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Libraries

NYPL Launches Book Recommendation Engine Online

nypl logoThe New York Public Library (NYPL) has introduced a book recommendation engine to help patrons discover books in its online catalog BiblioCommons based on their reading preferences.

The tool is powered by Zola Books’ Bookish Recommends an online social reading site. The tool uses an algorithm to suggest books based on characteristics. Book recommendations are based on tags, and each book can have dozens of attributes tagged. Readers can browse the online catalog and check out recommended books by clicking on a selected title to see which other titles are recommended.

“Discovering a new book is essential to further a love of reading. Working with Bookish, the Library is able to offer our users with a unique resource that supports their interests and fosters the joy of discovery,” stated Mary Lee Kennedy, NYPL’s Chief Library Officer.

 

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Anne Frank Book Defaced in Tokyo

annefrankTokyo police have arrested a man for allegedly ripping the pages from a book related to Anne Frank at a Tokyo library.

The arrest comes at a time when hundreds of Frank books have been vandalized in libraries across the city.

TIME has the story: “Tokyo police said the man, 36, sneaked into a library on Feb. 5 and ripped pages from 23 Frank-related books, including at least one copy of the diary. Some of the ripped pages were found in a plastic bag at an unidentified house in Tokyo. Police said that the suspect admitted to ripping the pages out of the books, but that his motive was unclear. They did not release the suspect’s name.”

 

79% of the US Adult Population Are Engaged With Libraries: Pew

pewTen percent of the U.S. adult population can be categorized as library lovers, while 30 percent are highly engaged with public libraries, and an additional 39 percent have a medium level of engagement with libraries, according to new metrics from Pew Research Center.

Pew surveyed 6,224 Americans ages 16 and older (which is about three times larger than their usual surveys) to determine the public’s interest in libraries in the era of technology. Pew identified interest in libraries and information and grouped the population into the high engagement group, the medium engagement group, the low engagement group, the non-engagement group, and those totally off the grid,

Here is more about these groups from the report:

Broadly speaking, adults with higher levels of education and household income are more likely to use public libraries than those with lower household incomes and lower levels of education. However, among those who have used a library in the past year, adults living in lower-income households are morelikely to say various library services are very important to them and their familiesthan those living in higher-income households.

‘A Raisin in the Sun: Lorraine Hansberry’s Dream on Broadway’ Exhibit On View at the New York Public Library

nypl logoThe New York Public Library is hosting a pop-up exhibit called ”A Raisin in the Sun: Lorraine Hansberry’s Dream on Broadway.”

The curators organized this art show to celebrate Black History Month and honor Hansberry as well as her beloved play, “A Raisin in the Sun.” Some of the items on display include a documentary, diaries, and letters. It also features pieces that chronicle the conception and performance of the 1959 Broadway show.

According to the press release, visitors will find this art show inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. It will be on view until March 07, 2014. What do you think?

Librarian Seeks Funding For Video Book Reviews App

emilymillerSan Francisco librarian Michelle Zaffino is hoping to raise a little over $7,000 to build a librarian book recommendation app.

The idea came out of a Zaffino’s In the Stacks video book review channel, a college project in which she regularly posted video book reviews. Check it out:

I started doing video book reviews in graduate school — I’m now a librarian :) — and my team and I would like to re-energize the project by creating an app. Since the average cost to build an app is $6453 (TechCrunch, January 2014) and the exhibitor cost at ALA’s mobile app pavilion is $800, $7253 is the minimum amount we aim to raise. Anything above that will go towards constructing the digital library database, front-end design for the website, and conference fees. Quality book reviews and book recommendations are now more important than ever. In the Stacks aggregates book recommendations from librarians around the world, giving users picks for their bookshelf based on preferences and expert data.

You can donate to the project at this link.

Getty Makes 250 Virtual Art Books Free Online

gettylibraryGood news for art history students. Getty Publication’s virtual library has just made 250 backlist art book titles available for free online.

The free collection includes titles from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. The collection includes books on Cezanne, Rubens & Brueghel, as well as titles on ancient metals and urushi, Japanese wood lacquer.

Most of the titles are available to read for free online. Some of the are available to be downloaded as PDFs. Follow this link to explore the collection.

Unreturned Books Are Shrinking the Collection at Brooklyn Libraries

brooklynlibraryBrooklyn Public Library’s collection is shrinking because of unreturned books. According to a report in The Daily News, the library systems counted 70,144 books unreturned books in 2012 across the system’s 60 branches. This was up from 61,543 books that weren’t returned in 2011. (Numbers for 2013 have not yet been calculated).

These unreturned books are leading to smaller collections. In 2009, the library housed about 4.1 million books. As of 2012, the system only had 3.3 million titles.

Here is more from The Daily News: “GED prep guides, nursing and other professional exam cliff notes were high on the list of frequently filched books — but so too were graphic novels, library officials said. “Those are always going missing,” a librarian at the Brooklyn Heights branch told the Daily News Thursday.”

 

University of Rochester to Host ‘Human Library’ Event

humanlibraryThe University of Rochester in New York is hosting an event that will turn real people into books. It’s called the Human Library event and will take place on the college’s campus tomorrow.

The idea of the event it to get people who would not likely meet in their everyday lives to sit down and talk. Library patrons will be able to ‘check out’ a human for 30 minutes where they can sit together and listen to that person’s story. ‘Human Books’ are volunteers that have signed up to tell their stories to others in the library environment.

Check it out: “A Human Library is a way for people to reach out and connect with individuals in their community with whom they might not normally interact. Visitors to a library have an opportunity during a planned event to borrow and engage in conversation with a Human Book. Human Libraries promote tolerance, celebrate differences and encourage understanding of people who come from varied cultural or lifestyle backgrounds.”

OverDrive Plans to Distribute DRM-Free Audiobooks

overdrive304Digital book distribution company OverDrive will discontinue the sale of audiobooks to libraries in the WMA format, and will only sell MP3 files.

This is a big deal because OverDrive is the largest audiobook distributor in the U.S. and it essentially means that most audiobooks in libraries going forward will be in a DRM-free format.

Here is more from the OverDrive blog: “This is in response to user preferences, widespread compatibility of MP3 across all listening devices and the fact that the vast majority of our extensive audiobook collection is already in MP3 format. This includes the audiobook collections from Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media and dozens of others. Our publisher relations team is working closely with the very few remaining publishers who require WMA to seek permission to sell their titles in MP3 for library and school lending.” (Via BoingBoing).

Simon & Schuster eBooks Now Available in Select Libraries

simonSimon & Schuster has partnered with digital book distribution company OverDrive to create a pilot program in which the publisher is making its eBook catalog available to select public libraries in the United States.

Simon & Schuster’s entire eBook catalog is available through this program. Participating libraries can purchase these titles to lend them to patrons. Just as with a print title, library patrons can check out these eBooks one copy at a time an unlimited number of times for a period of 12 months. There will even be an option for library patrons to purchase the eBook titles themselves through their library’s website with the new Library BIN (Buy It Now) option.

At launch there are 31 libraries participating. Titles include: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King;  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin; and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, among others. As new eBooks come out this year, they too will be available to the program.

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