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Princeton U. Press launches open, all-digital version of Einstein Papers Project

“The Einstein Papers Project, the decades-long effort to compile and preserve the scientist’s professional work and personal writings, is today opening to the public as a free searchable database containing thousands of documents. The launch of the Digital Einstein Papers includes more than 5,000 documents that span the first 44 years of Albert Einstein’s life. As the organizations collaborating on the project — the California Institute of Technology (the project’s home), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (which houses the Albert Einstein Archives) and Princeton University Press — work to sort through tens of thousands of articles and letters, the website will grow to one day feature what the publisher said may be the first free digital collection of a prominent scientist’s complete works.” (via insidehighered)

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CHICAGO, NY, HAWAII COMPETE TO HOST OBAMA LIBRARY

“Three U.S. cities that President Barack Obama once called home are trying to outdo one another as the competition to host his future presidential library comes to a close. Next week, a handful of Obama’s oldest friends and associates will start judging proposals from two universities in Chicago and one each in New York and Honolulu, and by the end of March, Obama and the first lady will announce the winner. Knowing the future library will be a prominent tourist attraction and historical site, each community is offering Obama prime real estate, financial backing and grand visions for what his library could look like.” (via The Associated Press)

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Google should pay authors for scanned books, U.S. appeals court told

“Google Inc’s massive effort to scan millions of books for a digital library violates copyright law, illegally depriving authors of licensing fees, royalties and sales, a lawyer for a group of authors told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday. Paul Smith, who represents the Authors Guild and several individual writers, told a three-judge panel at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that the Google Books project was a “quintessentially commercial” infringement designed to protect the company’s “crown jewel” search engine.” (via Reuters)

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Wake Forest U. creates room for napping in campus library

“Napping students — exhausted by long nights of studying for exams or writing term papers — are common in campus libraries. But at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, sleeping students can now be found resting in comfortable recliners, instead of snoring into open textbooks. Last month, the library unveiled a technology-free relaxation area called the “ZieSta Room.” (via insidehighered)

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Wikipedia Is More Biased Than Britannica, but Don’t Blame the Crowd

“The sixth most visited website in the world is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, managed by a loosely coordinated group of volunteers from around the globe. If the wisdom of the crowd has a poster child, Wikipedia is it. But new research shows that the average Wikipedia article is more politically biased than its Britannica counterpart. That sounds like an indictment of crowdsourcing, but on closer inspection it instead reveals what makes the crowd really work. In a working paper released last month, Shane Greenstein of Kellogg and Feng Zhu of Harvard Business School measured the political bias of Wikipedia and Britannica by counting the number of politically charged words in pairs of articles. Previous research has demonstrated that political partisans use different language. In the U.S., Republicans are more likely to use terms like “illegal immigration” and “border security.” Democrats are more likely to use “war in Iraq”, “civil rights”, or “trade deficit”. These word choices predict the speaker’s ideological slant.” (via Harvard Business Review)

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Library or homeless shelter? Proposal to open library 24-7 spurs debate

“A proposal to keep the Salt Lake City Main Library open all day every day has some residents worried the architectural gem designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie could become the nation’s ritziest homeless shelter. The popular library is open to all comers and provides a host of media from books to computers, and magazines to DVDs. Its spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains combined with its cavernous atrium make it a favorite of residents and visitors. One thing it does not offer — and won’t — is a place to sleep, according to John Spears, the library’s executive director.” (via The Salt Lake Tribune)

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Elsevier Foundation Announces its 2015 Grant Recipients

“The Elsevier Foundation today announced its 2015 grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars Programs. In total $600.000 has been committed for 2015 that will support various multiyear projects in over 20 countries in the developing world. The Elsevier Foundation is funded by Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.” (via PRNewswire

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In a Move Toward Open Access, ‘Nature’ Allows Widespread Article Sharing

“Nature, one of the world’s most-cited scientific publications, took a step toward open access on Tuesday by granting its subscribers and journalists wide authority to let outside readers view its articles at no cost. Under the new policy, subscribers to 49 journals published by the Nature Publishing Group and collected on Nature’s website can create and share links to full-text versions of all of that content. About 100 media outlets also can include free links in news reports that reference articles in the group’s journals.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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7-year-old Milpitas girl’s letter spurs publisher to change book name

“Parker Dains knows there isn’t anything she can’t do or anyone she can’t be because of her gender. That’s why the 7-year-old Milpitas student became very upset earlier this year after a visit to the Milpitas Public Library, when she turned over a book she was reading about insects and saw that it was called “Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys.” “It made me very unhappy,” said Dains, a second-grader at Joseph Weller Elementary School. “I was like, ‘What the?’ I said, ‘Dad we have to do something quickly.'” Do something she did. She went home and wrote a letter to the publisher of the “Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys,” ABDO Publishing, complete with illustrations of herself doing homework and at school.” (via ContraCostaTimes.com)

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Ex-Queens Library trustees lose case against BP Melinda Katz

“A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought against Borough President Melinda Katz by six former Queens Library trustees who had sought to have their dismissals overturned by the court, Katz announced Sunday. The six were members of a faction that had shielded now-suspended library President and CEO Tom Galante from attempts by a minority of the board to put him on leave while investigations into alleged financial mismanagement played out, and that had refused to provide City Comptroller Scott Stringer with all the documents he sought for an audit of the system.” (via Queens Chronicle)

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