I don't write in the Superpatron weblog as much as I once did, but every so often there's so much library information in the news that I want to at least put a finger on what's happening before it floats downstream.
Ann Arbor District Library Summer reading game. As of this writing I'm 47th on the reading game leaderboard, after having figured out that writing brief reviews of books with links to the author's web site is a time-efficient way to score points.
Borders Books and its rapid decline. I'm not even sure where to start thinking about how many ex-Borders people I know, and how to reconcile the current sad state of the bookstore chain in 2011 with my memories of Borders Store #1 as the platonic ideal of a bookstore in 1986. 25 years have not been kind to the retail book trade.
Paul Courant on the University of Michigan's decision to offer digitized orphan works for on-campus access: "These works were written to be read, and we now have the means to increase the chances that they will be read."
Dictionaries and wiki. A piece I wrote about wiki as a link language got me to thinking about how technical dictionaries are structured and how tremendously useful it is to have a handy glossary for jargon. The challenge is to figure out which set of jargon you are looking at right now, and which compact handbook helps decode it best.
Echo chambers. How much of your reading is only from works written for people who read other things you are reading? Here's Portlandia's Did You Read? sketch.
Flooding at the Minot, North Dakota library. A photo shows the status on Thursday, June 23, 2011, and the water is projecte to rise further.
Google newspaper project. It started in 2008 to great fanfare, announcing a goal to make "billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online." It ended in 2011 with about 60 million pages digitized; no new works will be put online, but the existing collection will stay intact.
How to search the shelves in the Ann Arbor District Library catalog for adjacent books. Find the call number you are looking for; the corresponding search is http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/callnum/303.483. Note however that the call number is not hyperlinked from the book record page; to get it visible, either paste it into a search box, or add the book to a list and pull it from the list. Adjacent books in similar classifications can be found by truncating the call number and putting in a wildcard "*" character in the place of the extra digits.
Internet addiction and books that address it. The aforementioned 303.483 classification is full of books that urge, implore, and plead the reader to go offline long enough to finish the book. I love the idea of the Internet Sabbath, enforced by a hardware store timer that turns off your modem at sundown on Friday.
Juxtaposition. In the absence of visiting a new books shelf at your local bookstore (cf. Borders above), how do you look for new items in your library's catalog? For the AADL catalog, do whatever search you'd normally do, and then select sort by "just added".(e.g. http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/callnum/303.483&sort=catalog_newest). Nothing really beats browsing the new book shelves - just figure out which call numbers routinely have your favorites.
Knitting books, new. The search that I've taught people how to do is "find new knitting books". Feed this into your favorite RSS reader like Google Reader: http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/subject/knitting?=&output=rss
Law libraries as 7-11s, Carl Malamud.
Today, law libraries risk becoming a 7-11, where one vendor comes in and fills up the donut case, another stocks the ATM, and your job is all about managing vendors and answering an occasional query from a customer. (Full text, 9 pg PDF).
Is there more to write? Of course - that's like asking if there's more to read.