The Freedom to Read–and Listen

Our culture seems to grow increasingly attentive to monitoring youthful family members’ personal lives—baby monitors set to eavesdrop on the napping 4-year-old who has no incipient medical issues to warrant vigilance; scheduling every free chunk of time with organized activities to eliminate those precious moments of freedom and independent pursuits; parental insistence in maintaining control over teens’ school assignments. Library ethics acknowledge parental rights to monitor their own children’s access to information; parents who choose to exercise that right should be informed about the diminishing effects this has on human development as children (hopefully) mature into their own individuals.

We do have the freedom regardless of  age to expose ourselves to information and literary experiences. We do not–and should not–have to accept everything we read, hear, or may be assigned to consider. We all do, however, have the right to give our own permission to what we ourselves care to consider through reading and through listening. It is through that exposure that we learn for ourselves what to accept, or reject, in the way of ideas. Continue reading The Freedom to Read–and Listen

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 85th birthday to Johnny Cash, born into a farming family in Kingsland, Arkansas, February 26, 1932.

Before finding success, Cash held a variety of mundane jobs including a stint as an appliance salesman. A few years later you can picture some guy sitting in his living room with his wife’s meatloaf and mashed sitting in his stomach like an anchor watching Cash on the TV, scratching his head thinking, “Didn’t we buy the washing machine from that guy?”


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

A time for publishers and libraries to soar above tradition and fail (if they must)

Dear reader,

As you may have noticed, the focus of No Shelf Required has been shifting in recent weeks and months. What once was a blog covering ebook news in the publishing and library market has expanded into a mission-oriented portal with the purpose of not only keeping up with the vast ebook and econtent ecosystem but also of educating, enlightening, and inspiring book professionals of all walks of life (including writers, editors, publishers, librarians, developers, etc.) to recognize the power of the written word in digital format  to transform our world into a place where access to books and knowledge is open and free to all individuals regardless of their location, affiliation, or background.

We think that it is only a matter of time before books are open to the world online the way other mediums have been ‘open’ for years (think music on youtube, news and magazine articles, etc.). But ‘open’ and ‘freely available’ does not mean that there are no financial benefits for content producers and all others in the ecosystem. It means that knowledge flows to the user with minimal or no restriction, while rewarding those making it possible. And how could that ever be possible, you ask. To that we say: have we made honest efforts to make it possible before claiming it is not? Have we pushed ourselves in the direction of innovation and disruption enough to fail and learn from our failures?

NSR is here to draw attention to not only what is happening with ebooks today but, just as important, what is clearly on the horizon for our industry tomorrow, and what’s on the horizon looks a lot like what is already happening on the Internet every day: free consumption of content. This is not to say that we don’t recognize that there is a vast and growing industry of publishers and other companies (successfully) selling books and content to libraries and individual consumers. We do, of course. In many ways, every one of us who works with books belongs to that ecosystem. But we also recognize that a shift is taking place that will soon propel us to a new way of thinking about what ebooks can do for the book industry and the society in general. Continue reading A time for publishers and libraries to soar above tradition and fail (if they must)

SAGE Video grows with two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice

SAGE Publishing has announced that it has expanded SAGE Video, its library of streaming videos across the social sciences, to include two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice. Hosted on SAGE Knowledge platform and designed to enhance research, teaching, and learning at all levels, the new collections contain 115 hours+ of streaming video content each, more than 65% of which is exclusive to SAGE.

SAGE Video collections are developed in partnership with academics, societies and practitioners, including many of SAGE’s own authors and academic partners to provide cutting-edge teaching and research-oriented video.

For more information, visit the SAGE Video information page or visit the SAGE Video platform directly. Sign up for a trial of SAGE Video here. Continue reading SAGE Video grows with two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice

More humanities and social sciences books made available for free via Knowledge Unlatched

 Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched has announced the ‘unlatching’ of  147 front list and 196 backlist ebooks from the KU Select 2016 collection. Around 270 libraries and consortia from 21 countries pledged towards the unlatching of this collection. This brings the total to 449 ebooks available as Open Access via KU, since 2014.

The Humanities and Social Sciences titles cover 16 subject areas and can be downloaded for free as PDFs and EPUBs via KU’s official hosts’ platforms, OAPEN and HathiTrust. Continue reading More humanities and social sciences books made available for free via Knowledge Unlatched

Book of the Week: Manly Manners (Wayne James)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week. Books highlighted include a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/manly-manners-lifestyle-modern-etiquette-for-the-young-man-of-the-21st-century/

About Author

Wayne JamesSt. Croix-born Wayne James, “The ‘Bad Boy’ of Good Manners,” is no stranger to the worlds of style, diplomacy, and courtesy. In March of 1987, while in his last semester of Georgetown University’s school of law, James presented his first collection of fashion at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery in New York’s SoHo. One week later, Bergdorf Goodman bought the exclusive rights to the collection. In May of that same year, James went on to earn his law degree. In 1999 James was elected Senator of the United States Virgin Islands and served as Senate Liaison to the White House. (Wayne James is also no stranger to the world of controversy: In June of 2016, while in Modena, Italy, researching and writing volume three of the Manly Manners treatise, he was detained by Italian authorities acting on behalf of a request from the United States of America for alleged fiscal inconsistencies during his tenure as senator.  James has denied all charges, and the matter is being resolved in a court of law.)


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

If the only necessary people in the publishing process are the writer and reader, shouldn’t libraries serve both?

self-publishingThe concept of a public library as self-publishing platform for aspiring writers isn’t new and libraries across North America are steadily warming up to it, increasingly becoming the go-to places for aspiring local writers to produce, publish and share their work in their community and nationally. In recent years there has been an explosion of self-publishing platforms available to writers all over the Internet and several are used in libraries in the United States and Canada. The three that stand out include Biblioboard, Pressbooks, and Self-E (by Library Journal).

Stratford Public Library (SPL), Ontario, Canada, provides access to all three of these resources for its card holders who may use them through the library’s website. Clearly, the library is trying to position itself as the place where local residents don’t just get free books but also create them from scratch for free.

Just underneath the “Self Publishing Resources” heading on SPL’s website, one notices this quote by Guy Kawaski: “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader.” Public libraries such as SPL are certainly making the necessary steps to stand as examples of institutions that serve the needs of their patrons in an age that transcends traditional publishing channels and recognize that emerging digital technologies are democratizing the written word like we’ve never seen before. They are making it possible for writers in their community who would normally not be able to get exposure to share their writing and possibly realize their greatest dreams and ambitions. Continue reading If the only necessary people in the publishing process are the writer and reader, shouldn’t libraries serve both?

The Best of NSR: Reading by Ear [Why audiobook listening expands, rather than derails, our access to literature]

The Best of NSRThis opinion piece introduced a series of articles [by librarian Francisca Goldsmith], discussing audiobooks as a medium through which contemporary readers are invited to explore literary culture, performance arts, and multimodal literacy capacity building. In Reading by Ear Francisca addresses why audiobook listening expands, rather than derails, our access to literature. Read full article here. See also the follow-up to this article, Just Listen, in which Francisca takes on the issue of prescribing audiobooks as a ‘print reading’ support versus listening to audiobooks as a way to build information and aesthetic experiences and critical thinking about auditory experiences in their own right.


If you are a book, library or information professional interested in contributing to NSR, please contact the Editorial Director at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com. Please include a writing sample and a brief description of the topic you wish to explore. For more on NSR’s vision, visit our About and Mission pages. To browse our opinion pieces for inspiration, visit our Ideas page.

11 key qualities of a K-12 digital resource for the classroom

child-1183465Through the process of identifying quality materials, AAP (American Association of Publishers)—representing nearly 400 member organizations that include major commercial, digital learning, education and professional publishers as well as independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies—has recently identified the 11 “essential components” to help educators recognize which products are right for their classroom. These include (and are listed in this slide):

Continue reading 11 key qualities of a K-12 digital resource for the classroom

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy birthday to Lee Marvin, born February 19, 1924, in New York City. He was named Lee after Robert E. Lee, a distant cousin (shockeroo, eh!).

After getting expelled from a handful of schools, Marvin enlisted in the marines in WWII and was twice wounded fighting in the Pacific. Post war he was working as a plumber’s assistant in a theater, and when one of the actors took ill, he filled in and the rest is our good fortune.

After portraying a plethora of gritty cowboys, soldiers, and crooks, Marvin, ironically, snagged his lone Oscar for a comedy (Cat Ballou).

The eyes of a killer.

Lee Marvin collage


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

AAPAAP has released some new numbers this week that point to the trend we saw in previous findings: that print (paperback and hardcover) and audio sales continue to grow while ebook sales continue to decline. See full report here.

As always, when such reports are released, NSR zooms in on ebook numbers. They continue to go down (not up), as we can clearly see, but as we’ve noted previously on this issue, this may actually be a good thing. At least for those who advocate for more affordable access to books online, and especially for those whose advocate free access to books online (beyond libraries). Although disappointing, numbers like this do not confirm that people don’t want to read and access content in digital format. Instead, they confirm that they simply do not want to pay for ebooks, or at least not as much they’ve had to pay thusfar. Continue reading New (but not surprising) AAP findings this week: paperback, hardcover, and audio sales grow; ebook sales decline

Smashwords, where indie authors may price their books at ‘free,’ but ‘free’ isn’t the core mission

smashwordsThe focus of this week’s Free Content Alert column is ebook distributor Smashwords, which occupies a unique niche in the world of free ebook collections in that its focus is indie ebooks. As stated on Smashwords’ website:

Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  We make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers  and thousands of libraries. Continue reading Smashwords, where indie authors may price their books at ‘free,’ but ‘free’ isn’t the core mission

More ebook choices for OASIS users

OasisProQuest has just announced it has joined forces with De Gruyter to make De Gruyter’s 26,000 ebooks (from over 15 international imprints) available for purchase through the OASIS® system. This prompted us to revisit OASIS—ProQuest’s free web-based system for searching, selecting, and ordering print and electronic books for academic libraries—and provide a quick update on its growth.

Indended for academic, corporate, and government libraries, OASIS (Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System) supports multiple ordering and selection workflows for print and ebooks, including approval plans, firm orders, standing orders, demand driven acquisition, EDI ordering and MARC ordering. It now provides libraries with access to over 1.5 million unique ebook titles and 25 million print titles. Continue reading More ebook choices for OASIS users

NSR invites publishers and vendors to support EveryLibrary’s efforts to protect libraries

every library

EveryLibrary—a nonprofit social welfare organization chartered to work on local library ballot initiatives and the only national organization dedicated to political action at a local level to create and protect public funding for libraries—has just put out a statement to all who support its mission to fight for the future of libraries to join its efforts by pledging support.

As part of its efforts, EveryLibrary is working to roll-out a coalition strategy in 2017 that looks to expand, not shrink, library budgets, even in the current political climate. As part of its coalition strategy, EveryLibrary signed on to the One America Coalition to focus on a core part of libraries: services to immigrants and new Americans. In addition, EveryLibrary has been part of a coalition protecting Net Neutrality for over two years and next month it will announce an expansion of its voter registration and ballot access mission.

This is a good opportunity for publishers and vendors working with libraries—public, school, and academic—to consider making a donation to support EveryLibrary’s mission. Efforts like these should serve as a reminder to publishers and vendors that sell to libraries—and whose businesses thrive from their relationship with libraries—that libraries continue to face serious challenges with funding and their livelihood depends on the continued support from the public.

Individual contributions are always welcome and make a difference, but organizational contributions have the potential to make the deepest impact. Hence this post.

More information on EveryLibrary’s 2017 agenda is available here.

Book of the Week: Bedtime for Buzzy (T.J. Hackworth)

No Shelf Required is an ardent supporter of independent authors writing and producing their work on their own terms and with their own resources. In an effort to draw attention to quality independent (aka self-published) literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers around the world), and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights a wide variety of titles reviewed on BIR’s site each week. Enjoy this week’s (very timely) pick.

https://www.blueinkreview.com/book-reviews/bedtime-for-buzzy/

About Author

hackworth

 

T.J. Hackworth is a writer of short stories and children’s fiction. His work has also appeared recently in the Wisconsin Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

 

 


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

The flawed (and outdated) art of categorizing books and knowledge

books-401896During my years as a Library Journal book review editor, I spent countless hours each week sorting through books (then physical objects only) to figure out what goes where. When I started my editorial career (in the late 1990s), book categories made a lot more sense than they did when I left the book review job in 2010. I can’t count the times I went back and forth with my Library Journal colleagues about whether a newly arrived print galley belonged in my or someone else’s “pile,” to be assigned for review.

Is it Military History or Politics? But couldn’t it also be Law & Crime? Is it Literature because it’s literary or Self-help because it’s about a writer’s spiritual journey? Is it Philosophy or Religion? And what if it’s always at least three categories combined? Questions like these were part of our daily dialog. In retrospect, my colleagues and I made educated guesses every day when assigning books for review and I have no doubt that we didn’t always make the right ones. The way we printed book reviews in the magazine corresponded to the way books were categorized in libraries. Since we were the ones instructing librarians what to buy (by category), we were essentially driving the way books would be made available to patrons in libraries. Quite a responsibility. Continue reading The flawed (and outdated) art of categorizing books and knowledge

Program for DPLAfest 2017, to be held in Chicago April 20-21, now available

 DPLA 2017

DPLAfest 2017—the fourth major gathering of the Digital Public Library of America’s community—will take place on April 20-21, 2017 in Chicago at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. The event will bring together librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, educators, and many others to celebrate DPLA and its community of creative professionals.

DPLA has just released the schedule, including a very extensive listing of the speakers.

From a DPLA press release:

We received an excellent array of submissions in response to this year’s call for proposals and are excited to officially unveil the dynamic program that we have lined up for you. Look for opportunities to engage with topics such as social justice and digital collections; public engagement; library technology and interoperability; metadata best practices; ebooks; and using digital collections in education and curation projects.

DPLAfest 2017 presenters represent institutions across the country—and as far as Europe—but also include folks from some of our host city’s premier cultural and educational institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum and Chicago State University. We are also grateful for the support and collaboration of DPLAfest hosting partners  Chicago Public Library, the Black Metropolis Research ConsortiumChicago Collections, and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).

The Best of NSR: Why education continues to fail digital content and students

The Best of NSRIn her opinion piece for NSR, Why education continues to fail digital content and students, CEO of learning technology company Metrodigi, Kathryn Stewart, calls for a “much-needed disruption” in education, giving three reasons why it has been slow to leverage the benefits of digital content: inferior user experience, shortage of engaging content, and lack of commitment to overcome institutional barriers. Read full article here.


If you are a book, library or information professional interested in contributing to NSR, please contact the Editorial Director at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com. Please include a writing sample and a brief description of the topic you wish to explore. For more on NSR’s vision, visit our About and Mission pages. To browse our opinion pieces for inspiration, visit our Ideas page.

This week in Literature and Arts

February 13, 2000: The last original Peanuts strip is published hours after creator Charles Schulz succumbs to colon cancer at 77.

Schulz’s contract with United Features prevented another artist from taking over Peanuts after his passing. Recycled strips continue to run in more than 2000 daily newspapers.

Seems impossible that it was 17 years ago.

CHarlie Brown Goodbye


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Free Trial Alert: Race Relations in America, a timely new resource concerning all

ARC_S002_B048_F025_0070

Adam Matthew has just released a new—and very timely—online collection, Race Relations in America, culled from the extensive work of the Race Relations Department at Fisk University (Nashville), an influential think tank and center of scholarly investigation and public conversation on civil rights in the 20th century. Presenting speeches, reports, surveys and analyses, the resource sheds light on the Civil Rights Movement, segregation, discrimination and racial theory in America between 1943-1970.

NSR thanks Adam Matthew for giving us free access to share with our readers, valid for four weeks. If you are interested in exploring the resource (no strings attached) log in here. Then use the following:

  • Username: NSR2017
  • Password: amdRRIA7

The free trial ends on March 16, 2017. Please note that username and password are case sensitive. Please also note download options are not available during trials. Continue reading Free Trial Alert: Race Relations in America, a timely new resource concerning all

Portal on all aspects of ebooks and digital content and for all creating, reading, publishing, managing, curating, and distributing the written word and other content in digital format, including publishers, writers, editors, content developers, distributors, educators, librarians and information science professionals. Managed by Mirela Roncevic, with contributions from professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.