Librarians Are Dedicated to User Privacy. The Tech They Have to Use Is Not.

“Adobe has made it extremely easy for unwanted eyes to read over the shoulders of library patrons. Earlier this month reports surfaced about how Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book software collects and transmits information about readers in plain text.* That insecure transmission allows the government, corporations, or potential hackers to intercept information about patron reading habits, including book title, author, publisher, subject, description, and every page read. But the Adobe scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Libraries sign contracts with technology companies to bring services to patrons all the time, and those contracts are not always favorable to library patrons. Whether it’s an agreement with an ISP to provide the library with Internet access, the publisher of a database of scholarly articles and primary source documents, or a children’s educational game vendor, these contracts are both commonplace and a relatively new development.” (via Slate.)

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Designing libraries that are relevant in the digital age

“With the huge amounts of information now available online, we take a look at how libraries are designing for the 21st century.cEven though it’s still weeks from opening, the new Halifax Central Library is getting lots of attention. And not just because of its 57 million dollar cost. It’s earned international attention as one of the top buildings of 2014. It’s been years since a library of this size and importance was built in Canada. And perhaps… it’s no wonder. Much of the world’s knowledge has moved on to the internet. Books have shed their covers–and even their paper–as they slip onto e-readers.” (via CBC Radio)

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U’s Middle East Library is Home to “Enthusiastic” Librarian

“This library, as one hears from others, is extraordinary,” said Leonard Chiarelli, associate librarian at the Marriott Library. Chiarelli is in charge of the Aziz S. Atiya Middle East Library, one of the most respected centers for research in Middle East studies. Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Chiarelli earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Pace University in Manhattan. While an undergraduate, he resolved to come to the U to study at the suggestion of Philip Hitti, whom he had met during a lecture in Manhattan. Chiarelli wanted to study the Mediterranean region during the Medieval period, which was controlled by Arabs at the time. Hitti told Chiarelli that no one in the east knew about that specific subject and referred him to Aziz S. Atiya, who was at the U at the time.” (via The Daily Utah Chronicle)

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War of words: Book purge called necessary, but pains Chattanooga Public Library supporters

Chattanooga’s Public Library is shedding books by the thousands. Over the past two years, Library Director Corinne Hill has reduced the library’s collection by nearly half. She says it’s part of a national trend — libraries aren’t just about books anymore. “Every library in the country has had some level of discontent with regards to weeding collections,” she said. “Chattanooga has been behind so we are a little late to this game, but it is part of us moving out of the 20th century.” (via Times Free Press)

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Mayor’s Office proposes letting police check out library patron information

“The Omaha Mayor’s Office would like law enforcement officials to be able to access personal information from Omahans’ library cards in emergencies, setting off a debate over patrons’ privacy. Mayor Jean Stothert’s chief of staff, Marty Bilek, appeared before the Omaha Public Library’s board Thursday to ask for a change in the library’s policy. The request stemmed from an incident in which Metropolitan Community College police spent hours trying to identify a belli­gerent, drunk man at the South Omaha Library.” (via Omaha.com)

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Sensing subversion, China throws the book at kids’ libraries

“When she got off school last Thursday, Huang Qiufeng, the high spirited 12-year old daughter of migrant workers, dropped by the local library in this scruffy village on the outskirts of Beijing, as she does from time to time. She found it closed, replaced by a convenience store. The brightly painted letters on the wall spelling out “BOOK” were obscured by shelves full of instant noodles. “The people here were very nice and I really liked the library,” Qiufeng said. “But now it’s gone.” (via CSMonitor.com)

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Manuscripts, other documents by author Toni Morrison added to Princeton’s library collection

“The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison are now part of the permanent library collection of Princeton University. Princeton made the announcement Friday, shortly before the 83-year-old Morrison took part in a forum at the school where she served on the faculty for 17 years.” (via AP)

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EBSCO Information Services Opens Second Office and Hires Former Swets Employees in the United Kingdom

“EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is opening a second office in the United Kingdom and has hired a number of former Swets employees to help customers transitioning to EBSCO as their subscription agent. EBSCO believes that this investment in infrastructure and staffing will provide libraries with the confidence to work with EBSCO during this critical renewals phase— and into the future. Since the news broke of difficulties at Swets several weeks ago, EBSCO’s office in the UK has been drawing-up plans to manage subscription portfolios for customers of Swets looking to make alternative arrangements. With the announcement last Friday that the Swets’ staff in Abingdon have now been made redundant, many customers will be looking for a safe and financially secure partner for their journals.” (via EBSCO)

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IMLS Awards $1.3 Million for Training and Professional Development Projects

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced grants and a cooperative agreement totaling $1,373,405 for three projects featuring training and professional development resources that will benefit library, museum, and archives professionals. “I am proud that IMLS is supporting these projects that strengthen collections care, increase access to cultural heritage materials, and provide leadership training for museum, library, and archive professionals,” said Susan H. Hildreth.” (via IMLS)

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A new D.C. online archive lets users sample photos, drawings, maps and more

“Though they both lived in Washington, it’s unlikely that Clifford Berryman and Joseph Owen Curtis ever met. Berryman was the Washington Evening Star’s political cartoonist. Curtis was an amateur photographer. One used a pen to tweak lawmakers, especially over the issue of voting rights for Washingtonians. The other used a camera to celebrate the people and places of his Southwest Washington neighborhood. Now the two nestle together digitally at Dig DC, a new online archive created by the D.C. Public Library’s Special Collections department.” (via The Washington Post)

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