“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
“Amid the seemingly endless debates today about the future of reading, there remains one salient, yet often overlooked fact: Reading isn’t only a matter of our brains; it’s something that we do with our bodies. Reading is an integral part of our lived experience, our sense of being in the world, even if at times this can mean feeling intensely apart from it. How we hold our reading materials, how we look at them, navigate them, take notes on them, share them, play with them, even where we read them—these are the categories that have mattered most to us as readers throughout the long and varied history of reading. They will no doubt continue to do so into the future. Understanding reading at this most elementary level—at the level of person, habit, and gesture—will be essential as we continue to make choices about the kind of reading we care about and the kind of technologies that will best embody those values. To think about the future of reading means, then, to think about the long history of how touch has shaped reading and, by extension, our sense of ourselves while we read.”
via Slate Magazine
“>As e-books continue to grow in popularity, more and more people are visiting the Free Library of Philadelphia or logging on to freelibrary.org to check out our digital titles. While we currently offer more than 32,000 e-books for download – and are continually working to expand our digital collections – many of our customers wonder why they can’t find the latest e-book bestsellers from Jennifer Weiner, Jeffrey Eugenides, or a host of other acclaimed authors. After all, the Free Library has plenty of physical copies of books by those same writers.
“The justification for free reading of books but no free drinking of sugary soda pop is that soft drinks can rot your teeth and make you tubby, whereas most books won’t rot your mind. And they only make you a little tubby by immobilizing you when you probably should go out and play.”
via Bill Hall
NYT Editorial – “For over a century, New York’s majestic central library on Fifth Avenue has drawn grateful scholars and dazzled tourists. Faced with financial uncertainties and a pressing need to modernize, the president of the New York Public Library system, Anthony Marx, has put forward a $300 million proposal to renovate the flagship building. The plans, which are still evolving, sound both necessary and forward-thinking in this digital era. But the library’s overseers have to take care that they preserve the essence of this cultural landmark.”
LA Times – “Since 2002, at first in secret and later with great fanfare, Google has been working to create a digital collection of all the world’s books, a library that it hopes will last forever and make knowledge far more universally accessible. But from the beginning, there has been an obstacle even more daunting than the project’s many technical challenges: copyright law. Ideally, a digital library would provide access not only to books free from copyright constraints (those published before 1923), but also to the tens of millions of books that are still in copyright but no longer in print.”
News Leader (Missouri) – “Calling the removal of two books “educationally unsound and constitutionally suspect,” officials from nine national groups are urging the Republic school board to reverse its decision. An Aug. 18 letter to Superintendent Vern Minor — signed by top officials from the organizations — states that the “decision to remove the two books cannot be justified.” The seven current board members were copied on the letter.”