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Copyright Office posts DMCA exemption petitions
November 25, 2014 | 6:17 pm

A few weeks ago I discussed the need for a DMCA exemption for e-books, in light of the US Copyright Office requesting petitions for such exemptions. The Copyright Office has now posted all 44 petitions it received as PDFs. There are a number of interesting petitions there—not least of them my own. Now that I read my petition again, I see a few typos and other tweaks I wish I could go back and fix (and they miscategorized it under “Audiovisual Works – Multimedia E-Books,” rather than “Literature Distributed Electronically”), but on the whole I’m satisfied with it....

Library book sales: a lesson in critical reading
November 25, 2014 | 10:27 am

library book salesA story from today's Morning Links proved to be an interesting case study in critical reading. It seemed straightforward enough: the folks at GoodeReader reported on a UK government study which "carry out real-time, real-world research into the impact of eBook lending in public libraries on authors, publishers and on the library service so that a suitable and sustainable model could be found." One of the more alarmist findings to come out of the study was the headline-making tidbit that readers who borrowed from the library "is not driving people to buy more eBooks." But...look again. Here is the exact wording...

Library A to Z shows how to crowdfund library advocacy
November 21, 2014 | 2:25 pm

One of the more heartening initiatives by advocates of the UK's library system in the face of devastating - and ideologically dictated - "austerity" cuts, is the Library A to Z, which "has created a visual A to Z celebrating the wide range of services, resources and facilities that make libraries so fantastic." The site contains: "materials, including illustrations, book, posters, cards and other advocacy materials that you are free to share and re-use,"as well as "links and information about what you can do to support libraries." But its own story is almost as important and encouraging as the resources...

Victory for author, people power as Liverpool libraries stay open
November 16, 2014 | 2:27 pm

Public demonstrations and a campaign involving some 500 writers and creative figures have staved off, at least for now, the threat of closure hanging over 11 out of 19 libraries in Liverpool, following a 58 per cent cut in the funding the city receives from Central government. Authors involved in the campaign included Malorie Blackman,  Cathy Cassidy, Jonathan Coe,  Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Gibbons, Caitlin Moran, and Meg Rosoff, while local citizens took to the streets in protest. In the Liverpool Express, Mayor Joe Anderson announced that: "I can confirm today that none of our libraries will close. There is much to be proud about our library...

Wellcome Library funds deep dive into UK mental health history
October 29, 2014 | 10:25 am

The UK's Wellcome Library has announced a new initiative in its ongoing program of medical archive digitisation, in the shape of a partnership with several UK regional archives and hospitals to digitise and disseminate their mental health records. According to the announcement, "over 800,000 pages of archival material from psychiatric hospitals in the UK from the 18th to the 20th centuries will be digitised and made freely available online as part of the Wellcome Library’s ambitious digitisation programme." The Wellcome Library will fully fund the entire project. As well as the specifics of the evolution of mental health treatment, the digitised...

ALA welcomes Adobe action, voices concern over ebook vendor data retention
October 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

AmericanLibraryAssociationThe American Library Association (ALA) has just issued a statement welcoming Adobe's software update fix for its much-publicized ebook reader data leak from Adobe Digital Editions, but also took the occasion to warn of the problems and risks created by continuing data retention by most ebook platform operators, publishers, and retailers. Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke, co-chairs of  the ALA Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), said: Librarians have long been guardians of and advocates for reader privacy. The plain text transmission of reader data by Adobe Digital Editions over the internet was clearly a privacy violation for all users of the ADE...

Edinburgh’s Stockbridge Library to get Book Week Scotland artwork
October 9, 2014 | 12:25 pm

One of Edinburgh's lovelier local libraries, Stockbridge Library in the central district of Stockbridge, is due to receive an artwork by Glasgow-based artist Rachel Barron as part of this year's Love Your Library Campaign launched for Book Week Scotland. "Book Week Scotland will shine a light on the place libraries occupy in communities," explains the Scottish Book Trust article on the project. "Five large library artworks will be unveiled across Scotland during the week, with the aim of making the chosen libraries visible and valued in their local areas. The artworks will be inspired by a very special love letter to libraries, 'Dear Library,'...

Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 tells Adobe what books you’re reading
October 7, 2014 | 6:10 pm

imageYesterday, Nate broke quite a story over on The Digital Reader about Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 sending information in the clear about the e-books you read. It got picked up by The Passive Voice, Ars Technica, GigaOm, TechDirt, Slashdot, BoingBoing, the list goes on and on. Congrats on the scoop, Nate! (Frankly, I’m amazed his blog is still up, given all the traffic this has to be sending his way.) He posted another story today indicating that the bug doesn’t seem to affect prior versions. Effectively, ADE 4.0 gathers up a bunch of information on the books you open...

A novel way to raise library funds
October 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

libraryI came across this fantastic t-shirt yesterday---perhaps it's because I have always been such a bookworm that a nice comfy shirt emblazoned with the public library logo so spoke to me. It cost a little more than I normally spend on t-shirts (which tend to be my bedtime wear of choice) but the Beloved encouraged me. Sometimes something speaks to to you, the Beloved reassured me. And when it does, it's okay to splurge. I felt a little better about the sticker shock when I learned that 10% of the proceeds would actually go to support the public library. And I...

The world’s largest ever indoor photo – and it’s a library
September 29, 2014 | 12:25 pm

One of the most monumental photographs ever made, and still apparently the largest single indoor image (by information density) ever created, is in fact the interior of a library. The Strahov Philosophical Library in Prague dates back to the 18th century, part of an older monastery complex founded in the early Middle Ages, and contains "approximately 200,000 volumes, estimated to hold 260,000 works," as well as rare manuscripts and other treasures. And it's also the subject of a huge 40-gigapixel panoramic view, "the largest indoor Photo in the world as of March 2011," put together from a mosaic of images that...

Why library e-book posters should go on the walls of check cashing stores
September 22, 2014 | 2:26 pm

What if the walls of check cashing stores and other establishments serving poor people did not just carry the usual commercial ballyhoo? Suppose colorful posters also promoted cell phones as a way for the poor to find books to read themselves---or read to their children....

How cell phone book clubs could help get young people reading and change their lives
September 10, 2014 | 2:25 pm

BertelKingNote: Although David Rothman posted the article, he says the author is really Bertel King, Jr., SF/fantasy novelist and a journalist. Read about Bertel at the end of his cogent essay. Go here to learn how to start your own cell phone book club. Also check out related essays here and here. In 2008, I graduated from Southampton High School, which did an admirable job of preparing me for college. I say “admirable” because at the time I had no idea just how disadvantaged my county was compared to the wealthy suburban schools of Northern Virginia and Richmond that populate most...