Porn video shot in public library upsets citizens

Residents of the Ocean Park neighborhood in Santa Monica, California are angry that adult film performer Ellie Eilish and a colleague allegedly filmed a porn movie inside the local public library. The video apparently turned up on PornHub where, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press, "library porn is not uncommon." From the SMDP:

The video, which was posted three weeks ago, shows 19-year-old entertainer Ellie Eilish exposing herself while walking around Ocean Park, outside of the John Muir Elementary School and Santa Monica Alternative School House campus, and inside the Ocean Park branch library. Eilish then performs sex acts inside the library with a man, whose face is not shown...

The city of Santa Monica issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

“We are deeply disturbed to learn about this video. Sex in public spaces is against the law and the Santa Monica Police Department will be looking into this incident.”

image credit: Santa Monica Public Library (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Bill from Missouri's Rep Ben Baker threatens librarians with prison sentences for allowing minors to read books banned by town committees

Under Missouri House Bill 2044 -- the "Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act" -- each town will elect a committee of five local people (librarians are not permitted to serve) who will take local submission for books to ban. If they choose to ban a book, any librarian who allows a minor to check out or read that book will face up to a year in prison, and their libraries will be de-funded. Read the rest

Newton's Principia Mathematica, George Washington's journal: archivist stole $8m worth of rare books from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library

Gregory Priore -- former archivist for Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library -- has pleaded guilty of stealing $8m worth of rare texts from the collection over a 25 year period, fencing them through John Schulman's Caliban Book Shop (Schulman has also pleaded guilty, and admitted to forgery as well). Read the rest

One of the world's largest private equity firms just bought one of the world's largest library ebook companies

KKR is one of the largest private equity funds in the world. Overdrive is one of the largest e-lending suppliers to the world's libraries, supplying 43,000 libraries in 75 countries. Read the rest

Radicalized is one of the LA Public Library's books of the year!

It's not just the CBC and the Wall Street Journal -- I was delighted to see this morning that Radicalized, my 2019 book of four science fiction novellas made the LA Public Library's list of the top books of 2019! "As always his writing is sharp and clear, covering the absurdities that surround and infiltrate our lives, and predicts new ones waiting for us just around the corner. A compelling, thought provoking, macabre funny read." Read the rest

Library Socialism: a utopian vision of a sustaniable, luxuriant future of circulating abundance

SRSLY Wrong is a "research-based comedy podcast" run by a pair of Canadian fellas with a background in radical politics, occupy, and the Pirate Party; in a three part series, hosts Aaron Moritz and Shawn Vulliez; in a series of three long podcast episodes (1, 2, 3), the pair elucidate and elaborate a utopian vision for the future that they dub "Library Socialism." Read the rest

In an age of disappearing prison libraries, jail profiteers provide "free" crapgadget tablets that charge prisoners by the minute to read Project Gutenberg ebooks

The past couple years has seen a rise in prison profiteers who strike deals with state corrections departments to provide "free" tablets to prisoners (these being the flimsiest, cheapest, least reliable hardware imaginable), and then profiting by charging exorbitant sums for prisoners to send emails (selling "digital postage stamps" that have to be affixed to each "page" of email), videoconference with family members, and provide media, charging prisoners for music that they lose every time a prison changes suppliers. Read the rest

The Internet Archive's massive repository of scanned books will help Wikipedia fight the disinformation wars

For years, the Internet Archive has been acquiring books (their goal is every book ever published) and warehousing them and scanning them. Now, these books are being "woven into Wikipedia" with a new tool that automatically links every Wikipedia citation to a print source to the exact page and passage from the book itself, which can be read on the Internet Archive. Read the rest

Social justice is a library issue; libraries are a social justice issue

Radical librarian (and warrant canary inventor) Jessamyn West (previously gave this year's Alice G Smith lecture at the University of South Florida's School of Information. It's called "Social Justice is a Library Issue; Libraries are a Social Justice Issue." Read the rest

The Internet Archive's Open Library will let you sponsor a book, paying for it to be scanned

The Internet Archive's Open Library scans books that they have physical copies of, then lends the resulting ebooks to its patrons, building on the precedent set in 2014's Hathi Trust ruling. Read the rest

Come see me tomorrow in Portland, Maine with James Patrick Kelly!

I'm coming to Maine to keynote the Maine Library Association conference in Newry tomorrow (Sept 30); later that day, I'm appearing with James Patrick Kelly at the Portland, Maine Main Library, from 6:30PM-8PM (it's free and open to the public) This is the first time I've been to Maine, and I can't wait! Read the rest

Come see me in Toronto and Maine!

I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly). Read the rest

Flybraries are little "libraries" for fly fishing

Now folks who fly fish have the opportunity to pay it forward, thanks to the Flybrary Project. Much like the little book lending libraries, at "flybraries" people can leave a fly to share, or take one if they need one. And they are encouraged to create their own flybrary which they can then add to the project's growing registry.

From the backside of signs at boat ramps in South Florida to river-side signs in Alaska, The Flybrary Project connects fly fishers across the world with one another—educating visitors of the fisheries and promoting comradery amongst strangers who share the same passion.

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@hallmost_heaven just put up a new Flybrary in WV. Karma is good. #haveoneleaveone #needonetakeone #flyfishing #communitylove

A post shared by Tailer Trash Fly Fishing (@flybraryproject) on Sep 10, 2019 at 3:54am PDT

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@flylife83 took a more organic route and cobbled together a fantastic Flybrary location. A breath of fresh air! #flybraryproject #haveoneleaveone #buildcommunity #diy #flyfishing

A post shared by Tailer Trash Fly Fishing (@flybraryproject) on May 24, 2019 at 11:09am PDT

(Thanks, Mark Krawczuk!) screenshot via the Flybrary Project Read the rest

Library of Congress releases 11,700 freely usable photos of "roadside America," taken by John Margolies

For decades, architectural critic and photographer John Margolies obsessively documented roadside attractions: vernacular architecture, weird sculpture, odd businesses and amusements. By his death in 2016, his collection consisted of more than 11,000 slides (he published books of his favorites, with annotations). Read the rest

The world's largest occult library has a public online archive

Amsterdam's Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (AKA "The Ritman Library) houses more ths 25,000 occult texts, covering "Hermetics, Rosicrucians, Theosophy, alchemy, mysticism, Gnosis and Western Esotericism, Sufism, Kabbalah, Anthroposophy, Catharism, Freemasonry, Manichaeism, Judaica, the Grail, Esotericism, and comparative religion." Read the rest

Public library receipt shows how much money you saved by borrowing instead of buying books

Reddit user penguinska9 posted that their library "keeps track of how much you save by not buying books and borrowing instead" and shows the dollar amount on the receipt when you check out a book. Genius! I don't know how common this practice is but the following is from a Wichita Public Library posting from last year:

“While libraries offer tremendous benefits to their communities, sometimes the benefits are more abstract or require long term studies to show the value of their programs,” said Jennifer Lane, communication manager, Wichita Public Library. “Including this information is a way to easily quantify one of the ways the Library is a value to its users...."

So far this year, the highest dollar amount saved by a customer's account is $64,734.12. And the highest dollar amount saved by a customer's account since this feature was implemented is $196,076.21.

Read the rest

Data-mining reveals that 80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain

This January, we celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain, as the onerous terms of the hateful Sonny Bono Copyright Act finally developed a leak, putting all works produced in 1923 into the public domain, with more to follow every year -- 1924 goes PD in 2020, and then 1925, etc. Read the rest

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