Libraries

Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall

Researchers at German institutions that have let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse while negotiating a new deal are hitting the paywall for the publisher’s most recent articles around 10,000 times a day, according to Elsevier — which publishes more than 400,000 papers each year. But at least some German libraries involved in negotiating access to Elsevier say they are making huge savings without a subscription, while still providing any articles their academics request.
From Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall
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(S)ex libris - on the Bodleian's ‘secret trove of obscene material’

Late in his tenure as head of the Bodleian Library, E. W. B. Nicholson received an unusual letter from a History fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. The correspondent explained that he had been asked to enquire on behalf of a “Cambridge don” whether there existed “any Siberia attached to [the] Bodleian Library to which books are banished”. Nicholson knew that such a thing did exist, for he had personally overseen its creation. Established in 1882, it was dubbed the “Φ” (Phi) collection: this was the shelf mark used by the Bodleian to identify those texts deemed too obscene, libellous or otherwise risqué to be made available to undergraduate readers. While the origins of the name are uncertain, it seems to be a librarian’s joke bringing together a “Fie!” of disapproval, an evocation of the Greek word phaulos (base, worthless, wicked) and an ancient phallic pun.
From (S)ex libris – TheTLS
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To All the Book Introductions I’ve Loved Before

You will not find me among either group; in the second instance out of hard experience but in the first out of love, pure love, from the time of my first encounter, circa 1979, with John Cheever’s all-too-brief preface to his Stories, which contains the following passage, in which I now detect a premonitory stirring, two decades ahead of schedule, of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: “These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filled with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat.”
From To All the Introductions I’ve Loved Before
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Florida school uses vending machine to dispense books instead of snacks

A Florida elementary school is using its vending machine to drop knowledge on its students. The vending machine at Umatilla Elementary School started dispensing books to students on Monday as part of the state’s literacy week. Umatilla Elementary Principal Dianne Dwyer said most of the children are more excited for the books than they would be for candy. The machine gave out more than 100 books Wednesday. “We do need to restock the machine,” Dwyer said.
From Florida school uses vending machine to dispense books instead of snacks
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Stanford Libraries’ transformative gift creates hub highlighting Silicon Valley history

Stanford Libraries has received a $25 million gift from the Harold C. and Marilyn A. Hohbach Foundation to create a vibrant collections-centered research hub and endow the Silicon Valley Archives program. The first floor of the East Wing of the Cecil H. Green Library will be renovated and re-named Hohbach Hall. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero) The newly renovated space in the East Wing of the Cecil H. Green Library will be named Hohbach Hall and will include a new Special Collections classroom, as well as spaces for group study, seminars, events and exhibitions.
From Stanford Libraries’ transformative gift creates hub highlighting Silicon Valley history | Stanford News
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Centuries lost ‘Bristol Merlin’ uncovered at city’s Central Library

A chance discovery, hidden away in a series of 16th-century books deep in the archive of Bristol Central Library, has revealed original manuscript fragments from the Middle Ages which tell part of the story of Merlin the magician, one of the most famous characters from Arthurian legend.
From January: Bristol Merlin | News | University of Bristol
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Librarian Transforms 110-Year-Old Tree into Jaw-Dropping Little Free Library

Talk about a “giving tree”! When a 110-year-old cottonwood tree in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, needed to be removed, Sharalee Armitage Howard—a librarian, artist, and bookbinder—transformed it into an amazing Little Free Library. Now, instead of providing shade, the tree will share books.
From Librarian Transforms 110-Year-Old Tree into Jaw-Dropping Little Free Library | Little Free Library
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Grow with Google is heading to libraries in all 50 states, starting today

We’re kicking that work off today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—where Benjamin Franklin established America's first free public library—by hosting in-person workshops for job seekers, small businesses, librarians and nonprofit leaders. Later this week, we'll be continuing the Pennsylvania workshops in York and Erie, then heading to more states like Connecticut and Maryland. We’re looking forward to people across the country joining us at their local library to learn digital skills, from online marketing tips to how to use a spreadsheet.  We’ll have plenty of Googlers available for one-on-one training and to answer your questions. Follow our events page to see when we’ll be visiting your state.
From Grow with Google is heading to libraries in all 50 states, starting today
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‘Keep the Damned Women Out’ - Fifty years of coeducation at American colleges

Coeducation was a means to shore up a first-rate student body. It was not the result of a high-minded moral commitment to educate women. It was about what women could do for previously all-male colleges — how women could help elite universities renew their hold on the "best boys." Women, in short, were there to improve the experience of men.
From ‘Keep the Damned Women Out’ - The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Pack Your Bags And Your Books For A Literary Journey With Librarian Nancy Pearl

Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl shares her under-the-radar reading recommendations with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep. Her picks will take you on journeys around the world — and back in time. (These recommendations have been edited for clarity and length.)
From Pack Your Bags And Your Books For A Literary Journey With Librarian Nancy Pearl : NPR
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