The current issue of LRC: Literary Review of Canada has a light essay by an acquaintance of Marshall McLuhan, discussing what the man was like and assessing his influence: In the Garden with the Guru. If you’re only vaguely familiar with Marshall McLuhan I definitely recommend it for a little taste of he was like … Read more Bob Rodgers remembers Marshall McLuhan
Category: Print Culture
Okay, though it tends to bring in the trolls, here is another post about something that’s hotly discussed on general political blogs… I’ve been reading Al Gore’s new book, The Assault on Reason, and I have to admit that I had underestimated him, simply because he has been successful in politics without widely communicating even … Read more Pardon me for not realizing before now that Al Gore is really smart
This was just covered in the Chronicle of Higher Education daily email, with a link to a post in Ars Technica, a blog about technology. Doris Lessing delivered her Nobel Prize acceptance speech last week (not able to attend personally). It is about the contrast between the affluent North and the poor South, particularly Zimbabwe, … Read more Doris Lessing critical of the influences of technology, in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech
Remember the National Endowment for the Arts study on reading in 2004, the one that noted a sharp decline in literary reading? One of the implicit causes was that computer use has distracted people from reading, so a natural response in the blogosphere was that the study was flawed for only looking at literary reading … Read more NEA study: all types of reading in decline
I found these on Arts & Letters Daily. A comment about that site after the links. First, an article from the New Yorker by Anthony Grafton: Future Reading: Digitization and Its Discontents. This is a thoughtful meditation on Google’s Library Project and the general effect of digitization on reading, from a well-informed historical perspective. I’m … Read more A couple of interesting links
Here’s an interesting article from the July-August isssue of New Left Review relating the history of socialism to the history of print culture. It suggests, without quite stating it, that the decline of socialism is tied to the decline of print culture, and that by extension the future of socialism will be tied to a … Read more Socialism and print culture
Terry Eagleton has a rather sad article in Saturday’s UK Guardian: Only Pinter remains: British literature’s long and rich tradition of politically engaged writers has come to an end. Eagleton tells how England’s major writers have moved to the right in recent years, and talks about the Left politics of its great writers of the … Read more Only Pinter remains
Media critic and theorist Robert McChesney is spearheading the campaign against the postal rate hike, which has Time Warner and other major magazine publishers’ money behind it. This is from the campaign website: Postal regulators have accepted a proposal from media giant Time Warner that would stifle small and independent publishers in America. The plan … Read more Postal Rate Hike would hurt independent publishers
March 2007 is Small Press Month. Especially note the ten things to do for Small Press Month for bookstores and libraries. The effort is cosponsored by a range of organizations helping small presses, and special thanks are given to Alice Walker. I read about this on LibrarianActivist.org.
Library Juice Concentrate Edited by Rory Litwin Preface by Kathleen de la Peña McCook Price: $25.00 ISBN-10: 0-9778617-3-2 ISBN-13: 978-0-9778617-3-6 6″ by 9″ Published: December 2006 Library Juice Concentrate is a compilation of the best of Library Juice, an e-zine published by Rory Litwin between 1998 and 2005 that dealt with foundational questions of librarianship … Read more New from LJP: Library Juice Concentrate
Library Daylight: Tracings of Modern Librarianship, 1874 to 1922 Edited by Rory Litwin Introduction by Suzanne Stauffer, Ph.D. Price: $25.00 ISBN-10: 0-9778617-4-0 ISBN-13: 978-0-9778617-4-3 6″ by 9″ Published: December 2006 Library Daylight: Tracings of Modern Librarianship, 1874 to 1922 is an eclectic collection of thirty-six articles about libraries and librarianship published between 1874 and 1922. … Read more New from LJP: Library Daylight
This is a cute visual argument for the value of printed books. A friend at work sent it to me….
I think I neglected to emphasize this… Nancy Kranich’s preface to the 6th edition of Alternative Publishers of Books in North America is online. It’s good reading about the importance of alternative literature in libraries, from someone who has been studying the issue for years. Nancy Kranich is a past president of ALA and has … Read more On the importance of alternative literature in libraries
“The real culture of America is not corporate monoculture and television. It’s the writers, teachers, universities, libraries and librarians. That’s the mainstream culture of America.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, announcing the finalists for the National Book Awards, in his City Lights bookstore in San Francisco last week.
Ben Vershobow in if:book just now posted a brief discussion of the University of California’s just-released contract with Google to digitize its library holdings. The contract reveals that Google has asked for and has apparently gotten certain exclusive rights to the use of the digital copies of UC’s books, à la The Smithsonian’s deal with … Read more Showtiming our libraries (if:book)
Kim Leeder at Envirolibrarian has a brief review of the 1997 book by David Shenk, Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut, which says that the amount of information easily available to people ends up harming more than helping civic participation. It sounds like an interesting book; I wasn’t aware of it. Since that book Shenk … Read more Data Smog
International Committee of the Blue Shield statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict
The International Committee of the Blue Shield has released a statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict. The statement simply states the group’s concern about the conflict and the threat it poses to cultural property (artifacts, documents, art), and calls upon governments to ratify the The Hague Convention for the Protection of … Read more International Committee of the Blue Shield statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict
Check out Barbara Fister’s thoughts on Library 2.0 and the culture of reading in her posting on the ACRL blog. She refers and links to a discussion in the mainstream press which I have been neglecting, about how the medium of the web is affecting reading and book culture. This discussion involves Kevin Kelley, Lee … Read more Barbara Fister on Library 2.0 and the culture of reading
Here’s a riddle: What does the musical interval of a fifth have to do with discussions of multiple literacies, the millenials, and Marshall McLuhan’s predicted decline of print literacy and the corresponding rise of a more multi-sensory way of being, thinking, and judging? Answer: play the high note and followed by the low note of … Read more Print virtue and the ontology of the Bo-ring
Perhaps the most pressing issue facing librarianship is one that is unlikely to receive serious scholarly attention. It is, to put it simply, a battle presently being fought between two camps of librarians. Some may cite generational conflict as the primary conflict in librarianship today; baby-boomers representing traditional knowledge of librarianship as well as bibliographic … Read more Geeks and Nerds Battle for the Soul of Librarianship