American Library Association • August 11, 2015
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New privacy guidelines for ebooks

Electronic privacy

Michael Robinson writes: “The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee recently published Library Privacy Guidelines for Ebook Lending and Digital Content Vendors. The document outlines principles for vendors to follow to protect the privacy of library users while delivering digital content and services. The document was developed with input from a number of groups with an interest in privacy and was endorsed during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference by both the IFC and the Digital Content Working Group.”...

AL: E-Content, Aug. 7; Choose Privacy Week, Aug. 4

Washington builds Sephardic-language collection

Sephardic book collection, University of Washington

David Naar came to the University of Washington in 2011 to teach modern Jewish history. Then the local Sephardic community found out that Naar could speak and read Ladino—the language of the diaspora resulting from Spain’s expulsion of the Jews in 1492, a mixture of Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and other languages. They started bringing him Ladino items they had squirreled away: a grandfather’s will, letters, newspapers, wedding contracts, songbooks, photos with inscriptions. And books. Lots of books....

Seattle Times, Aug. 9
Recorded Books

Russian region bans books by two British WWII historians

Cover of Berlin: The Downfall 1945, by Antony Beevor

The works of two of Britain’s most distinguished military historians have been banned in a region of Russia over suggestions that they misinterpret the events of the Second World War and are “imbued with Nazi propaganda.” According to a directive leaked to local journalists, schools and libraries in the Ural mountains region of Sverdlovsk will be banned from giving students or teachers access to books by Antony Beevor and John Keegan. While it is unclear which of Keegan’s works incurred the ire of the Sverdlovsk authorities, Beevor’s books have been bitterly attacked in Russia for their unvarnished portrayal of the Eastern Front, including atrocities committed by Soviet forces....

The Telegraph (UK), Aug. 5

Pope Francis to donate Bible to Library of Congress

Pope Francis receives the final volume of The Saint John's Bible at the Vatican on April 17. Pictured with Pope Francis (left to right): Abbot John Klassen, Saint John's Abbey; Michael Hemesath, president of Saint John's University; Donald Jackson, artistic director of The Saint John's Bible; and Katharine and Dan Whalen

When Pope Francis comes to Capitol Hill to address Congress on September 24, he will present a copy of a special fine art edition of the Bible commissioned by a Minnesota Benedictine abbey to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the Library of Congress. The seven-volume work, known as the Apostles Edition of the St. John’s Bible, is believed to be the first handwritten and illuminated bible produced since the invention of the printing press. Completed in 2011, it is one of only 12 such sets....

The Hill, Aug. 8

Berkeley PL’s most checked-out item: A weed-whacker

Man using a weed-whacker

Miyako Singer writes: “When we asked the woman at the reference desk of the Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library about the most checked-out books in their system, she said she was pretty sure it was the Holy Bible. That was a fair guess, but it turns out she was more than a little off. First of all, the most checked-out item in the city library system in the last 12 months is a string trimmer (weed-whacker). As for the top-ranking books, the results are surprising.”...

The Daily Clog (UC Berkeley), Aug. 7

The dying art of the letterhead

Memphis Cotton Carnival Association letterhead, 1953

The Penn Museum Archives has prepared a new public exhibition of special interest to enthusiasts of graphic art and design. “To Whom It May Concern: Letterhead from the Penn Museum Archives” presents an array of letterhead from its collections, dating mostly from the 1890s through the 1940s, when letterhead design was particularly expressive and ornate, as well as a tour of museum branding over 125 years....

Penn Museum Blog, Aug. 5

ProQuest content to appear in Google Scholar

Google Scholar logo

ProQuest’s scholarly journals and working papers are now discoverable in Google Scholar. The company’s collaboration with Google enables users to discover content in Google Scholar and seamlessly access their libraries’ ProQuest collections. Full text includes the library’s branding, thus building greater awareness for the library....

ProQuest, Aug. 11

How people with visual disabilities surf the web

Braille smartphone

Sophie Weiner writes: “Though the visually impaired are cut off from much of what we think of as the internet, they do use it in as many ways as everyone else. But without help from the sighted, many of the functions we enjoy online will remain inaccessible to the visually impaired. The first step to change that is understanding the challenges. Here’s a tour of a side of the web that sighted people can’t see, guided by those who know it best.”...

Hopes & Fears, July 21

National Smile Week reading suggestions

Cover of Smile, by Raina Telgemeier

Sharon Rawlins writes: “Did you know that this week is National Smile Week? I think it is all about promoting being friendly and welcoming towards one another. It’s summer, so it makes sense that many of us are happier and smiling—especially if you’re on vacation. Since it’s such an optimistic sounding week, I thought I would try to come up with some books that go along with the topic of smiling. One book that immediately comes to mind is Smile by Raina Telgemeier.”...

YALSA The Hub, Aug. 10

A punk history reading list

Cover of Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk, by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

Susie Rodarme writes: “Punk has become pervasive in our culture, but it somehow manages to retain its edge in a day and age when you can see mostly-naked-people and zombies on TV. You can still read about Iggy Pop’s early performances and say, ‘Whoa, that guy was hardcore.’ I’ve been reading a lot about punk history in the past few years, since I missed experiencing it live (bummer). Here are some rocking good punk history reads.”...

Book Riot, Aug. 11

Chains, chests, and medieval curses

Manchester, Chetham’s Library, Gorton chest, made in 1655Erik Kwakkel writes: “Book theft happened in medieval times too. However, in those days the loss was much greater, given that the average price of a book—when purchased by an individual or community—was much higher. Fortunately, the medieval reader had various strategies to combat book theft: chaining books to the bookcase, securing them inside book chests, or placing a curse on potential thieves.”...

medievalbooks, July 10

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