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Access Conference: We’re looking for Access 2017 hosts!

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 19:59

The Access 2016 Planning Committee is now accepting proposals from institutions and groups to host Access 2017! Bring Canada’s leading library tech conference (not to mention one of the best conference audiences to be found ANYWHERE) to your campus or city!

Interested? Submit your proposal to, including:

  • The host organization(s) name
  • Proposed dates
  • The location the event will likely be held (e.g. campus facility, hotel name, etc.)
  • Considerations noted in the hosting guidelines
  • Anything else to convince us that you would put on another fabulous Access conference!

Proposals will be accepted until September 2, 2016. The 2017 hosts will be selected by the 2016 Planning Committee, and notified in early September. The official announcement will be made on October 7th at Access 2016 in Fredericton!

Questions? Let us know at!

District Dispatch: Libraries cheerlead for fair copyright

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 18:11

I’ve written a lot about 3D printing on the District Dispatch. One of the most unlikely topics I’ve discussed in connection with this technology is cheerleading…That’s right. If you’re a loyal DD reader, think back to May. If you’re hearing bells ring, that’s because the first week of that month, I outlined a court case between two manufacturers of cheerleading uniforms. The case pits international supplier Varsity Brands against the much smaller supplier Star Athletica. Varsity Brands is suing Star Athletica on the grounds that the latter’s uniforms infringe on its copyrighted designs. Even though copyright protects creative expression and cheerleading uniforms are fundamentally utilitarian, Varsity Brands’ argument rests on a liberal interpretation of something called “separability.” If a utilitarian item has creative elements that can be clearly separated from its core “usefulness,” it may receive copyright protection. Varsity Brands says that the stripes and squiggles in their uniform designs represent these sorts of elements.

Photo by Peter Griffin.

The courts are divided on this argument…But the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and give Varsity Brands, Star Athletica and copyright junkies everywhere a final and – hopefully – clarifying ruling. So, what the heck does this have to do with 3D printing? Actually, a lot. If the Supremes were to come down in favor of Varsity Brands’ interpretation of separability, they would set a dangerous precedent: any design that’s not 100 percent functional – i.e., has one or more elements with even a whit of creativity – might be protected by copyright. Imagine the fear of infringement this might instill in an avid “maker.”…It would likely be enough to hamstring his or her creative potential. Thankfully, the 3D printing community thought of this early.

As I mentioned in my last post about this case, industry players Shapeways, Formlabs and Matter and Form already submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court warning of the “chill” an overbroad interpretation of separability in the Varsity Brands case might place on 3D innovation. Believing as we do in the importance of creativity inside and beyond library walls, the library community has decided to pick up its pom-poms and stand alongside them. ALA, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have signed onto a similar brief penned by the D.C.-based public policy organization Public Knowledge. The brief argues that: “…copyright in useful articles ought to continue to be highly limited, such that a feature of a useful article may be copyrighted only upon a clear showing that the feature is obviously separable and indisputably independent of the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

Our argument on this case is in keeping with one of the basic tenets of our efforts to promote public access to information: that copyright should be limited and promote progress and innovation. Lucky for us, we have the Constitution on our side.

The post Libraries cheerlead for fair copyright appeared first on District Dispatch.

District Dispatch: OITP welcomes new chair, Marc Gartler

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 14:57

Marc Gartler, new chair of OITP’s Advisory Committee

I’m pleased to announce that Marc Gartler is the new chair of the Advisory Committee for ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), as appointed by ALA President Julie Todaro. Marc succeeds Dan Lee of the University of Arizona, who served as OITP chair for two years. We are deeply grateful for Dan’s leadership and service to OITP and ALA.

Marc Gartler recently chaired OITP’s subcommittee on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century, served on the advisory committee for ALA’s Policy Revolution! initiative, and served on OITP’s Copyright Education subcommittee. Over the past few years he has participated in policy discussions with representatives from the FCC, Google, the Gates Foundation, and other organizations whose interests dovetail with those of ALA. OITP, ALA, and libraries have benefited from Marc’s counsel on diverse issues from copyright to maker spaces.

Marc manages two neighborhood libraries for Madison (Wisc.) Public Library, a recipient of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. He leads one of the City of Madison’s Neighborhood Resource Teams, which coordinate local government services and develop relationships among City staff, neighborhood residents, and other stakeholders. A former college library director, Marc served as a consultant for the Ohio Board of Regents and Colorado Department of Higher Education. He is a graduate of the PLA Leadership Academy, and holds an MS in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago.

We look forward to working with Marc.

The post OITP welcomes new chair, Marc Gartler appeared first on District Dispatch.

Open Knowledge Foundation: Announcing IODC Unconference

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 09:21

We all know the feeling of the end of a conference, where after long days full of content, you leave with more unanswered questions. Conferences are a great place for networking, learning different topics and sharing achievements (and sometimes even failures), but in their nature, they are organised in a way that is less participatory and more broadcast than an exchange of information.

The organising committee of the International Open Data Conference are aware of this, and try to use other ways to share ideas with people without stages and slideshows, that can complement the main event. This is why one of the pre-events to the conference will be an unconference that will give inputs to the main event.

Post its from the unfestival @okfest

An unconference is an open event that allows its members to propose their own topics for discussion. Just like last year, the unconference will enable people to discuss open data issues that are close to their heart with like-minded peers from across the world. We hope that by having an unconference, we can give voice to a broad range of different experiences and points of view.

We believe that this will help us ignite discussions and find new ways to continue the conversation during the conference. So even if you are not part of a panel in the main event, you can influence the IODC’s outcomes by participating in the unconference.

This year, Open Knowledge International will lead the efforts of the unconference for IODC, with the support of the IDRC, The Web Foundation, ILDA and Civica Digital, and we want to share with you every step of the way. The goals that we set are:

  • To offer a safe space to promote understanding and experience sharing from the open data movement across the world, to have honest and open reflection on how we create change
  • To initiate new relationships and build solidarity within the open data community.
  • To create an opportunity to dive deeper into topics and issues that are important to the community.

To do so, we want to invite you to take an active role in the running of the event. Firstly, we need to hear from you and to set the mood for the event. We opened this forum category, and we are looking forward to seeing what kind of topics can be explored during the unconference.

In the next couple of weeks, we will send more information and registration details. In the meanwhile, save the date: Tuesday, October 4th, at 9.30 at IFEMA, North convention centre.

We hope to see you there and share experiences!


Equinox Software: Johnston Joins NC Cardinal

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-07-21 18:15


Duluth, Georgia–July 21, 2016

Equinox is pleased to announce that Johnston County Public Library has been successfully migrated to Evergreen in the NC Cardinal Consortium.  The Equinox team completed the migration in late May.  Johnston County Public Library includes ten branches and serves almost 48,000 patrons with over 174,000 items.

Johnston joins Cumberland, Neuse, Henderson, Rockingham, and Iredell in the use of the Acquisitions module within NC Cardinal.  The addition of Johnston’s 10 branches brings NC Cardinal’s grand total to 153.  Equinox is proud to be a part of NC Cardinal’s continued growth!

Mary Jinglewski, Equinox Training Services Librarian, worked closely with Johnston during the transition, providing training on Evergreen.  She remarked, “It was a lovely experience training with Johnston County Public Libraries. I believe they will be a wonderful addition and community member of NC Cardinal.”

About Equinox Software, Inc.

Equinox was founded by the original developers and designers of the Evergreen ILS. We are wholly devoted to the support and development of open source software in libraries, focusing on Evergreen, Koha, and the FulfILLment ILL system. We wrote over 80% of the Evergreen code base and continue to contribute more new features, bug fixes, and documentation than any other organization. Our team is fanatical about providing exceptional technical support. Over 98% of our support ticket responses are graded as “Excellent” by our customers. At Equinox, we are proud to be librarians. In fact, half of us have our ML(I)S. We understand you because we *are* you. We are Equinox, and we’d like to be awesome for you. For more information on Equinox, please visit

About Evergreen

Evergreen is an award-winning ILS developed with the intent of providing an open source product able to meet the diverse needs of consortia and high transaction public libraries. However, it has proven to be equally successful in smaller installations including special and academic libraries. Today, almost 1400 libraries across the US and Canada are using Evergreen including NC Cardinal, SC Lends, and B.C. Sitka. For more information about Evergreen, including a list of all known Evergreen installations, see

About Sequoia

Sequoia is a cloud-based library solutions platform for Evergreen, Koha, FulfILLment, and more, providing the highest possible uptime, performance, and capabilities of any library automation platform available. Over 27,000,000 items were circulated within the Sequoia platform in the last year.  It was designed by Equinox engineers in order to ensure that our customers are always running the most stable, up to date version of the software they choose.  For more information on Sequoia, please visit


David Rosenthal: QLC Flash on the horizon

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:00
Exabytes shippedLast May in my talk at the Future of Storage workshop I discussed the question of whether flash would displace hard disk as the bulk storage medium. As the graph shows, flash is currently only a small proportion of the total exabytes shipped. How rapidly it could displace hard disk is determined by how rapidly flash manufacturers can increase capacity. Below the fold I revisit this question based on some more recent information about flash technology and the hard disk business.

First, economic stress on the hard disk industry has increased. Seagate plans a 35% reduction in capacity and 14% layoffs. WDC has announced layoffs. Unit shipments for both companies are falling. If disk is in a death spiral, massive increases in flash shipments will be needed.

Flash vs HDD capexThere are a number of ways flash manufacturers could increase capacity. They could build more flash fabs. This is extremely expensive, but as I reported in my talk, flash advocates believe that this is not a problem:
The governments of China, Japan, and other countries are stimulating their economies by encouraging investment, and they regard dominating the market for essential chips as a strategic goal, something that justifies investment. They are thinking long-term, not looking at the next quarter's results. The flash companies can borrow at very low interest rates, so even if they do need to show a return, they only need to show a very low return.Since then the economic situation has become less clear, and the willingness of the governments involved to subsidize fabs may have decreased, so this argument may be less effective. If there aren't going to be a lot of new flash fabs, what else could the manufacturers do to increase shipments from the fabs they have?

The traditional way of delivering more chip product from the same fab has been to shrink the chip technology. Unfortunately, shrinking the technology from which flash is made has bad effects. The smaller the cells, the less reliable the storage and the fewer times it can be written, as shown by the vertical axis in this table:
Write endurance vs. cell sizeBoth in logic and in flash, the difficulty in shrinking the technology further has led to 3D, stacking layers on top of each other. Flash is in production with 48 layers, and this has allowed manufacturers to go back to larger cells with better write endurance.

Flash has another way to increase capacity. It can store more bits in each cell, as shown in the horizontal axis of the table. The behavior of flash cells is analog, the bits are the result of signal-processing in the flash controller. By improving the analog behavior by tweaking the chip-making process, and improving the signal processing in the flash controller, it has been possible to move from 1 (SLC) to 2 (MLC) to 3 (TLC) bits per cell. Because 3D has allowed increased cell size (moving up the table), TLC SSDs are now suitable for enterprise workloads.

Back in 2009, thanks to their acquisition of M-Systems, SanDisk briefly shipped some 4 (QLC) bits per cell memory (hat tip to Brian Berg). But up to now the practical limit has been 3. As the table shows, storing more bits per cell also reduces the write endurance (and the reliability).

As more and more layers are stacked the difficulty of the process increases, and it is currently expected that 64 layers will be the limit. Beyond that, manufacturers expect to use die-stacking. That involves taking two (or potentially more) complete 64-layer chips and bonding one on top of the other, connecting them via Through Silicon Vias (TSVs). TSVs are holes through the chip substrate containing wires. Although adding 3D layers does add processing steps, and thus some cost, it merely lengthens the processing pipeline. It doesn't slow the rate at which wafers can pass through and, because each wafer contains more storage, it increases the fab's output of storage. Die-stacking, on the other hand, doesn't increase the amount of storage per wafer, only per package. It doesn't increase the fab's output of bytes.

Now, Chris Mellor at The Register reports that Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer:
3D TLC flash is now good enough for mainstream enterprise use. ... QLC could become usable for applications needing read access to a lot of fast, relative to disk and tape, flash capacity but low write access. Archive data, on the active end of a spectrum of high-to-low archive access rates, is one such application.

Back in March, Jeff Ohshima, a Toshiba executive, presented ... QLC flash at the Non-Volatile Memory Workshop and suggested 88TB QLC 3D NAND SSDs with a 500 write cycle life could be put into production.QLC will not have enough write endurance for conventional SSD applications. So will there be enough demand for manufacturers to produce it, and thus double their output relative to TLC?

Exabytes shippedCloud systems such as Facebook's use tiered storage architectures in which re-write rates decrease rapidly down the layers. Beacuse most re-writes would be absorbed by higher layers, it is likely that QLC-based SSDs would work well at the bulk storage level despite only a 500 write cycle life. It seems likely that only a few of the 2015 flash exabytes in the graph are 3D TLC, most would be 2D MLC. If we assume that half the flash from existing fabs becomes 3D QLC, flash output might increase 8x. This would still not be enough to completely displace hard disks, but it would reduce disk volumes and thus worsen the economics of building them. Fewer new flash fabs would be needed to displace the rest, which would be more affordable. Both effects would speed up the disk death spiral.

District Dispatch: Young Women Rising: The Atlantic at the RNC

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 20:35

Who are millennial voters, what do they want from government and what does this increasingly powerful demographic mean for public policy? These are questions that The Atlantic’s panelists discussed during their Republican National Convention (RNC) event, “Young Women Rising.”

As a research associate for ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) based in Cleveland, I am attending several of the policy events being held in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. Yesterday, I participated in this “Young Women Rising” event.

Panelists discuss electoral values of millennials at Republican National Convention

Kicking off the event, Harvard University Polling Institute of Politics Director John Della Volpe highlighted the importance of authenticity to young voters. In this cycle, young voters see Bernie Sanders as an authentic leader, but have clear reservations about Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton.

The statistics on millennials’ relationship to government are dour: 75% do not trust government; a strong majority doesn’t trust capitalism in its current practice; and over 50% don’t believe the American dream is accessible to them personally. Della Volpe provided context for this when he said, “Millennials are seeking a compassionate capitalism, a little Teddy Roosevelt ‘break up the banks’ and a little Franklin Roosevelt ‘provide a social infrastructure.’”

The panel of female Republican journalists, activists, and leaders expanded on the issues of including young people, especially young women between 18 and 35, in the platform. In a party dominated by male voices and often criticized for its policy views regarding women’s issues, it was interesting to hear from a group of female leaders who support the party and Donald Trump. They emphasized that in engaging millennials, the party message needs to connect with the young voters through original, authentic channels and not the forceful, dated methods typically used in political advertising and rhetoric.

Columnist Kristen Anderson emphasized that studies show that kindness towards people from all walks of life and policies that promote equality are the most important values young voters look for in leadership. In addition, young people are more likely to volunteer and become involved in their communities than previous generations, and due to low trust in traditional government institutions, are seeking to become involved in their communities through non-profit, non-governmental organizations.

Anderson also suggested that young Americans today are delaying traditional transitions to adulthood – marriage, home ownership, having children– until their 30s, allowing many of their early adulthood policy positions and values to solidify. Many 18 year olds will vote in 3 or 4 election cycles before they reach typical milestones of adulthood, suggesting that many of their political inclinations will become a strong part of their generational voting identity.

What can policymakers do now to empower young voters to again trust in the power of government as a force for social good and leadership in America? A question from the audience concluded the discussion on a thought-provoking note: who are we really talking about when we discuss millennial, particularly young female, voters? Where do lower income women, people of color, and young immigrant voters aged 18-35 fall? For a group that is concerned largely with equality and inclusive politics, looking at the issues that affect young Americans across more than partisan lines may be a good place for policymakers and influencers to start in building relationships with millennial voters.

How does this discussion affect technology policy and libraries? Young voters are a key demographic to study and educate about the issues that affect technology policy and libraries because libraries appeal to millennials’ desire for services that promote equal opportunity. Focusing on how the library provides a service for the whole community, is a safe space for people of all walks of life, and provides programs to create equal opportunities would be the key to influencing millennial voters through authentic and compassionate policy proposals.

More to come!

The post Young Women Rising: The Atlantic at the RNC appeared first on District Dispatch.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: ArchivesSpace - 1.5.0

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 17:45

Last updated July 20, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on July 20, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: ArchivesSpaceRelease Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

OCLC Dev Network: Bib It: Choosing a UI Framework

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 15:00

Learn about the UI frameworks used in Bib It, a simple application for allowing non catalogers to add data to WorldCat.

Tim Ribaric: Another hot take... This time about Library Holdings

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 14:23


I came across another grad school Library use dilemma

read more

LITA: Wearable Technology Resources

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 12:00

The world of wearable technology (WT) is fascinating, but a little overwhelming. Last month I attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute where I completed a week-long course entitled “Palpability and Wearable Computing.” We engaged in movement exercises, experimented with sensors, learned about haptics, and critiqued consumer wearables including the Fitbit, Spire, Leaf, and Athos. I expected to walk away with some light-up sneakers, but instead I left with lots of questions, inspiration, and resources.

What follows is a list of books, videos, and project tutorials that I’ve found most helpful in my exploration of wearable technology.

Textile Messages | Edited by Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, Michael Eisenberg, and Yasmin Kafai

  • Textile Messages is a great primer; it includes a little bit of history, lots of project ideas, and ample discussion of working with WT in the classroom. This is the most practical resource I’ve encountered for librarians of all types.

    Textile Messages: Dispatches from the World of E-Textiles and Education

Garments of Paradise | Susan Elizabeth Ryan

  • The history of WT goes back longer than you’d think. Chapter 1 from Garments of Paradise will take you all the way from the pocket watch to the electric dress to Barbarella.

Atsuko Tanaka models the electric dress, 1956.

MAKE Presents

  • If you want to make your own wearables, then you’ll need a basic understanding of electronics. MAKE magazine has a fantastic video series that will introduce you to Ohm’s Law, oscilloscopes, and a whole slew of teeny tiny components.

Wired Magazine

  • If you’re interested in consumer wearables, Wired will keep you up to date on all the latest gadgetry. Recent reviews include a temporary tattoo that measures UV exposure and’s smart watch.

    My UV Patch from L’Oreal is currently in development

Project Tutorials

  • One easy and inexpensive way to get started with WT is to create your own sensors. In class we created a stroke sensor made of felt and conductive thread. If you’re working with a limited budget, Textile Messages has an entire chapter devoted to DIY sensors.  
  • Adafruit is a treasure trove of project tutorials. Most of them are pretty advanced, but it’s interesting to see how far you can go with DIY projects even if you’re not ready to take them on yourself.
  • Sparkfun is a better option if you’re interested in projects for beginners.

My first attempt at making a stroke sensor

What WT resources have you encountered?

pinboard: The Code4Lib Journal – Metadata Analytics, Visualization, and Optimization: Experiments in statistical analysis of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 22:12
RT @chrpr: Hey so I published a thing about visualization & predictive analytics of #DPLA metadata in the #code4lib journal.

Mita Williams: The Observer or Seeing What You Mean

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 20:43

If you are new to my writing, my talks and work tends to resemble an entanglement of ideas. Sometimes it all comes together in the end and sometimes I know that I’ve just overwhelmed my audience.

I’m trying to be better at reducing the sheer amount of information I give across in a single seating. So for this post, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to say briefly before I tell you what I’m going to say in a more meandering fashion.

In brief, libraries would do better to acknowledge the role of the observer in our work.

Now, true to my meandering style, we need to walk it back a bit before we can move forward. In fact, I’m going to ask you to look back at my last post (“The Library Without a Map“) that was about how traditional libraries have library catalogues that do a poor job of modeling subject relationships and how non-traditional libraries such as The Prelinger Library have tried to improve discovery through their own means of organization.

One of the essays I linked to about The Prelinger was from a zine series called Situated Knowledges, Issue 3: The Prelinger Library.  The zine series is the only one that I know of that’s been named after a journal article:

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective
Donna Haraway
Feminist Studies
Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599
Published by: Feminist Studies, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/3178066
Stable URL:
Page Count: 25

I have to admit that I struggled with this paper but in the end I was glad to have worked through the struggle. To sum up the paper in one sentence: we need to resist the idea that there is exists ‘god-like’ vision of objectivity and remember that our vision and our knowledge is limited by location and situation. Or as Haraway puts it:

I want a feminist writing of the body that metaphorically emphasizes vision again, because we need to reclaim that sense to find our way through all the visualizing tricks and powers of modern sciences and technologies that have transformed the objectivity debates. We need to learn in our to name where we are and are not, in dimensions of mental and physical space we hardly know how to name. So, not so perversely, objectivity turns out to be about particular and specific embodiment and definitely not about the false vision promising transcendence of all limits and responsibility. The moral is simple: only partial perspective promises objective vision. All Western cultural narratives about objectivity are allegories of the ideologies governing the relations of what we call mind and body, distance and responsibility. Feminist objectivity is about limited location and situated knowledge, not about transcendence and splitting of subject and object. It allows us to become answerable for what we learn how to see.


I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the power of the observer recently.

On my other blog, The Magnetic North, I wrote about how a world-weariness brought on by watching tragedies unfold on social media has led me to spend more time with art. I go on to suggest that being better versed in observing art without the burden of taste might help us better navigate a world that shows us only what we chose to see and perhaps even bring about a more just world.

But on this blog, I want to direct your attention to a more librarian-focused reason to be concerned with the matter of the observer.

You see, after I published my last post about how our library catalogue and how it poorly handles subject headings, I received a recommended read from Trevor Owens:

@copystar @shannonmattern y’all read Murray & Tillett’s “Cataloging Theory in Search of Graph Theory”

— Trevor Owens (@tjowens) July 11, 2016


I found the paper super interesting. But among all the theory, I have to admit my favourite takeaways from the paper was that its model incorporates business rules as a means to capture an institution’s particular point of view, restraints or reasons for interest. It is as if we are recognizing the constraints and situation of the observer who is describing a work:

Following the scientific community’s lead in striving to describe the physical universe through observations, we adapted the concept of an observation into the bibliographic universe and assert that cataloging is a process of making observations on resources. Human or computational observers following institutional business rules (i.e., the terms, facts, definitions, and action assertions that represent constraints on an enterprise and on the things of interest to the enterprise)5 create resource descriptions — accounts or representations of a person, object, or event being drawn on by a person, group, institution, and so on, in pursuit of its interests.

Given this definition, a person (or a computation) operating from a business rules–generated institutional or personal point of view, and executing specified procedures (or algorithms) to do so, is an integral component of a resource description process (see figure 1). This process involves identifying a resource’s textual, graphical, acoustic, or other features and then classifying, making quality and fitness for purpose judgments, etc., on the resource. Knowing which institutional or individual points of view are being employed is essential when parties possessing multiple views on those resources describe cultural heritage resources. How multiple resource descriptions derived from multiple points of view are to be related to one another becomes a key theoretical issue with significant practical consequences.

Murray, R. J., & Tillett, B. B. (2011). Cataloging theory in search of graph theory and other ivory towers: Object: Cultural heritage resource description networks. Information Technology and Libraries, 30(4), 170-184.

I’ll end this post with a video of the first episode of Ways of Seeing, a remarkable series four-part series about art from the BBC in 1972. It is some of the smartest TV I have ever seen and begins with the matter of the perspective and the observer:

The first episode is based on the ideas of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, which I must admit with some shame that I still have not read.

Art takes into account the observer.

I’m not sure that librarianship does.

But perhaps this observation is not sound. Perhaps it is limited by my particular situation and point of view.

District Dispatch: There’s a reason why we complain

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 20:39

Image from Pixabay

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) could be called the “academic version” of user-generated content on the web. Scholars and academics generate content in the form of scholarly papers and post them on the SSRN for all to see, read, and comment on.  Often, academics who post their forthcoming papers or “pre-prints” intend to eventually publish them in scholarly journals that research libraries and academic societies acquire. But in the meantime, academics want to quickly share their works in a pre-published form on the SSRN.  It’s a valuable and heavily used resource with over 682,100 scholarly working papers and forthcoming papers freely available.

After the scholarly publisher Elsevier acquired the SSRN in May, people thought, what the h***?! Many were inclined to think that Elsevier would develop a way to monetize SSRN because Elsevier does that sort of thing, they have a history. They sell journal subscriptions to academics at lunatic prices — their current profit margin more than 40% — by re-selling content produced by scholars who work at publicly funded higher education institutions. Then libraries have to find the money to purchase the journal…you know the story. (if not, see SPARC) Elsevier assured those concerned that SSRN would remain unchanged – specifically that “both existing and future SSRN content will be largely unaffected”

The Authors Alliance, whose members want to facilitate the “widespread access to works of authorship” and “disseminate knowledge,” were particularly concerned because SSRN is one of the primary venues for sharing works of social science rapidly and freely. So they asked Elsevier to accept principles that acknowledged its willingness to accept open access preferences of scholars.

Well, they did not. Surprise!

Last week, several authors noted that their papers had been removed from SSRN by Elsevier without notice. Apparently Elsevier wants to remove all the papers whose copyright status is unclear. Ahh…come again? Elsevier is asking authors who have written an unpublished paper and have not transferred their copyright to submit documentation proving that they are the rights holder! What kind of world do we live in?

Now there is a movement by scholars and academics to drop SSRN.  Luckily, a new pre-print archive is under development. It is called SocArXiv. Stay tuned to the District Dispatch for more information.

The post There’s a reason why we complain appeared first on District Dispatch.

LibUX: The UX of VR

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 17:12

Max Glenister has curated a list of resources about the user experience of virtual reality. These range from actual code to conceptual principles and broadly applicable truisms about immersion and design, like

The last 40 years have seen the rise of the digital landscape; a two dimensional plane that abstracts familiar real-world concepts like writing, using a calendar, storing documents in folders into user interface elements (UI). This approach allows for a high level of information density and multitasking. The down-side is that new interaction models need to be learned and there is a higher cognitive load to decision making. Matt Sundstrom
Immersive Design: Learning to Let Go of the Screen

The UX of VR by Max Glenister

The post The UX of VR appeared first on LibUX.

LITA: LITA Forum 2016 – Call for Library School Student Volunteers

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 15:28

2016 LITA Forum
Ft Worth, Texas
November 17-20, 2016


The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, is offering a discounted student registration rate for the 2016 LITA Forum. This offer is limited to graduate students enrolled in ALA-accredited programs. In exchange for the lower registration cost, these graduate students will be asked to assist the LITA organizers and Forum presenters with onsite operations. This is a great way to network and meet librarians active in the field.

The selected students will be expected to attend the full LITA Forum, Friday noon through Sunday noon. Attendance during the preconferences on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning is not required. While you will be assigned a variety of duties, you will be able to attend the Forum programs, which include 3 keynote sessions, over 50 concurrent sessions, and poster presentations, as well as many opportunities for social engagement.

The Forum will be held November 17-20, 2016 at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. The student rate is $180 – half the regular registration rate for LITA members. A real bargain, this rate includes a Friday night reception, continental breakfasts, and Saturday lunch.

For more information about the Forum, visit We anticipate an attendance of 300 decision makers and implementers of new information technologies in libraries.

To apply to be a student volunteer, complete and submit this form by September 30, 2016.

You will be asked to provide the following:
1. Contact information, including email address and cell phone number
2. Name of the school you are attending
3. Statement of 150 words (or less) explaining why you want to attend the LITA National Forum

Those selected to be volunteers registered at the student rate will be notified no later than Friday, October 14, 2016.

Additional questions should be sent to Christine Peterson,, or Mary Duffy,

Code4Lib Journal: Editorial Introduction – Summer Reading List

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 15:08
New additions for your summer reading list!


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