A university librarian explains why her zine collection's catalog is open access

Marta Chudolinska is Learning Zone Librarian at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, which hosts a huge zine collection founded in 2007 Alicia Nauta, then a student. Read the rest

Watch the livestream for tomorrow's NYPL discussion of Walkaway with Edward Snowden

I'm on the US tour for my new novel Walkaway (I'll be at DC's Politics and Prose tonight), and tomorrow, I'm doing a sold-out appearance with Edward Snowden onstage at the New York Public Library; although the event is packed, I've just learned that there will be a free livestream starting at 7PM Eastern. Read the rest

Internet Archive: "DRM for the Web is a Bad Idea"

Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C's move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web. Read the rest

This Historic Book Odour Wheel pinpoints scent of ancient tomes

The smell of old books is instantly recognizable but hard to describe. Thanks to mass spectrometry and good old fashioned smell tests, University College London researchers have created a Historic Book Odour Wheel. Read the rest

Love libraries? Call your reps and sign a letter demanding continued funding for America's libraries

Lisa from the American Library Assocation writes, "We launched a campaign this afternoon asking anyone who supports libraries to give their Reps a call to ask them to sign on to two Dear Appropriator letters. One full funding for LSTA (which benefits every kind of library), and the second asking the same for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program." Read the rest

Your old CD-ROMs are probably rotting

In 2009, the Library of Congress commissioned a research report into the degradation ofCD-ROMs in storage as a way of assessing the integrity of the media in its collection: the news isn't pretty. Read the rest

Lou Reed's archives acquired by New York Public Library

On what would have been Lou Reed's 75th birthday today, his widow Laurie Anderson announced that the New York Public Library has acquired the musician's complete archives. To celebrate, the NYPL is hosting displays and events celebrating Reed's life and work. Details here. Meanwhile, the good people at indie record label and publisher Anthology tweeted that they will work with the library and Reed's representatives "to publish new works!" From the NYPL:

The Lou Reed Archive includes:

• Original manuscript, lyrics, poetry and handwritten tai-chi notes • Photographs of Reed- including artist prints and inscriptions by the photographers • Tour itineraries, agreements, road manager notes & paperwork • 600+ hours of live recordings, demos, studio recordings and interviews • Reed’s own extensive photography work • Album, book, and tour artwork: mock-ups, proofs and match-prints • Lou Reed album and concert posters, handbills, programs, and promotional items • Lou Reed press for albums, tours, performances, books, and photography exhibits • Fan mail • Personal collections of books, LPs and 45s

The collection documents collaborations, friendships, and relationships with Delmore Schwartz, Andy Warhol, John Cale, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Mick Rock, Robert Quine, Sylvia Ramos, Doc Pomus, Václav Havel, Hal Willner, John Zorn, Robert Wilson, Julian Schnabel, and Laurie Anderson.

More at the New York Times: "Lou Reed Archives Head to New York Public Library"

Read the rest

New Yorkers! Come see Edward Snowden and me onstage at the NYPL on the Walkaway tour!

I'm touring 20 US cities (plus dates in Canada and the UK!) with my forthcoming novel Walkaway; the full tour hasn't been announced yet, but I'm delighted to reveal that the NYC stop on May 3 will be at the New York Public Library, where my interlocutor will be the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tickets are $10-25! (Reminder: there are also signed first-edition hardcovers available for pre-order in the USA and UK). Read the rest

Card catalogs had their own elegant standardized handwriting

Behold Library Hand, a font designed specifically for librarians without typewriters who created cards for card catalogs. What's cool is the variation within the guidelines: Read the rest

UPDATED: Ransomware creeps steal the entire St Louis library system

Update: The library system has recovered access to its computers.

The libraries of St Louis, MO have been crippled by a ransomware attack that has shut down the public terminals the library provides to the poor and vulnerable of St Louis, as well as the systems used to process book and material lending (the catalog is on a separate, uninfected system). Read the rest

94% decline in librarians for Philadelphia's public schools

Since 1991, the number of full-time librarians working in Philadelphia's cash-strapped, budget-slashed public schools has declined by 94% -- only eight remain, while the state continues to trail the nation in literacy scores. Read the rest

Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles

Two employees at the East Lake County Library created a fictional patron called Chuck Finley -- entering fake driver's license and address details into the library system -- and then used the account to check out 2,361 books over nine months in 2016, in order to trick the system into believing that the books they loved were being circulated to the library's patrons, thus rescuing the books from automated purges of low-popularity titles. Read the rest

Librarians must resist trumpism

Radical librarian Jason Griffey (previously) wants librarians to continue their 21st century leadership in the resistance to surveillance and persecution -- a proud record that includes the most effective stands against GW Bush's Patriot Act -- by pledging to make libraries safe havens from trumpism and its evils: electronic surveillance; racial and gender-based discrimination; and the assertion that ideology trumps empirical reality. Read the rest

Eating at all of LA's grand old restaurants and dives, one at a time

The Remains of LA blog has a mission: to "visit all the cool old places in LA (not all at once)." I met its proprietress today, working at my local Burbank library, and I share her passion for LA's old restaurants, though I lack her devotion! As she notes, "sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people." Read the rest

Germany-wide consortium of research libraries announce boycott of Elsevier journals over open access

Germany's DEAL project, which includes over 60 major research institutions, has announced that all of its members are canceling their subscriptions to all of Elsevier's academic and scientific journals, effective January 1, 2017. Read the rest

Libraries become new domestic terrorism target in Trump wave of hate crimes

Authorities say in recent weeks there has been an unprecedented wave of hate crimes targeting library buildings, books, and the people who read them. The officials told the New York Times they'd rarely seen such before. These crimes are intended to terrorize, and they follow a recent report by the F.B.I. which says hate crimes against Muslim people in America shot up over the past year.

Read the rest

Library book returned 120 years late

Arthur Boycott borrowed a copy of Dr William B Carpenter's The Microscope and its Revelations from Hereford Library in 1886 or thereabouts. His granddaughter, Alice Gillett, just returned it. The £7,446 late fine was waived, reports the BBC.

Mrs Gillett discovered the book while she was sorting through a collection of 6,000 books following the death of her husband earlier this year. On discovering the HCS library stamp inside the book, Mrs Gillett, who lives near Taunton, decided to return it.

"I can't imagine how the school has managed without it," she said.

Photo: HEREFORD CATHEDRAL SCHOOL Read the rest

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