The Internet Archive has partnered with BitTorrent to publish over 1,000,000 of its books, music and movies as legal torrents. It's a huge whack of legal content in the torrentverse, and a major blow to the schemes of entertainment execs to have the whole BitTorrent protocol filtered away to nothing on sight. From the Internet Archive's blog:
Over 1,000,000 Torrents of Downloadable Books, Music, and Movies
BitTorrent is the now fastest way to download items from the Archive, because the BitTorrent client downloads simultaneously from two different Archive servers located in two different datacenters, and from other Archive users who have downloaded these Torrents already. The distributed nature of BitTorrent swarms and their ability to retrieve Torrents from local peers may be of particular value to patrons with slower access to the Archive, for example those outside the United States or inside institutions with slow connections.
The Library of Congress has an official standard
for abbreviations of different languages. It's a long list, because, well, there are lots and lots of languages that might be mentioned in the Library of Congress. In fact, the standard is so thorough that it includes Klingon
. (Via Hilary Mason) — Maggie
Enokson on Flickr has collected a beautiful gallery of dozens of 1960s library posters, each more delightful than the last. Alas, they're only at a medium resolution.
Retro Library Posters (1960's)
I'm very taken with James Charlick's photo, "The Grand Library," shot in an abandoned house during an urban exploration expedition.
The Grand Library
Sue sez, "If the LibraryCamp Crowdfunder pitch reaches its target, library workers from across the UK be heading to Birmingham in October to attend LibraryCamp 2012 (think Barcamp). The volunteer organisers decided to set up their own DIY conference last year because traditional conferences were too expensive and often staff on the frontline weren't allowed to go. But Library camp is different - it's an unconference for a start, so anyone can lead a workshop or facilitate a session. It's also free to attend and you don't have to be a librarian or even work in a library, you just need to be passionate about the future of libraries."
Library Camp brings together people who are interested in modernising and transforming libraries for one day of intensive debate, knowledge sharing and ideas. It's an unconference so anyone can lead a workshop or facilitate a session and it's free to attend. You don't have to be a librarian or even work in a library, you just need to be passionate about the future of libraries. This year the unconference will be back in Birmingham in October and we want to invite 200 people so we need to raise £1000 to pay for a venue and feed the campers!
Library Camp 2012
The Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide agency has won a gold prize in the Effie awards for their hoax "Book Burning Party" campaign, which is credited with saving the public library in Troy, MI. Michigan's extreme austerity measures and collapsing economy had put the library under threat, and the town proposed a 0.7% tax raise to keep it open. The local Tea Party spent a large sum of money opposing the measure on the grounds that all taxes are bad, so the Burnett campaign reframed the issue by creating a hoax campaign to celebrate the library's closure with a Book Burning Party a few days after the vote.
The outrage generated by this campaign was sufficient to win the day for the library, as Troy's residents made the connection between closing libraries and burning books, focusing their minds on literacy and shared community, rather than taxation.
Troy Public Library would close for good unless voters approved a tax increase. With little money, six weeks until the election, facing a well organized anti-tax group who'd managed to get two previous library-saving tax increases to fail, we had to be bold. We posed as a clandestine group who urged people to vote to close the library so they could have a book burning party. Public outcry over the idea drowned out the anti-tax opposition and created a ground-swell of support for the library, which won by a landslide.
BOOK BURNING PARTY
Matt sez, "The School of Library and Inoformation Management at Emporia State University (Kansas, USA) unveiled a comic book aimed at generating newfound excitement for librarianship and increasing the awareness of the many opportunities that an MLS/MLIS degree can provide. From the same team that created Library of the Living Dead and Monster Clash, Supreme Librarians in Metaspace is a promotional comic that highlights the many facets of librarianship in a quirky, tongue-in-cheek manner. This resource encourages librarians around the world to take a look at the profession in a new light. And maybe have a laugh or two while doing it."
Supreme Librarians in Metaspace
The editors of Welcome to Bordertown have just published a study guide for teachers and librarians. WtB is the latest installment in the Bordertown series, one of the oldest (and finest) examples of urban fantasy, a shared world in which the realms of Faerie and the mundane world clash in a border region where magic and technology both work intermittently and swirl together in a hybrid that is as exciting as it is erratic. This latest installment is a young adult book, and it includes my story Shannon's Law.
Set in a gritty, diverse city that straddles the divide between the human world and the magical realm, Welcome to Bordertown provides an ideal backdrop for exploring the issues and ideas most vital to young adults in a classroom or extracurricular setting. Through more than twenty interconnected songs, poems, and stories, educators can use Welcome to Bordertown to generate discussions and activities around a number of topics, including race, disability, technology, immigration, sexuality, and gender.
This guide provides a range of discussion questions that can be modified for use with a wide variety of groups, including reading clubs, middle and high school classes, Gay-Straight Alliances, and other diversity and discussion-focused groups. Divided into General Discussion Questions, Story-Specific Discussion Questions, and Post-Reading Activities, this guide works best when paired with the Bordertown series website, which provides supplementary material for many of the discussion questions and activities.
Study Guide for Welcome to Bordertown
The Canadian federal government recently announced that they are cutting $9.6 million from the budget of Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Canada's national archives. This will seriously undermine the archives, which was already struggling due to chronic underfunding to live up to its mandate 'o preserve the documentary heritage of Canada.'
Hundreds of other archives across Canada will also be negatively affected by these cuts because LAC is terminating the National Archives Development Program (NADP), a long-running contribution program that helped fund projects by small archives to preserve documentary heritage locally and make it publicly available. The NADP cost only $1.7 million annually, but has done a world of good in helping to ensure that Canadian history survives and is accessible by all.
If you want to help fight these devastating cuts to Canada's archival heritage, please sign the online petition to save the NADP and spread the word about these harmful cuts.
Make it Better - Write a Letter. Help save Canada's National Archival Development Program.
A reader writes, "Canadian heritage documents that used to be accessible through inter-library loan will be no longer accessible. If you want to access documents of Canada's history, be prepared to do some traveling, and even at that, those documents may no longer exist since standards of preservation may be compromised. This is of particular concern since the Harper government has revealed revisionist tendencies in the past."
From Laura Mueller in Nepean/Barrhaven Local Community News:
"Unless something is done soon, Canadians are at risk of losing key parts of their historical and cultural record," Harder wrote to Minister James Moore. "Preservation of our country's heritage is not something we can afford to sacrifice."
The Ottawa Public Library system relies on the national library for key Canadian heritage documents accessible through inter-library loans.
"It's going to have a huge impact on inter-library loans," said Jennifer Stirling, OPL's manager of service and innovation. "(The archives contains) Canadiana that just can't be replicated elsewhere ... it's very sad to see this happen."
Here's the national campaign to save Canada's archives.
Federal archive cutbacks impact local libraries, Canadian heritage archives will no longer be accessible by inter-library loan
A reader writes,
The Canadian government is slowly doing away with Canada's ability to access its own history.
Library and Archives Canada's collection is being decentralized and scattered across the country, often to private institutions, which will limit access, making research difficult or next impossible. It should be noted that Daniel Caron, the new National Archivist hired in 2009, doesn't even have a background in library nor archives but, a background in economics.
"The changes and cuts are being justified by reference to digitization. A generous estimate is only 4% of the LAC collection has been digitized to date -- a poor record that will be made worse by the cuts announced on April 30, 2012, which reduced digitization staff by 50%."
Save Library & Archives Canada
The Seattle Public Library system's annual Summer Reading Program
is called Century 22: Read the Future
, and is tied in with the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair. Young people are encouraged to scour the city's landmarks for 1,000 books hidden throughout town, and then to re-hide them for other kids to find. Among the books in this summer's program is my own YA novel Little Brother
, which is a source of utter delight for me.
David Weinberger writes
, "Harvard University has today put into the public domain (CC0) full bibliographic information about virtually all the 12M works in its 73 libraries
. This is (I believe) the largest and most comprehensive such contribution. The metadata, in the standard MARC21 format, is available for bulk download from Harvard. The University also provided the data to the Digital Public Library of America’s prototype platform for programmatic access via an API. The aim is to make rich data about this cultural heritage openly available to the Web ecosystem so that developers can innovate, and so that other sites can draw upon it. This is part of Harvard’s new Open Metadata policy which is VERY COOL."
Michael Geist sez,
Car rental companies are infamous for encouraging customers to sign up for expensive liability insurance policies. Since many renters already have coverage from their own automotive insurance policies or can rely upon insurance coverage provided by their credit card issuer, the decision whether to sign up for a costly additional policy frequently depends upon who is paying the bill. If the individual is on the hook, they will often decline coverage and rely on their existing policies. If someone else is paying, it becomes easier to justify signing up for the additional coverage.
Last week, the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, which represents dozens of Canada's leading universities, signed up for one of the most expensive copyright insurance policies in Canadian history. My weekly technology law column notes the policy comes in the form of a controversial model copyright licensing agreement with Access Copyright, a copyright collective that licenses copying and distribution of copyrighted works such as books, journals, and other texts. Should AUCC members sign the agreement - it falls to each individual university to decide whether to do so - they will pay $26 per full time student per year for the right to copy works from the Access Copyright repertoire.
The deal marks a significant increase from the previous agreement, which had cost students less than four dollars annually plus ten cents per page for materials included within printed coursepacks. The new fees are likely to be passed along to students, who will ultimately bear the burden of the copyright arrangement with higher tuitions.
Other People’s Money: Why AUCC Signed the Most Expensive Copyright Insurance Policy in Cdn History
Henry sez, "Harvard Library's Faculty Advisory Council is telling faculty that it's financially 'untenable' for the university to keep on paying extortionate access fees for academic journals. It's suggesting that faculty make their research publicly available, switch to publishing in open access journals and consider resigning from the boards of journals that don't allow open access."
Harvard’s annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles.
The Library has never received anything close to full reimbursement for these expenditures from overhead collected by the University on grant and research funds.
The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library, representing university faculty in all schools and in consultation with the Harvard Library leadership, reached this conclusion: major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable. Doing so would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised.
Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing
(Image: HBS Library, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from wagnertc's photostream)