E-Books Get a Makeover

“For typography fans, electronic books have long been the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. The fonts are uninviting. Jarring swaths of white space stretch between words. Absent are all the typesetting nuances of a fine print book. Now Amazon and Google are doing something about it.” (via WSJ)

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How an NPR Librarian Outdid VA Researchers in Finding Mustard Gas Victims

“The Veterans Affairs Department knew there were 4,000 World War II veterans who had been exposed to mustard gas during chemical experiments, the existence of which wasn’t declassified until the 1990s. But the agency’s effort to track them down and compensate any who suffered injuries went almost nowhere, according to exclusive findings by NPR’s investigative unit in a report broadcast Tuesday.” (Via GoVExec)

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25,000 librarians in S.F. to debate future of their business

“For years, Luis Herrera has fought against the perceived demise of public libraries. The city librarian at San Francisco’s Main Library on Larkin Street has heard it all: Libraries are becoming obsolete. People are too busy with their iPads and iPhones. E-books are cheap. Technology is too great and any information people need can be found on Google. But to Herrera, technology is not a threat. It’s a way to make San Francisco’s public libraries more relevant than ever. “We have always applied technology,” Herrera said. “It is a tool, not the end of our mission. We have used it to advance access to information and resources. Technology is an ally for accessibility.” More than 25,000 library professionals are coming to San Francisco Thursday through Tuesday to discuss the changing role of libraries at the American Library Association conference — the biggest such gathering in the world. The sessions, held at the Moscone Center, will focus on how libraries can remain relevant in the digital age.” (via SF Gate)

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The New York Public Library Wars

“Scholars who use the New York Public Library are boiling with frustration. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2014 the library, under pressure from a coalition that included four senior scholars, abandoned its controversial Central Library Plan, which entailed gutting the stacks at the 42nd Street Library and selling the popular Mid-Manhattan Library across the street. But the situation hasn’t turned out how many critics had hoped.” (Via Chronicle)

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Unearthed In A Library, ‘Voodoo’ Opera Rises Again

“About eight years ago, as a grad student, Annie Holt was working in Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Library when she was assigned to catalogue the work of Harry Lawrence Freeman, a largely forgotten Harlem-based composer from the early 20th century. “It was fabulous!” she says. “I had the honor of going through all the cardboard boxes that came right from his family’s house and unearthing everything, and I, for myself, discovered how amazing his story was and how amazing his music is.” (via NPR)

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In tough Jacksonville neighborhood, Dallas Graham library has been a safe haven for 50 years

“The Dallas Graham branch library in Northwest Jacksonville is where Shantania Roseburgh, now 15, discovered the Junie B. Jones books, in which she found out just how much alike she and Junie are. She’s moved on though, and now favors mysteries — each one a treat as she opens it to see what happens next. “I’m ready to go the end,” she said. “I want to flip it. But then I want to know what’s in the middle too.” (via Jacksonville.com)

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Amazon to pay authors in its library program by pages read

In a move that places a new priority on ‘page-turner,’ Amazon on July 1 will begin paying authors in its Kindle library program by the number of pages read, and not the number of times a book is checked out. The change appears to affect only ebooks self-published on Amazon that authors made available through the company’s Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library programs. (via USA Today)

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Boston Public Library’s art in state of neglect, report finds

Historical researcher Margo Burns was stunned three years ago when she discovered four handwritten records at the Boston Public Library from the case of a woman hanged in 1692 during the Salem witchcraft hysteria. The elation felt by Burns and two colleagues turned to panic only days later, when one returned and was told the documents could not be found. After a month of anxious, follow-up questions, the records were rediscovered.” (via Boston Globe)

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OCLC named among Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in Information Technology

OCLC, the global library technology service and research organization based in Dublin, Ohio, has been named among Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT. It is the 10th consecutive year OCLC has been selected as one of the top workplaces for information technology (IT) professionals. This honor is part of the IT publication’s annual Best Places to Work in IT survey, which is published in the June 22 issue of Computerworld and available online at Computerworld.com. OCLC placed at number 26 on the 2015 list, in the Small Companies category (fewer than 2,500 employees). (via OCLC)

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Gale Expands Relationship with Google and Discovery Services

Evolving to meet researchers where they begin their searching, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, is supporting discovery by working with Google to index millions of documents in Google Scholar, and expanding the amount of content indexed by major library discovery services. In addition, Gale is promoting transparency in discovery through compliance with industry information standards to improve results for researchers and libraries.” (via Gale)

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