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Category Archives: Libraries

Experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books assess the damage

The Guardian – The UK Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. “…The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office estimates that 17% of ebooks are consumed illegally. Generally, pirates tend to be from better-off socioeconomic groups, and aged between 30 and 60. Many use social media to ask for tips when their regular piracy website is shut down; when I contacted some, those who responded always justified it by claiming they were too poor to buy books – then tell me they read them on their e-readers, smartphones or computer screens – or that their areas lacked libraries, or they found it hard to locate books in the countries where they lived. Some felt embarrassed. Others blamed greedy authors for trying to stop them.

When we asked Guardian readers to tell us about their experiences with piracy, we had more than 130 responses from readers aged between 20 and 70. Most regularly downloaded books illegally and while some felt guilty – more than one said they only pirated “big names” and when “the author isn’t on the breadline, think Lee Child” – the majority saw nothing wrong in the practice. “Reading an author’s work is a greater compliment than ignoring it,” said one, while others claimed it was part of a greater ethos of equality, that “culture should be free to all”…”

Education and Science Giant Elsevier Left Users’ Passwords Exposed Online

Motherboard: “Elsevier, the company behind scientific journals such as The Lancet, left a server open to the public internet, exposing user email addresses and passwords. The impacted users include people from universities and educational institutions from across the world. It’s not entirely clear how long the server was exposed or how many accounts were impacted,… Continue Reading

The Medieval Masterpiece, the Book of Kells, Is Now Digitized & Put Online

openculture.com – “If you know nothing else about medieval European illuminated manuscripts, you surely know the Book of Kells. “One of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures” comments Medievalists.net, “it is set apart from other manuscripts of the same period by the quality of its artwork and the sheer number of illustrations that run throughout the 680 pages… Continue Reading

AALL State of the Profession Snapshot 2019

AALL [note – the snapshot is free – the entire report is fee only] “The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) believes that people need timely access to relevant legal information to make sound legal arguments and wise legal decisions. Members include—but are certainly not limited to—research librarians, chief knowledge officers, metadata managers, law professors,… Continue Reading

NYT Archives – Reviews of Classic Books

The New York Times – Oops! Famously Scathing Reviews of Classic Books From The Times’s Archive: “What can we say? We don’t always get it right. Here’s a look back at some of our most memorable misses.We called “Sister Carrie” a book “one can get along very well without reading,” dismissed “Lolita” as “dull, dull,… Continue Reading

Free online course will arm you with tools and skills to navigate misinformation

The Knight Center – “Massive, country-wide protests are planned and it would be impossible to have correspondents placed at each demonstration. Like many newsrooms these days, you plan to comb social media for photo and video evidence that can provide a national picture of what’s going on. But how can you make sure the images… Continue Reading

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index – Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, German. (Submitted on 9 Mar 2019). arXiv:1903.03846 [cs.IR] “A proposal for building an index of the Web that separates the infrastructure part of the search engine—the index—from the services part that will form… Continue Reading

The World Wide Web Turns 30. Where Does It Go From Here?

Sir Tim Berners Lee via Wired: “Today, 30 years on from my original proposal for an information management system, half the world is online. It’s a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far we have yet to go. The web has become a public square, a… Continue Reading

In the Library’s Web Archives: Sorting through a Set of US Government PDFs

The Signal Blog – LC: “Today’s guest post is from Jesse Johnston, a Senior Digital Collections Specialist at the Library of Congress. The Digital Content Management section has been working on a project to extract and make available sets of files from the Library’s significant web archives holdings. This is another step to explore the web archives and make… Continue Reading

Meet BookBot: Mountain View library’s newest robot helper

Only in Silicon Valley does a robot return your library books: “Residents in downtown Mountain View have gotten their first peek at the future with the debut of BookBot, the library’s newest non-human helper. A creation of Google’s Area 120 — an experimental division of the technology juggernaut — the bot is the company’s first… Continue Reading

‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – interview with Umberto Eco

SPIEGEL Interview with Umberto Eco ‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – “Italian novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco, who is curating a new exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, talks to SPIEGEL about the place lists hold in the history of culture, the ways we try to avoid thinking about death and… Continue Reading

Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks

“Americans are spreading their book consumption across several formats, and the use of audiobooks is rising. About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. Print books remain… Continue Reading