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The most important part of Facebook's disinformation strategy is what it leaves out

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:27:56 +0000

Topic: 
But what we’re left with is the real prospect of foreign powers manipulating public discourse, and no clear way to fix it. As with false reporting, Facebook has laid out a plan for more aggressive action against fake accounts, but it’s running up against more serious limits. Even more than false information, disinformation campaigns happen largely outside of Facebook’s control. What should be a reassuring document ends up as an admission of defeat. This is what Facebook can do to fight the problem -- and what it can’t do. The bigger message may be that if we want to protect public discourse, we’ll need more than algorithms.
From The most important part of Facebook's disinformation strategy is what it leaves out - The Verge
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UK Book sales hit a record as children's fiction gains in popularity

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:24:55 +0000

Topic: 
Children's fiction helped drive UK book sales to a record £3.5bn last year, the Publishers Association (PA) has said. The 6% rise came despite the waning popularity of ebooks, which saw sales fall by 3% to £538m last year. Sales of children's books rose 16% to £365m, with the increase due mainly to the purchase of printed works.
From Book sales hit a record as children's fiction gains in popularity - BBC News
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New Round Of Layoffs May All But Decimate San Diego School Libraries

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:50:27 +0000

The proposed cuts are on top of pink slips that went out in March to more than half of the aides who staff elementary school libraries. The remaining aides had their schedules reduced to as little as two hours a week. "I just can't even imagine how that's going to be cost effective, because there's just going to be so much lost — lost materials, lost time, lost educational experiences," said Elaine Sabetti, the library technician at Pershing Middle School in San Carlos. "I don't know how they can even do it."
From New Round Of Layoffs May All But Decimate San Diego School Libraries | KPBS
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That Wasn’t Mark Twain: How a Misquotation Is Born

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:49:29 +0000

Topic: 
“When I started off, it was mysterious exactly where these misquotations were coming from, and it was interesting that sometimes you could find these clues that pointed to how they may have originated,” said Mr. O’Toole, an alias for Gregory F. Sullivan, a former teacher and researcher in the Johns Hopkins computer science department who now spends his time writing.
From That Wasn’t Mark Twain: How a Misquotation Is Born - The New York Times
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The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:25:22 +0000

Topic: 
This paper studies emerging technologies for tracking reading behaviors (“reading analytics”) and their implications for reader privacy, attempting to place them in a historical context. It discusses what data is being collected, to whom it is available, and how it might be used by various interested parties (including authors). I explore means of tracking what’s being read, who is doing the reading, and how readers discover what they read. The paper includes two case studies: mass-market e-books (both directly acquired by readers and mediated by libraries) and scholarly journals (usually mediated by academic libraries); in the latter case I also provide examples of the implications of various authentication, authorization and access management practices on reader privacy. While legal issues are touched upon, the focus is generally pragmatic, emphasizing technology and marketplace practices. The article illustrates the way reader privacy concerns are shifting from government to commercial surveillance, and the interactions between government and the private sector in this area. The paper emphasizes U.S.-based developments.
From The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reader privacy in the digital world | Lynch | First Monday
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The secret lives of Google raters

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:05:45 +0000

Topic: 
Few people realize how much these raters contribute to the smooth functioning act we call “Googling.” Even Google engineers who work with rater data don't know who these people are. But some raters would now like that to change. That's because, earlier this month, thousands of them received an e-mail that said their hours would be cut in half, partly due to changes in Google's staffing policies.
From The secret lives of Google raters | Ars Technica
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Disciplinary Hearing for Evanston Librarian

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:18:40 +0000

Dozens rally for Evanston's only African-American librarian in work dispute according to the The Chicago Tribune.

Lesley Williams, head of Adult Services at the library, said she is on paid administrative leave, ordered by library administrators as they consider disciplinary action in response to what has been called a "personnel matter."

While she said she could not go into specific details about the issue, Williams said she is accused of "gross incompetence, insubordination and not contributing to a healthy work environment." She is the only black librarian in a community made up of 20% of African-Americans.
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'Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' Author Robert M. Pirsig Dies At 88

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 04:02:52 +0000

Topic: 
Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at the age of 88. His publisher William Morrow & Company said in a statement that Pirsig died at his home in South Berwick, Maine, "after a period of failing health." Pirsig wrote just two books: Zen (subtitled "An Inquiry Into Values") and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. Full story

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The Fascinating History of Card Catalogs

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:46:59 +0000

Yes, according to Vox.com the history of card catalogs is weirdly fascinating.

So don't disengage just yet...

The Library of Congress just released a book on the history of the card catalog, and while I can physically feel you clicking away from this article even as I type I recommend that you don't.

The Card Catalog makes a persuasive case that cataloging knowledge is fundamental to the acquisition and spread of knowledge, and that a working library catalog is, in some ways, a basic necessity of civilization. And since cataloging is a calling that attracts neurotic and obsessive personalities, the history of the library catalog charts a weird, twisty path, with a lot of back-tracking followed by enormous leaps forward.

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Bookstore on wheels turns heads in Baghdad

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:31:00 +0000

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqis guarding Baghdad’s many checkpoints, on the lookout for car bombs and convoys, don’t know what to make of Ali al-Moussawi when he pulls up in a truck displaying shelves of glossy books. The mobile bookstore is the latest in a series of efforts by the 25-year-old to share his passion for reading and revive a love for books in Baghdad, which was once the literary capital of the Muslim world but is now better known for bombs than poems.

(image) AP.

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Ivanka Trump Gets Schooled by Librarians

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:48:28 +0000

From the Huffington Post:

When the first daughter tweeted about applauding librarians last week, she was not met with much praise. As we know, her father has slashed library budgets wherever he could (and doesn't seem to want to read any books).

Ivanka: This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!

One of hundreds of responses: (image)

"Defunding libraries as proposed in your dad's budget hurts hardworking Americans," the nonprofit EveryLibrary tweeted back at Trump, before adding, "Cuts to federal funding for libraries are absolutely unconscionable, cruel, and unnecessary. #saveIMLS #library."

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The Book

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 04:57:26 +0000

Topic: 
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The Book

We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages―of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important―and universal―information technology.

The Book
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The PEEPles v. O.J. Simpson

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 14:15:13 +0000

(image) Winner of the Peeps Diorama Contest from The Washington City Paper.
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File This Under Nostalgia: New Book Pays Tribute To The Library Card Catalog

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:23:17 +0000

Topic: 
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If you do a Google search for "card catalog" it will likely return Pinterest-worthy images of antique furniture for sale — boxy, wooden cabinets with tiny drawers, great for storing knick-knacks, jewelry or art supplies.

But before these cabinets held household objects, they held countless index cards — which, at the time, were the pathways to knowledge and information. A new book from the Library of Congress celebrates these catalogs as the analog ancestor of the search engine.

Full story on NPR
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Bill Cosby's Books on Most Challenged List

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:38:22 +0000

Topic: 
Bill Cosby’s “Little Bill” children’s book series was among the 10 “most challenged” books in 2016, according to a list compiled by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

It’s the first time the Cosby series has attracted a complaint, the organization said. The “Little Bill” books, first published in 1997, tell the adventures of Bill Jr., a 5-year-old Philadelphia boy. Story from the New York Times.

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Radioactive, yes, Radioactive Archives

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:03:27 +0000

You guessed it, the notebooks of Marie Curie.

Via Open Culture, here's a report on the papers and other belongings of the discoverer of polonium and radium, Marie Curie who worked in her future husband Pierre's lab. (I love that movie).

(image)

Her notebooks, her clothing, her furniture, pretty much everything surviving from her Parisian suburban house, is radioactive, and will be for 1,500 years or more.

If you want to look at her manuscripts, you have to sign a liability waiver at France’s Bibliotheque Nationale, and then you can access the notes that are sealed in a lead-lined box.
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For Peeps Lovers

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 15:39:36 +0000

Librarians like Peeps, right? Can someone please explain (in the comments) how this came to be?

Anyway, here's a recipe for culinarily ambitious librarians (and others) who want to make delicious honey saffron-scented HOMEMADE PEEPS!!

(image) From the New York Times Melissa Clarks thoughts about her Peeps project. And here is the recipe should you choose to undertake it.

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The Dictionary of the Book

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:23:28 +0000

Topic: 
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The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others

First published in 1952 with eight revised later editions, the ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter has long served as the standard glossary for the book trade. Nicely illustrated with photographs and drawings, The Dictionary of the Book updates Carter’s classic volume with additional coverage on book-printing terms, typography, papermaking, and binding, among other topics. A former museum library director and curator of manuscripts at different institutions, Berger is highly qualified to compile this informative and important work. A venerable bibliophile who delights in all aspects of book production and history, he hopes the readers will get as much 'pleasure out of this book' as he did in compiling it. (Booklist)

Berger is a passionate bibliomaniac with a scholar's eye for details and a bibliophile's eye for the beauty in the details. He takes a language defined (now) long ago by John Carter and refined more recently by Nicolas Barker and brings it into the 21st century with a deft blend of deference and irreverence and more than a dash of humor, to make learning the arcane patois of books an educational treat and a great read. He adds from his own vast knowledge and experience a fresh perspective which will delight beginners and cognoscenti alike, and offers us all a chance to look afresh at our world of books. (John Windle, Owner, John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller in San Francisco)

The Dictionary of the Book is a reference work that is as wide-ranging and encyclopedic as its author. Sid Berger has produced an essential tool for the trade. (Phil Salmon, Bromer Booksellers)

This is not an ABC of book terms, this is an A to Z of all things bookish! From bookbinding to paper making to library terminology, this glossary leaves nothing out and its definitions are clear, concise and on target. No librarian’s shelf should be without it. (Valerie Hotchkiss, Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professor & Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois)
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Documentarian Says 'Anarchist Cookbook' Author Was Filled With Remorse

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:22:09 +0000

Topic: 
Excerpt: The information that is in the book is now out on the Internet and in many other places, and was even at the time. I mean, Bill himself got it from the public library, so it was out there in other forms and I think people who were determined to act out violently probably would have found that information or found ways to do it in any case. ... So drawing sort of a direct, causal link I think is problematic. But my sense is that none of that has been any great consolation for Bill throughout his life. ...

I think Bill has for many years wrestled with ... feeling on the one hand that you deserve redemption, that you deserve a second chance, and on the other hand feeling that you have done something wrong and that you feel a sense of guilt over. And clearly I think Bill is a complex enough person to hold on to both of those emotions at once.

Full piece on NPR.
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Printer's Error

Sat, 01 Apr 2017 19:17:07 +0000

Topic: 
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Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History

Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.
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Disrupting the Paper Cut Industry

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 01:15:52 +0000

width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iNs0SzrNC1E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

A Silicon Valley startup called Ripcord has unveiled a machine that takes stacks of paper, pulls out the staples, rapidly scans the paper and send the scans to the cloud. That seemingly inane task is done at breakneck speed.
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The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:48:54 +0000

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(image) (image)

The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures

The Library of Congress brings booklovers an enriching tribute to the power of the written word and to the history of our most beloved books. Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library's magnificent archives, this collection is a visual celebration of the rarely seen treasures in one of the world's most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system that has kept it organized for hundreds of years. Packed with engaging facts on literary classics—from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare's First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye—this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.

Book at Publisher's website --The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures (Amazon)

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The Book Thieves

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 04:20:26 +0000

Topic: 
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The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

For readers of The Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners.
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Be There or Be Square!!

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:36:21 +0000

Get ready to GET DOWN... at the Library of Congress Disco Dance Party with Gloria Gaynor!

It's a celebration of disco culture, music, dance and fashion, as told by the national collections. Gloria Gaynor and her band kick off the night with a one-night-only show commemorating the induction of "I Will Survive" into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. After the concert, dance the night away in one of the nation's architectural marvels, the Thomas Jefferson Building housing the Library of Congress.

Get free tickets from Eventbrite (tickets available 03/30/2017, beginning at 10 AM), wear Disco or 1970s attire.

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Yes!! Librarians as Superheroes

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:10:56 +0000

From Onward State a piece about a new series of trading cards for Penn State Librarians.

The Penn State librarians have recently collaborated with freelance graphic designer Rogo to design state-of-the-art trading cards, each of which also serve as a business card. The cards are designed specifically for each librarian and employee, giving them a caricature and superhero nickname. Alllllright! (image)
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SF Library Workers May Get Training to Stop Heroin Overdoses

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:12:12 +0000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco public library staffers may soon be trained to administer medication to reverse heroin overdoses among the growing number of opioid users who are homeless.

The idea surfaced after an addict was found dead in one of the Civic Center library's restrooms in early February, the San Francisco Chronicle reports Sunday.

In a Feb. 28 letter to his staff that was obtained by the Chronicle, City Librarian Luis Herrera said that a decision about training librarians to treat overdose with naloxone will not be made until the issue is fully explored. He added that if done, it would be on "a strictly voluntary basis."

What do you think of this idea? Would you volunteer to give naloxone if necessary?

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Good Luck to This Guy

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 13:00:12 +0000

California State Librarian, Greg Lucas, seeks money for CA libraries in a visit to Congress.

It’s going to be a tough fight: The president’s budget today proposed deep cuts into public libraries’ existing budgets, and it would eliminate perhaps a third of the state library’s budget.

In California, more than half the population — about 22 million — have library cards.

Congress is closely divided and partisanship is deeply entrenched, but a sound library system is not a partisan issue, argues Lucas. Story from Capitol Weekly.

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Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:34:11 +0000

Topic: 
It is good for librarians to know the inner workings and creation process of their reference tools.

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
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Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises—for example, the fact that “OMG” was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917.

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
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Color and Activity Book for Librarians

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 22:33:32 +0000

Topic: 
Color and Activity Book for Librarians: Or anybody who has worked at a library

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The Color and Activity Book for Librarians contains more than 50 pages of activities, including

Library Lingo Word Search
Committee-avoidance Maze
Cataloger Empathy
Decoding Bureaucracy


Witty and offbeat, this book will be appreciated by anybody who has worked at a library, from pages and clerks to librarians and directors.

At Amazon you can browse some of the inside pages of the book. See book here.
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What's an Entrepreneur Librarian? An Explanation

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 15:37:07 +0000

From Canada's University Affairs Bulletin, an article by Carey Toane about his newly appointed role as an an entrepreneur librarian.
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