Submitted by Blake on December 22, 2017 - 11:05am
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
Submitted by John on December 15, 2017 - 11:13am
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
Submitted by birdie on December 15, 2017 - 9:27am
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.
Submitted by birdie on December 5, 2017 - 12:35pm
Submitted by Blake on December 3, 2017 - 2:48pm
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
Submitted by Blake on November 30, 2017 - 5:09pm
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
Submitted by Blake on November 28, 2017 - 1:20pm
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
Submitted by Blake on November 27, 2017 - 9:53am
"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
Submitted by Blake on November 25, 2017 - 9:02am
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
Submitted by Blake on November 24, 2017 - 3:11pm
Ollie’s owner, Mike Daube, is a professor of health policy at Australia’s Curtin University. He initially signed his dog up for the positions as a joke, with credentials such as an affiliation at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science. But soon, he told Perth Now in a video, he realized it was a chance to show just how predatory some journals can be.
From This Dog Sits on Seven Editorial Boards - Atlas Obscura
Submitted by Blake on November 24, 2017 - 2:35pm
In September, academics in Britain uncovered 30 words ‘lost’ from the English language: researchers spent three months looking through old dictionaries to find them, in the hope they could bring the words back into modern conversations. For Jones, who blogs and tweets under the name Haggard Hawks, it has been a lifetime of word geekery. “I’ve been obsessed with language ever since I was a kid,” he tells BBC Culture. “I got a big illustrated kids’ dictionary when I was eight or nine – I got it for Christmas off my grandparents – I just sat and read it cover to cover, like you would a normal book. I was absolutely hooked.”
From BBC - Culture - Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose
Submitted by Blake on November 20, 2017 - 12:14pm
Her venue: San Antonio’s majestic Central Library. While several journalism outlets have partnered with local libraries on book fairs, educational programs or occasional talks, NOWCastSA’s studio and staff has been housed in two offices in the library since 2010. Lucas runs a cadre of a half-dozen or so college interns who film everything from mayoral debates to high school graduations, helping San Antonio learn about itself.
From Welcome to your local library, which also happens to be a newsroom | Poynter
Submitted by Blake on November 20, 2017 - 8:39am
Today libraries are simultaneously tourist destinations, places to read, places to gather and socialize, places to study, and places to learn. They also remain a mirror of our culture. They reflect not just the way we consume information (and architecture) through our phones today, but also the forces of that inequality. Tomorrow, will libraries exist as the gateway to public enrichment, or will they all be reduced down to naming rights and Instagram hashtags?
From The Culture War Being Fought Over Tomorrow’s Libraries
Submitted by Blake on November 8, 2017 - 4:43pm
More About Amazon.com's Best Books of 2017
All year, Amazon.com's editorial team reads with an eye for the Best Books of the Month, plus the best books in popular categories like Cooking, Food & Wine, Literature & Fiction, Children's books, Mystery & Thrillers, Comics & Graphic Novels, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, the best books for teens, and more. We scour reviews and book news for tips on what the earliest readers have loved, share our own copies and tear through as many books as possible. Then we face off in a monthly Best Books meeting to champion the titles we think will resonate most with readers.
In October, we collect all our favorites, look at upcoming 2017 titles, and cast our ballots for the Best Books of the Year. The titles that made our lists are the keepers, the ones we couldn't forget. Many of our editorial picks for the best books are also customer favorites and best sellers, but we love to spotlight the best books you might not otherwise have heard about, too.
The books included in Amazon's Best Books program are entirely editorial selections. We are committed to helping customers find terrific gifts for booklovers and drawing more attention to exceptional authors. Our passion is for uniting readers of all ages and tastes with their next favorite reads.
From Best Books of the Year @ Amazon.com
Submitted by Blake on November 5, 2017 - 12:21pm
Originally a byproduct of the European mining industry, arsenic offered mining companies a means of profiting from a waste product, and offered manufacturers a means of obtaining a cheap dye. Thousands of tons were annually imported to the United States. The substance produced lovely hues ranging from deep emerald to pale sea-green. Arsenic could also be mixed into other colors, giving them a soft, appealing pastel appearance.
The first application of arsenic as a pigment was as a paint dye. The pale green shade caught on as a “refined” color. American manufacturers began using arsenic to color a range of consumer goods. Children’s toys were painted with arsenical paint. Arsenic-dyed paper was used in greeting cards, stationery, candy boxes, concert tickets, posters, food container labels, mailing labels, pamphlets, playing cards, book-bindings, and envelopes –envelopes the sender had to lick.
From The Ann Arbor Chronicle | In the Archives: Poison Pages
Submitted by Blake on November 3, 2017 - 3:43pm
Card catalogs feel very old but are shockingly new. Merchants stored letters and slips of paper on wire or thread in the Renaissance. (Our word “file” comes from filum, or wire.) But a whole technology, based on scientific principles, for storing, retrieving, and circulating an infinitely extensible batch of documents? That is some modern-ass shit. And it helped create the world we all live in.
From Card catalogs and the secret history of modernity
Submitted by birdie on October 27, 2017 - 11:28am
An award might be in your future.
Here’s information from ALA/PLA if you wish to make a nomination.
Submitted by Blake on October 26, 2017 - 8:15pm
Submitted by Blake on October 25, 2017 - 11:09am
Submitted by Blake on October 16, 2017 - 11:06am