12:33 pm, infinitemonkeys
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eBookFling organizes e-book lending

PcWorld reported on a new service called eBookFling, which organizes users of lendable e-books in order to encourage more swapping of the texts. Under the free service, users simply list the e-books they have available to “lend,” and connect with users that have e-books they want to “borrow.” Interestingly, the service’s press release notes that Amazon and publishers are probably going to have a negative response, and says publishers may even choose to make fewer books available for lending. However, the company doesn’t really respond to these points with explanations for why they think that what they’re doing is fair in any way, other than saying that consumers that sample a book may choose to pay for it on their own (a fairly common claim among people who illegally upload music).


07:54 am, infinitemonkeys
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Nabokov Butterfly Theory Is Vindicated

Interesting story about how Vladimir Nabokov’s amateur theories on butterfly evolution have been validated by scientists.


06:42 pm, infinitemonkeys
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quote

"The first-ever economic impact study about the Philadelphia’s public libraries, The Economic Value of the Free Library of Philadelphia concludes that the library created more than $30 million worth of economic value to the city in FY2010. Particularly noteworthy is the library’s impact on business development and employment, which has rightfully become an ongoing national concern. Survey respondents reported that they couldn’t have started, sustained, or grown an estimated 8,600 businesses without the resources they accessed at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Direct economic impact: Almost $4 million.

Librarians have come to expect that data will back up their positive effect on the creation of jobs (1,000 found work thanks to FLP resources, pumping $30 million in salaries into the economy) and tax revenue ($1.2 million) in a given community. The Fels study also offered a pleasant surprise: Researchers found that Philadelphia homes located within a quarter-mile of a branch library were worth an average of $9,630 more than homes outside that radius.”


05:58 pm, infinitemonkeys
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For the trainspotters

I am keeping a spreadsheet of every book I read in 2011. If you want to follow along, the link is here. It’s not very impressive so far but we’re only 1/24th of the way through the year.


03:44 pm, infinitemonkeys
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A brief question about graphic novels and cataloging

Probably not a particularly original question, but I’m not a huge cataloging person so maybe someone can answer this: why are all graphic novels cataloged together under nonfiction, instead of fictional graphic novels being filed with fiction and nonfictional graphic novels being filed under the relevant call number? Is there any other group of books that are lumped together based solely on medium/style instead of subject? I guess you could say that poetry and theater books are, but somehow it seems more appropriate in those cases.


01:07 pm, infinitemonkeys
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Lusty Tales and Hot Sales: Romance E-Books Thrive

Good article about how the ability of people using e-readers to obscure what they are reading has boosted sales of romance novels.


02:56 pm, infinitemonkeys
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Books are still being banned

Whereas challenges once were mostly launched by a lone parent, Caldwell-Stone says she has noticed “an uptick in organized efforts” to remove books from public and school libraries.


02:33 pm, infinitemonkeys
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The Library as Amusement Park

This dumb article by Daniel J. Flynn, author of A Conservative History of the American Left,for City Journal, is basically another salvo in the endlessly overanalyzed debate over whether libraries should serve to enlighten the public or just give them what they want. As a bonus, it’s also a totally uninformed piece arguing the video games are incapable of intellectual stimulation or artistic achievement. Finally, it argues that lending video games (to be played, you know, at HOME and not at the library) will somehow turn libraries “from quiet sanctuaries in a noisy world to extensions of the high-decibel environment.”


12:32 pm, infinitemonkeys
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Nation's Archivists Rise Up Against the CIA

The National Archives and Records Administration does what the Justice Department won’t.


01:11 pm, infinitemonkeys
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An event for Chicago people: "Reading Under the Volcano"

I don’t think I’m going to make it to this but it sounds epic:

Part interactive theater, part Día de los Muertos festival, part celebration of alcohol: come experience the hot music of Malcolm Lowry’s “Under the Volcano” in a 12 hour group marathon reading.

On the Day of the Dead, 1938, Yvonne returns to her husband, a British Consul in Mexico, a year after having left him. His drunkenness intensifies as they spiral downward during their final 12 hours. Bring a pillow.

Saturday, November 6th at noon—High Concept Laboratories—RSVP at RUTVrsvp@gmail.com—tacos and tequila—

Donations to benefit Literacy Works: an adult literacy organization in Chicago.