Preserving electronics: vermin, leaky batteries, melting rubber, brittle plastics, dribbly capacitors, fungus and dust

Benji Edwards's guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets and roaches make their nests in old gear; and of course, dust gets everywhere. Read the rest

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

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

Stanford Libraries post digital archive of drafts of Allen Ginsberg's HOWL

Ginsberg's HOWL isn't merely a masterwork of poetry, nor is it merely a classic; it is also an indelible part of American free speech jurisprudence: when US Customs seized copies of the poem on their way into New York from the British printer's presses, the resulting obscenity trial made history. 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

Notes on curating an open access collection of political stickers

Catherine Tedford is curator of the Street Art Graphics collection, an open access collection of 2,700+ political stickers from the 1910s to today. 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

Leaked Inspector General's report reveals millions lost to incompetence and waste at the US Copyright Office

A leaked report from the Inspector General reveals that the US Copyright Office blew $11.6m trying to buy a computer system that should have cost $1.1m (they ended up canceling the project after spending the money and no computers were purchased in the end), then lied to Congress and the Library of Congress to cover up its errors. 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

UC Berkeley nuked 20,000 Creative Commons lectures, but they're not going away

A ruling about a DC university held that posting course videos to the open web without subtitling them violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (while keeping them private to students did not) (I know: weird), and this prompted UC Berkeley to announce the impending removal of 20,000 open courseware videos from Youtube. 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

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