Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Libraries

Poll: Americans crave human interaction despite pervasive tech

More reasons why libraries and librarians will continue to play a critical role as we confront the rising tide of communications’ disconnect:

“We may sleep with our smartphones and spend multiple hours a day staring at device screens, but almost of half of American adults say they prefer in-person communication, per a poll by SurveyMonkey for “Axios on HBO.”

  • Why it matters, from Axios managing editor Kim Hart: The rapid rise of social media and smartphones led some experts to worry that digital communication would replace face-to-face interaction, potentially leading to weaker relationships and less productivity.
  • The results show that adults still value the human connection of an in-person conversation over text messages by a 21-point margin.

Coming distractions: The proportion of teens who prefer in-person interaction has plummeted from 49% in 2012 to 32% today. Texting is now the favorite mode of communication, per a survey of 13- to 17-year-olds by Common Sense Media.

  • 54% of teens agree that using social media often distracts them when they are with people, and 44% say they get frustrated when their friends are using their phones while hanging out.
  • Yet 55% say they hardly ever or never put their devices away when hanging out with friends…”

100 Notable Books of 2018

The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Categories this year are: Biography, Comics/Graphics, Current Affairs, Essays, Fiction, Foreign Affairs, History, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Science, Sociology, Sports, Stories, Thrillers. Continue Reading

Here’s What It’s Actually Like To Be A Librarian

BuzzFeedNews – Back in September, BuzzFeed Books sent out an unscientific survey to librarians, asking them about their jobs, projects, pet peeves, and more. About 1,400 librarians responded, mostly in the US. Here’s what they had to say…” [Note – this survey was sent to librarians in the public sector – but they resonate across… Continue Reading

Washington Post – Best Books of 2018

Washington Post Book Reviewers – Of all the outstanding titles that grabbed our attention this year, these 10 stood out. One of the books referenced is: The Library Book By Susan Orlean – “The New Yorker writer and author of “The Orchid Thief” has written another winner with a narrative that revolves around the devastating… Continue Reading

Treasures from NYT photo archive

“This portfolio is the first publication from Past Tense, an archival storytelling project of The New York Times. As we digitize some six million photo prints in our files, dating back more than 100 years, we are using those images to bring the events and characters of the past to life in the present. To… Continue Reading

26 People Told Us How Public Libraries Make Their Lives Better

BuzzfeedNews – 26 People Told Us How Public Libraries Make Their Lives Better [Note – many of the reasons referenced in this article are consistent with our own experiences decades ago, minus the technology. What is consistent is – the librarians.] Continue Reading

Under pressure, Pa. prisons repeal restrictive book policy

The Inquirer/Philly.com: “The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections — which in September announced it would put a halt to book donation programs and mail-order books and publications — has revised its policy, allowing book orders to resume through a new centralized processing center. “Everyone who got involved called Gov. Wolf, wrote letters, shared the story on… Continue Reading

This Appalachian Nonprofit Puts Books In The Hands Of Inmates Who Need Them

Buzzfeed News – Since 2004, the Appalachian Prison Book Project has distributed approximately 25,000 books to inmates in the region. “Today, prison libraries are hit-or-miss, more often falling on the “miss” side: frequently barebones, stacked with outdated textbooks, or littered with battered romance novels. Some prisons are even attempting to do away with libraries entirely,… Continue Reading

The history of the toy library

The Atlantic – Every city should have a toy library. “In the 1930s, the idea of the “toyery,” a public place for children to play with toys, gained some traction in the US. For the Atlantic, Alexandra Lange explains their history and argues for more of them, noting: “Spaces in which to play, and a… Continue Reading

1912 List of Books for Home Reading – High School Pupils

“A List of Books for Home Reading of High-School Pupils” was published in 1912 by the National Council of Teachers of English, a group that formed the year before and still makes recommendations to teachers today. Forerunners to the NCTE list include the NEA’s report on college entrance requirements (1899), Franklin T. Baker’s “Bibliography of… Continue Reading

Amazon’s AbeBooks backs down after booksellers stage global protest

The Guardian: “After almost 600 booksellers withdrew 3.5m books from the secondhand marketplace in support of countries dropped by the website, it apologises for a ‘bad decision’. An “extraordinary and unprecedented” global protest from antiquarian booksellers has forced the Amazon-owned secondhand marketplace AbeBooks to backtrack on its decision to pull out of several countries. AbeBooks… Continue Reading

OCLC and Ithaka S+R publish report on aligning library strategies with university directions

“OCLC and Ithaka S+R have published a new report, University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning library strategies with institutional directions, which establishes a new framework for understanding the fit between emerging library service paradigms and university types. The report is available on the OCLC Research website. Supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, project… Continue Reading