Thursday, March 26, 2015

 A master's in librarianship could enhance your shelf life | Education | The Guardian

A master’s librarianship course will arm you with a number of
transferable skills. Photograph: West Coast Surfer/Getty Images/Fuse

If you think that people in Britain want to achieve fame and fortune
by treading the boards or having a number-one hit single then think
again. A recent survey from YouGov found that 54% of people would like to be librarians.

Of course, part of the attraction is spending time with all the books
your heart could possibly desire – but there’s a lot more to it than

Biddy Casselden, who completed her own master’s in librarianship and
information management at Northumbria University, and has since both
taught on and led the programme, says it is important for career
progression. “Most of my students are working, usually in a library
environment, but are stuck at a certain level because they don’t have a
professional qualification,” she says. “This is their route for career
advancement.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy | What's on | The British Library - The British Library

Foundation of democracy or rallying cry for modern rights? One of the world’s most famous documents, Magna Carta has inspired some of today’s fundamental liberties. Yet it started as a practical solution to a political crisis 800 years ago.

Since 1215, Magna Carta has evolved from a political agreement to an
international symbol of freedom. Uncover the story of how its power has
been used – and abused – from its genesis through to today’s popular
culture, in the largest exhibition ever staged about this world-famous

Explore centuries of dramatic history, from King John, medieval
battles, revolution, wars, empire and the struggle for the right to
vote, right up to today’s satirical commentaries.

- See more at:

mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta we are holding a
once-in-a-lifetime exhibition - book now! - See more at:
To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta we are holding a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition - book now! - See more at:
mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta we are holding a
once-in-a-lifetime exhibition - book now! - See more at:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

So You Want to be a Prison Librarian? : An Interview with a Corrections Librarian | INALJ

So You Want to be a Prison Librarian? : An Interview with a Corrections Librarian
by Josh Rimmer, Senior Editor

* special note the author had permission from the interviewee to publish this as long as she remained anonymous

I was writing my last article about librarianship and service, one of
my inspirations came from research I was conducting on prison
librarianship. How many times do you see a posting for a corrections
librarian position on INDEED, or other big job boards? I’ll be honest,
I’ve notice quite a few; however, it seems that discussions about the
line of work and its issues are not given enough of a spotlight.

I was able to locate materials for immediate consumption, e.g., an old ALA column from a prison librarian and a neat NPR piece, but I didn’t feel as if I had an “understanding” of the work. Mintern, a corrections librarian who runs the blog, So You Want to be a Prison Librarian
was kind enough to grant me an interview. We’ll call the interviewee
Mintern, and here she talks about her background, why she chose prison
librarianship and provides INALJ readers insight and perspective on the
profession.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ISIS burns Mosul library: Why terrorists target books -

From the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in 391 AD, to
the burning of Kabul libraries in 2002, to the the obliteration of the
Library of Baghdad in 2003, oppressive regimes have historically
targeted libraries.

In the latest example, on Sunday, in northern Iraq, Islamic State militants burned the Mosul public library, which housed more than 8,000 rare old books and manuscripts.

to reports, ISIS militants rigged the entire building with explosives
and carried out multiple detonations to raze the historical landmark and
its contents. Among its lost collections, according to the Fiscal Times,
were manuscripts from the 18th century, Syriac books printed in Iraq's
first printing house in the 19th century, books from the Ottoman era,
Iraqi newspapers from the early 20th century, and treasured antiques
like an astrolabe and sand glass used by ancient Arabs. Read more...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ISIS Burns 8000 Rare Books and Manuscripts in Mosul - Yahoo Finance

ISIS Burns 8000 Rare Books and Manuscripts in Mosul

the world was watching the Academy Awards ceremony, the people of Mosul
were watching a different show. They were horrified to see ISIS members
burn the Mosul public library. Among the many thousands of books it
housed, more than 8,000 rare old books and manuscripts were burned.

“ISIS militants bombed the Mosul Public Library.
They used improvised explosive devices,” said Ghanim al-Ta'an, the
director of the library. Notables in Mosul tried to persuade ISIS
members to spare the library, but they failed.

The future of the book | The Economist

In which something old and powerful is encountered in a vault
FINGERS stroke vellum; the calfskin pages are smooth, like paper,
but richer, almost oily. The black print is crisp, and every Latin
sentence starts with a lush red letter. One of the book’s early owners
has drawn a hand and index finger which points, like an arrow, to
passages worth remembering.

In 44BC Cicero, the Roman Republic’s great orator, wrote a book for his son Marcus called de Officiis
(“On Duties”). It told him how to live a moral life, how to balance
virtue with self-interest, how to have an impact. Not all his words were
new. De Officiis draws on the views of various Greek
philosophers whose works Cicero could consult in his library, most of
which have since been lost. Cicero’s, though, remain. De Officiis
was read and studied throughout the rise of the Roman Empire and
survived the subsequent fall. It shaped the thought of Renaissance
thinkers like Erasmus; centuries later still it inspired Voltaire. “No
one will ever write anything more wise,” he said.


Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right. - The Washington Post

Although American University student Cooper
Nordquist, 21, uses his laptop most of the day, he still likes to read
from the printed word for enjoyment. Despite that fact that most college
students do a majority of their socializing and school work
electronically, many still like to read from actual hard copy printed
books. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
Frank Schembari loves books — printed books. He loves how
they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting
sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place.

is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other
bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through
a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar
irony of the Internet age: Digital natives prefer reading in print.

“I like the feeling of it,” Schembari said, reading under natural light in
a campus atrium, his smartphone next to him. “I like holding it. It’s
not going off. It’s not making sounds.”

Textbook makers,
bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still
strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises
reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other
content digitally. A University of Washington pilot study of digital
textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions
of e-textbooks that they were given for free.


Monday, February 16, 2015

For Books, Print Is Back

Unit sales of print books sold through outlets that
report to Nielsen BookScan rose 2.4% in 2014, with total units topping
635 million. The gain was driven by a 3.4% increase in unit sales
through the retail and club channel relative to 2013, which offset a
1.8% decline in sales through the mass merchandiser channel and others
during the same period. Units through retailers and clubs, which include
Amazon and all types of bookstores, rose to just under 519 million; in
2013, print units through the channel fell 2.5% compared to the previous

BookScan estimates that it captures
approximately 80% of print-unit sales made in the U.S. The company added
Walmart to its mass merchandiser panel in 2013, but was not able to
include historical data, making it difficult to track precise long-term
unit trends. Still, the 2014 figures are further evidence that print
books are selling better than they have since sales of e-books exploded
in 2010 and Borders closed its doors in 2011. Total print-unit sales
bottomed out in 2012, falling to 590 million, but in the two years since
then, units have risen 7.6% (helped to some degree by the addition of
Walmart to BookScan).

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy | Brain Pickings

“When a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.”

“A library is many things,” E.B. White once wrote in a letter to the children of a little town to inspire them to fall in love with their new library. “But
particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in
touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books… Books hold
most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and
women have had.”

As the daughter of a formally trained librarian and an enormous lover of, collaborator with,
and supporter of public libraries (you may have noticed I always
include a public library link for books I write about; I also re-donate a
portion of Brain Pickings donations to the New York Public Library each year) I was instantly enamored with The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (public library | IndieBound) by photographer Robert Dawson
— at once a love letter and a lament eighteen years in the making, a
wistful yet hopeful reminder of just what’s at stake if we let the
greatest bastion of public knowledge humanity has ever known slip into
the neglected corner of cultural priorities. Alongside Dawson’s
beautiful photographs are short reflections on the subject by such
celebrated minds as Isaac Asimov, Anne Lamott, and E.B. White.
From architectural marvels to humble feats of human ingenuity, from the
august reading room of the New York Public Library to the
trailer-library at Death Valley National Park, braving the glaring sun
at one of the hottest places on earth, from the extraordinary vaulted
ceilings of LA’s Children’s Library to the small shack turned into a
book memorial in the country’s only one-person town, the remarkable
range reveals our elemental need for libraries — as sanctuaries of
learning, as epicenters of community, as living records of civic
identity, and above all as a timelier-than-ever testament that
information and human knowledge belong to everybody; not to corporate
monopolies or government agencies or ideological despots, but to the
people. Read more....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job — The Message — Medium

As Google abandons its past, Internet archivists step in to save our collective memory

Google wrote its mission statement in 1999, a year after launch, setting the course for the company’s next decade:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
For years, Google’s mission included the preservation of the past

In 2001, Google made their first acquisition, the Deja archives. The
largest collection of Usenet archives, Google relaunched it as Google Groups, supplemented with archived messages going back to 1981.  Read more...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US | Comment is free | The Guardian

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is among writers whose work has been removed from Arizona
schools under an anti-ethnic studies initiative. Photograph: Koen Van
Weel/AFP/Getty Images

I found out that my work is mentioned in a book that has been banned,
in effect, from the schools in Tucson, Arizona. The anti-ethnic studies
law passed by the state prohibits teachings that "promote the overthrow
of the United States government," "promote resentment toward a race or
class of people," "are designed primarily for pupils of a particular
ethnic group," and/or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the
treatment of pupils as individuals." I invite you to read the book in
question, titled Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, so that you can decide for yourselves whether it qualifies.

In fact, I invite you to take on as your summer reading the
astonishingly lengthy list of books that have been removed from the
Tucson public school system as part of this wholesale elimination of the
Mexican-American studies curriculum. The authors and editors include
Isabel Allende, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Kozol, Rudolfo Anaya, bell hooks,
Sandra Cisneros, James Baldwin, Howard Zinn, Rodolfo Acuña, Ronald
Takaki, Jerome Skolnick and Gloria Anzaldúa. Even Thoreau's Civil
Disobedience and Shakespeare's The Tempest received the hatchet.  Read more..

5 Things That People Don’t Realize their Librarians Do | INALJ

by Rebecca Tischler, Head Editor, INALJ Tennessee

5 Things That People Don’t Realize their Librarians Do

people still have the stereotypical image of a librarian stuck in their
head: an older kind of frumpy woman wearing glasses on a chain, her
hair up in a bun, shushing people with one hand while stamping books
with the other. Many of my Jr. High classmates predicted that I was
going to be a librarian because I liked to read, and, during those
years, I was very quiet and wore glasses. I still love to read and
always have something to read, but since I’m much more comfortable with
myself, I don’t know if people would still say that I look like a
librarian. Ironically, I did become a librarian, but for completely
different reasons (part of it is the sheer variety involved in the

As a librarian, we help to teach people how to become self-sufficient
on the computer, find the answer to patron’s questions (no offense
Google, but while you may come back with a million answers, we
librarians come back with the right
answer), develop graphic designs for advertisement, act as a social
media managers, handle reader’s advisory, teach information literacy
classes, act as storytellers, and teach children, to name just a few of
our duties. We wear many many caps. Read more....

Monday, January 26, 2015

Plans for Brooklyn Branches Have Merit -


A rendering for the proposed Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn Heights that has apartments on top.

Brooklyn Public Library

proposals to sell and develop local library sites are wending through
the Brooklyn Public Library pipeline, and, predictably, opponents have
manned the barricades, citing the usual arguments about selling off
public land to rapacious developers.

for a change, the plans look promising. There is good and bad
development, after all, and sometimes, with foresight and some help from
City Hall, a community asset like a public library can anchor positive

plan envisions updating, but shrinking, a branch in Brooklyn Heights
built in the 1960s. The other overhauls a popular, decrepit branch, from
the 1970s, in Sunset Park. Both involve housing, a fair chunk of it
subsidized, mostly on top of new storefront libraries.

reason for skepticism. In 2007, the New York Public Library sold off
its Donnell site in Midtown Manhattan for what now seems like a song.
Library authorities also cooked up a scheme
to pool resources and cash in on the property values of the
Mid-Manhattan branch and a science library at 34th Street, consolidating
both in the 42nd Street building by demolishing its historic stacks.
That derailed last year in the face of stiff protests and runaway cost
estimates. So did a separate proposal to demolish a century-old branch
near Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn.