Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Reading Fun at the Albany Public Library

Kids Earn Rewards for Reading and Participating in Free Activities
School is out and summer reading is in at Albany Public Library! Kids and teens are rewarded for reading, and participating in fun and educational library programs, from June 28 to August 16. (Grownups can get in on the summer reading fun through

The Summer Reading Program provides dozens of free activities every week at Albany's libraries.  Kids can stop by their neighborhood library to:
  • Explore the world of science with hands-on experiments involving robotics, catapults, electricity, mirrors, sound, and more
  • Meet animals including chickens, salamanders, owls, honey bees, falcons, and snakes
  • Learn about such topics as dinosaurs, lightning, medieval machines, kitchen science, music production, pond ecology, and skyscrapers  
  • Create and sample yummy snacks made from cookies, berries, marshmallows, yogurt, ice cream, and other foods
  • Participate in games and building challenges using balloons, LEGOs, sticks, string, and tape
  • Make art using t-shirts, paint, candy, crayons, homemade paper, sand and other materials

The full Summer Reading Program guide details all of the free activities. The guide is available online and at all library locations. The 2014 APL Summer Reading Program is sponsored by the Friends of Albany Public Library, Price Chopper, and Stewart's Shops.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Albany Public Library: Summer Program Guide Available

Tons of Great -- and Free -- Programs on Tap. Check out the latest APL program guide for details about all the wonderful activities, workshops, events, and programs scheduled for July, August, and September.

A Few Changes in the APL Schedule This Month:

ALL library locations are CLOSED on July 4

ONLY Main Library and Delaware Branch are OPEN on July 12. Delaware is hosting SummerFest, an outdoor family celebration with games, music, and refreshments, from 1 to 3 pm that afternoon.

Main Library is CLOSED on SUNDAYS in July and August

Carl Strock reviews Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader July 1

Tuesday, July 1, 12:15 pm at the main branch of the Albany Public Library. Light refreshment served.

Book Review—Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader. Reviewer: Carl Strock, journalist & author.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The therapy dog for the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Let’s say you were an incoming freshman at Harvard University. You’d get your dorm assignment, pick your classes, buy your books, and set up a meal plan. A lot of those things require — or at least, are facilitated by — an official ID card. Harvard’s online campus service center has instructions as to how to obtain your card, and, on that page, informs the student that his or her Harvard ID card “provides access to housing, dining halls, libraries, Crimson Cash [a University-wide debit system], and more.”

Cooper Anderson, better known as Crimson Cooper, is a therapy dog.

More HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

“Sherlock Holmes” Is Now Officially Off Copyright and Open for Business

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, but his most famous work—stories about the English detective Sherlock Holmes—has lived on. Thanks to copyright law, those stories have also continued to benefit Doyle's heirs for the past 84 years. Every time someone wanted to write a story or film a movie about Sharlock Holmes, the Doyle estate would collect a fee. A legal ruling announced this week, however, has set Holmes free: the character and all his companions (as penned by Doyle) are now in the public domain.

The legal case of Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate that settled the claim actually rested on an interesting issue, whether a copyright claim can persist on a character even if the works depicting that character have fallen out of copyright. The defense of the Doyle estate went something like this: sure, Arthur Conan Doyle's stories are now at least 90 years old, but other stories about Sherlock Holmes are still under copyright, therefore Sherlock Holmes is still under copyright.

Judge Richard Posner didn't buy the argument, and he ruled that Sherlock Holmes, the character, is now in the public domain.

Read more from Smithsonian magazine

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Library of Congress Launches Pinterest Boards

Continuing its effort to make its digital educational, historical and cultural resources available to web users across many platforms, the Library of Congress has launched an account on Pinterest, accessible at

The Library is the repository to more than 158 million items of cultural and historical value, including more than 13.7 million photographs, 5.5 million maps, 6.7 million pieces of sheet music and 69 million manuscripts.

As a visually based content-sharing platform where users curate their own collections of multiformat items, Pinterest lends itself to the sharing of online Library of Congress content at the item level.

More from the Library of Congress.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Doctors Are Now Prescribing Books to Treat Depression

This kind of so called "bibliotherapy" isn't a totally new idea. The word was coined in 1916 by a clergyman named Samuel Crothers, but he certainly wasn't referring to self-help books. In 1966, The American Library Association began talking about bibliotherapy. Today, they define the word this way:

The use of books selected on the basis of content in a planned reading program designed to facilitate the recovery of patients suffering from mental illness or emotional disturbance. Ideally, the process occurs in three phases: personal identification of the reader with a particular character in the recommended work, resulting in psychological catharsis, which leads to rational insight concerning the relevance of the solution suggested in the text to the reader's own experience. Assistance of a trained psychotherapist is advised.

Read more at Smithsonian magazine

Follow @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Saturday, June 21, 2014

LinkedIn acquires major fact checking patents

Lucas Myslinski was tired of having to fact check the questionable emails his father often forwarded to him.

“My dad would send these emails where they say something like, ‘Oh the government is stockpiling billions of dollars of ammunition’ and other things like that, where if all you would do is take a little time and look on Snopes you would find it’s not true,” Myslinski said.

That very problem has inspired projects such as LazyTruth, Truth Goggles, and Trooclick, all of which I wrote about last week, as well as the Washington Post’s TruthTeller. There’s a broad consensus that in a world of abundant, and often incorrect, information it would be valuable to have an app that “automatically monitors, processes, fact checks information and indicates a status of the information.”

Myslinski sketched out his ideas and then took the step of patenting them. The above quote is in fact taken from one of his many patent filings and summarizes the core of the systems he has imaged and diagrammed over the last few years.

More from Poynter>

Friday, June 20, 2014

FREE FUN FRIDAYS! (in Massachusetts)

freefunfridays.events16210Each Friday this summer, from June 27 through August 29, five to eight museums and cultural venues across the commonwealth of Massachusetts will be open for free, as part of Free Fun Fridays. This is taking place thanks to a grant from The Highland Street Foundation.

Last year, our family went to the Norman Rockwell Museum, thanks to this program. The venue is on the list this year for August 29. Other venues in the 413 area code

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book review June 24, sponsored by the Friends of the APL

Join the Friends of APL every Tuesday at 12:15 pm for some lively and engaging book talks! The talks take place at the Main Library, in the large auditorium on the first floor, and are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served too.

JUNE 24 — Book Review of “Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity” by Lester R. Brown

Susan Kayne, a television producer and research, reviews the book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dewey Graduate Library blog

The University at Albany, my library school alma mater, has a downtown campus houses the Dewey Library. Read the blog about library issues. No, it is NOT named for Melvil Dewey, for whom the Dewey Decimal System is named.

Friday, June 13, 2014

How Do You Know The Public Domain Is In Trouble? It Requires A 52-Page Handbook To Determine If Something Is Public Domain

From Techdirt:

from the not-how-it's-supposed-to-work dept
We..., frankly, believe that many more works should be in the public domain. In fact, we treat our own articles, written by staffers here, to be public domain, even though there's no official legal mechanism to officially put them in the public domain. We can only proactively state that we will treat them as such. And, of course, thanks to the switch from "opt-in" copyright to "everything eligible is automatically covered by copyright" in 1976, combined with ever-farther-reaching copyright term extension, nothing has officially entered the public domain in the US in ages.

So it's great to see that the folks over at the Samuelson Clinic at Berkeley have developed a detailed handbook to determine what is in the public domain, which comes complete with this handy-dandy (if not altogether simple) graphic.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Friends of the APL book review June 17.

Join the Friends of APL every Tuesday at 12:15 pm for some lively and engaging book talks! The talks take place at the Main Library, in the large auditorium on the first floor, and are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served too.

JUNE 17 — Book Review of “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life” by Len Fisher

Union College History Professor Steven Sargent reviews the book.

Scott C. Jarzombek appointed as new executive director of the Albany Public Library

From the APL Facebook page:

We have some big news! APL's Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Scott C. Jarzombek as our new executive director, and he will start at on June 23. He replaces Carol Nersinger, who retires later this month after five years of service at APL.

As many of you know, Scott is not new to Albany or Albany Public Library. He started his professional career at APL where he served as a branch librarian, primarily at the Howe Branch, from 2000 to 2009. “I am very excited to return to Albany,” he said. “While I have enjoyed my time with other organizations, my heart has always been with APL.” Aww, we're very excited, too. Congratulations, Scott, and welcome back to Albany and APL!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

"The Best and Worst Presidents": Dennis Gaffney at Friends of the APL annual meeting June 11

Writer Dennis Gaffney will lead a participatory exercise in trivia about things people may not know about the American presidency. What president liked to dance? What president avoided public speaking at all cost? Plus a whole lot more.

Dennis served as chairperson of the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, and other publications, and is the author of three books. For fun, he plays basketball and the ukulele, neither of which he'll be bringing to his talk.

The Friends of Albany Public Library will have a brief business meeting on Wednesday, 11 June 2014, 7:00 pm in the auditorium, Albany Public Library—Main Library. Refreshments will be available, and the meeting, like the Friends;' monthly meetings, is open to the general public.

After reports by the officers, the main piece of business, will be the elections of members of the board.

For the Board, term ending in 2015:
Allan Schneider
For the Board, term ending in 2017:
Candace Deisley
Bill Dufur
Evelyn Dufur
Sonny Hausgaard
Anne Marfey

For officers:
President: Roger Green
Vice President: Paul Hacker
Corresponding Secretary: Judi Baum
Recording Secretary: Jonathan Skinner
Treasurer: Gene Damm

There will also be the presentation of the George Held Award, named for the late longtime secretary of the Friends board.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Friends of the APL book review June 10

Join the Friends of APL every Tuesday at 12:15 pm for some lively and engaging book talks! The talks take place at the Main Library, in the large auditorium on the first floor, and are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served too.

JUNE 10 — Book Review of “Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York” by Richard Zacks

Robert Knightly, a former police officer, criminal trial lawyer, and crime