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 27, 2018 - 10:41am
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2018 - 11:45am
Connie Perry, the president of the trustees of the Morgan County Public Library in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., said Friday afternoon by phone that her town library will carry Bob Woodward’s “Fear.”
Perry said the library board did not know that the library director had refused to accept a donated copy of “Fear” until the issue was raised in media reports.
“The board didn’t know anything about this,” Perry said. “We have corrected that. The book has been accepted — in fact, two of them.”
From The board of a West Virginia library reverses decision to refuse ‘Fear’ - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on September 9, 2018 - 6:23pm
But the problem that libraries face today isn’t irrelevance. Indeed, in New York and many other cities, library circulation, program attendance and average hours spent visiting are up. The real problem that libraries face is that so many people are using them, and for such a wide variety of purposes, that library systems and their employees are overwhelmed. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, about half of all Americans ages 16 and over used a public library in the past year, and two-thirds say that closing their local branch would have a “major impact on their community.”
From Opinion | To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on September 7, 2018 - 7:25am
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2018 - 1:56pm
In my rare calm moments as a curator (when I’m not sending a hundred emails or moving a hundred chairs), I often reflect that the literary world should make greater efforts to reach teenagers, and more high schools should promote contemporary literature by living authors. How else will we build the next generation of literary readers?
Writers need young people. Sigrid Nunez agreed. “I don’t think most people realize how much you can learn about the world from listening to young adults.”
From Every Book Tour Should Include a Public School | Literary Hub
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2018 - 10:02am
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2018 - 1:16pm
Anderson, from the beginning, wanted people to have access to the complete collection, and wanted much of it digitized and made available online. So she and Fleming reached out to the performing-arts library, which has extensive music collections and artists’ archives. “We were really impressed with the performing-arts people,” Anderson said.
From Lou Reed’s Archive, Coming to the New York Public Library | The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2018 - 10:02am
It’s true that tape doesn’t offer the fast access speeds of hard disks or semiconductor memories. Still, the medium’s advantages are many. To begin with, tape storage is more energy efficient: Once all the data has been recorded, a tape cartridge simply sits quietly in a slot in a robotic library and doesn’t consume any power at all. Tape is also exceedingly reliable, with error rates that are four to five orders of magnitude lower than those of hard drives. And tape is very secure, with built-in, on-the-fly encryption and additional security provided by the nature of the medium itself. After all, if a cartridge isn’t mounted in a drive, the data cannot be accessed or modified. This “air gap” is particularly attractive in light of the growing rate of data theft through cyberattacks.
From Why the Future of Data Storage is (Still) Magnetic Tape - IEEE Spectrum
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2018 - 3:43pm
This, in an elliptical way, is what Noah was getting at. How do things stick to us in a culture where information and ideas are up so quickly that we have no time to assess one before another takes its place? How does reading maintain its hold on our imagination, or is that question even worth asking anymore? Noah may not be a reader, but he is hardly immune to the charms of a lovely sentence; a few weeks after our conversation at the dinner table, he told me he had finished The Great Gatsby and that the last few chapters had featured the most beautiful writing he’d ever read. “Yes, of course,” I told him, pleased at the observation, but I couldn’t help thinking back to our earlier talk about the novel, which had ended with Noah standing up and saying, in a tone as blunt as a lance thrust: “This is why no one reads anymore.”
From Is Literature Dead?
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2018 - 12:43pm
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2018 - 10:53am
The fact that these big questions still inform the social implications of science in the 21st century is a key reason that the popularity of Mary Shelley’s story has only grown over time. Since its first publication, the book has never been out of print. Stage productions of the story followed as early as 1822. In the 20th century dozens of films told and retold the Frankenstein story. The most iconic version was produced by Universal Pictures in 1931 and starred Boris Karloff in what became his signature role.
From How Frankenstein and Its Writer Mary Shelley Created the Horror Genre
Submitted by Blake on August 23, 2018 - 6:37pm
African Americans, especially children, are far more likely to be kicked out of Seattle libraries than patrons of other races, according to data the South Seattle Emerald obtained from the Seattle Public Library (SPL) through a public disclosure request.
Between January and July 2018, more than a third of patrons who received “exclusions” (notices, which can be verbal, that a patron cannot return to the library for a period ranging from a partial day to two years) were African American. Of 764 exclusions that included information about a patron’s race (61 did not include this information and have been excluded from this analysis), 33.4 percent (or just over one third) were African American; 7.5 percent were Hispanic or Latino; 55.5 percent were white; and the rest were another race.
From People of Color, Especially Children, Most Likely to be Asked to Leave Seattle Libraries | South Seattle Emerald
Submitted by Blake on August 23, 2018 - 6:36pm
Submitted by Blake on August 19, 2018 - 10:40am
Today someone handed me a Costco card. For what purpose? To check out books, of course! This is the fourth time in my illustrious library career that this has happened.
In honor of this brave soul (who owes me 600 Costco-sized boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese and a legit flight of boxed wines if they try this again), I present to you a collection of interesting items people have asked for at the circulation desk:
From Buddy, the Library Isn't a 7-Eleven | Literary Hub
Submitted by Blake on August 15, 2018 - 11:48am
“168:01,” as the project by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal is titled, is a stark white display featuring bookshelves filled with 1,000 blank books. Visitors are encouraged to replenish the volumes with titles from an Amazon wish list compiled by the college’s students and faculty; donations can be made by sending the books on the wish list to the museum, or by gifting funds to the project through Bilal’s website.
In exchange for their donations, visitors are able to take home one of the exhibition’s white volumes that represent a rich cultural heritage stripped bare by years of conflict. In turn, the colorful books they contributed to the project will ultimately be sent to the College of Fine Arts.
From How an Artist Is Rebuilding a Baghdad Library Destroyed During the Iraq War | Smart News | Smithsonian
Submitted by Blake on August 15, 2018 - 10:38am
In this article I’m going to tell you about five places to ask questions on the Internet. And hopefully you’ll get better answers than I did! I do think these are great places to ask questions, but I don’t know if I ask terrible questions, or since I’m asking at the beginning of the summer my timing is bad, or something else.
From An Experiment In Asking Questions That Mostly Failed. Twice. – ResearchBuzz
Submitted by Blake on August 15, 2018 - 9:14am