News

One of the Last Of the Few Sunday Newspaper Book Sections Will Soon Be Gone

The Washington Post reported today that it plans to close its stand-alone magazine Book World as of mid-February.

In dropping one of the few remaining stand-alone book sections in American newspapers, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said that the coverage will be shifted to the Style section and a revamped Outlook section. Shea said that The Post would publish about three-quarters of the roughly 900 reviews it has carried each year. The change will take effect Feb. 22.

The CIA, Rapist, and Self Publishing

Yesterday there was a story on LISNEWS called Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab that opens with this line: "The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them."

Here is a unique tie together of two stories. You may have seen on the news this breaking story: Former CIA station chief accused of rape. Andrew Warren, the CIA station chief in question, is the author of a self published book called The People of the Veil

The publisher (using that term loosely) is Publish America. Here is the page at Publish America for the book. Looks like the book was the September 2002 book of the month at Publish America.

Denver Library Baby Meets the Press

Mom (Dominique Trevino, 18) and one-day- old baby (Sariah Unique) are doing well.

Library staff pitched in to buy a bag full of children's books for Sariah, which Thomas Scott, director of security and safety, presented to Trevino at Wednesday's news conference.

She also got an earth-friendly library tote bag with two unactivated library cards inside - one for mom, who said she's not a big reader, and one for baby.

"We look forward to having her as a customer," Scott told Trevino.

More on this story (and a picture) from The Rocky Mountain News.

John Updike Dead at Age 76

John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.

Updike, a resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., died of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

PW Lays Off Top Brass

Sara Nelson, the editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, the main trade magazine for the book industry, has been laid off in a restructuring by the publication’s parent company, Reed Business Information.

According to a statement from Reed, which operates a broad range of trade publications, the layoffs affect about 7 percent of the staff (including executive editor Daisy Maryles, bookselling editor Kevin Howell, children's reviews editor Elizabeth Devereaux and director of business development Rachel Dicker ...Shelf-Awareness) .

As a result of the restructuring, Brian Kenney, editor in chief of School Library Journal, will now be editorial director of three magazines: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Library Journal. NYTimes.

Neil Gaiman wins Newbery.

Comic book geeks and nerds rejoice.

Of 'The Graveyard Book,' Gaiman says, "It has a protagonist who is about eighteen months old in the first chapter, four in the second chapter, six in the third, and so on, until, by chapter eight, he is all of sixteen years old. There's no sex in it and no swearing. There is some really scary stuff in there, and a few of the people (all adults) who have read it have written to tell me they cried in the last chapter."

Cool. More here.

The Fraud THEY Didn't Want You To Know About

Despite being utterly, and embarrassingly, full of crap, Kevin Trudeau's books are still popular. I've got patrons asking for them every week and I have to put them on hold because they're usually checked out. Never mind that the man's a fraud and a con-artist spreading false information about everything from cures to cancer to ways out of debt, people want to read his stuff.

So while I applaud the recent actions of a federal judge who ordered Trudeau to pay US$37 million for violating a 2004 order regarding false claims in his weight loss "cures" book, I doubt it'll have an effect on those wanting to read it. However, we can at least take solace in the fact that he's also been barred from publishing anything or creating infomercials for the next three years.

More from, where else?, the Federal Trade Commission.

Wikipedia May Restrict Public’s Ability to Change Entries

Stung by criticism after vandals changed Wikipedia entries to erroneously report that Senators Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd had died, Wikipedia appears ready to introduce a system that prevents new and anonymous users from instantly publishing changes to the online encyclopedia.

The new system, called Flagged Revisions, would mark a significant change in the anything-goes, anyone-can-edit-at-any-time ethos of Wikipedia, which in eight years of existence has become one of the top 10 sites on the Web and the de facto information source for the Internet-using public.

Full article in the New York Times

LibraryThing Calls for New Cataloguing Scheme

With all the talk of Dewey or Don't We...

Gawd I'm getting tired of that phrase.

Anyway, with all the talk of whether or not libraries should use DDC, LCCN, BISAC, or something else for their collections and then the possibility of using open databases instead of OCLC, it seems like cataloguing is on everybody's mind.

It is over at LibraryThing too, where they've issued a call for the creation of OSC, or the Open Shelves Classification. They're looking for a few librarians who are of a mind to create a system that's free, "humble," modern, open source, and crowd sourced. Indeed, they want something that the library profession has needed for a long time - a modern system capable of changing, and changing easily.

So if you're of the cataloguing bent, check it out.

Obama's BlackBerry

In the library world, we rely on technology. We e-mail our colleagues and co-workers. We use the web to find information for us and for others. As a profession, and like many other professions, we've grown increasingly attached to digital communications and we'd find ourselves hard pressed to make do without them.

Not so with the highest office in the United States. The President of the United States really doesn't engage in e-mail because of laws regarding the archiving of Presidential communications, but also because of security. While the ability to send a message instantly to POTUS is a powerful thing, if that message contains classified information and it's intercepted by a hacker, then we're talking a matter of national security.

Nevertheless, our new President is a bit of a geek and is addicted to e-mail and his BlackBerry. He's explicitly stated that "They're going to pry it out of my hands."

So how do you provide the security needed by the President when all he really wants is to use the same tools millions of people use every day? Simple. You get him the most secure BlackBerry ever made.

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