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CA Mudslide Info

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 01:20:57 +0000

The Altadena CA Library has a page of useful resources for mudslide information and assistance here.



Life Lessons From Chinese Children's Books Differ From Those In The U.S.

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:43:42 +0000

Topic: 
They created a list of "learning-related" values and checked to see how often the books promoted them. The values included setting a goal to achieve something difficult, putting in a lot effort to complete the task and generally viewing intelligence as a trait that can be acquired through hard work rather than a quality that you're born with. The results — published in the Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology: The storybooks from China stress those values about twice as frequently as the books from the U.S. and Mexico.
From Life Lessons From Chinese Children's Books Differ From Those In The U.S. : Goats and Soda : NPR



Germany vs Elsevier: universities win temporary journal access after refusing to pay fees

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 14:38:12 +0000

Topic: 
The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017. 
From Germany vs Elsevier: universities win temporary journal access after refusing to pay fees



The illiteracy-promoting interior design abomination called "backwards books"

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 21:29:40 +0000

Topic: 
The rationale is that the pages of books provide a more neutral backdrop than those pesky spines, which detract from the look that the designers are going for, which seems to be a bland uniformity. A quick search revealed that there are a number of designers who think this is a good idea.
From The illiteracy-promoting interior design abomination called “backwards books” - The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century



Making Manuscripts In The Middle Ages - YouTube Video from Getty Museum

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:40:37 +0000

Topic: 
An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society's rulers--emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops--commissioned the most splendid manuscripts.
From Making Manuscripts - YouTube



Raspberry Pis as Catalog Computers

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:42:44 +0000

Topic: 
As library budgets and fundings continue to be diminished, we must look for creative outlets to increase reallocation. Libraries should also look to increase their usage of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) when available and see how FOSS directly aligns with the views and policies of the library system. We are effectively able to integrate both monetary reallocation and the usage of FOSS by replacing old catalog computers with Raspberry Pis. This report will detail an estimation of the initial investment and future reallocation by using Pis as well as explain how using FOSS betters patron privacy and overall security.
From rPi Catalog Computer Case Study



The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books?

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:56:08 +0000

Topic: 
Now, however, Amazon's ebook project comes to a crossroads. The Kindle team has always professed two goals: to perfectly mimic a paper book, and to extend and improve the reading experience. That's what readers want, too. In a world filled with distractions and notifications and devices that do everything, the Kindle's lack of features becomes its greatest asset. But readers also want to read everywhere, in places and ways a paperback can't manage. They want more tools, more features, more options, more stuff to do. Amazon's still working out how to satisfy both sides. Whatever route it takes, the next decade of Kindle is likely to be even more disruptive than the last. First it changed the book business. Next it might help change books themselves.
From The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books? | WIRED



Have a Cold? Go To Work or Stay Home?

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 16:15:46 +0000

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



The Future Library

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 16:05:23 +0000

Topic: 
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



2018 Microsoft ebook predictions

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 04:49:12 +0000

Topic: 
In 1999 Microsoft made a series of predictions about the upcoming 20 years and ebooks. There was a prediction about 2018. See all the predictions here.



Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:13:07 +0000

Topic: LibrariesLISNews FeaturesNewsCan 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 Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos found himself out of a book deal after making pro-pedophilia comments. The use of sensitivity readers and related author edits also made the news this year. 6. Whither the Open Web? It's too early to tell what the end of net neutrality will mean for the Internet, although most experts predict it won't be a good thing. Bonus: Favorite Presentation For anyone sick of hearing about how, "during these hardships, it's time for you to demonstrate your coping skills," the ACRL talk, Resilience, Grit, and Other Lies: Academic Libraries and the Myth of Resiliency is for you. 5. Remember Electronic Reserve? I first heard about the Georgia State e-reserve lawsuit in grade school. Well, not quite, but after almost a decade, the case is still open. 4. Chinese Censorship Both Springer and Cambridge found themselves in hot water this year for agreeing to self-censor parts of their web publications for Chinese readers. 3. Little Free "Libraries" Criticism An interesting point about those community bookshelves was made recently: they don't often reside in "book deserts" where the need is greatest. 2. The Opioid Crisis A staggering number of people die every day from overdoses in the United States. This year, public libraries found themselves on the front lines in the fight against opioid overdoses. 1. The Paradox of Tolerance In the wake of neo-Nazi protests, librarians found themselves discussing the fine line between protected and hate speech. What was your favorite story of the year? [...]



What Public Libraries Will Lose Without Net Neutrality

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:27:23 +0000

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.




Stolen Car Crashes into Southwest Side Chicago Library

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:45:31 +0000

From the Chicago Tribune, A 14-year-old boy was shot while riding in a stolen car Tuesday night on the Southwest Side, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a public library, according to Chicago police. The Scion crashed into the Chicago Lawn Library in the 6100 block of South Kedzie Avenue, sending books, wooden tables and glass flying. The car came to rest in the middle of a large room of the library, breaking out its glass windows.






Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful | WIRED

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 19:48:58 +0000

Topic: 
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



Understanding Bias in Peer Review

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 22:09:05 +0000

Topic: 
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



Libraries are for the homeless, the drifters and the snorers - people like me

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:20:14 +0000

Topic: 
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



Los Angeles Wants to Filter Out Porn at City Libraries

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:53:52 +0000

Topic: 
"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



This Kentucky Printer Makes Books The Old Fashioned Way

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:59:52 +0000

Topic: 
For more than 40 years Gray Zeitz has been creating books one at a time in his two-story print shop near the town of Monterey. He works with the some of the state's finest writers, including Wendell Berry and Bobby Ann Mason, and his Larkspur Press turns out just a few editions a year. "I have had, and still do have, printers that come in that used to work on presses like this and they are just tickled to death," says Zeitz, 69, showing me his 1915 Chandler & Price printing press. He cuts stacks of paper on another machine that dates from the late 1800s.
From This Kentucky Printer Makes Books The Old Fashioned Way : NPR



The man who shared his books and multiplied them

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 14:02:00 +0000

Topic: 
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



This Dog Sits on Seven Editorial Boards

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:11:48 +0000

Topic: 
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



Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:35:10 +0000

Topic: 
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



When Making Books Was As Much Of An Art As Writing Them

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:17:12 +0000

Topic: 
When was the last time you picked up a book and really looked at how it was made: the typeface, the feel of the paper, the way the words look on the page? Today, when people can read on their phones, some books never even make it to paper.

Once, bookmaking was an art as refined and distinct as the writing it presents. And in some places, like Larkspur Press in Kentucky, it still is.

Full story here.



The populism of Amazon’s real-world bookstores

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:35:57 +0000

Walking around, I half-expected to see SQL queries accompanying some of the displays — “SELECT * FROM books WHERE rating > 4.8 AND pub_year = 2017 ORDER BY number_sold”. Amazon definitely needs to figure out how to get a little weird into their stores, a little of the human touch. Toning down the data talk would help. A more casual typeface might work too — not Comic Sans but perhaps something at least approaching handwritten? They’ve got so so much data about how people buy books…they just need to be more clever about how they slice and dice it. Maybe look for books that exhibit the Napoleon Dynamite Problem? Find people with interesting wishlists?
From The populism of Amazon’s real-world bookstores



Welcome to your local library, which also happens to be a newsroom

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:14:20 +0000

Topic: 
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



The Culture War Being Fought Over Tomorrow’s Libraries

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:39:32 +0000

Topic: 
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



Seeking title of short story

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:50:28 +0000

Topic: 
Looking for the title and author of a short story I read. I recall reading this story in a Science fiction magazine like Analog or Asimov's. The story detailed a fast food restaurant that had an elaborate defense system to protect against robbers or mass shooters. The story either directly said or hinted that these types of attacks were so common that this restaurant defense system was nothing unusual. The story details an attack on the restaurant and the defense systems countering the attack. The story ends with the employee running the defense system dropping a micro-particle screen to protect the restaurant from gunfire. The attacker is hit by the screen and is killed. I believe I read the story around 20 years ago. I think story was written prior to Columbine. I am interested to look at the short story again and read it now that I am in a future world that has many similarities to the story. Problem is I cannot not remember title or author. Would appreciate if anyone has hints of what the story might be.

As I have asked around about this short story some people have suggested the book "Altered Carbon". That book has a scene where an automatic defense system operates in a hotel. I have read that book and I know why people are making the connection to my question but the item I am looking for is definitely a short story and not a novel.



Best Books of the Year @ Amazon.com

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 21:43:31 +0000

Topic: 
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



'We're told to be grateful we even have readers': pirated ebooks threaten the future of book series

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 13:27:34 +0000

Topic: 
Stiefvater revealed that she is now writing three more books set in the Raven Cycle world, but that the new trilogy “nearly didn’t exist because of piracy”. “And already I can see in the tags how Tumblr users are talking about how they intend to pirate book one of the new trilogy for any number of reasons, because I am terrible or because they would ‘rather die than pay for a book’,” she wrote. “As an author, I can’t stop that. But pirating book one means that publishing cancels book two. This ain’t 2004 anymore. A pirated copy isn’t ‘good advertising’ or ‘great word of mouth’ or ‘not really a lost sale’.”
From 'We're told to be grateful we even have readers': pirated ebooks threaten the future of book series | Books | The Guardian



In the Archives: Poison Pages

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 17:21:34 +0000

Topic: 
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