Blogs

I Want My MTV

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business. Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

FASTER patron-driven acquisitions (PDA): a library model

OUR LIBRARY has pioneered what we believe is the first program of its kind in patron-driven acquisitions.

One of the problems with most library collections is that although they may be extensive, they can never be complete. And when the patron requests books on a topic, for example, "theoretical experimental particle physics," although the library may pride itself on its exhaustive collection, with current on-demand and online publishing it can't ever call its collection complete. So when the patron is given ten current books on "theoretical experimental particle physics," it is still a common occurrence whereby the patron will respond with infantile disappointment.

So the current model of collection development is broken. Libraries can't ever hope to meet every need. We buy and buy, but it's never enough for some people. So our library has adopted a new model that reduces our inability to fulfill our patrons' requests down to nearly zero. If the material exists, we can get it.

Here is a typical PDA transaction at our library:

The patron has expressed a need for some online content and the librarian assesses the system requirements of the content and the system configuration held by the patron to verify a match. When a match is found, for example, an iPad, the librarian will initiate the purchase by locating the item in the app and downloading it to the patron's device.

"Enter your password."

"But..."

"This is how it works. Just do it."

"Okay..."

"Now tap that."

"But.."

"And it's downloading to your iPad. And you can read it right now. Pretty cool, huh."

"But I didn't want to spend *my* money! That book was four *hundred* dollars!"

"But the library already spends your money through the taxes you pay. This is faster."

"You DICK!"

As you can see from the model, the patrons get what they want, when they want it, but the cost to the library has also been reduced to nearly zero. -- Read More

New books in Amazon Top 100

New books in Amazon Top 100
http://nonstopbooks.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-books-in-amazon-top-100.html

Includes links to media pieces that discuss books.

Cites & Insights 12:11 (Fall 2012) available--special added issue

Looks like there will be 12 issues of C&I this year...

An added Fall 2012 issue of Cites & Insights is now available for download at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i11.pdf

The issue is 20 pages long. A single-column 6x9" version intended for online/ereader reading is also available, at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i11on.pdf. The single-column version is 43 pages long (and tables do break across pages in some cases): Please don't use this version for printing!

This issue consists of a single essay (also available in HTML form, if you absolutely hate PDF--but that one prints out as 40 pages, so again please don't use that version for printing):
Libraries
Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13): Commentary, Part 2 pp. 1-20

This essay consists entirely of notes about Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13): "Libraries by State." It also adds a new table for each state section (except DC and Hawaii), showing libraries in each size category.

I'm doing this added issue because one fairly long and reasonably timely essay is almost done--and should be paired with another shorter and somewhat more timely essay. Since I'd like to publish those some time in November, and since adding those to this 20-page essay would make for an uncomfortably long issue, I'm putting this out now.

Oh, and do go buy the book...these notes aren't nearly as useful without the book.

 

The BlackBerry as Black Sheep

The phone once coveted by the elite and the powerful is becoming an object of ridicule as Androids and iPhones corner the smartphone market.

http://goo.gl/WeyJG

Joe Kittinger

What was done 50 years ago: Come Up and Get Me: An Autobiography of Colonel Joe Kittinger

Eric Lomax, River Kwai Prisoner Who Forgave, Dies at 93

Eric Lomax, a former British soldier who was tortured by the Japanese while he was a prisoner during World War II and half a century later forgave one of his tormentors — an experience he recounted in a memoir, “The Railway Man” — died on Monday in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. He was 93. Full article in the NYT.

Book: Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness

Catching The 'Shadow' Of A Lost World

Photographer Edward Curtis decided to chronicle the experience of the vanishing Native American tribes at the end of the 19th century. It was an unbelievably ambitious project that would define Curtis, his work and his legacy.

Full piece on NPR

Dining By Rail

Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine

Readers who sigh at the names "Super Chief" and "Zephyr," and who remember the meal Cary Grant ate on the train in North by Northwest , may find this book fulfilling their wildest dreams. In an attempt to "preserve a record of one of the ways we used to eat," rail fan and Penn State professor Porterfield presents a detailed history of train dining. Beginning as an alternative to railroad station eateries, train dining reached its peak in 1930, when 1732 railroad dining cars were registered with the Interstate Commerce Commission, and all but ended in 1971 with telegrams like the May 1 order to Union Pacific to shut its passenger lines and make way for Amtrak. Model railroaders and social historians will find the 150 photographs and illustrations invaluable: a photo spread with dimensions of the pantry of the New York Central's Twentieth Century Limited, a sample 1920s dinner menu from the Milwaukee Railroad's Pioneer Limited, descriptions of staff sleeping quarters. The second half of the book offers 250 recipes from 48 railroad lines, featuring early-20th-century fare like Lobster Newburg New York Central, Poinsettia Salad-Merchant's Limited and Baked Potato Pennsylvania. For authentic American versions of lamb fricassee, deviled eggs and blanc mange presented without campiness or apology, this is the source. -- Read More

When I Was a Child I Read Books

When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays

Washington Post: Marilynne Robinson’s ‘When I Was a Child I Read Books’: Essays on faith, reading

New York Times: Her Calling

Read the Booklist starred review on Amazon. First line of review - There is more food for thought in one of Robinson’s well-turned paragraphs than in entire books.

Cites & Insights 12:10 (November 2012) available

The November 2012 issue of Cites & Insights (12:10) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i10.pdf

The issue is 32 pages long. For those who prefer to read on e-devices, the single-column 60-page 6x9" edition is also available, at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i10on.pdf

The issue includes three essays, each also available as HTML separates from http://citesandinsights.info (or, if you're reading this on or from a blog, via the title headings below):
Libraries
Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13): Commentary, Part 1 (pp. 1-22)

Casual commentary on a few of the interesting items in Chapters 2-19 of Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13). You may have seem slightly different versions of some of this commentary on Walt at Random; that will continue for some time to come...

The CD-ROM Project (pp. 22-24)

Seeing whether six first-rate Dorling-Kindersley explorational CD-ROM titles will work in a current operating environment. I wish I had good news here...

The Back (pp. 24-32)

Hi-fi fun and other nonsense: Seventeen little rants. See if you can spot which one was added at the last minute for copyfitting reasons...

 

 

The Poetry Home Repair Manual

The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets

Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets—aspiring or practicing—can use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. Using examples from his own rich literary oeuvre and from the work of a number of successful contemporary poets, the author schools us in the critical relationship between poet and reader, which is fundamental to what Kooser believes is poetry’s ultimate purpose: to reach other people and touch their hearts.

Much more than a guidebook to writing and revising poems, this manual has all the comforts and merits of a long and enlightening conversation with a wise and patient old friend—a friend who is willing to share everything he’s learned about the art he’s spent a lifetime learning to execute so well.

Note: Kooser was U. S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006

The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets

iWoz and Libraries

I'm currently reading "iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon". It is a lively and fascinating read, and plenty of Steve Wozniak's comments are worth repeating, but this one about the that he and the other Steve:) spent at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) Library is superb, especially to a hang-out at libraries geek such as myself. Reminds me of spending some time at Mizzou's Engineering Library. :)

...It had a great technical library, just tremendous. It had the kind of technical books and computer books and magazines you wouldn't encounter in normal libraries (emphasis added) or any other place I knew. If there were any place that had a phone manual that listed tone frequencies -- the manual the phone company was trying to pull out of circulation -- this would be it.

(p.98)

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

From Princeton University Press:

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

See video trailer for book.

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities. -- Read More

A Guide to the Good Life

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

(Oxford University Press)

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. -- Read More

Some five star reviews....

Some five star reviews on Amazon are worth more than others.

The books:

Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965

In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969

The books have five star reviews from many people. One review stands out. There is a five star review by Al Worden. Alfred Worden was the pilot of Endeavour, the command-module for the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. Some five star reviews are worth more than others.

Tuning into Mom: Understanding America's Most Powerful Consumer

Tuning into Mom: Understanding America's Most Powerful Consumer

American mothers are household CFOs, in charge of an estimated $2.45 trillion in direct spending. They are also an important influence on other family members' buying habits. Many organizations have identified moms as an important customer group, but the broad, age-based definitions these companies work with mask an array of different consumer behaviors. Written by two leading marketers, this book provides a new approach to understanding the American Mom market, examining the mom's influence on (or control of) the purchasing habits of children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to young adults, and bring focus to the frequently overlooked purchase influence of moms on teenagers. The authors combine large-scale quantitative research of more than 4,700 mothers with qualitative case studies from individual participants. Highly recommended for practitioners in retailing and product development, this book will also be a valuable supplemental text for college courses in consumer behavior and marketing strategy.

In Search of Paradise

In Search of Paradise: Middle-Class Living in a Chinese Metropolis

A new revolution in homeownership and living has been sweeping the booming cities of China. This time the main actors on the social stage are not peasants, migrants, or working-class proletariats but middle-class professionals and entrepreneurs in search of a private paradise in a society now dominated by consumerism. No longer seeking happiness and fulfillment through collective sacrifice and socialist ideals, they hope to find material comfort and social distinction in newly constructed gated communities. This quest for the good life is profoundly transforming the physical and social landscapes of urban China.

Li Zhang, who is from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, turns a keen ethnographic eye on her hometown. She combines her analysis of larger political and social issues with fine-grained details about the profound spatial, cultural, and political effects of the shift in the way Chinese urban residents live their lives and think about themselves. In Search of Paradise is a deeply informed account of how the rise of private homeownership is reconfiguring urban space, class subjects, gender selfhood, and ways of life in the reform era. -- Read More

The Blue Tattoo

The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West)

In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year-old pioneer traveling west toward Zion with her Mormon family. Within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures. The Blue Tattoo tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America. Orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohaves, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. She was fully assimilated and perfectly happy when, at nineteen, she was ransomed back to white society. She became an instant celebrity, but the price of fame was high and the pain of her ruptured childhood lasted a lifetime.

Based on historical records, including letters and diaries of Oatman’s friends and relatives, The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life from her childhood in Illinois, through the massacre, her captivity, and her return to white society, to her later years as a wealthy banker’s wife in Texas. This Bison Books edition features a postscript by the author with a newly discovered letter from Oatman.

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