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bibliofeminista

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Musings on the book industry, technology, women's issues and other important news in my world.


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    "Are they [books] your friends? Do you have a great love of books and learning?"

    The most adorable 1940s guidance video on how to become a librarian.

    — 1 year ago with 17 notes
    #books  #library  #librarians  #1940s  #vintage  #how-to 

    I don’t often like the concept of these robotic book systems, but “virtual browse” at North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Library is the most interesting development I’ve seen in library tech!

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #library  #robotic  #book  #book collection  #technology  #robotics 
    Nation's First Bookless Public Library Could Be in Texas →

    The library system, dubbed BiblioTech, proposes to make thousands of e-books available for county residents both online and at a 5,000-square-foot physical location on the South Side of the county, according to a statement issued by Bexar County officials. Visitors would be able to check out books to read on their own e-readers or tablets, or borrow one of the library’s 150 take-home e-readers.

    — 1 year ago with 5 notes
    #technology  #ebooks  #ereaders  #libraries  #books  #library 
    Libraries See Opening as Bookstores Close →

    “A library has limited shelf space, so you almost have to think of it as a store, and stock it with the things that people want,” said Jason Kuhl, the executive director of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Renovations will turn part of the library’s first floor into an area resembling a bookshop that officials are calling the Marketplace, with cozy seating, vending machines and, above all, an abundance of best sellers.

    As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. They are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers.

    Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers. Faced with the need to compete for shrinking municipal finances, libraries are determined to prove they can respond as quickly to the needs of the taxpayers as the police and fire department can.

    “I think public libraries used to seem intimidating to many people, but today, they are becoming much more user-friendly, and are no longer these big, impersonal mausoleums,” said Jeannette Woodward, a former librarian and author of “Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model.”

    — 1 year ago with 7 notes
    #libraries  #books  #ebooks  #library  #technology 
    Bookshelves at the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) in Vienna, July 2012. (via lostsplendor, booklover)

    Bookshelves at the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) in Vienna, July 2012. (via lostsplendorbooklover)

    (via high-violet)

    — 2 years ago with 2687 notes
    #photo  #books  #library  #art 
    But Is It a Book? →

    When he talks about bibliographic codes, Mr. Suarez means the elements that together make up the book as object. That includes paper stock, bindings, typeface, and illustrations. Just as important, he says, are the social codes embedded in a book. A Harlequin romance has cues built in that alert a reader to what it is. (Picture a bare-chested Fabio against a Scottish highlands backdrop.) A scholarly monograph announces itself through a different set of cues.

    “When you see a book in the airport, you know what it is and what it’s for,” Mr. Suarez says. Ditto a book in an academic bookstore, although the cues will be rather different. “There are social codes kind of signaling to you all the time,” he says.

    Those codes disappear, though, when a text escapes paper and becomes electronic. Put a bodice-ripper or a scholarly treatise on an e-reader and what remains is the text itself—what Mr. Suarez calls the linguistic codes of a book.

    That may be all a casual reader craves. Portable and able to hold many books at a time, e-readers can be great text-delivery systems. But they don’t hold the physicality, the history, the social context of a book. The packaging and reception of Moby-Dick “is part of the story” to a book historian like Mr. Suarez.

    “The problem with that is in English departments—that’s what we’ve been taught the book is,” he says. “It’s only the linguistic codes. ‘Call me Ishmael … and I alone survived to tell you.’ And that’s all there is.”

    To a book historian, though, “every book is an interpretation or theory about the embodiment of some ideas about who that author is, an embodiment of ideas about how the story should make its meaning,” he says. Try conveying that on a Kindle.

    — 2 years ago with 5 notes
    #book  #library  #rare books  #ebook  #ebooks 
    Thousands Of Rare Books, Journals, Writings Burned In Egypt →

    Institute d’Egypte, a research center set up by Napoleon Bonaparte during France’s invasion in the late 18th century, caught fire during clashes between protesters and Egypt’s military over the weekend. It was home to a treasure trove of writings, most notably the handwritten 24-volume Description de l’Egypte, which began during the 1798-1801 French occupation.

    The compilation, which includes 20 years of observations by more than 150 French scholars and scientists, was one of the most comprehensive descriptions of Egypt’s monuments, its ancient civilization and contemporary life at the time.

    The Description of Egypt is likely burned beyond repair. Its home, the two-story historic institute near Tahrir Square, is now in danger of collapsing after the roof caved in.

    "The burning of such a rich building means a large part of Egyptian history has ended," the director of the institute, Mohammed al-Sharbouni, told state television over the weekend. The building was managed by a local non-governmental organization.

    — 2 years ago with 16 notes
    #egypt  #rare books  #library 
    OccupyEducated Creates a Virtual Library for the #Occupy Movement: What Books Would You Recommend? →

    ..how can the movement preserve the work that’s been done in these physical spaces? One project that is looking at just this question is theOccupyEducated.org initiative. In response to the confiscation and physical destruction of books at Occupy Wall Street, a group of activists have created a virtual library and education center that provides a list of primer books; hand-selected articles and commentary; author interviews and more to come. Occupiers are asked to participate by contributing to new “Top 5” lists for different Occupy topics, and to participate in constructive discussion forums.

    The plan is to eventually also include book clubs, author Q&As and local library donation drives.

    So what books would you recommend?

    — 2 years ago with 10 notes
    #occupy wall street  #occupy  #occupyeducated  #library  #books  #reading  #knowledge 
    Amazon's Kindle lending library is contract breach, say US authors →

    With more than 5,000 titles available, including Michael Lewis’s Liars’ Poker, Suzanne Collins’s bestselling young adult series The Hunger Games trilogy and Howard Jacobson’s Booker-winning novel The Finkler Question, the books, said Amazon in its announcement, come from a range of publishers under a “variety” of terms. The “vast majority” are there following an agreement with the publishers to include the books for a fixed fee, while “in some cases”, Amazon said it was purchasing the title under standard wholesale terms each time it is borrowed, “as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents”.

    Literary agents were quick to condemn the project, releasing a statement saying "it is difficult to see how this programme is in the best interests of our clients".

    Now authors themselves have also moved to criticise it, with US writers’ body the Authors Guild describing it as a “mess”, asking if any of the books in the programme are there legitimately and accusing Amazon of launching it to push the Kindle Fire as it fights an “unexpected ebook device battle” with Apple and Barnes & Noble.

    The Authors Guild claims that the six largest US trade book publishers, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan, refused to participate in the lending library, with the next tier of publishers mainly also refusing. “No matter. Amazon simply disregarded these publishers’ wishes, and enrolled many of their titles in the programme anyway. Some of these publishers learned of Amazon’s unilateral decision as the first news stories about the programme appeared. How can Amazon get away with this? By giving its boilerplate contract with these publishers a tortured reading,” said the Guild.

    Amazon’s belief that it does not need permission to include the books, that it is just required to pay publishers the wholesale price of the titles which are downloaded, is “nonsense”, said the Authors Guild. “Publishers did not surrender this level of control to the retailer. Amazon’s boilerplate terms specifically contemplate the sale of ebooks, not giveaways, subscriptions, or lending,” it said. “Amazon, in other words, appears to be boldly breaching its contracts with these publishers. This is an exercise of brute economic power. Amazon knows it can largely dictate terms to non-Big Six publishers, and it badly wanted to launch this programme with some notable titles.”

    Publishers who have agreed to participate in the Kindle lending library, meanwhile, “do not have the right to do so without the prior approval of the books’ authors”, according to the writers’ body, which is advising authors whose books are in the programme without their permission to contact their publisher to register their objections.

    Sounds like just a complete mess to me. The only winners here are Amazon and Kindle owners.

    What confuses me though is why Amazon needs to have this program with all of its problems when they now allow users to borrow library ebooks on the Kindle for free. Is this just about having more time to finish a book (since the lending program involves no due dates)? It seems like a hefty price to pay for such a small benefit.

    — 2 years ago with 18 notes
    #amazon  #kindle  #lending library  #publisher  #ebooks  #publishing  #ereader  #ebook  #library  #lending