“Public libraries have had another bad year. They are like churches and local railways. People like having them around, and are angry if they close. But as for using them, well, there is so little time these days. The latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures on library closures are dire. In the past five years 343 have gone. Librarian numbers are down by a quarter, with 8,000 jobs lost. Public usage has fallen by 16% and spending by 14%. Book borrowing is plummeting, in some places by half.” (via The Guardian)
“A project providing free online access to federal court opinions has expanded to include 64 courts. The federal Judiciary and the Government Printing Office partner through the GPO’s Federal Digital System, FDsys, to provide public access to more than 750,000 opinions, many dating back to 2004. The Judicial Conference approved national implementation of the project in September 2012, expanding participation from the original 29 courts. FDsys currently contains opinions from 8 appellate courts, 20 district courts, and 35 bankruptcy courts.” (via United States Courts)
“Over 70 different libraries are now united under the Harvard Library Board. With the promise of “delivery of high and consistent standards of service University-wide,” HUL hopes to connect the resources of the Harvard College Library with those of Graduate Libraries. Harvard also engineered its Borrow-Direct partnership with the libraries of MIT and other Ivy League institutions. Combined with the nationwide scope of Interlibrary Loan services, Harvard students and faculty enjoy unprecedented ease of access to materials, books, and periodicals.” (via The Harvard Crimson)
“WRESTLING with my newspaper on the subway recently, I noticed the woman next to me reading a book on her smartphone. “That has to hurt your eyes,” I commented. Not missing a beat, she replied, in true New York style, “My font is bigger than yours.” She was right.” (via NYTimes.com)
“As a way to connect two pieces of paper, there are few better tools than a stapler. Without the aid of electronics, a piece of zinc-plated steel is punctured into two sheets of paper and then bent, combining the two into one.
This is the design function of a stapler. It performs best when used for this purpose. For other uses of a stapler, success is not a guarantee. If used as a hammer, for instance, a stapler will only work in limited circumstances. In the best case, an older, heavier, metal model might work to get a nail through soft wood, but even then, the hand positioning and effort required would make the task awkward. The modern library is a stapler, and we are all using it as a hammer.”
via Nick Stamatakis