Thursday, December 31, 2015

Raiders of the Lost Web If a Pulitzer-finalist 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can. by ADRIENNE LAFRANCE OCT 14, 2015

The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. It is not a library. It is a constantly changing patchwork of perpetual nowness.

You can't count on the web, okay? It’s unstable. You have to know this.   
Digital information itself has all kinds of advantages. It can be read by machines, sorted and analyzed in massive quantities, and disseminated instantaneously. “Except when it goes, it really goes,” said Jason Scott, an archivist and historian for the Internet Archive. “It’s gone gone. A piece of paper can burn and you can still kind of get something from it. With a hard drive or a URL, when it’s gone, there is just zero recourse.”

There are exceptions. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has a trove of cached web pages going back to 1996. Scott and his colleagues are saving tens of petabytes of data, chasing an ideal that doubles as their motto: Universal Access to All Knowledge. The trove they’ve built is extraordinary, but it’s far from comprehensive. Today’s web is more dynamic than ever and therefore more at-risk than it sometimes seems.


Locked away: Egypt’s forgotten Jewish literary heritage

Inside a library of a synagogue in downtown Cairo, hundreds of Judaic books dating from the medieval ages to 20th century are shelved, unread and un-indexed.
Despite a center dedicated to their preservation, government ministries have stalled, eschewing responsibility for what would be an expensive project to review and record the manuscripts digitally.
Cultural history
Some of the shelved books date back to 17th and 18th centuries, while others are kept inside closed glass boxes, Hebrew Language professor at Ain Shams University Mohamed Hosni told The Cairo Post.
“The books are very important and rare. Some books are hand-written while others were donated by dignitaries,” Hosni added, “There are some books [so fragile they] cannot be touched lest they deteriorate.”
The Jewish Heritage Library in Egypt was established inside Cairo‘s Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue by the Jewish Community Council of Cairo in cooperation with Israeli Academic Center in Cairo during the tenure of former President Hosni Mubarak and was inaugurated on Oct. 25, 1988.
Most Egyptian Jews left the country in the 1950s, and of those who remained, the majority officially converted to Christianity or Islam. There less than 20 self-identified Jews estimated to remain in Egypt.
Head of Jewish Community of Egypt Magda Haroun has previously expressed her concerns over neglecting the library’s archeological and old books and rolls without digitizing and documentation.

10 Ways Mobile Devices Have Changed Education By Karen A. Frenkel

Carry Along Your School

Because of mobile devices, students no longer need to be in school to learn and ask questions. They can work from anywhere at any time with their smartphone or tablet and connect with teachers and fellow students, check assignments and work on shared content.
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Computers have been used in schools and colleges for decades, with most connected to the Internet, yet they’ve fallen short in making a profound impact on education and learning pedagogies, according to Krish Kupathil, CEO of Mobiliya Technologies, which makes a digital classroom platform. Enter mobile devices. "Clunky desktops gave way to cool laptops, tablets and the ubiquitous smartphone, the real turning point in the modern education system," he said. "Gen Z loves carrying them, browsing endlessly and tapping them to complete their assignments." Mobile learning is the new face of education, he says. The Speak Up 2012 National Research Project found that 80% of students in grades 9-12 use smartphones and are connected to their schools 24/7. And by 2020, the mobile learning market is expected to reach $32 billion, according to Apollo Matrix, a prediction that "clearly shows that mobile learning is here to stay and dominate the education sphere." Kupathil describes 10 ways mobile devices are changing education.
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.
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Public Libraries Support Refugees You are here: Home / Public Services / Public Libraries Support Refugees Public Libraries Support Refugees By April Witteveen

LFPL welcomes Syrian refugees Photo credit: Michelle Wong

Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL), KY, welcomes Syrian refugees
Photo credit: Michelle Wong

n the midst of the ongoing international migration crisis, libraries worldwide are finding ways to support newly arriving refugees. Libraries across Europe are assisting the wave of newly arriving Syrian refugees, as illustrated by recent articles from Public Libraries Online and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). And they’re not alone: as cities in the US and Canada receive an influx of Middle Eastern refugees seeking asylum, libraries are using both traditional and innovative services to reach out and connect with these populations in crisis.
Salt Lake City is a designated refugee relocation city. “Utah has resettled just 12 Syrian refugees, comprising two families, though the state is expected to receive a few hundred more between March and September,” according to a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one agency working to resettle refugees in Salt Lake City, and it counts the library as a resource. The IRC offers guided tours of the Downtown Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) in order to connect refugees with services. Brooke Young, manager at the Glendale Branch of SLCPL, told Library Journal about a community partnership with the University of Utah’s University Neighborhood Partners program (UNP) which works collaboratively with a wide variety of university departments and community agencies to “offer resources such as English language instruction, mental health support, citizenship classes, employment workshops, after school and summer programs, and educational resources to the community.” Young presented to UNP leadership on resources for new immigrants, and noted that “since talking to the leadership group, our meeting room demand has tripled and we have had people [from the immigrant/refugee community] come in and use our computers for resume help and job hunting.” Young shared that as SLCPL’s partnership with UNP grows, the institutions plan “to do a year of citizenship workshops, with an emphasis on voting in the next year.”

“We do have some really great partnerships happening,” Young told LJ. “Making sure that we are going to all the meetings of all the different partners can take up a lot of staff time, but it is really worth it. I also try and make sure that my teen librarian and children’s librarian are involved in the meetings so that we can help tailor our programs to the needs of the community. We also try and be really flexible. And I do mean flexible. I came into the library after hours on a Saturday to ensure that a Sudanese baby shower could happen. And we try and let as many meetings as possible happen in our space, even when if it means opening early or staying late. It can be time consuming, but we have won a lot of community support by opening the space.”

Public Libraries Support Refugees

7 Facts About Kids Who Learned To Read Early by E. CE MILLER

I’m pretty sure I learned to read before I was born — OK, so maybe not quitethat early, but I do know for a fact that I was being read to before I was born, and immediately after I was born, and just about every single day of my young life until I learned to read all by myself at the ripe old age of 4. (Sure, I hadn’t quite mastered Pride and Prejudice yet, but The Rainbow Fish is an awfully impressive literary achievement when you’re three-and-a-half feet tall.) And looking back, I think all that reading definitely played an essential part in shaping the word-obsessed, always-reading, book-loving fool that I grew up to be. (And thank goodness, since my whole life pretty much revolves around books today.)
Research in early childhood development has long demonstrated the benefits of learning to read early in life. Sure, there are those who disagree with the benefits of reading young (there always has to be one) but the overall general consensus is that learning to read is good (duh) and learning to read at a young age is even better. Here are seven facts about kids who learned to learned to read early, aka: seven reasons why your next Auntie-outing is totally going to include a trip to the local library.

1. Reading Improves Brain Development

This fact might seem totally self-explanatory, but research has shown that between birth and the age of 6 is when children are able to learn at the fastest rate they ever will in their lives. The active brain cells a child is born with are constantly forming connections, which are strengthened by activities like reading — so reading to a little one, and later teaching them to read, can influence healthy brain function that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New

Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results. These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to master a new skill, expand your knowledge, or eventually boost your career. You can learn interactively at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. It’s hard to imagine how much easier it can possibly be. Honestly, what are you waiting for?


edX— Take online courses from the world’s best universities.
Coursera — Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.
Coursmos — Take a micro-course anytime you want, on any device.
Highbrow — Get bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.
Skillshare — Online classes and projects that unlock your creativity.
Curious — Grow your skills with online video lessons. — Learn technology, creative and business skills.
CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.
Udemy — Learn real world skills online.
read more:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Preserving manuscripts Faith’s archivists

Catholic monks in Minnesota are helping to save a trove of Islamic treasures in Mali

THE secret evacuations began at night. Ancient books were packed in small metal shoe-lockers and loaded three or four to a car to reduce the danger to the driver and minimise possible losses. The manuscript-traffickers passed through the checkpoints of their Islamist occupiers on the journey south across the desert from Timbuktu to Bamako. Later, when that road was blocked, they transported their cargo down the Niger river by canoe.

It formed part of a fabulous selection of Islamic literary treasures that had survived floods, heat and invasion over centuries in Timbuktu. But in April 2012 Tuareg rebels had occupied the city. They were soon displaced by the Islamists with whom they had foolishly allied, a group linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The militants issued edicts to control behaviour, dress and entertainment. Music and football were banned. They destroyed Sufi shrines that had stood for centuries. It was assumed books would be next.

Such fears were not overblown. Islamists had been ruthless with libraries and holy sites in Libya earlier in the year. So in October, the evacuation began. By the time French troops liberated Timbuktu in January 2013 and journalists saw a wing of the city’s grandest new library still smouldering, most of the precious manuscripts had already been spirited away. [...]

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to Read an Entire Book in a Single Day by Patrick Allan

How to Read an Entire Book in a Single DayYou’ve been putting off reading that book for weeks, and you’re supposed to have read it all by tomorrow. Whether you’re cramming for school, or trying to avoid looking like a lazy bum in your book club, don’t lose hope. You can power through that tome without forgetting everything and coming away with nothing.

Reading an entire book in a matter of hours may seem daunting, but it all comes down to simple math. The average adult reads around 200-400 words per minute. The average novel ranges between 60,000 and 100,000 words total. If your reading speed is right in the middle of the pack at 300 words per minute, and you’re reading a middle-of-the-pack novel at around 80,000 words, you’ll be able to knock it out in around five hours or less.

That might seem like a lot, but it’s totally possible. And you can do it without any skimming or speed reading trickery, which can be bad when it comes to truly absorbing information. For the most part, it’s possible to read at your usual pace, absorb information at your brain’s preferred rate, and all you have to do is buckle down, make the time, and get started as soon as possible. Read more...

The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve

Katherine Martinko
woman reading
CC BY 2.0 Steve Bissonette

Book lovers will want to adopt this lovely holiday tradition, which melds literary and holiday pleasures into a single event.
Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.
At this time of year, most households receive an annual free book catalog of new publications called the Bokatidindi. Icelanders pore over the new releases and choose which ones they want to buy, fueling what Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association, describes as “the backbone of the publishing industry.”
"It's like the firing of the guns at the opening of the race," says Baldur Bjarnason, a researcher who has written about the Icelandic book industry. "It's not like this is a catalog that gets put in everybody's mailbox and everybody ignores it. Books get attention here."
The small Nordic island, with a population of only 329,000 people, is extraordinarily literary. They love to read and write. According to a BBC article, “The country has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world… One in 10 Icelanders will publish [a book].” Read more...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, a prison library can be a ‘very good library

Valerie Schultz works as a library technical assistant for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington in 2013. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., I’m surprised at you. Didn’t your mother raise you better than to insult whole groups of people?
For those who are wondering, I’m talking about a remark the chief justice made last month during oral arguments in Bruce v. Samuels, a dispute about federal prisoners paying legal fees. Here I quote from Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog: When reminded that prisons maintain libraries, “Roberts then shot back, presumably sarcastically, ‘I’m sure they are very good libraries, too.’ ”
I run a library at a state prison for men in California, and I can attest that it is indeed a “very good library.” My library is tasked with assuring that inmates have access to the courts because, although they are convicted criminals, they retain certain civil and human rights. We provide them with access to legal forms, typewriters, law books and computers that can be used to research case law and the myriad rules of the courts, as well as a daily legal newspaper. We make available typing paper, numbered pleading paper and envelopes for filing court documents. We make the required number of copies of outgoing legal work. We weigh documents to determine the number of stamps needed for mailing. In short, we have everything that an inmate acting as his own lawyer needs to bring his concern to the attention of the appropriate court. Read more...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Because This Place Has Been Showing How Black Lives Matter for 90 Years

A First Fridays party in the Schomburg Center courtyard.  

Because This Place Has Been Showing How Black Lives Matter for 90 Years

Monday, December 7, 2015

Library founded by family in memory of a man and his donkey

Güzelgöz realized that people living in the villages could not visit the library, so he placed a box full of books on a donkey and visited 36 villages to encourage people to read.
Güzelgöz realized that people living in the villages could not visit the library, so he placed a box full of books on a donkey and visited 36 villages to encourage people to read.

The  children of Mustafa Güzelgöz, who gained fame in Nevşehir's Ürgüp district after he traveled from village to village with his mobile library on his donkey in the 1940s, have established a museum to honor their father's memory. Aziz and Muammer Güzelgöz have been undertaking a reading campaign in the name of their father and they believe that they will be able to make their father's name live forever with the newly established museum. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Muammer Güzelgöz said his father, who was known as "the librarian with his donkey," passed away in 2005. The Güzelgöz siblings converted their father's house into a museum, however, they needed support from the Culture and Tourism Ministry in order to overcome deficiencies and set an example for future generations. Güzelgöz said he worked as a director of the library for years. "I want students of literature, history and geography to visit this library," said Güzelgöz. "We are already welcoming university students. Those who come to our museum will be able to see the objects that my father used for his reading campaign. We are also displaying a sewing machine. When no one came to his house to read books, my father set up a sewing machine. Women who came to sew had no choice but to read while waiting in line." The museum also displays articles from newspapers about Mustafa Güzelgöz, various photographs and correspondence Güzelgöz had with people who supported his campaign from abroad. Muammer Güzelgöz hopes that these materials will encourage people to read books and show respect to literature.  Read more...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Discover a World of Opportunity at The New York Public Library! | The New York Public Library

Discover a World of Opportunity at The New York Public Library! | The New York Public Library

Are you a Librarian who is committed to changing lives and strengthening communities through the power of learning and reading? The New York Public Library is in the midst of a major expansion thanks to New York City’s recent historic investment in libraries—allowing us to build on our more than 100-year-old legacy as we continue to chart a new path for libraries in the 21st Century.  What we do, and do well, is connect people with collections, expertise, services, and programs that inform and inspire. Join NYPL to achieve your dreams while inspiring others. Our librarians start at $48,519 per year and are eligible in 6 months for an increased salary of $54,745! Learn more about careers at NYPL.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How Social Media Changed The Way We Read Books

The boundary between author and readers is disappearing. What does that mean for the future of storytelling?

Last week, during a dwindling work day, I scrolled through Twitter for something to engage me, something newsworthy or pithy or both. I felt drawn to the sort of tweet that was neither hackneyed nor too intimate, neither click-baity nor dry. After all, I’d curated a list of Twitter accounts that more or less pandered to my precise interests. News sites that specialize in deep dives into the uncanny, authors who manage to employ their style in 140-character observations.
Instead -- and I’m sure you’ll relate to this painful experience -- what I got was a rash of strangely dogmatic tweets from an author I like, Joyce Carol Oates. “This is sad,” the National Book Award-winning author wrote, “Please consider ‘fostering’ these orphans ... ” Embedded in the tweet is another tweet from @citykitties, and a link to adult cats in need of owners.
“God,” I wrote a coworker. “Joyce Carol Oates is everyone’s most condescending friend.” What I meant was that this type of tweeting -- sharing something tragic yet too specific to be engaged with meaningfully in quick, offhand conversation -- was uncomfortable to read. What I didn’t say was that I was confused and bothered by the dissonance between the words I was used to reading under her name, and the words she proliferated daily.