Thursday, August 28, 2014

David Guistina reviews Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku September 2

Book reviews or author talks every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the main branch of the Albany Public Library auditorium, first floor. Light refreshments served.


September 2—Book Review—Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku. Reviewer: David Guistina, Morning Edition anchor/senior producer, WAMC.

September 9— Book Review—Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis. Reviewer: Richard King, retired attorney.

September 16— Author Talk—A Succinct Analysis by Kwame Somburu, scientific socialist & activist.

September 23— Book Review— The Master and Margarita, a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Reviewer: Ronald Helfrich, PhD, SUNY Oneonta.

September 30— Book Review—The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Reviewer: Kevin Hickey, PhD, professor of English & Africana studies at Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7 Things Librarians Are Tired of Hearing

We’ve all heard them. Probably more than once or twice. These are the reactions and responses librarians receive when they introduce themselves to those who aren’t in the field.

1) “Do people still even go to the library now that there’s Google?” [Yes, I HAVE heard this!]

More HERE!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books

From The Week:

Forbes contributor Tim Worstall wants us to close public libraries and buy everyone an Amazon Kindle with an unlimited subscription. "Why wouldn't we simply junk the physical libraries and purchase an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription for the entire country?" he asks. Worstall points to substantial savings on public funds, arguing that people would have access to a much larger collection of books through a Kindle Unlimited subscription than they could get through any public library and that the government would spend far less on a bulk subscription for all residents than it ever would on funding libraries.

Is he right? Are libraries obsolete? He might be correct — but only if libraries were just about books, which they are not. Libraries are actually an invaluable public and social resource that provide so much more than simple shelves of books (or, for those in rural areas, a Bookmobile like the one this author grew up with). A world without public libraries is a grim one indeed, and the assault on public libraries should be viewed as alarming.

Humans have been curating libraries for as long as they've been creating written materials, whether they be tablets, scrolls, handwritten books, or printed mass-media. They've become archives not just of books on a variety of subjects, but also newspapers, genealogical materials, art, and more. Notably, early libraries were primarily private, with only wealthy individuals maintaining stocks of printed materials due to their expense.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription

A terrible, short-sighted (tongue-in-check, I hope) suggestion from Forbes.

Herein some of the responses:

Do you not understand the plethora of other resources available to library patrons outside of books? How would a subscription to this service replace those services? Libraries offer such free services as: counseling with a lawyer or social worker, internet access, access to printers and copiers (sometimes for a fee), ESL classes, multitudes of programming for children and teens, a community hub for learning and socialization, among many other resources. Libraries/librarians are often on the forefront of activism for privacy rights, particularly in the United States. How does a service such as Amazon’s lending program advocate for its community?

In regards to book lending itself, the Amazon service is severely limited [and] does not include a wealth of titles available through other services, including libraries.
***
If you added up the real costs (labor, planning, staff knowledge, etc.) involved in the work libraries do, it would be far more than is ever received in financial support from their communities. Libraries are one of the few truly public services where you can say, you get MORE than you pay for.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Denver Tang reviews the novel A Free Life by Ha Jin August 26

Book reviews or author talks every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the main branch of the Albany Public Library auditorium, first floor. Light refreshments served.

August 26— Book Review—A Free Life, a novel by Ha Jin. Reviewer: Denver Tang, doctoral candidate in Science & Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



September 2—Book Review—Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku. Reviewer: David Guistina, Morning Edition anchor/senior producer, WAMC.

September 9— Book Review—Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis. Reviewer: Richard King, retired attorney.

September 16— Author Talk—A Succinct Analysis by Kwame Somburu, scientific socialist & activist.

September 23— Book Review— The Master and Margarita, a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Reviewer: Ronald Helfrich, PhD, SUNY Oneonta.

September 30— Book Review—The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Reviewer: Kevin Hickey, PhD, professor of English & Africana studies at Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why the Public Library Beats Amazon—for Now

The Wall Street Journal.

A growing stack of companies would like you to pay a monthly fee to read e-books, just like you subscribe to Netflix to binge on movies and TV shows.

Don't bother. Go sign up for a public library card instead.

Really, the public library? Amazon.com recently launched Kindle Unlimited, a $10-per-month service offering loans of 600,000 e-books. Startups called Oyster and Scribd offer something similar. It isn't very often that a musty old institution can hold its own against tech disrupters.

But it turns out librarians haven't just been sitting around shushing people while the Internet drove them into irrelevance. More than 90% of American public libraries have amassed e-book collections you can read on your iPad, and often even on a Kindle. You don't have to walk into a branch or risk an overdue fine. And they're totally free.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gene Damm reviews Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout August 19

Book reviews or author talks every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the main branch of the Albany Public Library auditorium, first floor. Light refreshments served.


August 19— Book Review— Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout. Reviewer: Gene Damm, past president of the Friends of APL.

August 26— Book Review—A Free Life, a novel by Ha Jin. Reviewer: Denver Tang, doctoral candidate in Science & Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



September 2—Book Review—Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku. Reviewer: David Guistina, Morning Edition anchor/senior producer, WAMC.

September 9— Book Review—Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis. Reviewer: Richard King, retired attorney.

September 16— Author Talk—A Succinct Analysis by Kwame Somburu, scientific socialist & activist.

September 23— Book Review— The Master and Margarita, a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Reviewer: Ronald Helfrich, PhD, SUNY Oneonta.

September 30— Book Review—The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Reviewer: Kevin Hickey, PhD, professor of English & Africana studies at Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.