Terrific long illustration of a day in the life of SFPL, by Wendy McNaughton.
Archive for the 'libraries' Category
Still getting back to my routine after having a great time at both MLA and CLA. Will post lsides and comments later, but for a morning pick-me-up, read this article in praise of public libraries. You will enjoy it.
In 1872, the right to know led the Worcester Massachusetts Public Library to open its doors on Sunday. Many viewed that as sacrilege. Head librarian Samuel Green calmly responded that a library intended to serve the public could do so only if it were accessible when the public could use it. Six day, 60-hour workweeks meant that if libraries were to serve the majority of the community they must be open on Sundays. Referring to those who might not spend their Sundays at worship Green impishly added, “If they are not going to save their souls in the church they should improve their minds in the library.”
The reason I care about this at all is two reasons. One, there is a useful analog with libraries and how they handle their email lists of patrons. Obviously patron data is private and comes under whatever privacy laws a state has and whatever policies the library has. But is a library allowed to market to patrons? Or give these lists to peopl to market on the library’s behalf? This was the concern when the public library in Dixon California emailed patrons to let them know about ongoing library renovation plans and asked them to consider making donations. People who are not pleased with the library renovations, the Dixon Carnegie Library Preservation Society, is arguing that the librarian acted improperly when they gave patron email addresses to a consulting company without patron consent. Now let me just state I pretty well side with the library on this one, but it’s sure to be an increasingly contentious topic as libraries have more and more diffrent kinds of patron data to keep private.
And the second reson is just a cautionary tale. Many people with iphones are aware by now that the phone tracks where you go. I mean it has to in order to be a phone, but it stores this data in unencrypted form on both the phone and the synced compueter, forever. This means that anyone with access to a simple open source tool such as this one can make lovely maps like the one above. Good to know, and good to understand. As libraries move more towards mobile applications and mobile awareness generally, understanding how this sort of data works will be an important part of making sure we know how, when and why to keep it private.
I was in Texas this past week, again. I was attending possibly my favorite library conference, TXLA. Part of the deal I worked out as a speaker was that I would be registered for the entire conference so that I could go to other panels and talks and events. I did. I also took in a lot of Austin sights, saw a bunch of people, participated in a rally and gave a pretty good talk. My inbox filled up with links for National Library Week while I was away and only paying partial attention to my email. I’ll make another post about the conference specifically, but these are the links that I wanted to pass around, late though they may be.
- Tell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries – a petition started by Andy Woodworth, with accompanying change.org blog post. I believe that time will show HarperCollins’ decision as misguided, but I see no problem telling them so now either.
- Gary Price let me know that he and his colleague Shirl Kennedy have moved on from Resource Shelf to a few new projects: InfoDocket and FullTextReports
- Remember The Library Guy in Florida, Paul Clark? He was named Florida’s Librarian of the Year. Congrats, Paul.
- Archives.org sent me a link to a nifty little infographic they made about the importance of libraries. Nice looking and informative.
Interesting to look at the various ways libraries are reacting in policy fashion to the HarperCollins “You can have 26 checkouts at this price” decision. Library Journal has a recent round-up.
This list of information came to the VT Libraries list, via the IFLA list. I found one copy of it online in a sort of random place and it’s a few days old but it’s got a nice comprehensive-seeming outline of what’s going on in Japan and especially in the Japanese library community. IFLA has also made their own resource page which is full of pointers as well as comments from notable Japanese librarians. People who read Japanese will probably get a lot of information from the Savelibrary wiki which has up to date information and a lot of links. The photo comes from this thread (original thread in Japanese) where librarians were posting photos of their institutions just after the earthquake. If you continue to scroll, you’ll see some better photos now that recovery work has started.
A comment in my previous post led to a blog post, nominally about NYC’s Fashion Week, but including some photos of the apartment over the 67th Street Branch of NYPL.
Grandpa’s Grandpa was a Norwegian immigrant. He lived on East 67th Street between First and Second Avenue, in the penthouse apartment above the 67th Street Branch library. He was the custodian of the three-story building, and at the time, the custodian lived above the library (there was a dumbwaiter, but no elevator) as part of his employment package.
I never get tired of these gorgeous photos of library buildings, but I do feel like I’ve seen the same ten libraries ten times each. This list of lovely libraries has a few new ones and is using a nice non-click-bait format where you can look at them all at once. I wonder sometimes if photos of libraries are more likely to be Creative Commons licensed than other sorts of photos? [thanks eileen!]