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Further to our earlier story about an associate professor at Missouri State U. who referred to the young adult novel "Speak" as "soft pornography," the Penguin Young Readers Group has taken out a full page ad in today’s New York Times to defend the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson.
In an op-ed piece earlier this month in the Missouri News-Leader, Wesley Scoggins wrote that Speak was not appropriate for students of the Republic School District and also challenged Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer.
From Publishers Weekly: “That such a decorated book could be challenged is disturbing,” said Penguin’s Shanta Newlin about the decision to run an ad. With Banned Books Week now in full swing (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), Penguin believes the ad points to the larger issue of books still being challenged in large numbers across the country, Newlin added. The ad, in fact, notes that "every day in this country, people are being told what they can and can't read," and it asks Times readers to "read the book. Decide for yourself." -- Read More
The south Florida paper, the Sun Sentinel has a problem with public libraries.
"Some day in the future, boys and girls might read on their electronic devices about cavernous, well-air-conditioned, book-loaning storehouses from the past. They were called libraries.
Book reading devices such as the handheld iPad, the Amazon Kindle, or even a computer laptop, allow readers to download free library books without ever setting foot in a library."
So here is a newspaper, itself an industry on the brink of extinction, bitterly distracting its few final readers from that fact by attacking the local libraries as dinosaurs. Libraries, I should say, account for many of the print editions that the newspaper is still able to sell. Our library probably receives 40 copies of the daily Sun Sentinel. And yet you need to go down 27 paragraphs to get to this:
"The past five years in Palm Beach County have seen staggering growth: Circulation is up 36 percent, visitors 50 percent, and computer users 83 percent, according to the system's statistics."
You can almost hear the "wink, wink" that piggybacks onto the words, "according to the system's statistics," like libraries are making this stuff up. Thanks for the support.
Really, what does it cost to read an ebook, I mean a bestseller?
The Kindle is a minimum $139, but for that price you need a place with wifi to download a book. Add 3G for another $50 to truly be independent. -- Read More
Another video book review of the Book Prize Finalists from the Washington Post's hipper than hip Ron Charles:
It's at http://citesandinsights.info/civ10i10.pdf, if you're not seeing the links.
The 60-page issue (which, at 1.5MB, may take a little longer than usual to download) is PDF-only and consists of one essay:
But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009
Except for a few paragraphs (most of page 56), this is taken entirely from the book But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009, which is still available. Page 56 summarizes what's not in the issue--a few graphs, one column of quite a few tables, a substantial portion of one text-only chapter...and all 521 liblog profiles.
Pages 57-60 contain an index to liblog names and people's names within the issue--since it came directly from the Word document used for the book, it was easy to create a new index (the book index uses W0rd's internal indexing features), and a group of advisers from that august body, the Library Society of the World, encouraged me to include it.
Since the issue includes dozens of tables and a fair number of graphs, and since it would be vastly longer in printed-HTML form, no HTML version is provided. -- Read More
Speaking of ebooks, do you use them in your library? And wouldn't you like to know how widespread their use is in libraries?
LJ/SLJ is taking a survey and wants your participation. It is designed to measure current and projected ebook availability in libraries, user preferences in terms of access and subjects, and library purchasing terms and influences. This survey is open to all types of libraries, and high level results will presented during LJ/SLJ's first ever virtual summit, ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point to be held on September 29, 2010. Detailed results will also be reported in LJ and SLJ later in the fall.
Contest ends September 3. Prizes...including an iPad for one lucky sucker...for your participation! Start here.
Cites & Insights 10:9, August 2010, is now available.
The 34-page issue (PDF as usual, but HTML versions of each article are available--the article titles are links) includes:
Perspective: On Social Media and Social Networks pp. 1-10
I no longer believe "Social Media" names anything real--or at least not anything interesting (except to marketers). That's the "tl;dr" version. I think the longer version is worth reading.
The CD-ROM Project pp. 10-13
It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide, which may be all I really need to say about the first of three CD-ROMs reviewed here--in this case, a seven-CD set that works very well.
Do you own your words? If people feel free to moonwalk away from what they say, is it possible to have useful discussions?
Making it Work pp. 18-26
It's summertime (for most but certainly not all C&I readers), and that seems like a good time to deal with some miscellaneous items--sort of a reversion to the old "The Library Stuff" sections. I discuss a baker's dozen worth of posts and library-related discussions. -- Read More
Given that Nature is one of the most prestigious academic journals now publishing, one that has both groundbreaking current articles and a rich history of older articles, these are strong words. But dropping subscriptions to journals like Nature might not be as as much of a hardship for readers as it once might have been. Increasingly, it’s possible to liberate the research content of academic journals, both new and old, for the world. And, as I’ll explain below, now may be an especially opportune time to do that.
We find this to be an implausible explanation given the remarkably large sums of money others and we already pay to NPG every year. The notion that other institutions are subsidizing “our discount” is nonsensical. If anything, other institutions are simply paying too much.
We at LJ recognize that our new website is not yet fully functional nor is all of our content available. Over the past several weeks, under our new ownership, we have been migrating to a new website and new content tools (as well as moving to our new offices in lower Manhattan...Library Journal, 160 Varick Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10013, Tel: 646-380-0700, Fax: 646-380-0756, General: email@example.com).
Not all of our archives have been moved yet, our newsletters have experienced delays, and our registration has been wonky.
We're optimistic that better functionality is on the way, and full content will return, but we ask your patience as we work through the problems.
As members of the library community, we take web presentation seriously, and we expect that our website will ultimately be an improvement over its predecessor. For example, we're using WordPress to host our blogs, and revamping our talkback platform to make it easier for readers to comment in response to articles, columns, and reviews.
In the meantime, please send any questions, concerns (including links to relevant URLs), or suggestions to LJnews@mediasourceinc.com.