Libraries

Harvard Converts Millions of Legal Documents into Open Data

A new free website spearheaded by the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School makes available nearly 6.5 million state and federal cases dating from the 1600s to earlier this year, in an initiative that could alter and inform the future availability of similar areas of public-sector big data. Led by the Lab, which was founded in 2010 as an arena for experimentation and exploration into expanding the role of libraries in the online era, the Caselaw Access Project went live Oct. 29 after five years of discussions, planning and digitization of roughly 100,000 pages per day over two years
From Harvard Converts Millions of Legal Documents into Open Data
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In win for open access, two major funders to bar grantees from publishing in hybrid journals

The largest part of the policy change is that as of January 2020, Wellcome and Gates will no longer allow their grantees to publish in so-called hybrid OA journals, which have both subscription and free content. Most scientific journals now follow that hybrid business model, which allows authors to pay a fee if they want to make their articles OA. For the past decade, Wellcome has allowed its grantees to pay these fees, in part because it viewed them as a way to help publishers finance a switch in their business models to full OA. “We no longer believe it’s a transition,” says Robert Kiley, head of open research at the Wellcome. “We’re looking to bring about a change where all research is open access.”
From In win for open access, two major funders to bar grantees from publishing in hybrid journals | Science | AAAS
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The Bookseller's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year Voting Is Open

The prize, founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robinson of publishing solutions firm the Diagram Group, is the annual celebration of the book world's strangest and most perplexing titles. The Bookseller and its legendary diarist Horace Bent have been custodians of the prize since 1982.      The six books up for what Bent has called "the most prestigious literary gong Britain—nay the world—has ever known" are: Are Gay Men More Accurate in Detecting Deceits? (Open Dissertation Press); Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung (Pelagic Publishing); Equine Dry Needling (tredition); Jesus on Gardening (Onwards and Upwards); Joy of Waterboiling (Achse Verlag) and Why Sell Tacos in Africa? (Blue Ocean Marketing). 
From The Diagram Prize 2018 shortlist revealed | The Bookseller
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What’s the Most Influential Book of the Past 20 Years? - The Chronicle of Higher Education

We invited scholars from across the academy to tell us what they saw as the most influential book published in the past 20 years. (Some respondents named books slightly outside our time frame, but we included them anyway.) We asked them to select books — academic or not, but written by scholars — from within or outside their own fields. It was up to our respondents to define “influential,” but we asked them to explain why they chose the books they did. Here are their answers.
From What’s the Most Influential Book of the Past 20 Years? - The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Donations Pour Into Northwest Iowa Library After Man Burns LGBTQ Books | Iowa Public Radio

A northwest Iowa library has been inundated with donations from in and outside of the state after a man burned several LGBTQ children’s books during a gay pride festival. In a Facebook Live video from almost two weeks ago, Paul Dorr with the religious group Rescue The Perishing stood outside of the Prairie Winds Events Center about a mile away from the Orange City Public Library and read aloud from four LGBTQ children’s books before tossing them into a barrel of fire. He called the books “filthy”, “disgusting” and “shameful."
From Donations Pour Into Northwest Iowa Library After Man Burns LGBTQ Books | Iowa Public Radio
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How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book : NPR

When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long? The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt.
From How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book : NPR
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Let’s go! Explore, transcribe, and tag at crowd.loc.gov | The Signal

What yet-unwritten stories lie within the pages of Clara Barton’s diaries, writings of Civil Rights pioneer Mary Church Terrell, or letters written to Abraham Lincoln? With today’s launch of crowd.loc.gov, the Library of Congress is harnessing the power of the public to make these collection items more accessible to everyone. You are invited to join the Library of Congress via crowd.loc.gov to volunteer to transcribe (type) and tag digitized images of text materials from the Library’s collections. People who join us will journey through history first-hand and help the Library while gaining new skills – like learning how to analyze primary sources and read cursive. Finalized transcripts will be made available on the Library’s website, improving access to handwritten and typed documents that computers cannot accurately translate without human intervention. The enhanced access will occur through better readability and keyword searching of documents and through greater compatibility with accessibility technologies, such as screen readers used by people with low vision.
From Let’s go! Explore, transcribe, and tag at crowd.loc.gov | The Signal
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The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected

“The digital divide was about access to technology, and now that everyone has access, the new digital divide is limiting access to technology,” said Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired magazine.
From The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected - The New York Times
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Antiquarian bookseller Ken Sanders on hunting down book thieves

Book thief detective Ken Sanders tells us how he spent three years of his life hunting down a local book thief and organising the sting that led to his arrest. Sanders has been interested in books since his early years and runs a rare books store in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has seen some very unique publications pass through, including works by Everett Ruess, a poet who walked into the wilderness of Utah in 1930 and has never been seen since.
From Antiquarian bookseller Ken Sanders on hunting down book thieves - France 24
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University presses take control of ebook distribution

MIT Press and the University of Michigan Press have both announced plans to start selling their ebook collections directly to libraries by creating their own distribution platforms. The publishers previously did not have a mechanism for selling to institutions directly. Instead, access to ebooks was largely brokered through third-party acquisition services such as EBSCO, ProQuest, OverDrive, Project Muse and JSTOR.
From University presses take control of ebook distribution
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