Around the World: Libraries, Archives and Public Life

The Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta are helping bring together a conversation on Libraries, Archives, and Public Life from universities around the world, including speakers from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Malta, Scotland and the United States: Paul Arthur, Professor, … Read more Around the World: Libraries, Archives and Public Life

MUSICat

Just a brief note about the thing that stuck in my mind the most from ALA Midwinter. It is called MUSICat (i.e. “Music @” as well as Music Catalog, a logical name for what it is). They had a booth across from ours, and I chatted with Kelly Hiser about their service. What they do … Read more MUSICat

Cyberattacks against numerous French library websites

Nicolas Beudon reports that last night there were cyberattacks against numerous French library websites, evidently by Islamist groups. They hacked into these sites using vulnerabilities in Drupal, WordPress, and ISS, as well as by cracking simple passwords. The messages they left on homepages objected to the identification of Islam with the terrorists, referring to it … Read more Cyberattacks against numerous French library websites

Statement by Former New Republic Editors and Writers

As former editors and writers for The New Republic, we write to express our dismay and sorrow at its destruction in all but name. From its founding in 1914, The New Republic has been the flagship and forum of American liberalism. Its reporting and commentary on politics, society, and arts and letters have nurtured a … Read more Statement by Former New Republic Editors and Writers

IFLA Internet Manifesto 2014

IFLA approved its first Internet Manifesto in 2002. This provided an early recognition of the vital role that the Internet plays in the work of library and information services, and ensuring that individuals and groups have free access to information and can freely express themselves. The world has changed significantly since 2002 both physically and … Read more IFLA Internet Manifesto 2014

Ursula K Le Guin’s speech at National Book Awards: ‘Books aren’t just commodities’

“To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the … Read more Ursula K Le Guin’s speech at National Book Awards: ‘Books aren’t just commodities’

Should the United States Follow France and Declare Books an ‘Essential Good’?

The French Government has declared books an “essential good.” Daniel Mendelsohn and Mohsin Hamid in the NYT yesterday explore the idea of doing the same thing in the U.S. Here is a brief excerpt: Whatever the cultural reasons, books in France are indeed an “essential good” — the designation coined by the French government that … Read more Should the United States Follow France and Declare Books an ‘Essential Good’?

An ironic concern over net neutrality

In her January piece on net neutrality in Wired Magazine that I have just now seen, former ALA President Barbara Stripling says, “…[W]ithout net neutrality, we are in danger of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This may maximize profits for large content providers, but it minimizes education for … Read more An ironic concern over net neutrality

Baudrillard on the futility of information

There’s a passage from the first part of Jean Baudrillard’s In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities that always resonated with my more pessimistic moments of doing library instruction. There is a faith involved in pursuing information literacy, a passionate belief in the empowerment of people, especially students, though teaching them to find, filter, and … Read more Baudrillard on the futility of information

Interview with Vincent Mosco about his new book

Vincent Mosco is Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, Canada. In his career he has focused on the political economy of information, communication, and the media. Back in the 80s he co-edited a book with Janet Wasko that was very influential to me as I was developing my thoughts on libraries and related subjects – The Political … Read more Interview with Vincent Mosco about his new book

Email discussion on the recent Google Books copyright decision

An interesting, overlapping discussion about the recent Google Books copyright decision took place on the Progressive Librarians Guild email discussion list and the Social Responsibilities Round Table discussion list over the past few days. I have permission from the participants to reproduce that discussion here. I used to do this frequently with the original Library … Read more Email discussion on the recent Google Books copyright decision

New NYC Library Curated by and for the Homeless

A few weeks ago, I attended the opening dedication of the Jean Rice Homeless Liberation Reference Library in the Fordham area of the Bronx. (I’ve written before about Picture the Homeless [PTH], a grassroots organization of currently and formerly homeless people and allies that does advocacy and data collection, among other campaigns.) By the time … Read more New NYC Library Curated by and for the Homeless

New Title: Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis

Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis Editors: Shana Higgins and Lua Gregory Price: $32.00 Published: September 2013 ISBN: 978-1-936117-56-7 Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis extends the discussion of information literacy and its social justice aspects begun by James Elmborg, Heidi L.M. Jacobs, Cushla Kapitzke, Maria T. Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and … Read more New Title: Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis

Great Response to an Illegitimate Takedown Notice

This great response to an illegitimate takedown notice is going around on Facebook. It’s funny because of how it shows just how unjust these robo-generated takedown notices can be, but it also reveals a problem that deserves serious discussion. These kind of takedown notices go out by the thousands, and not many people who receive … Read more Great Response to an Illegitimate Takedown Notice

Elitism

I am going to link to an editorial that is not like what we normally link to here, but it is on a favorite topic of mine, one that I have written about here before (here, here, here, and here), in order to continue asking a question and perhaps to challenge our faith as librarians. … Read more Elitism