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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yeshiva University News » Gottesman Library to Get Makeover

New Design Will Create Updated Student-Focused Research and Study Center

The Mendel Gottesman Library,
research center and student hub at Yeshiva University’s Wilf campus,
will soon undergo a major renovation. Thanks to a generous donation from
David S. Gottesman, former chairman of the YU Board of Trustees, and
his wife, Ruth, the library is receiving a complete overhaul that will
see the ground level through the fourth floor revamped. Mr. Gottesman, a
grandson of Mendel Gottesman, also participated in the planning and
design of the library.

The library renovations will feature new floor-to-ceiling windows
The library renovations will feature new floor-to-ceiling windows

“The library was completed in 1969 and has really terrific features,
but modes of study and learning have changed significantly since then,”
said Dean of YU’s Libraries Pearl Berger. “Fifty or 60 years ago, the
primary function of library buildings was to house collections. While
library collections retain great significance, today’s university
libraries are student-centered and are designed to support the variety
of learning activities in which students engage. The planned renovation
is focused upon our students, with the aim of creating library
environments that support student needs.”

“Times have changed, but the facility has essentially remained the
same,” said Vice President for Administrative Services Jeffrey
Rosengarten, who is spearheading the project. “We knew that as a leading
academic research institution, we needed to focus on updating the
library to meet 21st century demands.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kentucky Contingencies | EveryLibrary

Kentucky Contingencies

Coolidge Quote on Taxes

When “any tax is a bad tax”, the library is an instrument of tyranny.

The Tea Party of Northern Kentucky case against two libraries is set to be ruled on by the state Appeals court any day now.
This appeal follows a loss by the libraries in the lower state court. 
The loss would roll back funding for 99 out of 104 libraries in Kentucky
to at least 1979 levels.  To date, the Supreme Court has refused to rule on the case, remanding it to the Appeals court.  Likewise, the legislature in Kentucky failed to pass a bill at the end of last session to ‘fix’ the points of law at the root of the case.  The President of the Senate wanted to let the Courts sort it out.  The points of law are pretty thoroughly discussed
in other places. We don’t have a way to handicap the Appeals court
deliberations, but we – and the rest of the national library advocacy
ecosystem – do need to anticipate their ruling.

EveryLibrary has been tracking this case since 2013 for two reasons:  If
the Tea Party ultimately prevails, the 99 libraries affected by the
ruling may have to go out for Petition or Ballot to reset their tax
rates to current levels; and, that this is a situation where a small
group of anti-tax ideologues sued libraries, and that technique for
‘shrinking government’ has been proven viable. If the libraries prevail
in their appeal, the funding picture for libraries in the Commonwealth
of Kentucky is more stable, but the underlying anti-tax climate
there – and across the country – has only been handed temporary setback.
When the URL one of the local plaintiff groups is “”,
they will be back.  They are on a mission.  Read more....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Charlie Hebdo | R. David Lankes

This morning in a Tweet Bredebieb asked me “what should public
libraries do,” about the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was frankly a bit of a
humbling and scary question. After all, I am not in Paris, and I cannot
claim to know everything that French libraries do now. However, it
would be an obvious act of cowardice to simply claim ignorance or to
respond with some high level non-answer like “help the communities have a
conversation.” So I provided some ideas:

“provide a safe place to talk about the attack and the reasons for the attack and free expression. Provide access to Charlie.”

“host talks and forums on free expression and democracy. Host a human library event with different faiths.”

“host sessions with therapists and parents on how to make kids feel safe.”

“above all use this as an opportunity to be a safe place to express feelings and help your community.”

“help your community compose a narrative and then project it to the
world. Is it ‘we shall overcome?’ Or ‘we stand with Charlie?’”
and ended with:

“all libraries should provide safe place to recover and the tools to turn tragedy into action and understanding.” Read article....

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books - Mic

The debate between paper books and e-readers has been
vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have
been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who
prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the
practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the
studies are on the side of paper books. 

Reading in print helps with comprehension. 

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering
the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.
Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway's Stavanger University concluded
that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the
same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book
Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted
and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain
reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page. Read article...

The Future of Libraries Has Little to Do with Books

Photo from Bibliothèque publique d'information ©Vinciane Verguethen

On a Monday morning between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Paris,
the line for modern art museum Centre Georges Pompidou winds around the
block. But the patrons waiting in the cold aren’t there to catch a
glimpse of a Magritte—they’re young locals queueing for access through
the museum’s back door to another attraction: Bibliothèque publique
d'information, or the public library.

In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in
the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one
that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published
in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and
Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves
by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,”
focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world,
digital fluency.” Read article....