UN, Wikimedia New York deliver open, free world maps on GIS Day

“For thousands of years, humans have used maps to define, understand and navigate the world in which we live. From cave drawings to star maps to geospatial navigation, maps have been an ever-improving tool for people everywhere. In today’s increasingly connected world, maps play a critical role in areas like humanitarian response to disasters, understanding the spread of disease, and much more. Like any information resource, however, maps vary in terms of accuracy and accessibility. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) believes that accurate, reliable, and easy-to-understand maps should be available to everyone. That is why they’ve partnered with Wikimedia New York City and ReliefWeb to release a collection of more than 200 freely licensed “country-location” maps that are available on Wikimedia Commons and on the ReliefWeb site. In addition, many maps are also featured on Wikipedia country pages.” (via Wikimedia blog)

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Publishers call for federal government to settle ‘fair use’ in higher education

“Publishers are seeking “corrective authoritative guidance” from the federal government to stop the trend of court rulings they say are expanding copyright exemptions beyond their legal intent, but higher education associations argue interfering could upset the balance between copyright holders and consumers. The Association of American Publishers made its appeal to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Wednesday during a hearing on fair use and access for the visually impaired. The second topic, however, was somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing legal disputes over what colleges and universities can and cannot do with copyrighted works.” (via insidehighered)

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Science fiction fanzines to be digitized as part of major UI initiative

“The University of Iowa Libraries has announced a major digitization initiative, in partnership with the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. 10,000 science fiction fanzines will be digitized from the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Collection, representing the entire history of science fiction as a popular genre and providing the content for a database that documents the development of science fiction fandom.” (via The University of Iowa)

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Ferguson librarian fuelled by anger over shooting, love for town

“She’s a mom, a librarian, a U.S. army vet, just like her dad. She belongs to a Ferguson book club that hasn’t met since police bullets felled Michael Brown in August. Her 9-year-old daughter’s on the Ferguson swim team. Her husband, who builds in-ground pools for a living, is president of their neighbourhood community association. Together, they launched two local community gardens. This is home. They’re dug in, here for the long haul. With a bio like that, Angelique Kidd, 41, admits she’s just about the last person you might expect to find on the picket line, standing vigil day in and day out for the past 102 days opposite the Ferguson Police Department, demanding change.” (via Toronto Star)

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Bronx library fills void left by community center closing

“A Bronx library is helping to fill a void created by the closure of a beloved community center, expanding English language classes to a neighborhood heavily populated by immigrants. The basement meeting room of the High Bridge Library was packed Tuesday morning with people who gathered for an informational session regarding the new offerings. After the room reached capacity — half an hour before the planned start time — dozens more were told to come back in January. “There is a great deal of need in this neighborhood,” said High Bridge Library manager Margaret Fleesak, 61. “We’ve tried our best to fulfill some of the need.” (via NY Daily News)

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Evan R. Chesler Named Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The New York Public Library

“The Board of Trustees of The New York Public Library announced that, effective today, renowned attorney Evan R. Chesler will succeed Neil L. Rudenstine as its next chairman. Chesler, a Bronx native and chair of prominent law firm Cravath, Swaine, & Moore LLP, has been a member of the Library’s Board of Trustees since November 2009, most recently serving as both Vice Chairman and Executive Committee Chairman. His appointment was announced at today’s Board of Trustees meeting, held at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.” (via NYPL)

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Building a complete Tweet index

“Today, we are pleased to announce that Twitter now indexes every public Tweet since 2006. Since that first simple Tweet over eight years ago, hundreds of billions of Tweets have captured everyday human experiences and major historical events. Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency. But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published.” (via Twitter Blog)

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Portland council gives library staffers power to expel unruly patrons

“The City Council voted Monday night to give Portland Public Library staff members the power to issue no trespassing orders to problem patrons, despite concerns that those powers would target the poor and minorities. Currently, library staff must call police when a patron is causing a disturbance. Library Director Stephen Podgajny said giving constable powers to private security guards hired by the library would be a more efficient way to ensure it is a welcoming and safe place for everyone.” (via The Portland Press Herald)

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F.C.C. Chief Aims to Bolster Internet for Schools

“With a goal of fiber-optic lines reaching to every school and a Wi-Fi connection in every classroom, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected on Monday to propose a 62 percent increase in the amount of money the agency spends annually to wire schools and libraries with high-speed Internet connection” (via NYTimes.com)

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RLUK and OCLC partner for shared collection management and visibility goals

“OCLC and Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a consortium of the largest research organisations in the UK and Ireland, today announced an expanded partnership that will help RLUK achieve key strategic objectives for shared collection management and resource discovery. Building on existing OCLC cataloguing arrangements, the new agreement offers RLUK members the opportunity to load their bibliographic metadata into WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library holdings and services. This data will then be used to facilitate better understanding and visibility of these resources for both RLUK as a group, and for individual members of the consortium.” (via OCLC)

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