On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books

Astack_of_booksApril 26, 2016  By Summer Brennan

Like a lot of avid readers, I enjoyed Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but bristled when it came to the section about books. The gist of her now-famous method is this: go through all your possessions by category, touch everything, keep only that which “sparks joy,” and watch as your world is transformed. It seems simple enough, but Kondo gives minimalism the hard sell when it comes to books, urging readers to ditch as many of them as they can. You may think that a book sparks joy, she argues, but you’re probably wrong and should get rid of it, especially if you haven’t read it yet.

Paring down one’s wardrobe is one thing, but what kind of degenerate only wants to own 30 books (or fewer) at a time on purpose? What sort of psychopath rips out pages from their favorite books and throws away the rest so they can, as Kondo puts it, “keep only the words they like?” For those of us for whom even the word “book” sparks joy, this constitutes a serious disconnect. Still, as the weather gets warmer, many readers will tackle their spring cleaning with The Life-Changing Magic in hand.

I wondered, can Kondo’s Spartan methods be adapted for someone who feels about books the way the National Rifle Association feels about guns, invoking the phrase “cold dead hands”? I decided to give it a try. Read more…

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Libraries stack up in new digital world | roanoke.com

Research libraries such as those on the Virginia Tech campus are moving away from being repositories of knowledge to active curators of data.

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech researcher Emmanuel Frimpong and his team took two years to compile a database of biological traits of 809 U.S. freshwater fish species for a project funded in part by the U.S. Geological Survey.

But the team needed a new service at Tech’s Newman library to help them honor a commitment to the USGS to make that online database available to other scientists.

“I don’t think researchers across campus are aware of this service the library can provide,” Frimpong said.

Welcome to the modern research university library, where new skills and even new spaces are being developed to serve the needs of scholars, scientists and students working in the digital age.

From a digital-ready classroom to furniture reminiscent of the starship Enterprise, library officials say they are developing new ways to serve the campus, and the public.

As libraries transform for the digital age, “it’s an exciting time,” said Judy Ruttenberg of the Association of Research Libraries, a membership and advocacy organization for 125 of the nation’s largest research libraries, including the Library of Congress. Read more…

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On Discovery, Ebook Formats, and More: Results of a Goodreads Member Survey | LJ INFOdocket

 

Goodreads has posted the results of a user survey that touches on many topics that will likely be of interest to many of you. The results were first shared by Otis Chandler, CEO of Goodreads at the Tools of Change conference a couple of weeks ago. The slide presentation (embedded below) was made available earlier this week.

From a summary blog post:

On Discovery

Goodreads surveyed members and asked them what convinced them to read the two of the most popular Goodreads titles from 2012.

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E-Books in Libraries: A Global Question of Survival? | IFLA

E-Books in Libraries: A Global Question of Survival? | IFLA.

An IFLA Management of Library Associations (MLAS) Seminar in Cooperation with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on the Challenges in Front of Us

When

21 February 2013

Where

London, United Kingdom

IFLA will be represented by the Governing Board and Headquarters Staff

[PDF] | [MS Word]

The transformation of the media market and the emergence of eBooks is causing great changes to library models worldwide. The answers we find to the challenges emerging, and the positions and models we develop will be crucial for our future. This is the reason why IFLA’s Management of Library Associations (MLAS) Committee and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) are organizing an important seminar in London in February.

Over hundreds of years libraries decided what books to buy and use for public lending in accordance with their collection building policies. In the world of e-books libraries no longer have such a right. It is a significant – and in our view unacceptable – change that today the acquisition policies of libraries may be decided by publishers and not by libraries themselves. The challenge is to find solutions to this problem.  It is a question of our survival.

IFLA is deeply concerned about this development. Currently, the Governing Board and experts are elaborating “IFLA Principles on eLending”. IFLA will be concentrating on this issue during 2013 with workshops and presentations. The start will be MLAS/CILIP seminar in London.

Experts from all continents will report on the situation around the world, and successful lobbying activities and campaigns will be presented. IFLA will present fundamental position papers. Together, we want to develop new strategies.

If you want to know what happens worldwide and deal with this problem together with IFLA, come to the seminar in London. Work on new strategies together with us.

Location

CILIP
7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Registration

The seminar is free of charge, however the number of participants is limited.

Note: This event is now FULLY BOOKED.  If you are interested in attending please email your name, job title and organisation to events@cilip.org.uk and we will inform you if any places become available.