[LISNews] The LISNews For February 22nd 2010
The LISNews Librarian News By Email
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Mon Feb 22 11:53:58 CST 2010
Happy Monday! It's the LISNews for February 22nd, 2010...
On Monday we start with the most popular headlines from the weekend:
- - A Literary Approach to Speed Dating
- - Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
- - How a Book Is Made (Old Skool)
- - Librarians Gone Wild
- - Leveling the Playing Field for Booksellers
And here's the latest from LISNews:
--A Library Essay in 140 characters at a time
-Blog Entry by tribaric Posted Monday February 22nd at 12:36 PM
-Read 5 times - 0 Comments
You results are listed in reverse chronological order hipster_lib_patron @twitting_library A fancy coffee bar!
kid_lib_patron @twitting_library More X-boxes! twitting_library Tell us what you want at your library! htp://sho.rt/3234
other_library_patron RT @twitting_library: Finally you are listening you your public. I'll go to the library again.
#boycott_the_lib twitting_library Due to concerns from the public we will be discontinuing our Xbox program and shutting
down our Gourmet Coffee Bar. #boycott_the_lib other_library_patron Don't like the way the library is run? Sign the
petition: htp://sho.rt/2387 #boycott_the_lib twitting_library Local boy wins online X-Box tournament. Credits Library
for all the help. htp://sho.rt/2011. Way to go @kid_lib_patron. hipster_lib_patron The Library has awesome coffee!
twit_lib_ref @hipster_lib_patron a delicious French dark roast... htp://sho.rt/4847 hiptster_lib_patron @twit_lib_ref What
is the special of the day at the coffee bar? twit_lib_ref @kid_lib_patron try using the sword of strength found in level
4... htp://sho.rt/2432 kid_lib_patron @twit_lib_ref How do I defeat the gorgon on level 5 of Gorgon's Attack on xbox?
twit_lib_ref We are here to answer your questions! twitting_library We know have an account for reference help. Please
send messages to @twit_lib_ref other_library_patron two hours have passed and still no response from the library!
#boycott_the_lib other_library_patron The library wastes money on things we didn't ask for our need! They didn't even
respond to me. #boycott_the_lib twitting_library We know have your local newspaper online. Check it out:
htp://sho.rt/2132 other_library_patron @twitting_library your patrons can't afford 3.00$ coffee and why did you buy more
x-boxes?! Why didn't you ask us? #boycott_the_lib twitting_library Thanks for your feedback everyone. We now have fancy
coffee and more X-boxes. hipster_lib_patron @twitting_library we need fancy coffees. kid_lib_patron RT @twitting_library:
Awesome the library is asking us what we want!?! More X-boxes!! twitting_library What do you want to see in our Library?
Please let us know: htp://sho.rt/3234
--LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #107
-Front Page Story by StephenK Posted Monday February 22nd at 10:53 AM
-Read 83 times - 0 Comments
Technical issues continue to plague us at Erie Looking Productions. LISTen #107 is a lost episode as there will be no
recorded audio for this one. The unedited script that has none of the usual handwritten corrections or any ad-libs by the
presenter is instead released for consideration. Links to matters referenced are shown as footnotes in the attached PDF
file. This peculiar release is made under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. While we plan
to release LISTen #108 on March 1st, this is dependent upon us chasing down electrical shorts and other complications.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation in this difficult time. (Mirrored at Internet Archive)
--Librarian Joke Contest Coming Next Month
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Monday February 22nd at 8:55 AM
-Read 133 times - 0 Comments
Hopefully you've been following allong with the Essay Contest this month. Next month we'll try something a bit different:
A librarian joke contest! We'll take joke submissions during the entire month of March, and annouce the winners on April
Fools Day. Stay tuned for the details. Prizes will include something from http://StitchingForLiteracy.com and something
from http://inmybook.com and more!
--The Case Against Public Libraries
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Monday February 22nd at 8:35 AM
-Read 277 times - 3 Comments
The Case Against Public Libraries I stopped going because I found that the Internet provided me with more useful and up to
date information, and in a handier format than I could ever get from a library. Im not the only one. Book borrowing is
down; Internet use is up. And for those folks who still go to the library, the waiting lines are not at the book check-out;
theyre at the Internet terminals... Maybe its time to turn the caretaker role of our societys knowledge over to the
people who already do it best: the private libraries.
--The Most Amazing Libraries In The World Part Two
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Monday February 22nd at 8:29 AM
-Read 161 times - 0 Comments
The Most Amazing Libraries In The World Part Two Last month, huffingtonpost.com brought you a slideshow of the most
amazing libraries in the world. The responses from readers were so full of suggestions that they couldn't resist running
another batch of their favorites and yours. They're getting a lot of bad news about libraries recently, as funding drops and
major cuts are made, but these buildings and collections remind them of how important libraries are, and how much they are
--Google Books - "My Library" search disappears
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Monday February 22nd at 8:27 AM
-Read 143 times - 0 Comments
Google Books - "My Library" search disappears For a while, it looked like book search was on an uninterrupted upward slope,
improving in pretty much every way at a rapid pace - more books, more competitors, more search options. Then a couple of
weeks ago, I logged in and I can no longer restrict my search results to items in My Library.
--Building Self-Check Kiosk from Scratch
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Monday February 22nd at 8:20 AM
-Read 131 times - 0 Comments
Self-Check Kiosk from Scratch A little ingenuity goes a long way, and solid coding skills can go even further: Eric Melton
was hired by the Kirkendall Public Library (KPL), Ankey, IA, as an AV and technical support librarian, but his self-taught
coding skills may have been more valuable than his collection development training.
--The Internet in 2020-What the Experts Predict
-Blog Entry by Bibliofuture Posted Monday February 22nd at 1:30 AM
-Read 118 times - 0 Comments
Interesting piece in the NYT. Excerpt: "It's a mistake to treat intelligence as an undifferentiated whole. No doubt we
will become worse at doing some things ('more stupid') requiring rote memory of information that is now available though
Google. But with this capacity freed, we may (and probably will) be capable of more advanced integration and evaluation of
information ('more intelligent')." - Stephen Downes, National Research Council, Canada
--Textbooks That Professors Can Rewrite Digitally
-Front Page Story by Bibliofuture Posted Monday February 22nd at 1:13 AM
-Read 233 times - 1 Comments
Macmillan is introducing software that will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks without
consulting the original authors or publisher. Full story in the NYT
--Programming Advisory For LISTen 107
-Front Page Story by StephenK Posted Sunday February 21st at 11:49 PM
-Read 176 times - 0 Comments
NoticeDue to circumstances beyond our control it appears that LISTen #107 is delayed until further notice. We are trying to
excise gremlins from the system but having a tired crew decreases the value of any attempted efforts. Our target is to get
the episode out later Monday after some sleeping hours can be had.Thank you for your patience in this difficult hour.
--The Wisdom and Wit of an Irregular Library Regular
-Front Page Story by Blake Posted Sunday February 21st at 8:27 PM
-Read 230 times - 0 Comments
Bruce sent over "The Wisdom and Wit of an Irregular Library Regular" Mr. Sloan can invariably be found on the first level
near the Recorded Sound and Moving Image Circulating Collection, next to those delving into their Shostakovich and
Rostropovich. He might be nodding out listening to some Anita Baker on his headphones or checking out an older film. Maybe a
Steve McQueen movie he loves McQueen. Or James Coburn in Our Man Flint? Now thats a movie.
--On The Roads: The Cartography Of Us
-Blog Entry by Bibliofuture Posted Sunday February 21st at 2:15 PM
-Read 88 times - 0 Comments
The Routes of Man is the new book by Ted Conover, a Pulitzer Prize nominee for Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing. Reviewer
Maureen Corrigan says Conover's newest effort, about how roads shape the world in which we live, has "vivid armchair travel"
appeal. Full piece at NPR Link to book on Amazon: The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live
--Doubts Raised on Books Tale of Atom Bomb
-Blog Entry by Bibliofuture Posted Sunday February 21st at 2:05 PM
-Read 95 times - 0 Comments
Story in the New York Times A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its
heartbreaking portrayals of the bombs survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron. The Last Train from
Hiroshima, published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one
American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapons destructive power. There is just one problem. Read about
the problem in the full article. WorldCat record for book: The last train from Hiroshima : the survivors look back
-Front Page Story by Bibliofuture Posted Sunday February 21st at 1:33 PM
-Read 260 times - 0 Comments
Who controls the internet? Well, at the moment a trade agreement known as ACTA is being negotiated by the U.S., Japan,
the European Union, Canada and more than a dozen other countries, and, if ratified, would significantly regulate what you
can and cant do online. ACTAs rules will supersede each countrys local laws. Oh, and the whole affair is secret. Danny
O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains the possible impact on net users worldwide. Listen using embedded
player above on download MP3 file here.
--Librarians Gone Wild
-Front Page Story by Bibliofuture Posted Sunday February 21st at 1:27 PM
-Read 407 times - 0 Comments
In her new book, author Marilyn Johnson argues that, even in the Google age, human beings, namely librarians, are still
the best resource for accurate answers. In fact, Johnson says librarians are more important now then ever before. Plus,
they're fascinating! They compete in dance competitions and blog about the quirky and downright disgusting behavior of
patrons. You can listen using the embedded player shown above or you can download a MP3 here.
--Stitching for Literacy
-Front Page Story by birdie Posted Saturday February 20th at 11:17 PM
-Read 252 times - 0 Comments
I've spent a good part of the last day at the first annual Bookmark Collector's Virtual Convention BMCVC, where one of the
presenters was Jen Funk Weber, who has created a program called Needle and ThREAD, Stitching for Literacy. shown here -a
two-sided bookmark based on the old chicken/frog joke- From her website: "In an effort to promote both literacy and
needlework, Funk & Weber Designs is designing bookmarks. A minimum of 10% of profits from sales of Needle and Thread:
Stitching for Literacy bookmark patterns will be donated to libraries, schools, and/or literacy programs." Sounds like a
wonderful program to be shared in libraries. Check out her Bookmark Challenge Kit.
--Is Google Building a Library of Babel?
-Blog Entry by Anonymous Patron Posted Saturday February 20th at 8:35 PM
-Read 598 times - 3 Comments
by Anne OSullivan The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of
hexagonal galleries. In the center of each gallery is a ventilation shaft, bounded by a low railing. From any hexagon one
can see the floors above and below one after another, endlessly...I declare that the Library is endless. - Jorge Luis
Borges, The Library of Babel The Borgesian library, which is perfect, complete and whole and composed of all books,
is not a far cry from reality in the digital age. Google has openly declared its intention of digitizing all the worlds
information, and estimates it will take approximately 300 years to do so. Substitute Borges hexagonal galleries for
Googles server farms, and an eerie picture begins to emerge, one that should seem reminiscent from the pages of Genesis to
which Borges alludes in his title. Borges aptly names the library in his story after the Tower of Babel parable, wherein
humankind, united by one language, has the hubris to build a tower to reach heaven. God strikes down the tower, and
punishes the sinners by confusing their tongues, and dispersing them geographically (hence the origin of languages, and
nations). For Borges, the Library of Babel comes out of this tradition; though the Library may contain all books, meaning
is only made more elusive by the vastness of what the Library contains. And vast it will be. The scope of Google Books
alone is astounding, from both a technological and logistical perspective. Google Books has already succeeded in digitizing
over seven million volumes, and has major university partners such as Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Princeton, to say
nothing of its partnerships with major publishers. Google is both a librarians dream and a librarians nightmare.
Ironically, it will become the role of librarians to counteract the negative effects of such unprecedented access to
information. Arguably, it is this access to information that is responsible for a paradigm shift in the academic model.
Academia has become hyper-specific, and critics lament that undergraduate students are graduating with only a patchwork
understanding of their chosen disciplines. Library usage trends corroborate this view: teary-eyed reference librarians will
readily tell you about their dwindling print reference collections, whose budgets have since been reallocated. Seemingly,
there is no use for generalia. Students, no doubt provoked by their professors, approach the reference desk looking for
highly specific information and overlook any background reading (or perhaps Wikipedia suffices). Google, as a modern
Library of Babel, will support this hyper-specific model of scholarship. Of course, there is no denying the tremendous
benefits full-text searching of the worlds print materials will yield. Imagine the power of a keyword search that could
search all the works of romanticism for every mention of the sublime, or its various iterations. But this mode of
scholarship is also inherently problematic: there is an over-emphasis of the particular, with no understanding of the whole.
Consider, for example, Italo Calvinos scathing parody of the modern scholar in If On a Winters Night a Traveller. The
character Lotaria is a student of literature who doesnt actually read books; instead, she simply transcribes them
electronically, and compiles lists of word frequencies. What is the reading of a text, in fact, she asks, Except the
recording of certain thematic recurrences, certain insistences of forms and meanings? An electronic reading supplies me
with a list of the frequencies, which I have only to glance at to form an idea of the problems the book suggests to my
critical study. Herein lies the danger of Google as a Library of Babel: with such astounding access to information at
every students fingertips, Calvinos parody readily becomes reality. It becomes the responsibility of librarians,
therefore, to ensure that the research process is used to generate scholarship of value, instead of mere lists upon lists of
keyword frequencies. If, and when, Google succeeds in digitizing the worlds information, it will be exactly as Borges
imagined his own Library, whose random volumes...affirm all things, deny all things, and confound and confuse all things".
It is imperative that librarians attempt to impose some order upon the chaos, and fill in the holes that academia leaves
behind. Borges himself was devoted to this task: he was a librarian. And as such, he understood perhaps better than anyone
the sheer absurdity, but absolute necessity, of attempting to derive meaning from the universe of knowledge.
--Paperback Dreams, The Tale of Two Bookstores
-Front Page Story by birdie Posted Saturday February 20th at 12:28 PM
-Read 311 times - 0 Comments
A trailer from the documentary about the struggle of independent bookstores to survive in a big box/internet culture...
Paperback Dreams. Paperback Dreams Trailer from abeckstead on Vimeo. Paperback Dreams is a co-production of Alex
Beckstead, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and KQED Public Television, with funding provided by the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
--Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
-Front Page Story by Bibliofuture Posted Saturday February 20th at 10:44 AM
-Read 534 times - 3 Comments
--How a Book Is Made (Old Skool)
-Front Page Story by birdie Posted Saturday February 20th at 8:54 AM
-Read 420 times - 0 Comments
A fascinating video originally produced by Encyclopedia Britannica Films in 1947, it shows the process of turning a
manuscript into a physical book (minus the editorial part) using the technology of the time. Printing a book, old skool.
Notice how the 'men' use the big machines, and the 'girls' do the assembly. We've come a long way baby.
--Leveling the Playing Field for Booksellers
-Front Page Story by birdie Posted Friday February 19th at 6:02 PM
-Read 392 times - 1 Comments
Things are heating up for Amazon.com on the sales tax front again. The California Senate just passed a bill that would
require online retailers like Amazon to collect sales tax on web purchases. According to reports, the measure was part of a
$5 billion budget package making its way through the California legislature. Virginia, Colorado and Illinois are also
considering sales tax bills targeting online retailers. Amazon which only collects sales tax in a handful of states,
giving it an advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers fought hard against a similar wave of bills last year, and managed
to stomp out most of them. But for cash-strapped states, desperately seeking new sources of revenue, the "Amazon tax"
continues to be a powerful draw. California lawmakers introduced a similar bill last year, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
threatened to veto it, and the matter was dropped. But with California in the midst of a budgetary meltdown, the idea has
popped up again. According to reports, the "Amazon tax" bill is expected to generate $107 million in tax revenue annually
for California. The measure has yet to be signed by the Governor, but with California in fiscal crisis, he may just sign
the bill this time.
--A Literary Approach to Speed Dating
-Front Page Story by birdie Posted Friday February 19th at 4:50 PM
-Read 750 times - 1 Comments
Reading a good book is like falling in love - its exciting and keeps you on your toes. A real page-turner will have the
reader staying up late nights and hardly able to concentrate on anything else for long. But even an excellent book is no
substitute for real love. The Franklin Community Library in Elk Grove, CA hosted a speed-dating event for book lovers on
Feb. 16 so that readers could share the titles that make their hearts throb. Guests were instructed to bring their
favorite, or least favorite book, to discuss during each five-minute date. Elk Grove Citizen. If you were looking for
love...what book would you bring?
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