Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Centuries of New York History Prepare for a Move

Archives | U.S. History

Caked in dust and dating back to 1674, the written records of a growing city
are headed to new homes, to be preserved and made accessible to researchers.

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup

Reading habits | Literacy

January 6, 2017

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated

by Art Swift and Steve Ander

Story Highlights

35% say they read more than 11 books in the past year
53% of young adults read between one and 10 books in the past year
73% prefer printed books to e-readers or audio books

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002 -- before smartphones, Facebook or Twitter became ubiquitous. More than one in three (35%) appear to be heavy readers, reading 11 or more books in the past year, while close to half (48%) read between one and 10 and just 16% read none.

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup: Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated

Internet Truth Debunked: INTERNET LISTS DEBUNKED - Surprising Book Facts | Saturday, 25 October 2014

Reading habits | Infographics | Literacy

Internet Truth Debunked: INTERNET LISTS DEBUNKED - Surprising Book Facts:A pretty infographic showing with statistics to remind you how society is just getting stupider will always get a lot of reshares.  Maybe people are getting stupider, because they accept statistics on pretty infographics as true...

The infographic was created by Rob Brewer in in 2012, later realising the errors in the original he created a new one:

Since the new one are far less surprising and far less emotive than the original, guess which one still gets shared around?

Rob Brewer notes where the original statistics come from and why he now thinks they're dubious on the page above.  Here's an more detailed look at it from a link on his page.

The stats come from a speech given by Jenkins in 2003, so wherever possible, 2002 statistics are used below.  It's important to note that however accurate the statistics in the speech, the speech was to industry people about the industry. Read more...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

002: The French Dressmaker (1906)

Archives | Podcast | Oral history | Women's Studies | US in the 1900s

In this episode we hear from twenty-five-year-old Amelia des Moulins, a French dressmaker and immigrant living in New York City. Amelia came to the U.S. in 1899. Amelia talks about life in Paris before coming to the U.S., the fashion industry in Paris and New York, and her hard work to be a success in a new country. Her story was collected as part of an anthology published in 1906, titled, The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. The anthology was edited by Hamilton Holt, editor and publisher of the liberal weekly The Independent and later president of Rollins College.

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Navajo Nation Library wants to digitally preserve thousands of hours of oral histories | Danny Lewis Smithsonian.com | December 28, 2016

Archives | Oral Histories | Native Americans

The library is looking for help protecting its tapes

oral histories1
An audio tape from the oral history collection at the Navajo Nation Library (Irving Nelson)


In the 1960s, the Navajo Culture Center of the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity (ONEO) turned to technology to preserve the oral histories of the Navajo people. Over the course of the next decade, the center recorded thousands of hours of oral histories, logging stories, songs and details about life as experienced by many Navajo elders. But while the preservation effort documented priceless details for generations to come, keeping the stories safe is harder—and more expensive—than it sounds.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/navajo-nation-library-wants-digitally-preserve-thousands-hours-oral-histories-180961576/#OOsGpiuVUjEX0ph8.99
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Audio Books, Online Courses & More | Free ebooks

Ebooks & E-Readers | Free books | Free courses

December 25, 2016

Santa left a new KindleiPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we’ll do ours. We’ll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials right on a computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 800 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics. Read more...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Library From the Future Arrives In Denmark | Michaela Cavanagh | Dec 20, 2016

Public libraries | Library Design | Library Trends | Technology in Libraries

In Aarhus, Dokk1 merges old and new concepts of how a public place for learning should function.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects  
It’s hard not feel as if you’ve just visited the library of the future after spending a day at Dokk1.
In a formerly industrial part of Aarhus, egg chairs are now sprinkled around the periphery of the massive new “hybrid library.” There, a three-ton tubular bell called The Gong echoes through every time a child is born at the local hospital. Outside, a ferry to Copenhagen comes and goes from the harbor while kids and adults play across a field with teeter-totters, a tire swing, and a huge slide in the shape of an eagle.

Opened in 2015, Dokk1 is more than Scandinavia’s largest library—it’s a community hub that meets the changing needs of Denmark’s second largest city. Last summer, Dokk1 was named the Public Library of the Year by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). As the notion that libraries simply serve as a home for books dissolves, Dokk1 merges old and new concepts of what a library should be. Read more...

Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books | Simon Jenkins

 Libraries | Ebooks| Advocacy | Programming | Trends

The internet stole the monopoly on knowledge but it can’t recreate a sense of place. Revival is possible

Illustration by Ellie Foreman-Peck
‘The library must rediscover its specialness. This must lie in exploiting the strength of the post-digital age, the ‘age of live’.’ Illustration: Ellie Foreman     
Public libraries have had another bad year. They are like churches and local railways. People like having them around, and are angry if they close. But as for using them, well, there is so little time these days.

The latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures on library closures are dire. In the past five years 343 have gone. Librarian numbers are down by a quarter, with 8,000 jobs lost. Public usage has fallen by 16% and spending by 14%. Book borrowing is plummeting, in some places by a half.

The admirable children’s laureate (and cartoonist) Chris Riddell said during the latest campaign for libraries in November that, “if nurtured by government, they have the ability to transform lives. We must all raise our voices to defend them.”

But what sort of library are we defending? I’m not sure the fault in this lies with that easy target, the government, nor even in the once-gloomy fate of the book. Last week I was in my excellent local library and it was near empty. The adjacent Waterstones was bursting at the seams. I know it was Christmas, but something tells me there is a problem with libraries, not with books. When an institution needs a luvvie-march to survive, it looks doomed.
I was a library addict

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2562 68 Beyond books: Eight things you may not know about libraries

USA TODAY NETWORKRamon Padilla, Adam Shapourian, Nicole Vas, Berna Elibuyuk and Mary Bowerman9:48 a.m. EDT April 21, 2016

As people become more reliant on devices and less likely to crack open a paperback, libraries have been forced to adapt.
Most modern libraries offer e-book and e-magazines, plus movies on DVD and other digital items. But did you know that many also provide such services as free Wi-Fi, used bookstores, and even unique items borrowing.

Coming off of National Library Week, here's a look at eight things you might not know about your local library: Read article:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Science Says You Should Still Keep Reading Print Books Over e-Books


Penn Collins | December 19, 2016 

E-book devices like the Kindle and Nook have already changed the industry of publishing in their relatively short lives. Much as the iPod did with music, now authors can self-publish right from their laptops and readers can carry with them every book they own in something about the size and weight of a paperback.

But while the e-book readers might seem good, uh, on paper, you might consider continuing to read print books for the foreseeable future. Science has given us several reasons why the health and wellness benefits of reading printed material outweigh the convenience and affordability of their digital brethren.
Daily Mail


Monday, December 19, 2016

Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York Life’s Complicated Past


In its 19th-century beginnings, New York Life Insurance sold 508
policies covering slaves. Their descendants are grappling with it.

‘Book Doctors’ Say What You Need Is a Good Read

Reader's Advisory

Bibliotherapists recommend tomes they think can help what ails you; finding calm in ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ 


Dutch novelist Mano Bouzamour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Photo: Sarah Sloat 


FRANKFURT—Depressed? Over-the-counter remedies abound, though some are hard to swallow. The 272-page “City of Thieves” by David Benioff, for example.

It is one palliative prescribed by Mano Bouzamour at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, where he sat at a desk sporting a white doctor’s coat and stethoscope. The Dutch novelist, who has no medical license, was serving as a “book doctor.” After brief consultations with people who lined up in the cold drizzle outside a pop-up clinic, he pulled out a prescription pad and scribbled titles to alleviate readers’ woes.


Stand, Fight, Resist

Advocacy & Activism

Jason Griffey | December 16, 2016

The idea that libraries are neutral spaces has been well and disabused over the last few years. From the services we offer to the collections that we curate, the decisions that libraries and librarians make are political ones that reflect values. Sometimes those are the values of the organization, sometimes the values of the individuals, and sometimes they are the values of the communities that the library serves. Those values are illustrated by our technologies, our ontologies, and our descriptors. Those who attempt to hold that “neutrality” of information access is an ideal for which to strive have had a hard time holding to that stance as increasing numbers of librarians question and deconstruct our profession. I would like to suggest something even stronger…that even if it were possible for libraries to be neutral spaces, that to create such a space would be morally questionable, and potentially actively morally wrong. 

I say this as someone who firmly believes in the maxim of combating bad speech with more speech. I am not here advocating controls or restrictions on speech. But it is not the responsibility of every library to collect and distribute literature of hate, or falsehoods, or lies. Some libraries do need to collect everything, the good and the bad, for archival and historical study purposes, but those libraries are fairly obviously identified in practice and the vast majority of libraries should and could take a stand with their actions, programs, policies, and collections to be on the side of justice and scientific fact. 

Neutrality favors the powerful, and further marginalizes the marginalized. In the face of the current political climate, with the use of opinions as bludgeons and disinformation as the weapon of choice for manipulation and intellectual coercion, it is up to those who value fact and believe in the care of those in need to stand up and positively affirm that to do otherwise is evil. 
Read article

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America by Lauren Duca

 Advocacy & Activism

In this scorched-earth op-ed, Lauren Duca takes on Trump's systematic attempts to destabilize the truth and weaken the foundation of American freedom.

Dec 10, 2016 

The CIA officially determined that Russia intervened in our election, and President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the story as if it were a piece of fake news. "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," his transition team wrote in a statement. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again'."

It wasn't one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history, so presumably that's another red-herring lie to distract from Trump treating the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States like it is some rogue blogger to be cast to the trolls. A foreign government's interference in our election is a threat to our freedom, and the President-elect's attempt to undermine the American people's access to that information undermines the very foundation upon which this country was built. It's also nothing new.

Trump won the Presidency by gas light. His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalizing deception. Civil rights are now on trial, though before we can fight to reassert the march toward equality, we must regain control of the truth. If that seems melodramatic, I would encourage you to dump a bucket of ice over your head while listening to “Duel of the Fates." Donald Trump is our President now; it’s time to wake up.


Required reading: The books that students read in 28 countries around the world

Reader's Advisory

Dec 7, 2016 / +


This compilation of reading assigned to students everywhere will expand your horizons — and your bookshelves.

In the US, most students are required to read To Kill a Mockingbird during their school years. This classic novel combines a moving coming-of-age story with big issues like racism and criminal injustice. Reading Mockingbird is such an integral part of the American educational experience that we wondered: What classic books are assigned to students elsewhere?

We posed this question to our TED-Ed Innovative Educators and members of the TED-Ed community. People all over the globe responded, and we curated our list to focus on local authors.
Many respondents made it clear in their countries, as in the US, few books are absolutely mandatory. Take a look at what students in countries from Ireland to Iran, Ghana to Germany, are asked to read and why:

Read article

Secrets of the New York Public Library (5th Ave at 42nd St New York, NY 10018)

Archives & Special Collections

The marble lions (named Patience and Fortitude) outside of the New York Public Library weren't always popular. (Credit: Getty Images )


Walk up the steps at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, past Patience and Fortitude, the iconic Library Lions, and enter the main branch of the New York Public Library.

While the NYPL has branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, its iconic Beaux-Arts building in midtown is perhaps the library's most famous spot.

Free to enter and explore, this often-overlooked museum has plenty of historical artifacts, notable artwork and countless information. Read more...

Monday, December 12, 2016

Google is not ‘just’ a platform. It frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world

 Internet & Literacy

by Carole Cadwalladr. | Sunday 11 December 2016

Did the holocaust happen? Google search for Carole Cadwalladr Photograph: Google 
Did the Holocaust really happen? No. The Holocaust did not really happen. Six million Jews did not die. It is a Jewish conspiracy theory spread by vested interests to obscure the truth. The truth is that there is no evidence any people were gassed in any camp. The Holocaust did not happen.

Are you happy with that answer? Happy that if you have children, this is what they’re being exposed to? That all across America and France and Hungary and Holland and Britain, when people ask that question, this is what they are clicking on and reading and absorbing? No? Well, then, we really, really need to talk about Google. Right now. Because these are the “facts” of what happened according to the number one source of information to the entire planet. Type this into your Google search bar: “did the hol”. And Google suggests you search for this: “Did the Holocaust happen?” Read more...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

 Archives & Special Collections | Digital Humanities

December 7, 2016 | Tim Chambers

The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006


Dorothea Lange—well-known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother—was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”

The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.

I wrote more about the history of Lange’s photos and President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 initiating the Japanese Internment in another post on the Anchor Editions Blog.
Below, I've selected some of Lange’s photos from the National Archives—including the captions she wrote—pairing them with quotes from people who were imprisoned in the camps, as quoted in the excellent book, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment.

I’ve also made a limted number of prints of her photos available for sale at Anchor Editions, and I’m donating 50% of the proceeds to the ACLU—they were there during WWII handling the two principle Supreme Court cases, fighting against the government’s mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans—and they have pledged to continue to fight against further unconstitutional civil rights violations. Their fight seems especially important today given the current tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric, and talk of national registries and reactionary immigration policies.

“A photographic record could protect against false allegations of mistreatment and violations of international law, but it carried the risk, of course, of documenting actual mistreatment.”
— Linda Gordon, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment
Read more... 

Fake News Brings Life-Threatening Consequences in National Capital

by Wayne Rash | Posted 20106-12-07

NEWS ANALYSIS: Enraged by fake news story, a man fires a rifle three time into a pizza restaurant in the U.S. capital, bringing urgency to efforts to find ways to rein in false rumor stories circulating on the internet.

WASHINGTON—It was an event that many of us in the news business have feared would happen: A deranged gunman, fueled by passion based on a series of fake news stories, came to the nation's capital with an assault rifle, entered a place of business and fired.

The gunman, Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, was quickly arrested after shooting into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria three times. He told police after he was arrested that he came to Washington to investigate reports of a child sex-trafficking ring being run out of the pizzeria by Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta.

The fake news about Comet Ping Pong had been circulating on social media since before the election, with increasingly shrill stories seemingly attributed to reliable media sources. The stories got so far out of control that one site, Reddit, banned any discussion of what had become known as "pizzagate" from its forums.

But that wasn't the only incident based on this fake news story. Read more...