Archive for the ‘Library Links’ Category

ebooks choices and the missing soul of librarianship

Andromeda Yelton talks about the implications of the Adobe Digital Editions security issues.

This is about the fact that we do not have the technical skills to verify whether our products are in line with the values we espouse, the policies we hold, or even the contracts we sign, and we do not delegate this verification to others who do. Our failure to verify affects all the software we run.

I agree with her that we need to take stronger stances in contracts. Libraries spend too much money on a variety of content and services every year to just accept the barely acceptable products we usually receive for it.

Adobe Privacy & Security Hole


Adobe is gathering data on the ebooks that have been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. All of this data, including the title, publisher, and other metadata for the book is being sent to Adobe’s server in clear text.

I am not joking; Adobe is not only logging what users are doing, they’re also sending those logs to their servers in such a way that anyone running one of the servers in between can listen in and know everything,

But wait, there’s more.

Adobe isn’t just tracking what users are doing in DE4; this app was also scanning my computer, gathering the metadata from all of the ebooks sitting on my hard disk, and uploading that data to Adobe’s servers.

In. Plain. Text.

And just to be clear, this includes not just ebooks I opened in DE4, but also ebooks I store in calibre and every Epub ebook I happen to have sitting on my hard disk.

- Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries - The Digital Reader Nate Hoffelder

I was just talking last week about my wish libraries would spend more time on electronic security. Patron privacy isn’t only one of librarianship’s core ideals, the trust we’ve built up over centuries is one of best resources, one that’s more important now than ever before as our patrons trust so few other organizations.

How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers

We must fundamentally change how we view libraries and move from a historical idea of libraries as merely physical repositories to seeing them as an opportunity for proactive community engagement.

- How US libraries are becoming community problem solvers | The Guardian Larra Clark

There is a great opportunity for public libraries in this area as one of the few public spaces left. But there is also a place for academic and special libraries as well. The community doesn’t differentiate between the different kinds, to them we’re all simply libraries.

Library Terms That Users Understand [eScholarship]

eScholarship logo

This document is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It compiles data from usability studies evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology, and provides an extensive list of resources.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. Jargon is one of my biggest concerns about library website design. We use all these terms just assuming that our patrons understand them without checking that they do.

What the Library of the Future Will Look Like –

Recently, the Pew Research Center found that 90 percent of Americans would be upset if their local library closed. But the survey also found “52% of Americans say that people do not need public libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own.”

That’s why libraries need to adapt. People want them—but want them to be better. Instead of a warehouse of information, libraries need tools for use by the commons—a Netflix of things.

“We’ve been in the information business for 3,000 years,” Hill says, waxing philosophical on the role of the librarian in society. “If there’s anything we do well, it’s deliver information, and information is knowledge. I think if anybody is positioned to help build workers for this new information age, it is the library.”

America is in love with its libraries: Pew report – Boing Boing

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released a new report today entitled How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities PDF, that shows a very large majority of Americans value libraries, viewing them as critical to their communities and vital to providing services that ensure equality of opportunity for people who would otherwise be at a terrible disadvantage in life.This is in contrast to a few privileged blowhards whove opined that the library is an obsolete institution in the age of the Internet — and worse, an unaffordable luxury in a time of austerity and recession. The mission of libraries is to help the public navigate information and become informed — a mission that is more important than ever. As Eleanor Crumblehulme said, “Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.”

- America is in love with its libraries: Pew report - Boing Boing Cory Doctorow

‘Librarians vs. search engines’ in UC Berkeley report – San Francisco Business Times

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks

Now that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and others are busy digitizing old books and putting them online, isn’t scholarly research easier to get at than ever? Why do we even need musty old tomes taking up space and musty old librarians to point us toward them?

Cal recently hosted a symposium on the future of the research library, and for some time a committee of experts has been preparing this report for Dirks.

It says that libraries, “both as places and services — will be more, rather than less critical to University research and teaching in the next 20 years.” (emphasis mine)

- 'Librarians vs. search engines' in UC Berkeley report - San Francisco Business Times Steven E.F. Brown

We’ve gone from an information desert to an ocean. The hard part is convincing people that we can help them swim better.

Libraries Changed My Life

Neil Gaiman's Twitter profile picture.

Neil Gaiman (fantasy writer and die-hard library supporter) started a Twitter tag #LibrarianAngels, which has had a huge response. He also mentioned a Tumblr by two librarians to curate similar stories.

Real life accounts from library patrons whose lives have been changed for the better by libraries.

So if you need a pick-me-up or a way to start a conversation in your own community head on over.

Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations | Pew Internet Libraries

Pew Internet logo
Younger Americans—those ages 16-29—exhibit a fascinating mix of habits and preferences when it comes to reading, libraries, and technology. Almost all Americans under age 30 are online, and they are more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computer and internet connections; however, they are also still closely bound to print, as three-quarters (75%) of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults ages 30 and older.

Similarly, younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. Large majorities of those under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians as well as books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services, move most services online, or move print books out of public areas.

At the same time, younger library visitors are more likely than older patrons to access the library’s internet or computers or use the library’s research resources, such as databases. And younger patrons are also significantly more likely than those ages 30 and older to use the library as a study or “hang out” space: 60% of younger patrons say they go to the library to study, sit and read, or watch or listen to media, significantly more than the 45% of older patrons who do this. And a majority of Americans of all age groups say libraries should have more comfortable spaces for reading, working, and relaxing.

- by Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell

It’s a fascinating read from PewInternet. I’m particularly interested in the finding that 76% of respondents support of the library as a public space and the comment … the public library has the remarkable opportunity to become a community gathering place in communities where such a space is sorely missing.

This is an idea that I’ve had for a long time. Digital services are becoming more important in libraries but there is value to the basic physical library as a place that isn’t a commercial business or a private residence. This seems to be an area of service that could be explored for ways to serve our communities beyond the basic public meeting rooms.