HathiTrust continues string of victories under 'fair use' doctrine in appeals court @insidehighered
Another College Library Moves the Books to Storage. Save Our Stacks! -
If a college library moves 170,000 of its books to storage, to make room for sumptuous new administrative offices—which is happening at Maine’s Colby College—does it still count as a library? Or, as an impassioned open letter from concerned faculty attests, is it no longer “a place for reflection and…
So I’m of two minds here, because I’m generally in favor of digitization, though I don’t go so far as to think it’s an unmitigated good (no such thing). But the larger issue here is the shortage of spaces to engage in reflection. Churches and other such spaces tend to be good, and I’ll sometimes go sit in one if it’s not being used, but I’m not religious and it feels intrusive. For me, the middle of the woods is best, but can be difficult to arrange when my time is limited.
The students at the library where I work like it in part because it is a place where it is still socially acceptable to ask others to quiet down. The books themselves contribute to this effect; in addition to containing the world’s knowledge, they’re great for muffling noise. Some (many) of those students even prefer dead trees to live electronics. (Studies show that retention is generally better with paper, too.)
I’m in favor of the library as a community space, especially public libraries which often serve communities where such space is at a premium. There’s always something going on at my local branch: toddler storytime or homework help or the librarian helping somebody figure out which of the ten million hits they got is the one that’s actually useful or something. Academia is a community as well, one that prizes—or ought to prize—thoughtful contemplation of ideas. There are few places on most campuses I’ve been to that actually encourage this, especially when the weather’s crappy.
Take the books out if you must, but don’t replace them with offices.
Abdel Kader Haidara is my new librarian hero. National Geographic relates how he has led an effort to preserve a collection of ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu. Seriously, this story has everything: historically priceless manuscripts, spiriting books away to safe houses through hostile territory, the preservation of an ancient civilization’s knowledge, and one of the most badass librarians ever.
(Photo by Brent Stirton for National Geographic.)
A rough guide to spotting bad science — from Compound Interest
If I’ve ever remarked that a particular study was bad science or shouldn’t have been published, chances are it possessed several characteristics from this list.
"Close lots of library locations on campus, or close fewer and see services reduced at most of the remaining locations. Faced with those options in light of a budget crunch, the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley aid no to both and set out to find alternative funding sources to save the library — all 25 locations."
Online and interactified:
Someone do this with library signage! Please!
(Source: jakwith0utthec, via prosign)
I would so play the hell out of this game.
The proliferation of satirical news and commentary sites ensures that I’ll never run out of fodder for workshops on information evaluation and checking your sources.
What to expect from libraries in the 21st century -
It’s good to be reminded sometimes not only how we’re doing what we do, but why.