Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amazon Plays Rough. So What? - NYTimes.com

Is Amazon a monopoly?

That
certainly is what Franklin Foer, the editor of The New Republic,
thinks. In the magazine’s current issue, he has written a lengthy
polemic denouncing the company for all manner of sins. The headline reads: “Amazon Must Be Stopped.”

“Shopping
on Amazon,” he writes, “has so ingrained itself in modern American life
that it has become something close to our unthinking habit, and the
company has achieved a level of dominance that merits the application of
a very old label: monopoly.”

Foer’s
brief is that Amazon undercuts competitors so ruthlessly and squeezes
suppliers so brutally — “in its pursuit of bigness” — that it has become
“highly worrisome.” Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos,
“borrowed his personal style from the parsimonious Sam Walton,” the
founder of (shudder) Walmart, and Foer notes that pushing suppliers has always been the key to Walmart’s low prices, just as it is for Amazon’s. Read more...

Not Your Mother's Library - The Atlantic



Driving Park public library, Columbus, Ohio; opened July 2014 (NBBJ/Matthew Carbone)
The Columbus Metropolitan Library recently asked its Facebook
followers to give them ten words: five to describe the library of their
youth and five to describe the library of the future, 20 years from
now. Here are the word clouds they assembled from the results, starting
with the libraries of their youth:




A word cloud of how library users described the public library of their youth
Read more...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices | Science | The Guardian

Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices | Science | The Guardian: Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices
University wants scientists to make their research open access and resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls



A graduation ceremony at Harvard University
A memo from Harvard's
faculty advisory council said major scientific publishers had made
scholarly communication 'fiscally unsustainable'. Photograph: Corbis
Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University
has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely
available through open access journals and to resign from publications
that keep articles behind paywalls.



A memo from Harvard Library
to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action
after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many
large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.



The
extraordinary move thrusts one of the world's wealthiest and most
prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught
debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is
funded by the taxpayer.



The outcome of Harvard's decision to take
on the publishers will be watched closely by major universities around
the world and is likely to prompt others to follow suit. Read more...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Public Libraries Can Support Community Literacy | Beyond Access

A public library in Tbilisi, Georgia shows how comfortable spaces for enjoying reading together can be created cheaply and simply.
I recently had the fortune to participate in a UNESCO meeting
on mobile literacy solutions for out-of-school children in Thailand.
With a large population of migrants in some of the most
difficult-to-reach parts of the country, many children risk missing out
on school. Thailand’s official commitment to ensuring access to
education for all is impressive — an explicit mandate to include all
children, regardless of status — but there are many hurdles.




As the starting point for access to information, opportunity and
advancement, literacy is understandably a key priority for governments
and organizations across the development spectrum. Millennium Development Goal #2
targets universal primary education, and includes literacy rates as a
key indicator. USAID has prioritized early grade reading and aims to
improve the reading skills of a 100 million children by 2015.




So, with more than 230,000 public libraries in developing countries
around the world — institutions historically devoted to access to
reading materials — it’s confounding that libraries are usually left out
of systematic literacy efforts. It’s a huge missed opportunity. And as
new technologies start to become a realistic supplement to education
efforts, there’s even more of a need for a coordinated community
learning hub, a role libraries are suited to play. Read more...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Social media, children and young people @ the library – guidelines on safety, privacy and online behaviour | IFLA


by Kirsten Boelt and Ingrid Källström



Social networking sites and applications are very popular with children
and young adults, including the youngest of children. These types of
sites allow children to be incredibly creative online, to keep in touch
with their friends and express themselves using a whole range of
different media and applications such as video, photos, music, and chat.





The Internet is a great place to learn, discover, communicate and have
fun. But, just as in the real world, there are some risks as well as
great benefits. Smart online behaviour requires knowledge and critical
evaluation.





The guidelines on safety, privacy and online behaviour Social media, children and young people @ the library
summarize some basic issues on savvy use of social media tools and
networks. Guidelines are meant for librarians, teachers, parents and
other professionals working with children, but also for children and
young people themselves.





NOTE! The guidelines is a draft, not a finally approved version.




* Download [PDF -  English]

Study Reveals that a Trip to the Library Feels the same as a $2,282 pay raise. | Mapachili





AJSC – LONDON
A recent study commissioned in the UK has revealed that a trip to the library gives the same stimulational effect as a pay raise – a £1,359 ($ 2,282) raise, to be exact. The study, published by Daniel Fujiwara, Laura Kudrna, and Paul Dolan states that A significant association was “found between frequent library use  and reported wellbeing. Using libraries frequently was valued at £1,359 per person per year for library users, or £113 per person per month.”
The study also reveals that participation in the arts and activity in sport have similar effects.
“We identify statistically significant associations between cultural and sport engagement and individual wellbeing and a range of other social impacts. Holistic consideration of all identified impacts will help to build a broad narrative on the social impacts of culture and sport,” the authors go on to state.
Few would object to such a revelation. When one walks into a good library, it tends to reveal endless possibilities of depths to explore. Who hasn’t entered a library empty handed and then exited with upwards of 20 books?
It is certainly not a political issue. Libraries add significant value to many lives. Here’s to years of studying and infinite resources for the avid learner.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't overlook your school librarian, they're the unsung heroes of literacy | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional

School
librarians are depressingly underused, argues Sally Dring. Many
teachers would be amazed at how much support they can give them and
their students.


Library book checkout card

‘Many school librarians are seen purely as minders of a spare IT suite or as date label stampers.’ Photograph: Alamy

When talking about teaching and learning, most people don’t
immediately think of librarians. But in a school where the librarian or
learning resource centre manager is valued and properly made use of, we
can teach important skills.




Librarians are in the privileged position of being able to work with
teachers across all subjects and students of all ages, observing the
inner workings of a school from a slight distance.




One thing I’ve noticed is that the belief that students are adept at
using the latest technology to find the information they need is simply
not true. Students turn up in the library with the ubiquitous task of
researching a topic and they don’t know where to start. Usually they
head to Google, which takes them straight to Wikipedia (it’s top of the
list so it doesn’t take much effort). Wikipedia is handy if you know how
to use it properly, but many students need this explaining to them.
Should they choose to go to university, a Wikipedia footnote will not be
acceptable.




A librarian’s area of expertise is in information management and we
try to make the process of finding information easier for our students
and staff by providing relevant, reliable resources to support the areas
they are studying or teaching. We teach information literacy – finding,
assessing, evaluating, using and referencing information. We can also
share this knowledge with teachers if it’s needed, especially since some
find learning how to use new technology, or keeping up with the latest
programmes and websites, very difficult. Read more....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New York City Public Library Branches Need $1.1 Billion in Repairs: Report - WSJ

A patron upstairs at Brooklyn Public Library's 111-year-old Pacific branch in Boerum Hill; 'The current condition of New York City's libraries greatly impedes our ability to fully support the incredible talent, creativity and potential of New Yorkers,' said library President Linda Johnson

New York's public library branches need $1.1 billion to fix leaky roofs, broken air-conditioning systems and a host of other problems, according to a report released Monday by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York-based think tank.
The report argues that the city has a "broken funding system" in which libraries rely too much on discretionary funds from City Council members. It calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create a citywide capital plan for libraries and to double capital spending on libraries over the next 10 years.
"Mayor de Blasio recognizes the important role that libraries play in providing critical services to New Yorkers, which is why this administration is taking a new approach to invest in and partner with and support libraries," said a spokeswoman for the mayor. Read more...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mapping ‘Madeline’ Creator’s New York Haunts by Allison Meier on July 30, 2014

The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.




.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf
The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.




.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf
The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf
The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf
The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf
The artist behind the beloved book series "Madeline" is in the spotlight at the New York Historical Society.

"Madeline
in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans" is an exhibit that celebrates
Madeline's 75th anniversary with more than 90 pieces of art.

Although the series is based in Paris, Bemelmans was living in New York when he wrote and illustrated the books.

"Madeline
is such a special character, she just speaks to me of bravery and
adventure and that can-do American spirit that we America girls all
aspire to," said curator Jane Bayard Curley.

The collection will be on display through mid-October.

For more information go online to NYhistory.org.


- See more at:
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news/212839/-madeline--exhibit-comes-to-new-york-historical-society/#sthash.NLjpDIR9.dpuf








HyperAllergic
July 30, 2014 
To mark the centenary of the children’s book author and illustrator stepping into Gotham, the New-York Historical Society opened Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans earlier this month. In conjunction with the exhibition, illustrator Adrienne Ottenberg created a map of “Bemelmans’ New York.”
Madeline, the smallest of the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” who lived in “an old house in Paris that was covered in vines,” was born in Manhattan. In Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place in 1938, Ludwig Bemelmans scrawled those first rhyming lines that would introduce his petite heroine of the Madeline books.
 “And sometimes they were very sad,” 1939 Madeline (Simon & Schuster, 1939) Watercolor and gouache Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection TM and © Ludwig Bemelmans, LLC.

Ludwig Bemelmans, “And sometimes they were very sad” from Madeline (Simon & Schuster, 1939), Watercolor and gouache (Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection,  © Ludwig Bemelmans)







Watch video
Bemelmans, born of a German mother and Belgian father, arrived in New York City in 1914, passing his first night stranded on Ellis Island after his dad forgot to meet him. To mark the centenary of the children’s book author and illustrator stepping into Gotham, the New-York Historical Society opened Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans earlier this month. In conjunction with the exhibition, illustrator Adrienne Ottenberg created a map of “Bemelmans’ New York.”