Articles about libraries, archives, books and publishing. Innovation, new technology, librarianship, archivists, current issues, records preservation, history of libraries. Non-technical articles from many sources.
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David Foster Wallace argues that a liberal arts education, the foundation of which requires reading a lot of literature, makes you a kinder, more empathetic person. When you read, you replace your own life with someone else’s. That is an act of empathy, and empathy is the cornerstone of human connection. (and 11 more reasons)
Julie Buntin, Cosmopolitan 2014
I was told that the most interesting man in the world works in the archives division of the New York Public Library, and so I went there.
James Somers, Village Voice 2017
Drawing on data bout book challenges and book bans collected by the American Library Association and other organizations, this site lists the 24 most feared books.
Nicholas Politan, Electric Lit 2016
The digital revolution was expected to kill traditional publishing. But print books are ever more beautifully designed and lovingly cherished
Alex Preston, Observer 2017
“Where can I find copyright information about illustrations from magazine ads (pre-1964)? Are illustrations in those ads in the public domain?”
John Mark Ockerbloom, Everybody’s Libraries 2019
The depth of Syria’s history is stunning. The country boasts some of the earliest writing and cities, including biblical Christian and Jewish sites that were still in use before the current war. Together with the NGO, Heritage for Peace, my colleagues and I wanted to tell the story of the Syrians protecting this heritage. We’ve reviewed hundreds of news articles and social media reports since the start of the conflict.
Omar Sanadiki, The Conversation 2016
Meet the archivists, folklorists, and curators fighting to preserve South Sudan’s history—and end its civil war.
Nina Strochlic, National Geographic 2016
During the Great Depression, a New Deal program brought books to Kentuckians living in remote areas
Eliza McGraw, Smithsonian 2017
Scholars used donkey carts, boats, and teenage couriers to smuggle a priceless collection out of Timbuktu.
Simon Worrall, National Geographic, 2016
Today, thanks to ebooks and Amazon (AMZN), self-publishing is a global phenomenon—an independent route intentionally chosen by more and more authors. Ebook self-publishing has become a $1 billion industry. But there’s a lot less “self ” in self-publishing these days. A burgeoning ecosystem of supporting services has sprung up to serve independent authors.
Jennifer Alsever, Fortune 2016
The debate about ebooks v paper books is nothing new. Keith Houston explains how a very similar debate raged as the first books came to be in ancient Rome.
Keith Houston, BBC Culture 2016
The Internet Archive serves from two to three million visitors a day with such tools as the Wayback Machine, which provides snapshots of 435 billion Web pages saved over time. The archive has seven million texts (you could call them books), 2.1 million audio recordings, and 1.8 million videos. It is an immense library.
David Streitfeld, NY Times 2014
Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002 — before smartphones, Facebook or Twitter became ubiquitous.
Art Swift and Steve Ander, Gallup 2017
Reuniting stumped readers with the books from the edges of their memories.
Jessica Leigh Hester, Atlas Obscura 2018
Melissa Levine, The Conversation 2017
David McMillen, Prologue 2016
Anne Quito, Quartz 2016
It’s also the second richest library on Earth (after the Vatican Library), due to the number and value of its books
Daniel Esparza, Aleteia 2016
After news emerged about an underground reading room in Damascus, Fiona Macdonald discovers the places where writing has been hidden for centuries.
Fiona Macdonald, BBC Culture 2016
Ernie Smith, Atlas Obscura 2016
Librarians and archivists made sure the nation’s records didn’t become casualties of World War II
Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian 2016
In the age of Amazon and the internet, the idea of going to a public library to borrow a book may seem ever more quaint and old-fashioned in many parts of the world, but one country, at least, is clinging to it tenaciously: the Czech Republic.
Hana de Goeij, NY Times 2016
David Skorton, Smithsonian Insider 2017
How the State of Wisconsin furnishes books to homes where libraries are unknown
Fred L. Holmes, Review of Reviews and World’s Work 1915
A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens
Neil Gaiman, The Guardian 2013
Millions of publications—not to mention spy documents—can be read on microfilm machines. But people still see these devices as outmoded and unappealing. An Object Lesson.
Craig Saper, The Atlantic 2018
These new and renovated community spaces were awarded AIA’s annual Library Building Award.
Maddie Crum, Huffpost 2016
Interview with the Archivist of the United States. First Q. Will there be an Obama Presidential Library like the other 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives? A. Not in the traditional sense …
David S. Ferriero, Organization of American Historians blog 2017
See our collected books on History of Southeast Asia & Pacific Islands
You may think of bookmobiles as cheerful vehicles that bring information to those with little access, or more simply as buses that carry books to remote communities, or as a technology of the past. None of those ideas tell the full story of bookmobiles according to Derek Attig.
Cecily Garber, Ultimate History Project
Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to “check out” endangered titles
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing 2017
The internet stole the monopoly on knowledge but it can’t recreate a sense of place. Revival is possible
Simon Jenkins, The Guardian 2016
Family Tree Tips 2016
In this exemplary work English not only tells a remarkable story and explores the meanings of the ‘African Eldorado’ but exposes a myth
William Dalrymple, The Guardian 2017
Melvil Dewey helped create a new profession for women—and harassed them at every step of the way.
Erin Blakemore, History 2019
See our collected books on Social Sciences, Sociology, Anthropology
“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”
James Somers, The Atlantic 2017
Protecting one book is easy. Saving 377,000 fragile historic documents from gun-toting vandals hell-bent on erasing centuries of knowledge? That takes a different type of hero.
Joshua Hammer, Mental Floss Atavist 2016
Meet the archivists, folklorists, and curators fighting to preserve South Sudan’s history – and end its civil war.
Nina Strochlic, National Geographic 2016
Merryl H. Tisch and her husband are giving $20 million to the New York Public Library to expand and strengthen its education programming, from early literacy classes to technology training. The gift will create a position for a director of education.
Kate Taylor, NY Times 2017
Whatever early progress the Library of Congress made on the internet has been squandered. In March 2015, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office painted a bleak picture of the LOC’s technological infrastructure, finding ‘significant weaknesses’ in strategic planning (there was no IT strategic plan); investment management and leadership (the Library did not have a Chief Information Officer from 2012 to late 2015).
Kyle Chayka, N + 1
Here’s another interesting thing about the origins of American public libraries. We have women to thank for most of them
Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed 2017
For years, anyone wanting to research the origins and history of Scouting needed to travel to the archive and work with the archivists. Thanks to a group of archiving experts from Brigham Young University, those documents are now available online on the BYU Harold B. Lee Library website.
Roger Layton, Daily Herald 2016
Caked in dust and dating back to 1674, the written records of a growing city are headed to new homes, to be preserved and made accessible to researchers.
Website for public participation in transcription of historical documents.
Univ of Iowa Libraries
When an online news outlet goes out of business, its archives can disappear as well. The new battle over journalism’s digital legacy.
Maria Bustillos, Columbia Journalism Review 2018
Enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings – and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it.
Mike Thomson, BBC News 2016
Why the DigiLab? Clients of our DigiLab benefit from a free, efficient means of generating high-quality digital images; in turn, we ask them to record basic metadata for the material they are scanning. We then create a Web copy of that material and make it available to everyone to discover and access via our website.
Melanie Brown and Karine Gelinas, Library and Archives Canada
Electronic files don’t last forever. An institutional archivist explains how she wrangles floppy disks and hard drives that preserve the history of the Getty
Lorain Wang, The Iris 2016
Library anxiety is real. The phenomenon, which involves feeling intimidated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed by libraries and librarians, was first identified by Constance A. Mellon in 1986. She reported that college students in particular are prone to library anxiety because they believe their research skills are inadequate, which makes them feel ashamed and unwilling to talk to the very librarians who might be able to ease their worries.
Ella Morton, Atlas Obscura 2016
Here’s the list the latest titles they’ve released over the past couple of months, as well as those that are coming soon.
Alona Tester, Gould Genealogy & History 2017
Digital collections of Recollection Wisconsin’s partners across the state are now available in the Digital Public Library of America. Nearly 400,000 records representing photographs, books, maps, artifacts and other historical and cultural resources from 186 collections are now part of DPLA. School children, genealogists and scholars will be able to find unique materials from Wisconsin and about Wisconsin through DPLA’s website.
Recollection Wisconsin 2016