Libraries

Have a Cold? Go To Work or Stay Home?

From The Philadelphia Inquirer a question many library workers have to answer these days.

The Future Library

A few years ago, in a forest just outside of Oslo, 1000 trees were planted. In 2114, after a century of growth, the trees will be cut down and made into paper for an anthology of books. Meet the Future Library, an artwork by Katie Paterson.
From The Future Library
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Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

Can you believe it's almost 2018? That means it's time to look back at some of the notable library-related stories from the past year.

10. Librarians Fight Fake News

The problems with fake news caused many of us to revamp our web evaluation handouts into guides for spotting bogus information sources.

9. Elsivier Roundup

Elsivier made several headlines this year, in the form of boycotts and resignations. Their buyout of bepress also raised eyebrows.

In related news, Beall's List went dark in January.

8. ALA's Trump Statements

Late last year, many librarians were quick to jump on an initial (and now retracted) press release by the American Library Association about being "ready to work with President-elect Trump." Recent statements have taken a far more militant tone.

7. Milo's Book Cancelled

What Public Libraries Will Lose Without Net Neutrality

Via the Verge, New York Public Library’s CEO and president Anthony Marx and associate director of information policy Greg Cram discuss the issue, explaining exactly which library resources an open internet protects, who would be hurt the most by net neutrality’s rollback, and why handing the internet to ISPs could threaten the basic foundation of American democracy.

The rollback of net neutrality opens the possibility for ISPs to start to play with how we pay for the internet, but because [it hasn’t] been rolled back yet, we don’t have evidence that they will in fact do those things. It’s a little speculative at this point. I think everyone is speculating a little bit in this. But the indications we got from the ISPs are that there will be paid prioritization and for us, there are specific things that would likely end up in the slow lane.

Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful | WIRED

But most science is still paywalled. More than three quarters of published journal articles—114 million on the World Wide Web alone, by one (lowball) estimate—are only available if you are affiliated with an institution that can afford pricey subscriptions or you can swing $40-per-article fees. In the last several years, though, scientists have made strides to loosen the grip of giant science publishers. They skip over the lengthy peer review process mediated by the big journals and just … post. Review comes after. The paywall isn’t crumbling, but it might be eroding. The open science movement, with its free distribution of articles before their official publication, is a big reason.
From Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful | WIRED
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Understanding Bias in Peer Review

To conclude, we see that the practice of double-blind reviewing yields a denser landscape of bids, which may result in a better allocation of papers to qualified reviewers. We also see that reviewers who see author and institution information tend to bid more for papers from top institutions, and are more likely to vote to accept papers from top institutions or famous authors than their double-blind counterparts. This offers some evidence to suggest that a particular piece of work might be accepted under single-blind review if the authors are famous or come from top institutions, but rejected otherwise. Of course, the situation remains complex: double-blind review imposes an administrative burden on conference organizers, reduces the opportunity to detect several varieties of conflict of interest, and may in some cases be difficult to implement due to the existence of pre-prints or long-running research agendas that are well-known to experts in the field. Nonetheless, we recommend that journal editors and conference chairs carefully consider the merits of double-blind review.
From Research Blog: Understanding Bias in Peer Review
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Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters and the snorers - people like me

And now (3.45pm), the light outside is failing, the sky a uniform grey. Gosh, how cheery. I have another four hours and 15 minutes in this haven, until I take the long road back to East Finchley. Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters, the people who pass out at their desks. The only difference between me and the vagrant in the municipal library is that I have the TLS open in front of me rather than the Daily Express, and I smell better. (And I am “posh”, but I recently heard of an acquaintance who had spotted a bully from his old posh school begging on the Tube, so a private education is no proof against the more odorous kind of indigence.)
From Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters and the snorers – people like me
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Los Angeles Wants to Filter Out Porn at City Libraries

"Librarians and patrons should not have to tolerate lewd behavior or drug use in public, but limiting what people access online is an anathema to free speech, and antithetical to the free flow of ideas," FSC executive director Eric Paul Leue said via email. "Filtering software sounds like an easy solution, but we know that such software often casts an egregiously wide net, blocking not only sexually explicit content, but also sexual health information, LGBTQ sites and sites like ours, which contains no sexual imagery whatsoever, but discusses issues relevant to the adult industry."
From Los Angeles Wants to Filter Out Porn at City Libraries | L.A. Weekly
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The man who shared his books and multiplied them

But a man in Manila was surprised when he shared his books. His reads didn’t only come back, but they also increased in numbers. Plus, he made new friends who shared the same interests and beliefs as him. He is now planning to take his book sharing idea to other cities. One of his new friends also plans to start a “book boat” and plans to travel to islands, sharing books. Woodpie too shares the same belief as him that stacking books on a rack or locking them in, is injustice to books. They should be set free. Books ought to be shared. They will not only bring in more books, but also more friends. We came across this inspiring story and couldn’t help but share it with you. The man who turned his home into a public library
From The man who shared his books and multiplied them | woodpie blog
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