Burbank! I'll see you tonight at 7PM at the Buena Vista library

My Walkaway book-tour is basically over, but I'm taking a little victory lap tonight at my local library, the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library. Hope to see you there! Read the rest

Toronto's amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian

It's been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the "Spaced Out Library," the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril -- that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Read the rest

The world's libraries tell the W3C that DRM is bad for the web

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is the respected global body representing libraries all over the world; in an open letter to the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization says the recent decision to standardize DRM for the web has undermined the web's openness and the ability of libraries and other public institutions to fulfill their important social role. Read the rest

Millennials, women and college grads are most prolific library users

A Pew survey found that the majority of millennials have visited a public library this year, making them the most prolific library-using generation. An ALA spokesperson attributed this to the libraries' commitment to providing free, fast broadband and the ability to borrow devices such as tablets -- but the survey found that very few patrons use the libraries' apps. Read the rest

Deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles

Deleted Wikipedia articles with freaky titles is the best article on Wikipedia. From "Ç‹¬ç‰¹è§Â解" to Zombucks, with many oddities along the way (such as "☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼"), all that remains are the tantalizing names given to what were surely excellent, well-researched and not at all fannishly promotional entries for geeky obsessions.

Here is the section for articles that began with "R".

Radioactive Pedophile on the Loose! Random boner syndrome Raptor jesus Rat smacker Raving white octopus Reasons Why Many People Study in China Recombinant Human Dragon Rectal Anarchy Reducing your weight in a ver... References to polycephaly in popular culture Republic of Illinois Retard squad Richard's macaroni and cheese Rihno man super kidoonfire Rin-Din-Dinner Ross hutchison anal explosion Run 2 were u want run 2 were u want! im gonna catch u catch

Digestif: Wikipedia: Silly Things Read the rest

A comic that profiles Columbia University's first-ever comics curator

Nick Sousanis is the comics creator who broke ground in 2015 by being the first doctoral candidate to submit a dissertation in comics form and ever since, he's been doing wonderful nonfiction work in the form, on subjects ranging from entropy to climate change to elections. Read the rest

New York Public Library turns subway cars into mobile ebook libraries

Ten MTA cars have been outfitted as Subway Libraries by the New York Public Library: the in-car wifi connects riders to an e-reading repository containing "books, short stories, chapters and excerpts donated by publishers to the New York Public Library." Read the rest

Suburban Chicago library set to fire only African American librarian who spoke out about racial equity

Cheryl writes, "The sole African American librarian in Evanston Public Library (population ~75K-- first 'burb north adjacent to Chicago) faced a termination hearing today related to social media posts she made in protest to the library's lack of action related to addressing racial equity in library services." Read the rest

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

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