Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Smithsonian Releases 3-D Collection

The Smithsonian X 3D Collection features objects from the Smithsonian that highlight different applications of 3-D capture and printing, as well as digital delivery methods for 3-D data in research, education and conservation.

The explorer contains a variety of tools for examining these objects. Users will be able to rotate the objects, take accurate measurements between points and adjust color and lighting. The explorer also has a storytelling feature, which allows Smithsonian curators and educators to create guided tours of the models. The explorer is also embeddable on non-Smithsonian websites, blogs and social media.

More from The Smithsonian.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


12 Days of Reading -- Monday, Dec. 2, to Saturday, Dec. 14 -- Howe Branch

Children and teens are encouraged to stop by during regular hours and select a set of specially wrapped books to take home. Each day, one set of books will hold a golden ticket that gets the lucky winner a prize. The prizes include movie tickets, gift cards, activity kits, and food items. When participants are done with a set of books, they can come back to the branch and get another set to read and see if they've won that day's golden ticket.

Holiday Crafts for Adults -- Monday, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 at 6 to 7:30 pm -- Delaware Branch

Adults can make a different craft project during each of the four sessions. Register at 463-0254. (Dec. 2: plaster figurines/Dec. 9: jewelry/Dec. 16: gift wrap/Dec. 23: lotions and perfumes)

Holiday Terrarium Craft -- Thursday, Dec. 5, at 4 pm -- Delaware Branch

Youngsters ages 9 to 17 can learn how to create a tiny garden in a glass jar that is perfect for gift giving. Registration is required by calling 463-0254.

Holiday Gift Making -- Saturday, Dec. 7, 14, 21 at 2 pm -- Main Library

Children ages 5 to 17 can make a different holiday gift at each of three crafting sessions in the Main Library Children's Room.

Holiday Sing-along -- Friday, Dec. 20, at 5 pm -- Delaware Branch

Guitarist Joe Finn will lead a sing-along of holiday tunes geared toward children and families.

Holiday Harp Performance -- Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 pm -- Pine Hills Branch

Harpist Dahr will play a selection of holiday music.

Winter Extras -- Monday, Dec. 23, and Thur-Fri, Dec. 26-27 at 2 to 4 pm -- Pine Hills Branch

Children and teens can make their own art projects using the library's supplies.

LIBRARY CLOSED November 28 and 29.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis, UAlbany Professor and the 2013 winner of the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction, will be speaking at the Albany Public Library on Saturday, December 7.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Declaration for the Right to Libraries Signing Event

Barbara Stripling, the current president of the American Library Association has made the cornerstone of her presidency increasing public understanding of the value of libraries. As part of her initiative, she developed the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

Dr. Stripling has invited all ALA members, ALA Chapters, library advocates and others to join forces in community-based signature campaigns.

Signed petitions will be forwarded to the U.S. Congress by library supporters during National Library Legislative Day activities on May 5 and 6, 2014.

At the University at Albany, the Student Chapter of the ALA will be having two signing events for the Declaration for the Right to Libraries:

Uptown in the University Campus Center on November 19th from 10am to 5pm.
Downtown in Husted Hall on November 20th from 2pm to 4:30pm.

We would love for you to join this endeavor – please feel free to drop by to support this worthwhile event.

More information may be found here

Friday, November 08, 2013

Creating the perfect world is trickier than you think

From Pando Daily:

In the movie "Ruby Sparks," a novelist played by Paul Dano falls in love with a character he’s written, whom he believes is the ideal woman. Eventually, she comes to life and they have a relationship. But despite the fact that he created her based on his image of the perfect girl, and can even alter her personality through his writing, he finds dating the real life Ruby to be much more complicated than he imagined.

The underlying message of the movie is that the novelist in the film created a shallow facsimile of a woman, because he didn't understand them enough to write one who is complete and complex.

It occurred to me that many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs view the world with the same overly simplistic short sightedness with which the novelist viewed women.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Finding Lieutenant Columbo

In 1974, a man named Fred L. Worth published "The Trivia Encyclopedia," a 300-plus page tome of minutiae One of the questions asked what [TV detective] Columbo's first name is, and Worth's book claimed that "Phillip" was the correct answer. This is incorrect... but it isn't an error per se. Worth made up the answer entirely and intentionally. He figured that if anyone other books subsequently claimed that Columbo's first name was Phillip, that publisher would have ultimately "learned" the fact from his book -- they had to have, because no one else could be the source for a fact that Worth had made up.

The trap worked. A while later, Trivial Pursuit published a board game which included a question about Columbo's first name, using "Phillip," not "Frank," as the correct answer. Worth sued, claiming that Trivial Pursuit has stolen his intellectual property by re-using his made-up fact (and likely, had plagiarized many other facts from his book) without credit or compensation. He demanded $300 million for the violation of his copyright.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Yertle the Turtle Quote Again Allowed in British Columbia Schools

More than a year after a quote from the Dr. Seuss classic Yertle the Turtle was banned from classrooms in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a settlement has been reached allowing teachers to bring Yertle back to school.

The ban arose in April 2012 during a labor dispute. Teachers had previously gone on strike over “issues including wages, classroom conditions and the province’s response to a court ruling last year that found previous education legislation was unconstitutional,” but they were forced back to work by hastily passed provincial legislation. To continue their protest, many teachers displayed bumper stickers or wore t-shirts with quotes they found relevant. One of these was from Yertle the Turtle:

"I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights."

More from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund HERE.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Boxers & Saints

Boxers & Saints (First Second Books, 2013) was recently placed on the short list for the 2013 National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature — the second time a graphic novel has been nominated. (The first American Born Chinese, also by Gene Yang, was nominated in 2006.)

We highlight Boxers and Saints here for two reasons: first, in honor of its prestigious nomination; but even more importantly, because this two-book set illustrates the importance of understanding and analyzing conflict from multiple perspectives, in the hope of teaching and reaching greater understanding and tolerance.

Boxers and Saints’ double volumes revisit the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900), sensitively and evenhandedly relating Chinese peasants’ perspectives from each side of the conflict. Boxers tells the story of the illiterate peasants tired of being hungry, tired of failing farms, and tired of Chinese Christian ruffians who would steal, cheat and beat them while under Western protection.

More from Meryl Jaffe at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund HERE.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Texas Man Arrested and Jailed for Overdue Library Book

While most libraries around the country are doing their best to remain relevant, one Texas town has decided to speed up its library's demise by threatening to arrest residents who don't return books on time.

A recently passed ordinance in Copperas Cove allows courts to issue arrest warrants for library patrons who have had a book checked out for over 90 days and have not responded to requests — by phone, email, or otherwise — to return the book.

More from Gawker.