Category Archives: Uncategorized

John Palfrey, Biblio Tech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google

(2016-01-08 001)Title: Biblio Tech: Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google

Author: John Palfrey

Publication Information: New York: Basic Books, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-465-04299-9

Library of Congress Classification: Z674.75 .I58

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Libraries and the Internet.
Libraries–Social aspects–United States.
Library information networks.
Libraries and electronic publishing.
Library users–Effect of technological innovations on.
Librarians–Effect of technological innovations on.
Digital preservation.

Here’s another book by a non-librarian telling us how valuable librarians and libraries are if they’d just change what they are doing.

There is no denial that technology is changing the world. Where it used to be changing computers every 5 years was a necessity, it is now every 3 years or even sooner. How things are being done now will probably be different in another 5 or even 10 years. Library science has been one of the hardest hit professions by technology.

The reality is that librarians have been doing lots with nothing for decades. Since I started in the library field as a page in the 1980s, I’ve watched positions be eliminated; job titles are merged with people with other jobs, so that for every two or three positions eliminated, maybe one would be created. Now the jobs that are created did not even exist five years ago. All over the country, colleges and universes are being corporatized; what doesn’t make money is not important.

And here is where libraries find themselves, like others in the non-profit sector: what functions libraries perform does not make money. Libraries are not self-sustaining and only take tax money to provide services to everyone in the community. This is the idea behind libraries. In the corporate view, providing services with no remuneration makes no sense.

Palfrey mentions the Digital Public Library (DPLA) and how the digitization of so many image and written works has caused some people to fear that libraries truly will disappear because the support for them will erode when faced with the DPLA (p. 103-105). What Palfrey is saying is that libraries will not disappear, but that they must start cooperating more than ever and evolve into platforms that will make them even more indispensable. And this is his whole argument: libraries must change to not only survive but thrive and fill a necessary niche in the future.

Librarians know that the printed book will not remain the be-all and end-all of libraries. That idea went out two decades ago. Just what, exactly, the library of the future will be is the big question. Palfrey does make the case for the librarian as helpful researcher for patrons in the future.

What Palfrey is arguing isn’t bad, but how do we “reinvent” libraries? Who will do it? The administrators who have no idea what the value of libraries are, or people who truly value what libraries have to offer? He offers ten points to redefine libraries (p. 226-228), which are food for thought.

This book has certainly got me thinking.


G. Wayne Clough, Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in the Digital Age

(2013-11-15 001)TitleBest of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age

Author: G. Wayne Clough

Publication Information: Washington, DC: Published by Smithsonian Institution, c2013

ISBN: 978-0-9819500-1-3

Library of Congress Classification: Q11.S8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Smithsonian Institution–Planning
Museums–Technological innovations
Museums–Educational aspects
Libraries–Technological innovations
Archives–Technological innovations
Digital media
Cultural property–Digitization

Clough is the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. His entire focus of is that the new technology bringing about a digital humanities for archives, libraries and museums should not be seen as destructive but as innovative. This technology is allowing the public to find out what resources are in archives, libraries and museums, thereby titillating the interests of those on the Internet into wanting to visit the institutions and explore the collections even more.

Just as importantly, the differing institutions can now partner and collaborate on various online exhibitions, thereby giving the public a powerful tool to educate and increase interest. Also, partnering with K-12 brings a new way to teach information to those already savvy in online access. Clough does credit libraries and archives as among the first to adopt digital technology. Libraries and archives not only promoted “open access” but also used social media to allow the  interaction with what the public encounters online; comments and re-postings only enhanced the information online and generate attention for those institutions.

According to Clough, the Internet is fundamental to a democracy simply because it promotes the free flow of information. (I assume he would support Net Neutrality.) Clough’s book is free to download.

A Note about Closed the Cover and Room to Read on Blog

You’ll notice that my blog not only has a new theme but also two buttons added to the right bar. These are for Closed the Cover and Room to Read.

1387684957Back in January, I was contacted by Ashley LaMar, the founder of Closed the Cover. Closed the Cover is described as “a literary media outlet offering book reviews and other services to publishers and self-published authors. Services include: book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, featured articles and virtual (blog) tours. … the company has grown to include a variety of genres, multiple reviewers and other literary services.”

Closed the Cover works with small presses and self-published authors. I would encourage you to take a look at what Closed the Cover is doing, and to support their efforts.

rtr_logo_color_smallRoom to Read is an award-winning non-profit that promotes education through literacy and gender equality. The organization works with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to reach primary-school children. The organization promotes literacy for all while ensuring that girls complete secondary school and learn the skills and knowledge that they will need.

I am not getting paid for these endorsements, or getting any type of enumeration. So please visit both web sites.

Richard Diana, Healthy Joints for Life: an Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again

(2014-02-19 006)Title: Healthy Joints for Life: an Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again [NETGALLERY DOWNLOAD]

Author: Richard Diana

Publication Information: New York: Harlequin, 2013

ISBN: 978-0373892709 (0373892705)

Library of Congress Classification: RC932

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Joints—Diseases—Popular works
Pain—Popular works
Arthritis—Popular works

This book has a lot to offer people with joint pain. I am one of them.

I’ve had bone spurs on both heels of my feet since my 20s, and within the past several years they have begun to ache. My doctor thinks that it is from rheumatoid arthritis, which I have being diagnosed with having. If this were true, my joints should have been aching like this since my 20s, and it is only within the past five years that my heels (and feet) have begun to ache.

On top of this, the orthopedic surgeon I saw told me that my ankles are not very flexible; they flex one way but not the other, and though he didn’t call my ankles abnormal (which I do), he did say that because the ankle flexes only one way, the tendon has been jerked on the one side since I started walking, which is why the bone spurs formed in the first place.

Frankly, I’ve been lost and angry. I read this book and felt better. Richard Diana is an orthopedic surgeon who watched his mother suffer for years from rheumatoid arthritis. Nothing that was given to her would aleviate the pain, and he watched her world get smaller and smaller as she became crippled and not able to do much of anything. He was an NFL player and has a lot of experience with joint pain, which he has been researching for years.

The book gives way too much information on the science on how the joints and the body work, at least for me. I was overwhelmed, but nonetheless struggled through. Diana says that joint pain can be controlled through weight loss, eating the right foods, and taking supplements. The body breaks down food into three groups: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. There are good carbs and bad carbs, just like there’s good fat and bad fat. There are fats and proteins that are joint-healthy, and he provides an eight-week program to get people moving while reducing the pain.

People should consult their doctor before doing any of the things in this book, particularly the supplements. I also plan on consulting a nutritionist to help plan a new dietary program. Weight is a major problem, and it is imperative that I lose weight. I intend to discuss this book with my doctor when I see her.

If you know someone suffering joint pain, you might want to suggest this book. If Dr. Diana were in New York, I would go to him.

Note: The NetGallery pdf was so bad that I had to request the book through Warner Library. The charts and drawings were either missing or garbled.


The web site says “If you’re a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, get a FREE NetGallery account to request and read digital galleys today.” So I did. NetGallery wants reviews for the book galleys that they are offering.

I had a friend tell me about NetGallery. I downloaded five galleys. I’ve only been a member for a month or so. I finished one book (soon to be reviewed), and I am in the middle of another one. I had a graphic novel from DC Comics on Batman that looked interesting. (I used to collect comic books.) I had to request the file from the publisher. The day I was told that I could download it was the day that I went to the web site only to find that the publisher had already pulled the novel from review. What was the point of even telling me that I could read it?

There were two books that I downloaded but discovered that there was no way that I could read them on my Kindle. So, I emailed NetGallery to find out if I could somehow get the books in a Kindle-friendly form. All the other galleys that I got (pdf files) I could read on the Kindle. I was told that I should use another reader to access these files.

Ah, no.

The pdf files have many typos. In one file, editorial comments were mingled into sentences that I had to stop and try and figure out what was the original sentence. Proper nouns were not capitalized, and in some places it was hard to follow the text. One does have to wonder if it’s even worth trying to read these galleys.

I’ve gone to Book Expo America for several years and have gotten proofs/advance reading copies/whatever you want to call them that have errors but the text is readable. Perhaps there’s a difference between proofs and galleys. The five galleys I was able to download to my Kindle I am obligated to review and I will, but whether or not I use NetGallery again is debatable.

I will mark these reviews with “NetGallery download.”

A Word about Free Children’s Books

The following children’s books are free and available through Amazon for the Kindle. I downloaded them because of the beautiful illustrations that are included in the public domain book. Be careful, though; not all books that are in public domain include the illustrations, as I found out with a few children’s books I downloaded and then deleted.

I took a class many years ago at the University of Pittsburgh from M. E. David, a well-known scholar in children’s literature. We used one of her books, issued by a publisher that accompanied her text with line drawings, that were not very interesting. This set her on a tirade about how children love color and beautiful illustrations and how good children’s books always have beautiful, colorful illustrations for children to see. Adults, too, like illustrations, but most adult books don’t have illustrations.

Enjoy these free books with the marvelous illustrations.

(2013-10-25 105Title: Beauty and the Beast

Author: Andrew Lang; illustrations by Walter Crane

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2011 (originally published in 1889)

ISBN: 978-1-908478-58-0

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Daughters–Juvenile fiction
Animals–Juvenile fiction
Princes–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

(2013-10-25 097Title: Snow White

Author: Brothers Grimm; illustrations by Franz Jüttner

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-908478-35-1

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Princesses–Juvenile fiction
Dwarves–Juvenile fiction
Queens–Juvenile fiction
Witches–Juvenile fiction
Apples–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

(2013-10-25 031)Title: Russian Fairy Tales

Author: Alexander Afanasyev; illustrations by Ivan Bilibin; translated by Post Wheeler (1912)

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-908478-55-9

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Princes–Juvenile fiction
Emperors–Juvenile fiction
Empresses–Juvenile fiction
Vasilisa (Legendary character)–Juvenile fiction
Baba Yaga (Legendary character)–Juvenile fiction
Frogs–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

(2013-10-25 098Title: The Swineherd

Author: Hans Christian Andersen; illustrations by Heinrich Lefler (1897); translation by H. B. Paul (1872)

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-908478-39-9

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Swine breeders–Juvenile fiction
Princesses–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

(2013-10-19 012)Title: East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North

Author: Illustrated by Kay Nielsen

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-908478-67-2

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Girls–Juvenile fiction
Boys–Juvenile fiction
Princes–Juvenile fiction
Princesses–Juvenile fiction
Mothers and sons–Juvenile fiction
Cats–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

(2013-10-25 069Title: The Nightingale

Author: Hans Christian Andersen; illustrations by Edmund Dulac (1911); translation by H. B. Paul (1872)

Publication Information: Published by the Planet, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-908478-65-8

Library of Congress Classification: PZ8

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
China–Juvenile fiction
Emperors–China–Juvenile fiction
Nightingale–Juvenile fiction
Magic–Juvenile fiction

ISBNs Added

You’d think that being a librarian I would have remembered to add the International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) to the reviews I’m doing, but I was so interested in including the Library of Congress class numbers and subject headings, that I overlooked them.

Before I get too many reviews to fix, I’ve gone back and added them. Henceforth, the ISBN will be in the new reviews.

Sorry for the inconvenience.