231 posts tagged with libraries.
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Worst Librarian in the Galaxy

Jocasta Nu may be a Jedi, but she's not much of a librarian.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 6, 2011 - 35 comments

Application of first sale doctrine to foreign-made products called into question by Supreme Court

A very bad day for libraries: Today's Supreme Court deadlock casts Doctrine of First Sale into doubt for products made abroad. The Supreme Court today deadlocked on the question of whether Costco committed copyright infringement by selling Omega watches produced and purchased overseas. In effect, this deadlock upholds the 9th Circuit appeals court ruling that the First Sale doctrine does not apply to products produced outside the United States. Thinking of selling, lending, or transferring ownership of something originally produced overseas -- like, say, a book? This ruling calls the legality of such sales into question. [more inside]
posted by artemisia on Dec 13, 2010 - 167 comments

I [heart] Librarians

Libraries are, for many of us, the public places where we bring our most private selves, our fears and our dreams, so long buried and so studiously unspoken. The librarian checking out a stack of books may be for many of us, the equivalent of the first person we’ve told a secret to. Which brings me to the real reason I chose the profession that I did for my narrator: Even more than libraries, I love librarians.
As Others See Us: An Author On Why She Loves Librarians
posted by carsonb on Nov 24, 2010 - 30 comments

Europe, now in convenient digital format

Europeana, a portal that brings together digitized items from scores of museums and libraries from across the continent, has launched its first online exhibition, Art Nouveau. (Click on the object, then "View object in Europeana" for high-res images.) And be sure to check out the massive new exhibition Reading Europe at sister site The European Library.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 4, 2010 - 7 comments

You Can't Judge A Book Loaner By It's Cover

Coming soon to a library near you, outsourcing. LSSI is now the 5th largest library services provider in the US. The ALA is surprisingly neutral on this issue. "In general, there is no evidence that outsourcing per se has had a negative impact on library services and management. On the contrary, in the main outsourcing has been an effective managerial tool, and when used carefully and judiciously it has resulted in enhanced library services and improved library management. Instances where problems have arisen subsequent to decisions to outsource aspects of library operations and functions appear to be attributable to inadequate planning, poor contracting processes, or ineffective management of contracts."
posted by Xurando on Sep 28, 2010 - 45 comments

The books are gravy

i wanted to call him up and tell him his notes are funny, but then i realized he DIED A MONTH AGO. bummer. Craig Fehrman traces the post-mortem dispersion of writers' personal libraries: in particular, David Markson's personal library and the way in which his fans are using Facebook to reconstruct the range of Markson's reading.
posted by catlet on Sep 23, 2010 - 12 comments

Public Libraries Offer DRM-free Music Downloads

Free music downloads without committing piracy! Freegal is a new service that libraries around the country are now offering to library card holders (up to 20 per week per library card). Freegal offers DRM-free mp3 downloads with no third-party application involved from Sony’s massive music catalog. [more inside]
posted by morganannie on Jul 30, 2010 - 28 comments

Mediaeval Arabic Manuscripts in Private Libraries in Mauritania

Ancient books inherited in private family libraries could change our knowledge of late mediaeval arab culture, but most are hidden in private libraries. Gripping article about the unknown treasures that may be lurking in Mauritanian family libraries, considering the little that has already been found, resistance to cataloguing and problematic future if the region continues to be destabilised. How the manuscripts are famous in the muslim world.More on the open libraries and archive efforts. Some years back on bbc i saw an explorer track down some ancient ethiopian christian manuscripts to an ethiopian monastery, only to be shown some burnt remains from a fire a few months back. What treasures must lurk in this continent, and with digital cameras, how easy to document them without damage or intruding on their owners! Being christians, there are pictures and some history.
posted by maiamaia on Jul 27, 2010 - 13 comments

Are libraries the new cupcakes?

Are libraries the new cupcakes? They may be the next pop culture phenomenon however.
posted by dancingfruitbat on Jul 22, 2010 - 179 comments

Bookless in Stanford

Stanford's library was running out of space for printed books and journals, so they've built a new space ... with even less room for printed titles and issues. It's hastening the move to a digital library. NPR reports.
posted by anothermug on Jul 8, 2010 - 75 comments

Of course you realize this means war!

Libraries and commercial publishers have struggled with each other over the skyrocketing costs of academic journals for years. As costs have increased more rapidly than library budgets, the libraries have had to cut journal subscriptions and other acquisitions. The recent recession has necessitated further cuts. Against this backdrop, Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals. NPG responds, saying that UC currently pays unfairly low rates, and that "individual scientists, both within and outside of California are already suffering as a result of [UC]'s unwarranted actions."
posted by grouse on Jun 10, 2010 - 62 comments

The Book Tower

Book owners have smarter kids
posted by Artw on Jun 4, 2010 - 114 comments

The book will not be overdue, as you will read it in a few days.

This Book is Overdue (link to a PDF of the first chapter from the author’s site: here) is a non-fiction work published in February of 2010. It’s a study of the modern library, and by extension, the modern librarian. Primarily the place that each of these things has in a world that is increasingly moving to a world of digital information. The book is divided into a few different sections... [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on May 18, 2010 - 22 comments

The first attempt at organizing all the world's information

Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire may sound like a dry website, but its subject and content is fascinating. In the 7th Century BC King Assurbanipal of Assyria built a library that was to contain all the world's knowledge. Destroyed by the Medes in 612 BC, the library was not rediscovered until the 1840s. 28000 clay tablets written in Akkadian have been found. 1600 can be read online, all translated into English. It's a somewhat overwhelming amount, but there's a lovely highlights section, which even includes pictures of the pillow-shaped writing tablets. For a thorough overview, you can listen to the In Our Time episode about the Library of Nineveh. The most famous text to have been found in Nineveh is undoubtedly the Epic of Gilgamesh. The story of its decipherment and the controversies that ensued, is interesting in its own right.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 25, 2010 - 24 comments

Stolen Descartes letter found at Haverford by Dutch scholar's online detective work

A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
posted by LobsterMitten on Feb 26, 2010 - 21 comments

Casanova's "Histoire de ma vie"

Remembering the pleasures I enjoyed, I renew them, and I laugh at the pains which I have endured and which I no longer feel. Of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt ‘s Histoire de ma vie, Kenneth Rexroth wrote: Purity, simplicity, definition, impact — these qualities of Homer are those of Casanova too. … He has equals but no superiors in the art of direct factual narrative. ... Time and its ruining passage color all the book. His sense of his own imminent death lurks in the dark background of every brilliantly lit lusty and bawdy tableau. After an unusually colorful history, the manuscript has been donated to France's National Library. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 18, 2010 - 6 comments

Book of the Month

Book of the Month is a feature that the University of Glasgow Library has been running for over a decade now. The format is simple, a single book is selected from their collections, written up and accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs scanned from the books. With over a 100 books to select from, it's hard to know where to start, but anywhere is good because they're all lovely. Still, here are a few, Charles Darwin's The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, a beautiful 15th century illuminated copy of Livy's Roman history, Treatises on Engines and Weapons, Valentines and Dabbities, The Birds of Australia, Facts and Observations on the Sanitary State of Glasgow, Ibn Jazla's The arrangement of bodies for treatment and finally, The Curious Case of Mary Toft, MetaFilter superstar.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 18, 2009 - 6 comments

Transgender library worker files lawsuit

Bobbie E. Burnett is suing her employers, the Free Library of Philadelphia, for discrimination. She's been employed there for nearly 20 years, but transitioned to a female gender identity in 2001, at which point she says discrimination set in. "Slurs hurled at Burnett by some staffers include 'freak,' 'man in woman’s clothing' and 'nigger,' according to the suit. On one occasion, when Burnett expressed wishes for a nice weekend to a coworker, the employee responded with, 'Burn in hell,' according to the lawsuit." [more inside]
posted by booknerd on Nov 5, 2009 - 63 comments

Celebrate freedom: Read a banned book!

Banned Books Week, held annually on the last week of September, emphasizes the importance of intellectual freedom and the threat of censorship. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Sep 28, 2009 - 51 comments

Constipation is murder! and other gems from early advertising of the West

The University of Washington Library's Early Advertising of the West, 1867-1918. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Aug 12, 2009 - 24 comments

How Much Is The Fine When It's Overdue?

Kindle is coming soon to a library near you. Amazon is sending mixed messages about the concept. Librarians are having an online conference to the discuss the issues.
posted by Xurando on Jul 10, 2009 - 61 comments

DON'T YOU KNOW THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM?

The Rangeview Library District in Adams County, Colorado, has become the first library system in the US to drop the Dewey Decimial System in favor an in-house, word-based cataloging system. Termed "WordThink", the replacement is based on BISAC, "a retail-based standard for organizing materials[, s]imilar to what you might see in a bookstore." Library Journal's treatment of the switch.
posted by 7segment on Jun 8, 2009 - 48 comments

Archival Sound Recording Maps at the British Library

Mapping sound at the British Library. The British Library has organized several of its archival sound collections on Google Maps. The results include Accents and Dialects, wildlife and soundscape recordings from Britain, music from India and Uganda, and a whole mess of noisy frogs. [more inside]
posted by LarryC on May 14, 2009 - 8 comments

Magnificent collections collection

Public Collectors is an eclectic archive of off-line and on-line collections to which anyone can contribute. It is "founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Apr 27, 2009 - 9 comments

MIT faculty vote for university-wide Open Access mandate

The MIT faculty unanimously adopted a university-wide Open Access mandate. Open Access got a big boost yesterday because of MIT's move. [more inside]
posted by tarheelcoxn on Mar 19, 2009 - 46 comments

Cologne City Archive Disaster

Cologne City Archive is a six-story building containing 26 kilometers of shelves, 65,000+ documents dating from 922 AD, 104,000 maps, 50,000 posters, 500,000 photographs and 780 estates and collections, including Irmgard Keun, Hans Mayer and Jacques Offenbach. Considered a state of the art institution when built in 1971 and copied around the world, the building simply collapsed on Tuesday, destroying most everything. [1],[2](via) [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 5, 2009 - 94 comments

Treasures unburied

Libraries' Surprising Special Collections. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 3, 2009 - 44 comments

Europeana

Europeana is the new EU digital library. It gives multilingual access to two million digitized books and other items of cultural and historical significance held in over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states. There will be 10 million by 2010. Soon after its launch the website froze, its servers overwhelmed by over "10 million hits an hour".
posted by stbalbach on Nov 20, 2008 - 21 comments

Biblioburros

Luis Soriano, with his donkeys Alfa and Beto, brings books to small villages in Colombia.
posted by The corpse in the library on Oct 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Where billionaires shop to build their libraries

Jay Walker's Library was just profiled by Wired [via], but they failed to mention where many of those books came from. Big players like Maggs, Simon Finch and the Baumans still compose most of the rare book world. (Heritage is gone but Michael Sharp got four of their employees.) They're all excellent places to shop if you're building an Überlibrary, but, if you're Jay Walker, you start with Phillip J. Pirages. [more inside]
posted by nímwunnan on Oct 8, 2008 - 30 comments

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket

Library Finds is seriously beautiful photography and explication of little-seen gems in the library stacks, from a self-confessed "techie, not a librarian, who is quite fortunate to be surrounded by books everyday". From the green to the teal and now to the blue.
posted by donnagirl on Sep 26, 2008 - 18 comments

Assessing digital formats for preservation and use

Sustainability of Digital Formats : a repository of mostly technical information about digital content file formats related to storing images (moving and still), text, sound and websites
posted by Gyan on Aug 29, 2008 - 9 comments

Literary Voyeurism

Writer's Rooms, portraits of the spaces where authors create: Martin Amis. Simon Armitage. Diana Athill. Jane Austen. Berly Bainbridge. JG Ballard. John Banville. Nicola Barker. Ronan Bennett. Alain de Botton. William Boyd. Raymond Briggs. Charlotte Bronte. Carmen Callil. Jung Chang. Roald Dahl. Charles Darwin. Margaret Drabble. Geoff Dyer. Anne Enright. Joshua Ferris. Jonathan Safran Foer. Margaret Forster. Antonia Fraser. Michael Frayn. Esther Freud. Simon Gray. Mark Haddon. David Hare. David Harsent. Seamus Heaney. Russell Hoban. Eric Hobsbawm. Michael Holroyd. Siri Hustvedt. AL Kennedy. Judith Kerr. Rudyard Kipling. Hanif Kureishi. Penelope Lively. David Lodge. Michael Longley. Hilary Mantel. Eamonn McCabe. Charlotte Mendelson. John Mortimer. Kate Mosse. Andrew Motion. Julie Myerson. Edna O'Brien. Andrew O'Hagan. Adam Phillips. Caryl Phillips. Craig Raine. Ian Rankin. John Richardson. Michael Rosen. Will Self. George Bernard Shaw. Alan Sillitow. Posy Simmonds. Helen Simpson. Ahdaf Soueif. Graham Swift. Adam Thirlwell. Colm Toibin. Claire Tomalin. Sue Townsend. Barbara Trapido. Rose Tremain. Sarah Waters. Jacqueline Wilson. Virginia Woolf. (Step into the reading room for a wee bit more...) [more inside]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Aug 8, 2008 - 28 comments

Libraries: Let them eat cake

You're planning on baking a cake, but you're bored of your plain old square pan, round pan, or bundt pan? If you live in the US Midwest, it's very possible that your nearby library allows you to check out cake pans. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Jul 30, 2008 - 52 comments

A cautionary tail

The end of Moore’s influence came when, years later, she tried to block the publication of a book by E. B. White. Watching Moore stand in the way of “Stuart Little,” White’s editor, Ursula Nordstrom, remembered, was like watching a horse fall down, its spindly legs crumpling beneath its great weight. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 14, 2008 - 30 comments

"Schools should continue to require library research so they can see how old folks used to Google stuff."

The continuity I have in mind has to do with the nature of information itself or, to put it differently, the inherent instability of texts. In place of the long-term view of technological transformations, which underlies the common notion that we have just entered a new era, the information age, I want to argue that every age was an age of information, each in its own way, and that information has always been unstable. Let's begin with the Internet and work backward in time.
The Library in the New Age by Robert Darnton, historian and Director of the Harvard Library. A wide-ranging overview of the status of libraries in the modern world, touching on such subjects as: journalist poker games, French people liking the smell of books, bibliography at Google, news dissemination in the 18th Century, book piracy and the different texts of Shakespeare. Some responses: Defending the Library of Google, The Future in the Past and Librarians Need a Better Apologetic.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 1, 2008 - 22 comments

Cabinet of Curiosities

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities features strange and surprising things from the rare book and manuscript collections of the Beinecke Library in Yale, including death masks, the philosophy of origami, the real adventures of Tintin, famous people and their pets, and American transvestite magazines from the 1960s.
posted by verstegan on Apr 11, 2008 - 12 comments

I See Dead People's Books

I See Dead People's Books (wiki) is an impromptu project by LibraryThing members to catalog the libraries of famous dead people, from Tupac Shakur to Ernest Hemingway to John Adams. Many more in the works, anyone is able to create a dead library with all the attendant features of LT.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 14, 2008 - 22 comments

From Abati to Zoppio: historic Italian texts

OPAL Libri Antichi from the University of Turin offers over 3,000 books as free, open PDF files. Most of these date between AD 1500 and 1850 and most are in Italian, with many in French. They tend to be plain books with few illustrations. A few English titles are present, including David Hume's 1800 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul; several texts by William Wycherley such as Love in a wood: or St. James's-Park (1735); and Richard Lassels 1686 work The voyage of Italy: or, a compleat journey through Italy with the characters of the peaple, and the description of the chief towns ... (volume 2) - an early travel guide. The PDFs are unsearchable plain scans. via this thread in the W4RF forum which contains hundreds of links to free online historical documents
posted by Rumple on Mar 10, 2008 - 3 comments

paper's hero: bill blackbeard

"Bill Blackbeard is a writer-editor and the founder-director of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, a comprehensive collection of comic strips and cartoon art from American newspapers. This major collection, consisting of 2.5 million clippings, tearsheets and comic sections, [spans] the years 1894 to 1996... [more inside]
posted by ethel on Feb 20, 2008 - 3 comments

Harvard boosts open access for faculty publications

Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously last week to mandate "Open Access" to published articles - a first at a U.S. university, though the dean will apparently grant a waiver to anyone who wants to opt out. More to follow? Peter Suber's Open Access News is tracking reactions. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Feb 17, 2008 - 24 comments

Visit your friendly local zine archive!

Housing, preserving, and providing access to these small-scale, homemade rags that document some corner of [often do-it-yourself and punk rock] culture, zine archives can be found via independently operated centers in Georgia (physical library in construction), New Orleans (myspace link, www address out-of-commission), Florida, Minneapolis, Denver, Cambridge, Olympia, Chicago, Seattle and... [more inside]
posted by ethel on Jan 19, 2008 - 21 comments

Literacy and voting patterns

Library usage, newspaper circulation, and educational attainment are primary factors used by researchers to determine the 'most literate cities.' Minneapolis has regained top honors from Seattle, though both cities have ranked at the top since the original study in 2003. Other studies here and here show minor shifts in the intervening years. Most relevant now is that there seems to be a correlation between literacy and voting patterns. [more inside]
posted by Rain Man on Dec 28, 2007 - 42 comments

Tomb of tomes

An obscure 1911 British law requires a copy of every published book, journal, newspaper, patent, sound recording, magazine etc.. to be permanently archived in at least one of five libraries around the country. The British Library has the most complete collection and is currently adding about 12.5km of new shelf space a year of mostly unheard of and unwanted stuff. A new state-of-the-art warehouse is being constructed with 262 linear kilometers of high-density, fully automated storage in a low-oxygen temperature controlled environment. It is not a library, it is a warehouse for "things that no one wants." BLDG Blog ponders on what it all means.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 4, 2007 - 60 comments

Your book is in another castle...

The Library Arcade features one surprisingly entertaining flash game about pleasing library patrons, and one less entertaining, but probably more directly applicable, game about shelving. You can also try to discover the cause of a mysterious disease using your research skills in an arcade-like game [username: Tammy, password: Allgood]. More on the discussion of the role of games in libraries.
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 12, 2007 - 26 comments

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library

Almost 1700 Carnegie Libraries (wikipedia) were built in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from Pennsylvania to California, from Florida to Oregon, and almost every other single place in between . (Scotland, too!) Some of them are still in use as libraries. Others aren't. This person is trying to collect post cards of as many of them as possible.
posted by dersins on Aug 23, 2007 - 23 comments

hot library smut

Sure, reading is great, but books are fun to look at, too
posted by nuclear_soup on Jun 21, 2007 - 37 comments

Enemies of Books!

Librarians as Enemies of Books
via the delightfully uptight Steve Mauer at BookMine.
posted by carsonb on Jun 7, 2007 - 66 comments

Public libraries with Online Content

Public libraries with Online Content: Residents of Missouri can get a free account at the Kansas City Public Library that will let them access digital databases including the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and downloadable audiobooks. Residents of the Empire State can get a digital library card at the New York Public Library to access a wealth of digital databases. (The rest of us can get a NYPL card for $100.) And the Boston Public Library will give digital access to most of the above, plus JSTOR and (sigh) the Early American Imprints collection of nearly everything printed in North America to 1820. Unfortunately you have to show up at a branch of the BPL and prove Massachusetts residence to get your card. Your turn--what other public libraries offer access to subscription online information databases?
posted by LarryC on May 24, 2007 - 31 comments

things found in books

Librarians and book collectors have many tales about ephemera left in books. While the legend of the bacon bookmark may be among the more pervasive reports of strange finds, a smallpox sample is probably the most bizarre. There are blogs and discussion boards that record other makeshift markers. Some readers prefer designated over spontaneous markers. Mirage Bookmark has an extensive collection of bookmark ephemera, with Bookmark of the Week and Bookmark Collector also offering noteworthy collections.
posted by madamjujujive on May 9, 2007 - 68 comments

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