|American Libraries Online
Has Hachette forgotten how to publish?
Christopher Harris writes: “Hachette will increase backlist ebook prices sold to libraries by an average of twice the current price starting October 1, according to a September 13 email from OverDrive to its customers. And we get nothing other than another price gouge from a publisher that seems to not comprehend the basic fundamentals of publishing.” ALA President Maureen Sullivan promptly issued a statement that reads, in part: “We are weary of faltering half steps and even more so of publishers that refuse to sell ebook titles to libraries at all. Today I have asked the ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group to develop more aggressive strategies.” Jamie LaRue also responded....
AL: E-Content, Sept. 13–14; OverDrive: Digital Library Blog, Sept. 14; Library Journal: The Digital Shift, Sept. 14
The Forbes folly
John Carlo Bertot, Paul T. Jaeger, and Lindsay C. Sarin write: “When Forbes published an article declaring that an MLIS is the worst type of postgraduate degree based on career earning potential, the reaction from the library community was one of dismay. Librarians responded on blogs, email lists, and various social media, emphasizing the noneconomic reasons to earn a degree. The article also reflects the current fears and apprehension that exist among librarians and other public service professionals. In this age of austerity, all agencies of the public good—not just libraries—are under attack.”...
American Libraries feature; Forbes, June 8
Take time to READ in Seattle
Laurie D. Borman writes:
“By the time ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees fly into Seattle’s airport, the bookshelves will be put away for the year. But the King County (Wash.) Library System’s ‘Take Time to READ’ program, which features books and four comfy reading chairs in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport through September, continues. Fourteen cities hosted up to 15 book-cover art displays, and the promotion helped drive readers to the libraries and their collections.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 18
Dispatches from the Field: The RFID opportunity
Lori Bowen Ayre writes: “In March, the National Information Standards Organization adopted RFID in US Libraries (RP-6-2012), establishing ISO 28560-2 as the recommended practices for coding data on the RFID tags used in libraries for shelving, circulation, sorting, inventory, security, and interlibrary loans. The final adoption of this data model is a big step toward standardization and interoperability among RFID suppliers.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
Alice H. Scott (right), 77, former deputy commissioner of the Chicago Public Library, died August 28 from a stroke. The Chicago Public Library honored her with the Trailblazer award in 2004 for spearheading the creation of the African American Service Commission of Chicago for Ethnic Celebrations. On July 2, Sharon Bostick was appointed dean of libraries for the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Christine McDonald retired August 24 as director for Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, New York....
American Libraries column
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Update released for “Diversity Counts” report
ALA has released new data to update “Diversity Counts,” a comprehensive study of gender, race, age, and disability in the library profession. Using 2009–2010 American Community Survey analyses, new data reveals a small gain—from 11% in 2000 to 12% in 2009–2010—in the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities working as credentialed librarians in the nation’s public, academic, and school libraries. While credentialed librarians remain predominantly female and white, this new data provides a fuller picture of diversity within the profession today....
Office for Diversity, Sept. 19
Read a banned book
According to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, there were 326 reported attempts to remove materials from libraries in 2011. From September 30 to October 6, US libraries, schools, and bookstores will battle censorship and celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, an annual event highlighting the importance of the First Amendment. Thousands will read from banned or challenged books, speak out, and learn about censorship as the nation celebrates the right to choose reading materials without restriction....
Public Information Office, Sept. 12
Bill and Judith Moyers to chair Banned Books Week
Award-winning broadcast journalist Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers (right) have been named honorary cochairs of Banned Books Week (September 30–October 6), ALA’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Bill Moyers has produced a video essay addressing the importance of our freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. It will be released on September 28 as part of the Virtual Read Out advocacy campaign....
Office for Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 18
Bookmans’ Banned Book video
Check out this video (2:05) that Bookmans, a chain of independent bookstores in Arizona, prepared for Banned Books Week (September 29–October 6). Love those little light bulbs. The last quote is from Harry Potter: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Watch more videos at the Banned Books Week website....
Blogging Censorship, Sept. 14; YouTube, Sept. 12
Cal Poly to celebrate Banned Books with Stephen Chbosky
The Robert E. Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic State University will present a conversation with Stephen Chbosky—author, screenwriter, and director of Perks of Being a Wallflower—on October 5 as part of the library’s celebration of Banned Books Week. Chbosky is also featured in a podcast series, “I’m with the Banned,” created as part of the library’s celebration. It features 12 podcasts that explore ALA’s “Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books: 2000–2009” and their themes....
Cal Poly, Sept. 18
New issues brief on public libraries
U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm (PDF file), a new issues brief from the ALA Office for Research and Statistics, highlights how strategic vision has helped public libraries not only “weather the storm” of the Great Recession, but also advance their role as a lifeline to the technology resources and training essential to building digitally inclusive communities. More than 60% of public libraries report increased use of computers and Wi-Fi, and 36% report an increase in participation in technology classes....
Office for Research and Statistics, Sept. 17
Comments wanted on digital literacy report
Marijke Visser writes: “The ALA Digital Literacy Task Force—a group spearheaded by the Office for Information Technology Policy—is now seeking comments on its preliminary report, Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy (PDF file). The document seeks to provide a broad overview of libraries and digital literacy and discusses the current policy context, including digital inclusion, education and lifelong learning, and workforce development. Feedback will be welcomed through October 19.”...
District Dispatch, Sept. 18
Money Smart Week webinar
Sign up for this one-hour webinar on October 18 hosted by the ALA Chapter Relations Office and learn how your library can participate with hundreds of others across the country in Money Smart Week @ your library, April 20–27, a national initiative from ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to help members of your community better manage their personal finances....
Chapter Relations Office
Crews on copyright
ALA Editions will offer a new workshop on October 24: “Crews on Copyright: Open Access and Your Publications: What’s Copyright Got to Do with It?” with Kenneth D. Crews (right). The success of open access hinges on the terms in the agreements between authors and publishers. Don’t let your materials stay hidden under a rock—facilitate access by learning to be proactive with the expert advice of copyright authority Kenneth D. Crews. Registration for this ALA Editions Workshop is available at the ALA Store....
ALA Editions, Sept. 12
New workshops on cloud computing and connecting with teens
ALA TechSource is offering two new workshops: “Cloud Computing For Librarians: An Introduction,” with Krista Godfrey on November 7; and “Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Engage Teens,” with Jennifer LaGarde on November 12–15. Registration for both workshops is available through the ALA Store at both individual and group rates....
ALA TechSource, Sept. 18
New textbook on information science
Covering every aspect of the new digital information environment from iPads and ebooks to the future of information and how it will be controlled, Information 2.0: New Models of Information Production, Distribution and Consumption, available from Neal-Schuman and written by Martin De Saulles, is a landmark textbook for students studying the information society. Drawing on international case studies and current trends, it explores the fundamental changes in the core areas of information production, storage, distribution, and consumption....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Sept. 18
A relational approach to information literacy
In Ways of Experiencing Information Literacy: Making the Case for a Relational Approach, available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, Susie Andretta offers an investigation of the relational approach to examining information literacy from the perspective of the learner and the educator in both academic and other professional environments. She illustrates this relational approach with concrete examples that show how to measure the impact of the information literacy experience....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Sept. 14
Mobile technology and transformation
Mobile technology offers huge potential to help libraries transform their service models to meet the challenge posed by a new generation of learners. The newest volume in the M-Libraries series, M-Libraries 3: Transforming Libraries with Mobile Technology, available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, brings together international contributions from leading authorities in the field. Editors Mohamed Ally and Gill Needham based their book on the proceedings of the Third International M-Libraries Conference held in Brisbane, Australia, in May 2011....
ALA Neal-Schuman, Sept. 14
Making sense of business reference
Celia Ross, an “accidental business reference librarian by trade,” explains how to provide quality reference help in her new book Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals, published by ALA Editions. She uses specific examples to address business reference issues from research and marketing to finance—for business people, students, and business faculty....
ALA Editions, Sept. 18
WordPress as a CMS
With its intuitive interface and open-source development method, the WordPress web platform has emerged as a uniquely flexible content-management system (CMS) with many library-related applications. In Learning from Libraries That Use WordPress: Content-Management System Best Practices and Case Studies, published by ALA Editions, web designer–librarians Kyle M. L. Jones and Polly-Alida Farrington explore the variety of ways libraries are implementing WordPress as a CMS, from simple out-of-the-box websites to large sites with many custom features....
ALA Editions, Sept. 14
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Featured review: Adult fiction
Maxwell, Robin. Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan. Sept. 2012. 320p. Tor, hardcover (978-0-7653-3358-2).
Best-selling historical-fiction writer Maxwell (To the Tower Born, 2005) is the first woman writer authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate to create a Tarzan tale, a breakthrough that marks the centenary of Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs’ first novel featuring the aristocratic ape man and Jane, the intrepid young woman he rescues. Maxwell’s new and improved Jane, a budding scientist undaunted by rampant misogyny, accompanies her professor father to West Africa on a 1905 expedition organized by charming explorer Ral Conrath. But Conrath turns out to be a vicious outlaw, who abandons Jane to die a brutal death. Tarzan, of course, swoops in and rescues her; then, as their unlikely love deepens, she saves him....
Hostile Questions: Naomi Wolf
Daniel Kraus writes: “If you haven’t read The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf’s internationally bestselling analysis of beauty as a social construct, get yourself back to college and try again, this time with feeling. The titles of subsequent books—all of them starred by Booklist—say it all: Fire with Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change the 21st Century, Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, and, hot off the presses, Vagina: A New Biography. But who is Naomi Wolf, really? Is she just some writer good at putting a few words before a colon, followed by several other words?”...
Likely Stories, Sept. 10
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
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Planning a conservation lab
Book and paper conservation labs are vital for caring for aging library collections. Constructing or renovating a lab offers an exciting opportunity for developing or improving a conservation program. Planning and Constructing Book and Paper Conservation Laboratories: A Guidebook, a new publication from ALCTS edited by Jennifer Hain Teper and Eric Alstrom, is a critical resource for those planning new or remodeled conservation labs for book and paper collections....
ALCTS, Sept. 17
New issue of Knowledge Quest
The first issue of volume 41 of Knowledge Quest will soon arrive on the doorsteps of AASL members. The September/October issue of AASL’s official journal covers the topic of participatory culture and learning and was guest edited by Buffy Hamilton and Ernie Cox. Coinciding with the new issue, the AASL website features a variety of additional content and resources related to the theme....
AASL, Sept. 18
Information literacy webinar archived
The archive of the recent vendor webinar, “Wanted: Information Literacy Skills in a World of Google and Wikipedia,” is now available online as a part of the AASL professional development repository, eCOLLAB. The webinar, sponsored by EasyBib and presented by Emily Gover, shares recent findings on the status of plagiarism, research methods, and citation practices....
AASL, Sept. 18
Survey on library fundraising
LLAMA and United for Libraries are requesting feedback though a survey as they work together to develop a pre- or post-Annual Conference event on fundraising, in addition to webinars on fundraising. The deadline to complete the survey is October 1. The 2013 ALA Annual Conference event will bring together experts in fundraising to help librarians and advocates learn how to become more effective in their efforts....
LLAMA, Sept. 13
Introduce Henry Rollins at ACRL 2013
ACRL is holding a video contest in advance of its 2013 conference to be held April 10–13 in Indianapolis. The division is seeking video applications from academic and research librarians to introduce keynote speaker Henry Rollins (right), spoken-word artist, singer-songwriter, and author. The winner will prepare and present a five-minute live introduction of Rollins on April 11, meet Rollins in person, and receive an invitation to the conference chairs’ reception at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art....
ACRL, Sept. 18
ACRL member survey
Steven J. Bell writes: “ACRL is undertaking an important initiative to better understand how to engage members in the issues of intellectual freedom and professional ethics, core organizational values articulated in ACRL’s Plan for Excellence. As an initial step, we’re asking all ACRL members to complete a brief survey. Please join me in taking just 5 minutes to make sure your voice is heard.”...
ACRL Insider, Sept. 18
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2012 ALA award winners
Stephanie Kuenn writes: “This year, ALA bestowed its highest honors and awards on a variety of individuals and institutions whose achievements underscore their bold vision for librarianship and their strong commitment to the profession. Selected by their colleagues and peers, the 2012 honorees represent the best of the best in ALA and just a fraction of the more than 200 awards and honors given out each year by the Association’s divisions, round tables, offices, and other units.”...
American Libraries feature
Nominations sought for RUSA awards and grants
Nominations are now being accepted for the many achievement awards and conference travel and research grants offered by RUSA. The deadline for all nominations is December 15, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31. Award criteria, nomination forms, and instructions for submissions are available at each award’s web page....
RUSA, Sept. 18
PLA receives IMLS grant
PLA has been awarded a $291,178 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. PLA will partner with the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies to develop an online collection of digital literacy resources that will be accessible to libraries, patrons, and other community-based organizations. Other funded activities include the development of training curricula in English and Spanish, technology trainer competencies, handouts, and patron skills assessment....
PLA, Sept. 17
ALSC and YALSA win Dollar General grants
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded a Youth Literacy grant in the amount of $226,876 to ALSC and YALSA. The two divisions will use the grant to support three important initiatives, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Teen Read Week, and summer reading for teens. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s Youth Literacy grants are awarded to assist with implementing new or expanding existing youth literacy programs....
ALSC, Sept. 13
Is your school innovative?
The Follett Challenge, which awarded $100,000 worth of Follett products and services to six K–12 schools in 2012, is returning with the prize money doubled and a new focus—rewarding top-notch educators who are aligning their curriculum to teach 21st-century learning skills. Six winners again will be selected, with this year’s total prize value increased to $200,000. The Follett Challenge is open to all public and private K–12 schools in the United States and Canada. Apply by January 4....
Follett, Sept. 17
Scottish Crime Book of the Year
Scotland’s first crime-writing festival, Bloody Scotland, has drawn to a close with the announcement of the first Scottish Crime Book of the Year. A Foreign Country (St. Martin’s) by Charles Cumming was chosen from 40 other entries at the end of the event in Stirling. The book revolves around the disappearance of the first female head of MI6. Organizers said crime fiction is the most popular genre among book buyers and library users in Scotland....
BBC News, Sept. 17
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Supporters rally against Georgia Archives closure
A firestorm has erupted over the Georgia Secretary of State’s decision to sharply curtail public access to the Georgia Archives. The September 13 announcement quickly became a cause célèbre for academics and family genealogists alike as thousands quickly signed an online petition. Effective November 1, only limited public appointments will be available to see the state’s historical records dating back to at least 1733. Seven of the 10 full-time employees were fired September 18, leaving only Director Chris Davidson, the assistant director, and the facility manager. Historian James C. Cobb calls it a “shortsighted and embarrassing decision to put a padlock on our state’s past.” Read the Society of American Archivists’ letter of protest (PDF file) to Gov. Nathan Deal, ALA President Maureen Sullivan’s letter to Deal, the Friends of Georgia Archives and History website, and the National Coalition for History’s tips for taking action. Late-breaking news: In signing the Georgia Archives Month Proclamation on September 19, Gov. Deal told the archives committee that he would find a way to keep the state archives open to the public....
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sept. 16–17; Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, Sept. 17; Society of American Archivists; ALA Public Information Office
Can states limit nonresidents’ access to public records?
The US Supreme Court could determine the constitutionality of state public-record provisions that limit records requests to residents of that state. In McBurney v. Young, Rhode Island resident Mark McBurney and California resident Roger Hurlbert are appealing an adverse decision (PDF file) by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a provision in Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act that says only Virginia residents can obtain public records from that state....
First Amendment Center, Sept. 19
Guardian of America’s heirlooms
Brianna McClane writes: “Is Kelly Maltagliati (right) the National Archives’ version of Nicolas Cage? Sure, she hasn’t stolen the Declaration of Independence to marinate it in lemon juice, but she does track down wrongdoers in order to protect the country’s history. This is no National Treasure, but as special agent in charge of the Archival Recovery Team, Maltagliati’s job is to track down items stolen from the national treasure chest.”...
National Journal, Sept. 13
Archivist to an Empire
Heather Halpin Perez (right) is a mild-mannered archivist by day, toiling away in the Atlantic City (N.J.) Free Public Library’s local history section, the Alfred M. Heston Collection. However, she has a much more glamorous title on Sunday nights, one that stems from an ongoing hookup with Hollywood—specifically with a glitzy, award-winning, darling-of-the-critics series on HBO. Perez is nationally known as “Boardwalk Empire’s Librarian.”...
Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), Sept. 16; American Libraries news, Oct. 11, 2010
Los Angeles library card will not become immigrant ID
Meredith Schwartz writes: “For those following the mainstream media, it may come as a surprise to find out that Los Angeles is not considering turning its library card into a form of official ID for undocumented immigrants. That’s certainly the impression created by headlines in the Los Angeles Times. In fact, Los Angeles City Librarian John Szabo said that what the city is actually doing is considering creating a city services card whose primary purpose is to be a debit card for the unbanked—an audience which is much broader than immigrants, let alone undocumented ones.”...
Library Journal, Sept. 14; Los Angeles Times, Sept. 11
Chattanooga cooks up some creativity
Nate Hill, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Public Library’s assistant director of technology and digital initiatives, imagines the library’s fourth floor as a place for creativity and thinking, a kitchen where technological dreams are cooked up. If an author wants to publish an ebook, he could come to the library, learn about using a graphic design program, and design his own cover. He sees the possibility of a workshop where people can come and solder their electronics together. Hill even thinks there could be a robotic battle arena. The library is still working out funding....
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press, Sept. 17
The changing nature of school libraries
When Sue Reinaman became librarian at Northern High School in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, 18 years ago, there were CD-ROMs and a card catalog with drawers, with just the beginning of digital resources. Today, her library has seven online databases, with the budget shifting toward buying more digital resources, including ebooks. Still, she said, the emphasis is on teaching students how to find and use information efficiently and ethically....
Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Sept. 16
Elliott Shore named ARL executive director
The Association of Research Libraries board of directors has appointed Elliott Shore (right) as ARL executive director, effective January 1. Shore is currently chief information officer, director of libraries, and professor of history at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. He has published widely, delivered numerous papers and workshops, taught courses in US history with an emphasis on American radicalism, and taught courses in librarianship with a focus on collection development, technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration....
Association of Research Libraries, Sept. 17
LJ appoints Michael P. Kelley editor-in-chief
Michael P. Kelley, currently executive editor of news and features for Library Journal, has been named editor-in-chief effective September 17. Kelley replaces long-time LJ Editor-in-Chief Francine Fialkoff. Kelley holds an MSLIS degree and brings more than 25 years in journalism, including nine years as a staff editor at the New York Times....
Library Journal, Sept. 17
New Los Gatos Library is a green gem
The new 30,000-square-foot Los Gatos (Calif.) Library, designed by Berkeley-based Noll & Tam Architects, is a daylit, sustainable gem for the community around the city’s historic Pageant Park. The two-story building draws its design inspiration from a lantern, working all day to bring light far into the building and at night to illuminate the area with views into the library. The natural hues of concrete, stone, and wood-colored cladding reflect the colors of the surrounding environment....
Inhabitat, Sept. 18
Downtown L.A. intersection renamed after Ray Bradbury
Science fiction author Ray Bradbury was a regular at Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway in Los Angeles, and was known for writing on the public typewriters in the Central Library. So it was fitting that the city council voted September 18 to bestow the name Ray Bradbury Square on the intersection of Fifth and Flower streets in downtown Los Angeles. Bradbury was a supporter of the local theater and libraries....
KNX-AM, Los Angeles, Sept. 18
Stolen documents returned to University of Vermont
Librarian Jeff Marshall hopes to never again lose sight of what he was carrying through the University of Vermont Special Collections Department September 13. “It’s great to have them back," Marshall said, placing a box of documents on a research table. His department just got back more than 50 documents bearing signatures including several belonging to US Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Teddy Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The items were stolen in 2011 by convicted thief Barry Landau. Watch the video (1:46)....
WPTZ-TV, Plattsburgh, N.Y., Sept. 13
The riddle of the missing Occupy Wall Street Library books
When the police cleared Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in November 2011, the movement lost not only its central gathering spot, but also one of its more popular institutions: a collection of 3,600 donated books known as the People’s Library. The fate of the books constitutes one of the enduring riddles accompanying the story of the two-month Occupy encampment in the park....
New York Times, Sept. 13
OSU Helps Oregon’s tribal nations preserve their history
Oregon State University Libraries is helping Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes to preserve some of their most important historical records. In August, OSU Libraries hosted the Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (right), a project created through a two-year grant from the Oregon State Library that focused on providing in-depth archives and records management training. The institute was designed to help the tribes establish an archives and records management program or further an existing program....
Oregon State University, Sept. 13; Oregon Multicultural Archives Blog, Aug. 21–22, 27
Squatters reopen UK library
Pete Phoenix writes: “It is a creative partnership like no other. Squatters have occupied Friern Barnet library in north London and brokered a deal with the local community to reopen the building, which shut down earlier in the year due to public-sector cuts. The community is still reeling from a failed campaign to keep the library open, but our shelves are beginning to fill up with donated books. In a unique move, the council has offered us a building around the corner to open up as a replacement.” Watch the video (4:29)....
The Guardian (UK), Sept. 11, 13
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Give us $1 and we’ll give you back $4
Walt Crawford writes: “Public libraries typically yield several dollars in benefits for every dollar in expenditures. Public libraries also need better funding to do better work—and unless they have separate funding agencies, must compete for that funding with other agencies at the local and state level. Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012–13) consists of several hundred concise tables, designed to help you compare your library to other comparable libraries in several dozen ways. It’s based on the FY2010 Public Library Data Tables released by IMLS at the end of July.”...
Cites & Insights 12, no. 9 (Oct.)
Libraries and the demographic shift
Haipeng Li and Janice M. Rice write: “Libraries are a mirror of the communities that they serve. For many libraries, the looking glass reflects America’s tendency to attract new citizens seeking to turn long-frustrated dreams into reality. Libraries are necessary to support these dreams, since they are the public institutions that new Americans and diverse groups rely on the most to support continued education, as well as English-language and technology skills needed to thrive and compete in today’s global market.”...
Huffington Post: Libraries in Crisis Blog, Sept. 14
Undergrads and information technology, 2012
The Educause Center for Applied Research has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2012, ECAR collaborated with 195 institutions to collect responses from more than 100,000 students. The report (PDF file) notes that in answer to the question, “When it comes to your success as an undergraduate, what is the one website or online resource you couldn’t live without?” the most frequently cited sources were Google (33%) and Blackboard (16%); both of these significantly outranked students’ citing the college or university library website (5%)....
Barriers to information flow
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “The typical academic expects information to just appear, either as soon as it’s needed or a few days later. Barriers to information are either nonexistent or irrelevant. The question is whether this is a naive expectation or not. Some librarians would certainly consider it naive. We know better than anyone the cost of knowledge. Information doesn’t just appear. We make it appear, if we can. But what about whether barriers to information are irrelevant?”...
Academic Librarian, Sept. 17
New IE will offer stronger privacy protection
The new version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser is scheduled to be available to consumers in late October, packaged with Windows 8. The browser comes with an option called “do not track.” It lets users indicate whether they’d like to see ads tailored to them by companies that track their online browsing histories, or whether they’d rather not have their online activities tracked, recorded, analyzed, and stored for marketing purposes....
New York Times, Sept. 15
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The iPhone 5 reviewed
Scott Stein writes: “The good: The iPhone 5 adds everything we wanted in the iPhone 4S: 4G LTE, a longer and larger screen, and a faster A6 processor. Plus, its top-to-bottom redesign is sharp, slim, and feather-light. The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings.” Stein found five surprises in its features. However, Ars Technica editors discovered a few things that are missing....
CNET Reviews, Sept. 18; Ars Technica, Sept. 15
How your wireless carrier miscounts your data usage
Tom Simonite writes: “When your wireless carrier charges you for the amount of data you used on your cellphone, how do you know the bill is accurate? It very well might not be. In a UCLA study (PDF file) using a data-logging app to check the data use AT&T and Verizon were recording for Androids, researchers found that data tended to be overcounted (and hence, potentially overcharged) when a person used media-streaming apps, particularly when coverage was weak.”...
Technology Review, Sept. 13
How to buy a used iPhone
Chandra Steele writes: “The latest isn’t necessarily the greatest. The iPhone 5 is out, and there’s no telling yet whether it will live up to the hype. And with Apple’s newest mobile OS (iOS 6) installed, an older iPhone can learn all the new tricks. If you want an iPhone and you’re looking for a sure thing, here are eight places where you might find your perfect match.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 13
Transforming the library website: You and the IT crowd
Holly Hebert, J. Michael Lindsay, and Amy York write: “In the library world, we are sometimes fortunate enough to have our own IT department who caters to all of our needs like a doting mother, often anticipating what we need before we know it ourselves, and also giving us the freedom we need to grow into our best selves. Others of us are not so lucky. We will describe our experiences working with (and in spite of) our institutional IT departments on website changes and redesigns.”...
Tennessee Libraries 62, no. 3 (2012)
How to future-proof your hardware for Windows 8
Loyd Case writes: “Microsoft has emphasized that systems capable of running Windows 7 can also run Windows 8. That may be true—but if you need to get new hardware, you should ensure that it not only works with Windows 8, but performs optimally with Microsoft’s new baby. In this guide, I’ll walk you through several purchasing scenarios, discussing which component upgrades to make in anticipation of Windows 8, and what to look for when buying a new computer that currently runs Windows 7.”...
PC World, Sept. 17
What does my BIOS do after booting?
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “What functions does the BIOS have besides its critical role in the startup of the computer? With modern OSs, practically none. Linus Torvalds reportedly said its task is to ‘just load the OS and get the hell out of there.’ While use of the BIOS is very limited while the OS runs, its functions are still peripherally used. It provides a number of services, most of which are related to power management.”...
How-To Geek, Sept. 18
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Turn Wikipedia articles into an ebook
Matthew Roth writes: “A new EPUB export feature has been enabled on English Wikipedia. You can use it to collate your personal collection of Wikipedia articles and generate free ebooks. These can be read on a broad range of devices, like mobile phones, tablets, and e-ink based ebook readers. Using an ebook to read Wikipedia articles has a number of advantages. Although mobile online access is becoming more prevalent, it is still not available everywhere.” TeleRead offers a step-by-step tutorial, and Saikat Basu notes nine other tools that also download Wikipedia content....
Wikimedia Foundation Tech Blog, Sept. 17; TeleRead, Sept. 18; MakeUseOf, Sept. 19
Ebook brainstorming in Montana
David Lee King writes: “Michael Porter and I gave a three-hour workshop on the e-content landscape at the Montana State Library Fall Workshop in Billings in mid-September. During the workshop, we divided participants into groups and asked them to do some brainstorming on three questions: What do you want with ebooks? What is realistic for your organization? What can you do to make what’s realistic actually happen?”...
Library Renewal, Sept. 18
Ebooks expand in Latin America
Dan Eldridge writes: “For four straight days (September 11–14), the second annual International Symposium on the Ebook in Spanish (El Libro Electrónico en Español) was held in Mexico City. If the event’s name doesn’t ring much of a bell, that’s probably because it gets very little attention from the English-language press. But Mexico (and to a lesser extent, the Latin American world itself) is a locale all digital reading enthusiasts should be keeping close watch on.”...
TeleRead, Sept. 18
Living our values
Meredith Farkas writes:
“I love our profession. I love the values we espouse and our service ethic. I love how we’re always trying new things and innovations. But I sometimes worry that in our zeal to serve our patrons and get them the content they need and want, we are sometimes inadvertently setting back the cause of universal access to human knowledge. What is our mission as a profession? What are our enduring values? And how does all that jive with what we’re participating in when it comes to ebooks and scholarly publishing?”...
Information Wants to Be Free, Sept. 13
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There are just 10 days left to get your 2013 Midwinter Meeting (Seattle, January 25–29) and Annual Conference (Chicago, June 27–July 2) bundled registrations and Midwinter housing. The combined events offer connections with thousands of colleagues, 500+ programs and sessions, 800+ exhibitors, 50+ institutes and preconferences, 100s of authors, dozens of speakers, and unquantifiable fun.
Don’t miss these learning opportunities in October and November. Workshops and eCourses cover a broad range of subjects including copyright, reference, iPad-based books, grant winning, RDA, engaging teens, and cloud computing. NEW! From ALA Editions and ALA TechSource.
Great Libraries of the World
Canterbury Cathedral Library, Canterbury, UK. The first record of a library in the cathedral dates from the 10th century, although manuscripts were probably stored there as far back as the 7th century. The dissolution of the Cathedral Priory in 1540 resulted in the loss of most of its medieval books, but by the late 16th century the library collected printed materials. The Howley-Harrison collection is the largest in the library, originating from part of the personal libraries of Archbishop William Howley and his personal curate, Benjamin Harrison.
Chetham’s Library, Manchester, UK. The oldest free public reference library in the country, Chetham’s was established in 1653 by the will of textile merchant Humphrey Chetham for the use of independent scholars. It holds 60,000 books that were published before 1851, as well as a rich collection of bookplates, postcards, chapbooks, broadsides, ballads, theatre programs, posters, trade cards, and bill heads. Chetham’s was the meeting place of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels when Marx visited Manchester in 1845; the two studied together at the wooden desk in the window alcove of the reading room.
This AL Direct feature showcases 250 libraries around the world that are notable for their exquisite architecture, historic collections, and innovative services. If you find yourself on vacation near one of them, be sure to stop by for a visit. Some will be featured in The Whole Library Handbook 5, edited by George M. Eberhart, which is scheduled for publication in 2013 by ALA Editions. There is also a Great Libraries of the World Pinterest board.
Youth Services Coordinator, Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri. Committed to providing children, teens, parents, and caregivers a “portal to life-changing resources”? MCPL seeks a dynamic library leader to become its new youth services coordinator. As part of the administrative team, the youth services coordinator will be the library’s key representative to the library staff and community serving children and teens—and agencies and organizations serving those audiences. The successful candidate will lead in the development and provision of traditional, virtual, and cutting-edge services and programs at the local, regional, and national levels....
Digital Library of the Week
Beyond Ricci is a digital library that introduces readers to the Jesuitana Collection at the Burns Library, Boston College, by highlighting books written about China by Jesuit missionaries. The Jesuitana Collection is broader than this (with more than 2,500 volumes published by or about the Jesuits prior to the order’s suppression in 1773), but for the purposes of this website, the library has focused on east-west cultural exchange and interaction. It takes the life of legendary Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) as the primary starting point. The text was written by Fr. Jeremy Clarke, S.J., assistant professor in the Boston College History Department. He also selected all the images from various works in the Jesuitana collection (and other rare book collections) of Boston College. Burns Library staff provided help related to other aspects of the project.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site, Check out our Featured Digital Libraries Pinterest board.
Noted and Quoted
“Talk Like a Pirate Day? OK, who knows where I can get a link to a free ebook copy of The Diviners, or Unspoken, or The Raven Boys?”
—Liz Burns, in a Sept. 19 tweet on Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Peoria Conference Center, Peoria. “Bouncing Higher.”
Teen Read Week. Sponsored by YALSA. “It Came from the Library.”
Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Annual Conference, Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, Sandusky. “School Libraries 4 the Future.”
Florida Association of College and Research Libraries, Annual Conference, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale. “Emerging Partnerships in Academic Libraries.”
Poets Forum, Academy of American Poets, New York University and The New School, New York City.
National Friends of Libraries Week. Sponsored by United for Libraries.
Open Access Week. An opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access.
Tennessee Association of School Librarians, Annual Conference, Embassy Suites, Murfreesboro. “Don’t Miss a Beat @ Your Library.”
Michigan Association for Media in Education, Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol, Lansing. “Enter Here and Learn.”
California Library Association, Annual Conference, San José Convention Center, San José. “Defying Gravity.”
Michigan Library Association, Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn. “Loud Librarian: Defining Ourselves and Our Profession.”
Charleston Conference, Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, College of Charleston, Addlestone Library, Charleston, South Carolina. “Accentuate the Positive!”
New York Library Association, Annual Conference, Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs. “Writing Our Next Chapter.”
Hot Topics in Big Data: What You Need to Know Now! Workshop, Mumford Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Cosponsored by National Federation of Advanced Information Services, FEDLINK.
iConference 2013, Worthington Renaissance Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas. Sponsored by iSchools. “Scholarship in Action: Data, Innovation, Wisdom.”
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Rousing Reads: Gregorian chants meet Thelonious Monk
Bill Ott writes: “Somewhere, I told myself, amid shelves of long-ignored LPs, I had a recording of Gregorian chants. But where? After much foraging, the album eventually turned up, and, remarkably, my ancient turntable still worked, giving me the chance to experience—for the first time in some 40 years—the otherworldly serenity of this hypnotically alluring musical form. What prompted me to return to Gregorian chants? A novel, naturally: The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny.”...
American Libraries column, Sept./Oct.
NYPL hosts Google+ Hangout book club
Jenny Che writes: “The New York Public Library broadcast its first-ever online book discussion of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, Gone Girl, using Google+ Hangouts on September 12. Librarians from the Columbus and Jefferson Market branches led the talk with readers’ questions that were submitted online. You can watch it on YouTube (48:57). The librarians explored various passages of chilling prose and discussed Flynn’s portrayal of the characters as antiheroes.”...
New York Daily News: Page Views, Sept. 14; YouTube, Sept. 12
Christianity in YA literature
Whitney Etchison writes: “For the past five weeks, I have read as much modern, nonserialized YA fiction involving Christianity as possible, and in the process, have noticed some trends in the characterizations of Christians. On the one hand, some Christians are portrayed as fundamentalist and intolerant (to varying degrees), particularly of homosexuality or science. However, all but one of the novels I read also had positive portrayals of Christians as people who live out the positive aspects of the religion and rely on their faith in times of strife.”...
YALSA The Hub, Sept. 18
Adults are reading YA books too
Fully 55% of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids aged 12 to 17 (YA books) are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44. Accounting for 28% of sales, these adults aren’t just purchasing for others—when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78% of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading. The insights are courtesy of Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age, a biannual study from Bowker Market Research that explores the changing nature of publishing for kids....
Bowker, Sept. 13
Librarians in fiction
Ron Averill writes: “As a library employee, I’m always interested to find a story where a librarian has a bit of adventure in his or her life. A recent pleasant surprise that came my way is Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines. The main character of this story, Isaac Vainoi, is a librarian, and his love of books is vital to the story. He is one of a select group called the Porters, people who have such strong imaginations and symbiotic rapport with books that they are able to pull objects from stories. As it turns out, Libriomancer is just one of many books that feature the exploits of librarians.”...
Everett (Wash.) Public Library: A Reading Life, Sept. 17
Comics get scholarly treatment at Columbia
For decades, X-Men author Chris Claremont kept handwritten notes about characters such as Wolverine and Magneto in dozens of boxes in the closet and basement of his Brooklyn apartment. Claremont’s 2011 donation is a game-changing addition to Columbia University’s collection of graphic novels and related materials, which grew out of a pet project of librarian Karen Green. The donation had another unintended consequence: It inspired an alumnus of the school, Fred Lerner, to give the libraries his collection of science fiction literature....
Wall Street Journal: Metropolis, Sept. 17
Pop-up books in Topeka
Movable books have been around for more than 700 years. It wasn’t until the 18th century that flaps, rotating disks, and various pop-up parts (which started out as tools to enhance predominantly scientific and astrological text) began making an appearance in books “designed for entertainment, particularly for children.” Watch this video (4:51), featuring Special Collections Librarian Brea Black (above), which accompanies an exhibit at the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library....
Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library; YouTube, Oct. 19, 2011
Why she cries at movies and he snores
Tom Jacobs writes: “Think back to the first time you saw West Side Story. Didn’t you feel for Tony and Maria, the racially mixed couple whose poignant love story ends in tragedy? If your answer is ‘no,’ chances are you are a man. The impulse to sympathize with a fictional character seems to be triggered in different ways for males and females; at least, that’s the conclusion of a new study by psychologists Thalia Goldstein and Ellen Winner, which tracked reactions to Leonard Bernstein’s musical theater masterpiece.”...
Pacific Standard, Sept. 17; Empirical Studies of the Arts 30, no. 2 (2012): 129–141
A massive river of discarded books in Melbourne
If you were in Melbourne, Australia, this past June, you may have run into a gargantuan installation on the city streets. For the Light in Winter festival, Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus was commissioned to create a work of art that, quite literally, stopped traffic. 10,000 discarded books, donated by public libraries and collected by the Salvation Army, were lit up and arranged to look like a massive river overtaking the city. First created in New York, “Literature vs. Traffic” was bigger and better this time, ultimately becoming the collective’s largest work to date....
My Modern Met, Sept. 12
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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, commemorating Independence Day for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During the month, Mexico and Chile also celebrate independence on September 16 and 18, respectively. Here are just a few examples of what libraries are doing to celebrate Hispanic heritage....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Sept. 18; State Library of North Carolina
Online course on smart investing
The Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library District is offering a free online course on reference strategies and resources for financial planning and investing. “Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources” is made possible through a Smart Investing @ your library grant. Originally developed for the library’s staff, the content has been redesigned as a stand-alone, self-paced course. It is available to all librarians who would like to improve their reference strategies and knowledge of financial literacy concepts and resources....
Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library District
National Book Festival 2012, September 22–23
Come to the 12th annual National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This year’s Library of Congress Pavilion offers a behind-the-scenes look at the many ways LC brings its extraordinary resources to people everywhere: the American Folklife Center, educational outreach, copyright (featuring characters Mark Twain, the Statue of Liberty, and Detective Cop E. Wright), digital preservation, the Veterans History Project, and the World Digital Library. The speaker schedule is here....
National Book Festival
Poets Forum 2012
The Academy of American Poets is holding its Poets Forum, a series of events exploring the ever-changing landscape of contemporary poetry in America, in New York City on October 18–20. The forum will feature in-depth discussions with an array of distinguished poets, readings, lectures, publication parties, and a selection of poet-led literary walking tours of Manhattan that follow in the footsteps of Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, E. E. Cummings, and Langston Hughes....
Academy of American Poets
How public libraries are using social media
Richard MacManus writes: “According to a survey conducted by the South Carolina State Library, 88% of respondents (all library workers) claimed to use Facebook in their work. Twitter was second most popular, at 46.8%. My own local library, Wellington (N.Z.) City Libraries, uses Facebook. It’s on a raft of other social media platforms too, including Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. The library even updates its Facebook page using IFTTT, a syndication service beloved by web geeks.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Sept. 18
Telling the library story
Nancy Dowd writes: “So what is the library story? I was reading a post about the Cruddas Park Library in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK on Voices for the Library and fell in love with the simplicity of this story. One photographer, a sketch pad, and testimonies that make Twitter feel too wordy. How could you not love it? Libraries are on a constant quest to tell their story.”...
The ‘M’ Word: Marketing Libraries, Sept. 16
After the job interview: What is taking them so long?
Susan P. Joyce writes: “The recruiter/HR person/hiring manager said they’d make a decision before the end of last week. Or by the middle of last week. Or before the end of last month. Job seekers always seem to assume that the process works perfectly and smoothly on the employer’s side. But that assumption is often totally wrong. Here are 10 things that could be happening while you are waiting.”...
Work Coach Cafe, Sept. 17
Running the library race
Erica Jesonis writes: “I recently ran my first half-marathon and did pretty poorly. My failure made me realize that coping mechanisms in public libraries are tragically flawed. We’re trying to work faster and harder to show that libraries are strong, able to cope, and able to succeed no matter what the future brings. But is this new pace sustainable? Or is it actually dangerous and self-defeating?”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Sept. 19
Upgrade your Twitter header photo
You can now make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles. Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo that will appear above your tweets. You will still have an additional background image on twitter.com, where you can complement your header and profile photos....
Twitter Blog, Sept. 18
LC unveils new Congress.gov website
The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the US Senate, House of Representatives, and the Government Printing Office, unveiled a beta version of Congress.gov on September 19, a new site for accessing legislative information. Congress.gov features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval, and user-friendly presentation. The site eventually will replace the THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System....
Library of Congress, Sept. 19
All the TV news since 2009
Brewster Kahle has a grand vision for the Internet Archive. As of September 18, the archive’s TV News Search and Borrow service will include every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different TV channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news. All for free. Many conventional news outlets are available, including CNN, Fox News, NBC News, PBS, and every purveyor of eyewitness news on local television stations....
New York Times, Sept. 17
Free Dust Bowl resources from PBS
The Dust Bowl, a two-part, four-hour documentary series by Ken Burns that will air November 18–19, chronicles the environmental catastrophe that destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains in the 1930s. For libraries interested in developing programming around the series, PBS is providing a limited number of clip reels, postcards, and discussion points to libraries. DVDs will be available in October for use in November. To order, contact Anne Harrington. Watch the preview (1:43)....
Programming Librarian, Sept. 18
Overcoming a day full of #fail
Barbara Fister writes: “Though it wasn’t one of my best days, it made me reflect on how often, to students, the library is one technology fail after another. The interface changed, the thingy didn’t work, they don’t know how to set up a connection to a public printer, and when they finally figure it out, the printer jams. They copy down a barcode number instead of the call number, and wander the stacks, lost until they figure out they copied down the wrong bit. And when they go back with the right number, the book is missing from the shelves.”...
Inside Higher Ed: Library Babel Fish, Sept. 13
Education site expands slate of universities and courses
Coursera, a start-up online education company that has enrolled 1.35 million students in its free online courses since it began just five months ago, is now more than doubling (to 33) its partners—universities that will offer classes on its platform. Altogether, Coursera will provide more than 200 free “massive open online courses,” known as MOOCs....
New York Times, Sept. 19
Sandy Berman campaigns for labor postage stamps
Jeff Strickler writes: “Sandy Berman’s efforts to have commemorative stamps issued in honor of legendary labor leaders Eugene V. Debs and Mary Harris ‘Mother’ Jones faces years of work, a massive federal bureaucracy, and the likelihood of ending in frustration. In other words, it’s right up his alley. ‘I hear the word quixotic a lot,’ the retired Hennepin County, Minnesota, librarian said of comparisons to Don Quixote. ‘Except sometimes I beat the windmills,’ Berman added with a chuckle.”...
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sept. 14
T-shirts depict art books
A new series of T-shirts celebrates influential writers of art criticism throughout history. Peter Rentz, a New York–based graphic artist and art director, sifted through art books for the “Art Library” project, a series of T-shirts that appropriate critical texts on art, including reproductions of the title pages of English-language first editions. The project was created for Hyperallergic, a “blogazine” on art....
Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel: Art City, Sept. 17
The art of library date stamps
Jennifer Kennard writes: “For Italian artist Frederico Pietrella, time is a framework that can be measured in the time it takes to create a work of art. And one medium he uses to illustrate the concept of time is a library date stamp. As his large-scale images take a considerable amount of time to produce, he will change the stamp to reflect the current date, adding texture to illustrate his everyday images in a complex, pointillistic manner. Each image can take him up to two months to complete.”...
Book Patrol, Sept. 17
An open letter
Becca Brody writes: “Dear Look That Slowly Forms On Your Face When I Tell You I Am a Librarian: The raised eyebrows and intake of breath fool no one. As a librarian, I am well aware that most people do not find my job an interesting topic of conversation at a neighborhood barbecue, music festival, or, to use a more keenly relevant example, the cocktail party we both attended last Friday night. While at no time did your lips actually curl downward into a grimace, the frozen, dare I say stricken, look you chose to accompany my declaration of career halted our conversation before it even began.”...
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Sept. 14
Law librarian loses nearly 80 pounds on a Starbucks diet
Christine Hall (right), director of the Alexandria (Va.) Law Library and part-time reference librarian at George Mason University School of Law, didn’t join an expensive weight-loss program or sign up for a meal-delivery service to help her lose nearly 80 pounds. She never even went to the grocery store. Instead, as she dropped from 190 to 114 over the last few years, almost everything she consumed has come from Starbucks....
Today: Health, Sept. 13
Vintage photos from inside 10 famous libraries
Emily Temple writes: “Inspired by a wonderful collection of vintage photographs of the New York Public Library’s stacks that we spotted at Retronaut,
we decided to put together a minicollection of vintage photographs from inside famous libraries both at home and abroad. Often more subdued than modern libraries, they seem to hum with wisdom through that black-and-white film—and we bet the old-book smell is just to die for.”...
Flavorwire, Sept. 15
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