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Posts tagged libraries

‘A Beautiful Mind,’ e-books and the Five Laws of Library Science: RIP, John Forbes Nash, Jr.
May 24, 2015 | 4:54 pm

John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr._by_Peter_Badge“A Beautiful Mind,” the inspiration of the book and film by that name, died over the weekend.  John Forbes Nash, Jr., 86, and his wife, Alicia, 82, were killed Saturday in an automobile accident. A world-famous mathematician, he shared a Nobel Prize in economics for his contribution to game theory. His work helped shape fields ranging from diplomacy to law to computer science. But when I read of Nash’s death. I thought of something else—the Five Laws of Library Science. They remind librarians of the need to help patrons find the right books, and the right...

Morning Links: iBooks to receive new features. Losing control of ereading
May 12, 2015 | 9:00 am

ibooksLibrarians: Privacy's Champions (Boing Boing) Librarians like Alison Macrina (whose work I wrote about here are part of the vanguard of privacy activism in libraries, hosting cryptoparties and giving workshops to librarians and patrons on advanced information ninja-ry. *** Amazon's International Growth Challenge (Re/Code) When Amazon reported its financial results recently, foreign exchange fluctuations played a big role. *** iBooks Receives New Features on iOS 8.4 (GoodeReader) This summer a new version of iOS will be released and it will add a bunch of new content to iBooks. *** How I Lost Control of my eReading (Book Riot) Having all of that content so easily available has made me...

Budapest’s beautiful libraries
May 9, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Budapest, where I live - and love - has some amazing libraries, as it turns out. Showcased courtesy of, here are just a few of them. Probably the most stunning is the Szabó Ervin Library, a family-friendly venue which just happens to house the most incredible neo-Baroque interior imaginable. Or for something a little more austere, but still magnificent, how about the National Technical Information Centre and Library at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (above). Or, similarly monumental, the Library of the School of English and American Studies and the Library of the Institute of German Studies at...

IMLS welcomes presidential backing for Open eBooks and ConnectED Library Challenge
May 4, 2015 | 4:25 pm

US central government backing for digital library resources, as covered previously by David Rothman, seems to have taken another step forward with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announcing President Barack Obama's speech on the Open eBooks initiative and the ConnectED Library Challenge. These initiatives, backed by the IMLS and executed by several library and non-profit partners, "leverage the extensive resources of the nation’s 16,500 public libraries to help kids develop a love of reading and discovery by making e-books and library services broadly available, particularly to students from low-income families." IMLS repeated an email from the President stating: "America's librarians, like...

Morning Links: Baltimore libraries remain open. Kindle books as ads?
April 29, 2015 | 9:00 am

41Zl2IfKk2L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Proto-Mommyblogger Dooce Quits the Blog (Boing Boing) After more than a decade of chronicling every detail of her life and those of her children, Heather B. Armstrong is stepping away from the blog as a fulltime job. *** Why Are Authors Citing Older Papers? (The Scholarly Kitchen) With so much new literature published each year, why are authors increasingly citing older papers? *** Baltimore Libraries Stay Open for Their Communities (Book Riot) This is a brief reminder that libraries are there for communities when communities need their libraries. *** Amazon Has Started Using Kindle eBooks as Adverts (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Amazon has built the Kindle platform into the single...

The last online library you will ever need: Borges’s Library of Babel lives
April 28, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Flavorwire has just published an interview with the creator of the ultimate library - of a very particular kind. That's Brooklyn author Jonathan Basile, who has taken it upon himself to recreate online the actual library in the classic Jorge Luis Borges fiction from 1941, “The Library of Babel.” That enigmatic parable deals with a universe made up entirely of hexagonal rooms, each with four walls of bookshelves, containing volumes filled with every possible combination of 22 letters, plus period, comma, and space. As described, the Library of Babel could never exist as a real location - in fact, it essentially...

The ALA’s latest list of shame – no, not that kind of shame
April 15, 2015 | 10:25 am

Book_Challenges_infographic-2000 The American Library Association (ALA) has just released its latest The State of America’s Libraries Report , which as well as much other useful and valuable pro-library information, includes its annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books. I'd go into considerable detail on this Top Ten, but the ALA has spared me the effort with this wonderful infographic. Beautiful artwork, but sobering reading - except that reading is the last thing that the challengers would want you to be able to do with these titles. "In 2014, the OIF received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials...

Morning Links: Sharing economy getting big. Showrooming like shoplifting?
April 15, 2015 | 9:00 am

ShowroomingThe Sharing Economy Is Getting ‘Very Big, Very Fast,’ Says PwC Study (Re/Code) Renting and borrowing will replace ownership in many industries, according to a dizzying array of new statistics from a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report. *** The Enduring Mystery of the Academic Book Market (The Scholarly Kitchen) Nature’s greatest mystery is anything to do with books: who reads them, how many there are, how much of them we read, what they cost, where we buy them, who makes money on their sale. *** Nicholls tells Digital Minds: 'Showrooming is like shoplifting' (The Bookseller) Showrooming is just a “genteel form of shoplifting” author David Nicholls told an audience...

Phoenix Public Library shows how wonderful public libraries are – pay your fines in food
April 14, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Phoenix Public Library seems to have gone out of its way to re-energize the spirit of public service in public libraries, for another year running. For the next fortnight, it's arranged for library users to pay their library fines in non-perishable food instead of cash, with the ... ahem ... proceeds to go straight to local food banks and poor relief charities. Under the "Food for Fines" scheme, "Library customers can pay overdue fees and help restock the pantries of Valley food banks during Phoenix Public Library’s annual 'Food for Fines,' April 11-25. During 'Food for Fines,' 50 cents will be deducted...

Simon & Schuster, Brian Grazer announce ebook giveaway for libraries
April 11, 2015 | 2:25 pm

The American Library Association has just shared the news from Simon & Schuster "that it will donate a free ebook copy of Brian Grazer’s new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life to libraries for every ebook or hardcover book sold at retail, up to 5,000 copies," hailing this as "a momentous move for libraries." The book, coauthored by journalist Charles Fishman, details "the weekly 'curiosity conversations' that have inspired Grazer to create some of America’s favorite, iconic movies and television shows—including 24 and A Beautiful Mind." The promotion will continue through National Library Week (April 12–18). “From our first...

Weekend Links: Sunday is money day for app makers. Little free libraries take over
April 5, 2015 | 11:21 am

little free librariesWhy Sunday is Money Day for App Makers (Re/Code) But if you’re in the app business, the crucial thing to remember is that Sunday is a really good day to extract money from your users, via in-app purchases. *** Little Free Libraries Take Over the World (Book Riot) With over 25,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all fifty United States and seventy countries throughout the world, Little Libraries are taking over the world. And why not? *** Hachette Boss Says e-Book Subscription Sites are Not Viable (GoodeReader) Arnaud Nourry, the CEO of Hachette said in a recent interview that e-book subscription services have no future. He...

Morning Links: Pretending piracy doesn’t exist. Changing roles of bookstores and libraries
March 31, 2015 | 9:00 am

piracyWhen Analyzing Cord Cutting Options, Most TV Analysts Continue To Pretend Piracy Simply Doesn't Exist (Techdirt) One gets the sense that media outlets feel like if they so much as even acknowledge that piracy is a real thing -- they'll somehow be taken as advocates for piracy. It's as if piracy is some kind of angry and strange Lovecraftian god, and even mentioning its name will invite unspeakable terror upon the local village. *** On the Changing Roles of U.S. Bookstores and Libraries (Dear Author) When I first started this series on how people read and buy books, I was surprised by how many...

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