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New technology for sharing old memories

Mercury News – “For Rudy Adler and Brett Huneycutt, the future of social networking is the past. The co-founders of the San Francisco startup 1000memories are trying to turn the world’s smartphones into tools to digitalize the estimated 1.8 trillion fading and yellowing snapshots that people have lying around in their attics, garages and picture albums — often among the most prized, and least seen, of people’s possessions. The goal of the two friends since third grade is to add the past tense to the up-to-the-minute stream of social networks. The company’s iPhone app, called ShoeBox, allows users to photograph their old snapshots with the camera in their smartphone, upload the digital image to the Internet, and share it with anyone they choose. The same day ShoeBox launched in late October, Adler got an email from an interested partner. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted to impart a pep talk.”

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After launching three digital libraries, Patrick Spain tests First Stop Health

Crain’s – “When it comes to aggregating information, Patrick Spain knows his stuff. The co-founder of business database Hoover’s Inc., Mr. Spain went on to launch HighBeam Research Inc., a repository of news articles, and Newser LLC, a Chicago-based feed of news summaries. Now he is testing another information service. Called First Stop Health, his venture provides members with electronic health records, 24/7 access to physicians for advice and diagnosis and help in navigating insurance to get coverage. Members also have access to thousands of articles on disease and treatment and a database of almost 800,000 physicians and 18,000 urgent care facilities. The cost starts at $250 a year.”

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In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books

NYT – “The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive hopes to eventually collect 10 million items, and it has started taking in films as well.”

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ALA calls on Random House to reconsider major ebook price increase

ALA – ” The American Library Association (ALA) is calling on publisher Random House to reconsider its decision to raise the price of ebooks to the library market starting March 1. ALA President Molly Raphael issued the following statement: “While I appreciate Random House’s engagement with libraries and its commitment to perpetual access,” Raphael said, “I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically.”

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Some Advice From the Guy Who Helped Save LA’s Libraries

Torontoist – “This year, Toronto Public Library narrowly avoided a 10 per cent budget cut that would have slashed about $17 million from its budget and forced it to reduce hours at branches citywide—but that was nothing. In 2010, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa handed Los Angeles Public Library a budget so severe that the system’s board couldn’t keep any of the city’s 73 libraries open more than five days a week, whereas in 2009, regional libraries were open all week, branches for six days.”

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Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent

Digital Shift – “New prices for Random House’s ebooks took effect on Thursday, and as the details emerged a number of librarians across the country expressed dismay at the doubling and tripling in prices they are seeing. “We’re very concerned. These are tough times for libraries. It’s very tough here in Louisville,” said Debbe Oberhausen, manager of collection services, at the Louisville Free Public Library. “We want to provide this service, but this kind of pricing is really going to take a huge chunk of our budget,” she said.”

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How the e-book landscape is becoming a walled garden

GigaOm – ” Just as a few massive chain stores eventually came to dominate the traditional printed book market in North America, the e-book marketplace is a kind of oligopoly involving a few major players — primarily Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. And while bookstore owners of all kinds are free to decide which books they wish to put on their shelves, these new giants have far more control over whose e-books see the light of day because they also own the major e-reading platforms, and they are making decisions based not on what they think consumers want to read but on their own competitive interests. That is turning the e-book landscape into even more of a walled garden.”

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Toronto libraries a step closer to striking

Globe & Mail – “Toronto is inching closer to a springtime strike, with the clock now ticking toward a work stoppage at the public library and talks with the city’s inside workers described as “slow.” The province issued a “no-board” report Thursday, meaning 2,300 library employees will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. March 18.”

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Libraries of the future? With Chicago’s new library commissioner taking over this month, one prototype library design offers a solid mix of form and function while another falls short

Chicago Tribune – “What should a 21st Century library look like? To ask that question is to conjure futuristic visions–of libraries that resemble sleek Apple stores; of librarians who stroll around their branches with computer tablets, and of robots that stack books in shelves, provided, of course, there still are books. Such issues are no longer academic, not with a new library commissioner heading to Chicago, especially one from digitally-savvy San Francisco.”

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Harry Potter and the Future of Public Libraries

Time – “The Harry Potter website known as Pottermore has been beset by delays. But there is some good news. When the portal launches later this year, its stock of JK Rowling e-books and digital audiobooks will be available to public library members. This coup for borrowers was the result of an agreement between Pottermore and OverDrive, the largest distributor of digital content to libraries. But OverDrive is more than just a library partner. It also will provide the sales platform for buyers to purchase e-books on Pottermore.

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