Libraries

Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers?

Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission's OA envoy in Brussels, who is one of the architects of Plan S, says publishers have stalled by emphasizing the need for broad participation. "The big publishers told me: ‘Listen, we can only flip our journals [to OA] if this is signed by everyone. So first go on a trip around the world and come back in 20 years. Then we can talk again,’" Smits recalls. "Some people try to do anything to keep the status quo."
From Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers? | Science | AAAS
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Interview: NYPL’s chief digital officer says public is better off when libraries are ‘risk averse’ about tech – GeekWire

“Librarians are incredibly risk averse,” he said. “I think they do care very much about patrons and about the impact that their work does, and so we’re very unlikely to take a chance when we’re dealing with public money and when we’re dealing with patrons; we have a personal relationship with them.”
From Interview: NYPL’s chief digital officer says public is better off when libraries are ‘risk averse’ about tech – GeekWire
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The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected | WIRED

Physical books today look like physical books of last century. And digital books of today look, feel, and function almost identically to digital books of 10 years ago, when the Kindle launched. The biggest change is that many of Amazon’s competitors have gone belly up or shrunken to irrelevancy. The digital reading and digital book startup ecosystem that briefly emerged in the early 2010s has shriveled to a nubbin.
From The 'Future Book' Is Here, but It's Not What We Expected | WIRED
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For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. That deluge of works includes not just “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which appeared first in the New Republic in 1923, but hundreds of thousands of books, musical compositions, paintings, poems, photographs and films. After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations. Any artist can create and sell a feminist response to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Dadaist piece, The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) and any filmmaker can remake Cecil B. DeMille’s original The Ten Commandments and post it on YouTube.
From For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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Ten Stories That Shaped 2018

As we limp our way into 2019, let's take a look back at some of the notable library stories from the past year.

10. The Opioid Epidemic Continues

The abuse of narcotics has become so widespread in this country that our average life expectancy has declined as a result. The use of Narcan to treat overdoses occurring in libraries is one way we can contribute to public health.

9. More Fake News

Although political propaganda is nothing new, the growing threat of what has been dubbed "information terrorism," aided by technological advances in the creation of bogus pieces of reporting, make our role as archivists and educators all the more important.

8. Search Engines are Bigots

Keep Copyright Office in Library of Congress

Urgent! Contact Your Senator About S. 1010 If passed, Congress would voluntarily hand over the power to appoint the copyright advisor to the president. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act (S. 1010), a Senate companion to House bill (H.R. 1695), will be voted on by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee this Tuesday, in spite of previous concerns by committee members. This legislation would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. Under current law, the Librarian of Congress selects the Register. ALA strongly opposes this bill and needs you to contact your U.S. Senators to express your objections to this bill and ask them to vote against it.
From Send a Message Thanks Thanks Robin!
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Oxford’s Library Once Branded Its Sauciest Books With a Greek Letter

FOR MORE THAN A HUNDRED years, deep in a dusty enclave of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, there sat a restricted collection—2,100 books deemed too subversive, too toxic, too scandalous for eager minds. These books, principally concerned with sex, made up the “Phi” collection, bearing the Greek “Φ” on their spines like a mark of sin. But things are different now, and these books are proudly on display at the Bodleian, in the Story of Phi: Restricted Books exhibit that opened on November 15, 2018.
From Oxford’s Library Once Branded Its Sauciest Books With a Greek Letter - Atlas Obscura
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Bookstore's Tweet On The Sale Of A Children's Book After 27 Years, Goes Viral : NPR

The store's tweet about the sale has since gone viral and received thousands of replies. Author Sarah Todd Taylor tweeted in response, "The book held its breath. It had hoped so often, only to have that hope crushed. Hands lifted it from the shelf, wrapped it warmly in paper. As the door closed on its past life, the book heard the soft cheers of its shelfmates."
From Bookstore's Tweet On The Sale Of A Children's Book After 27 Years, Goes Viral : NPR
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The Competitive Book Sorters Who Spread Knowledge Around New York - Atlas Obscura

With minutes to go until game time, the 12 elite sorters have emerged, wearing matching BookOps T-shirts. They march toward the machine as if boarding Apollo 11. The offices upstairs have emptied into the basement, and a wide variety of library personnel fill every available space in the room to cheer the sorters on. “We’re gonna take ‘em down, it’s not gonna be an issue,” says Michael Genao, a 22-year-old sophomore sorter with a linebacker’s build. “I guarantee it,” he adds, as he paces between his teammates, the last few bites of a chocolate donut in his hand.
From The Competitive Book Sorters Who Spread Knowledge Around New York - Atlas Obscura
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Booksellers Protest Amazon Site’s Move to Drop Stores From Certain Countries

More than 250 antiquarian book dealers in 24 countries say they are pulling over a million books off an Amazon-owned site for a week, an impromptu protest after the site abruptly moved to ban sellers from several nations. The flash strike against the site, AbeBooks, which is due to begin Monday, is a rare concerted action by vendors against any part of Amazon, which depends on third-party sellers for much of its merchandise and revenue. The protest arrives as increasing attention is being paid to the extensive power that Amazon wields as a retailer — a power that is greatest in books.
From Booksellers Protest Amazon Site’s Move to Drop Stores From Certain Countries - The New York Times
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