of a humanistic, West African strand of Islam. Here's info on the book:

Joshua Hammer THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS of Timbuktu And their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts 288pp. Simon and Schuster. $26. 978 1 4767 774

40-year overdue library book incurs no fee – but gratitude inspires donation

Michael Kelly checked out 'So You Want to Be a Doctor' in 1970. Since then, libraries have changed – dramatically, in some cases – to keep pace with changing reading habits and technology.
From 40-year overdue library book incurs no fee – but gratitude inspires donation - CSMonitor.com

The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help

Library anxiety is real. The phenomenon, which involves feeling intimidated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed by libraries and librarians, was first identified by Constance A. Mellon in 1986. Her paper, "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development," reported that college students in particular are prone to library anxiety because they believe their research skills are inadequate, which makes them feel ashamed and unwilling to talk to the very librarians who might be able to ease their worries.
From The Strange Affliction of 'Library Anxiety' and What Librarians Do to Help | Atlas Obscura
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Harry Potter's 20th birthday to be marked with British Library show

Ideally positioned in King’s Cross, just a stone’s throw from the mythical beginning of the journey to Hogwarts on Platform 9 3/4, the British Library has announced it will be marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone next year with a new exhibition about JK Rowling’s wizarding world.
From Harry Potter's 20th birthday to be marked with British Library show | Books | The Guardian

How Quiet Should a Library Be?

The library where I work just received an irate letter from a patron who complained that we weren’t quiet enough, citing crying babies, ill-behaved children and library staff talking too loudly with patrons and with each other. Because I’ve always thought of my workplace as happily bustling rather than noisy, I logged onto Facebook, where I shared my story, then asked my fellow librarians, “Do you work in a quiet library? How quiet should a public library be?”
From How Quiet Should a Library Be? | ZestNow
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A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity

Highlights • Book reading provides a survival advantage among the elderly (HR = 0.80, p < 0.0001). • Books are more advantageous for survival than newspapers/magazines. • The survival advantage of reading books works through a cognitive mediator. • Books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education, or health.
From A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity
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Publishers' Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor's Gut?

"Data is better than your gut — yes, I have said that," says Dominique Raccah, publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, a company that's been described as "data driven" — a description she does not dispute. She says sales data has been available for a while but now she has access to a different kind of information.
From Publishers' Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor's Gut? : All Tech Considered : NPR

Beautiful libraries in all 50 states

Libraries are timeless treasures. Even as pulpy paperbacks get swapped out for electronic ink, we still crave a physical space where we can surround ourselves with knowledge. When done right, those spaces can be works of art. To find the most beautiful libraries in each state, Tech Insider looked at past and current award-winners as judged by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association awards, and relied on our own judgment for states who have never won. Make sure to give these a look on your next road trip.
From Beautiful libraries in all 50 states - Tech Insider
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