A pioneering public organisation is taking a stand against the growing problem of homelessness on the West Coast. In so doing, it is re-defining the very idea of a library.

Every weekday morning at ten, there is a scrum to enter Seattle’s Central Library. As soon as the security team open the double doors, patrons, many of whom wear two coats even in the height of summer’s heatwave and carry enormous holdalls on their backs like tortoises, stream into the building. Some head straight to the bathrooms, others get their laptops out or pick up the morning’s edition of USA Today or the Seattle Times.

130 people are ahead of me in the queue for one of 33 copies of Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. As I place my reservation from an expansive floor of Seattle’s magnificent, ten-story public library, it’s clear the city has a great book culture. But, like many places in the US, the city also has a great homelessness problem.

Andrew Constantino, 43, pictured below, is a homeless man who lives at Georgetown encampment in south Seattle. Andrew has been homeless for six years and uses his experience to consult on homelessness for non-profit groups in Colorado and Idaho. He says homeless people in Seattle have more trust in the public library than they do for other providers of support such as shelters or charities.

According to Andrew, homeless people value the library’s non-judgemental environment and its specialist support. Sustained by philanthropy and public funds, the Seattle Public Library has units devoted to mental health counselling, job training, legal assistance, domestic violence support, medical help, food aid and securing housing.

Andrew spent a year living in shelters where, despite the prevalence of mental health and drug crises, the importance of filling beds to meet targets overrode safety precautions such as weapon searching. He has found that projects and services run by charities in conjunction with the public sector tend to be too top-down and bureaucratic.

“They don’t want to manage but want to micromanage,” he says. “A third [of people at Georgetown] have serious mobility issues, but they built the toilet upstairs. But what do we know? We’re homeless.”

For him there is no debate. “The library is the number one benefactor of the homeless in the city.”

Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, president of the Public Library Association, says that when it comes to administering services to the most vulnerable, the libraries have a key advantage over other state organisations.

“Most people don’t realise that we are actually part of the government,” she tells me. “We can be something that people trust more readily.”

Home to Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle is booming. Yet the liberal West Coast city also has the third-largest homeless population in the country. Here, approximately 12,500 people live on the streets. That’s one in 175 residents of King County, the greater Seattle area. 200 homeless people die on its streets every year.

The causes are many – austerity, the opioid crisis and homeless migration – but the overriding factor is the wave of gentrification. Fuelled by the technology industry, Seattle has changed enormously in a generation. Much of the city is barely recognisable. Belltown, once the heart of grunge music, where an artist could get a studio for $100 a month, is now dominated by luxury flats. Today, the average rent in the neighbourhood is $2,050.

Seeking to reduce their own homelessness problems, many US cities give people living on the streets a one-way ticket West. But in Seattle, homeless migrants from outside Washington State make up just five percent of those without housing. Attesting to the effects of spiralling rents on homelessness, four-fifths of those living on Seattle’s streets used to have housing in King County. Seattle’s homelessness crisis was declared a state of emergency in 2015.

Working with homeless patrons is a core part of Seattle Public Library’s mission: to deliver universal access to information and provide opportunities to improve the lives of people in the community.

Michelle Jaquish, a social worker based at the library, says her clients defy the stereotypes.

“You can never tell someone’s housing status. Someone could be totally put together and tell me they stayed in a shelter last night.”

The layout of the Central Library, an award-winning glass building that opened in 2004, was designed to be as homeless-friendly as possible. Its architects created plenty of open spaces, clear lines of sight, and ventilation to combat the effect of humidity, musty books and body odour.

The bathrooms, with low cubicle doors for ease of access in an emergency, are regularly used by patrons to clean their teeth or freshen up. Although a sign on the wall prohibits using the sinks to wash in, I have often seen people cleanse their hair with soap from the dispenser.

Chris Hogan, the Safety and Security Supervisor, has four or five officers on duty at any given time. He sees his role as resolving any difficulties between patrons and instilling a welcoming culture that accommodates all users. When someone breaks a library rule, he and his team notify the person gently.

“Every contact we make with someone begins by saying ‘you may not be aware, but…’,” he tells me.

A crucial part of the library’s appeal to the homeless is its computers. In today’s technocentric world, a digital divide has formed between those with and those without an internet connection. And beyond its 27 branches, one of the library’s key programs sets aside 50 mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for homeless encampments and tent cities across Seattle. Funded by the city and a grant from Google, the hotspots reduce the effects of the digital divide and boost social inclusion for homeless people in encampments such as Georgetown.

Georgetown is a city-permitted tiny-house village for fifty homeless people set in what was a derelict spot in an industrial area of Seattle. On one side is a fire station, and on the other, aircraft take off from the Boeing Flight and Test Operations runway. Also in earshot are freight wagons, chugging along the nearby railway line.

But as you walk through Georgetown’s metal fencing and closed double gate, the feel is much more homely. Beyond an open space with a table and an array of miscellaneous chairs are one-room wooden cabins the size of beach huts, painted in pastel blues, yellows and oranges. There are bicycles leaning against the houses and neat troughs for growing vegetables.

The encampment received a permanent router from the library in August, and wifi provision is making a tangible benefit for residents such as James Walker, a man in his late fifties, who works in internet sales. He is trying to get his life back on track after addiction and eviction.

“I don’t know how you get eight months behind on rent,” he says. “Either the landlord was substandard, or I was charming.”

An avid reader, the Seattle Public Library forms a basis for his cultural life.

“I like new thought, music and Christian mysticism. I’m a huge William James fan,” he says, referring to the fin-de-siècle philosopher and psychologist.

Andrew Constantino, the homeless man whose advice is sought in Colorado and Idaho, was part of the city’s planning process for the development of Georgetown. He lives on the site and has the volunteer position of deputy head of security.

He says the community values the simple benefits of the hotspot, such as video-calling loved ones.

“A lot of homeless people get disconnected from friends and family,” he explains. “Access to the internet means you can keep in touch via Facebook or write an email, as well as work on a resumé. I also watch YouTube videos on how to overthrow corporate capitalism.”

Andrew has been sober for ten years and came to Seattle from Baltimore when he was in his early twenties.

“What did I do in Baltimore?” he asks rhetorically. “Have you seen The Wire?”

The library doesn’t ask which of its patrons are homeless, but Andrew estimates that many people in homeless shelters visit three or more times a week. “It’s an oasis, a refuge for thousands of people. It’s healthy that there is a behavioural standard. There are healthy limitations, like keeping your voice down and no meaningless rules [that you get elsewhere]. They’re the best of the best.”

Public libraries across the US are a haven for the homeless during the daytime, when those staying in shelters might be asked to leave at 6am.

Libraries provide homeless people with respite from bitter winters and oppressive summers. In August, smoke from Canadian wildfires deposited a sheet of smog-like pollution over Seattle for two weeks. Air quality in the city was worse than in Beijing. With official health recommendations to stay inside as much as possible, the library was once again a crucial sanctuary for those living on Seattle’s streets.

Homeless people are especially vulnerable to extreme weather and Andrew is emphatic about the value of the library as a daytime refuge. “The library literally saves people’s lives,” he says.

But, as Andrew adds, using the library is about much more than just accessing a safe space to spend the day.

“Homeless people don’t have the latest technology. But lifelong train hoppers and hobos do read a shit ton of books.”

Despite all this, a Forbes article published in the summer (and since taken down) advocated closing public libraries in the US, arguing that two Seattle-based companies, Amazon and Starbucks, have made them obsolete.

Instead, public libraries should be given more financial support. Public libraries such as Seattle’s are highly effective organisations that connect hard-to-reach parts of society with public services. In Seattle’s case, the trust the library has carefully established with the homeless population and other at-risk groups over many years puts it in the best position of any organisation to administer social services to the most vulnerable.

Policy-makers on a local and a national level should direct resources to libraries, so they can launch or expand their social services. Libraries should also be proactive and bolster this funding by partnering with the private sector, as Seattle Public Library has done with Google. Indeed, there is an opportunity to capitalise on many businesses’ stated concern for corporate social responsibility. Accountancy firms could provide tax advice, law firms could offer legal aid, and technology companies could donate the libraries’ hardware and software.

This multi-faceted approach would make the best use of an important social institution. In so doing, it would reshape the very idea of a library.

Daniel Rey is a writer based in Northern California.​ Images courtesy of Daniel Rey and the Seattle Public Library.


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 11, 2018

Carl Sagan’ın Palavra Tespit Yöntemleri


Carl Sagan ile ilk tanışmam sanırım 1998’de vizyona giren Contact (Mesaj) filmiyle olmuştu. Bir bilim kurgu sever olarak film beni derinden etkilemişti. O zamanlar Carl Sagan’ı çok da tanıdığımı söyleyemem, ismini duymuştum. İyi bir bilim insanı, halka bilimi sevdirmeye çalışan bir bilim elçisi ve astronom olduğunu biliyordum o kadar.

Contact filmini seyrettikten yıllar sonra, sanırım 2006 yılında İstanbul’da İstiklal caddesindeki (daha sonra kapanan) Robinson Crusoe kitapçısında Karanlık Bir Dünyada Bilimin Mum Işığı kitabına denk geldim. O zamanlarda fark etmeden de olsa eleştirel düşünce kavramını anlamaya başlamış, bildiklerimi mantık süzgecinden geçirmenin yollarını öğrenmeye çalışıyordum. Üzerinde karanlık zeminde yanan bir mum resmi olan kitabı elime aldım, arkasını okuyunca içindekiler ilgimi çekti ve satın almaya karar verdim. Yazarının Carl Sagan olduğunu ancak kasaya gelince fark ettim.

Sagan’ın kaleme aldığı Karanlık Bir Dünyada Bilimin Mum Işığı kitabı, elime aldığım günden beri benim için en önemli baş ucu kitaplarından biri oldu. Ondan, eleştirel düşüncenin temellerini, asılsız iddiaları nasıl tanıyabileceğimizi, duyduğumuz şeyleri nasıl irdelememiz gerektiğini öğrendim. Kitabın araladığı yolda zamanla eleştirel düşüncenin önemini kavradım, ve aynı kitap birkaç yıl sonra Yalansavar’ın ilham kaynağı oldu. Logomuzdaki yanan mum da, Sagan’ın karanlıkta yaktığı mumun ta kendisi.

Sagan, 20.yy’ın en önemli bilim insanlarından biri, meşhur Voyager uzay programının baş mimarı ve rasyonel ve eleştirel düşünce akımının adeta babası idi. Eleştirel düşünce kavramını yayma amacı ile kurulmuş pek çok oluşumun ya kurucu üyesi ya da büyük destekçisi oldu. Bütün bunların yanı sıra halka bilimi sevdirmeyi başarmış çok önemli bir bilim elçisiydi. 20 Aralık 1996’da kansere yenik düşüp aramızdan ayrıldığında sadece 62 yaşındaydı. Ama 62 yıla pek çok insana yol gösterip ilham verecek, insanlığın ufkunu dünyadan öteye götürecek bir yaşam sığdırmayı başardı.

Ölümün 20. yıl dönümünün hemen ardından Sagan’ı bir kez daha anmanın belki de en güzel yolu, onun Karanlık Bir Dünyada Bilimin Mum Işığı kitabında kaleme aldığı ve her eleştirel düşünce tutkununun öğrenmesi gereken Sagan Palavra Tespit Yöntemlerini siz okurlarımızla paylaşmak.

Buradan sonra sözü Carl Sagan’a bırakalım:

“…Kandırmacalar bazen masumca toplu hezeyanlar şeklinde, bazen de ince hesaplanmış palavralar olarak ortaya çıkar. Genelde bunların kurbanları kendilerini güçlü duygular içinde bulurlar: hayret, korku, açgözlülük… Palavraları gözü kapalı kabul etmek kimi zaman size maddi anlamda pahalıya mal olabilir. Ancak bununla da kalmayıp çok daha tehlikeli sonuçlara varabilir. Palavralara kanan kurbanlara ne kadar sempati duyarsak duyalım devlet ve toplumların eleştirel düşünce yetilerini kaybetmesinin sonu felakettir…”

“Bilimde, öncelikle işe deneysel sonuçlar, veri, gözlem, ölçüm ve bulgularla başlarız. Eğer becerebilirsek, gözlediklerimize bir dizi olası açıklama getirir ve her bir açıklamayı sistematik olarak bu bulgularla yüzleştiririz. Bilim insanları eğitimleri sırasında bir grup palavra tespit yöntemi ile donatılırlar. Yeni fikirler, bu palavra tespit yöntemleri ile sınanır. Eğer yeni fikir bu sınamadan geçerse, onu heyecanlı, ama gene de çekingen bir şekilde kabul ederiz. Eğer siz de her ne kadar sizi mutlu etme potansiyeli olursa olsun karşılaştığınız bir palavraya inanmak istemiyorsanız ve bu yöntemi benimsemeye gönüllü iseniz bu konuda bir şeyler yapabilirsiniz. Elimizde denenmiş, işe yaradığı kabul görmüş bir yöntem var.

Bu yöntem ne mi? Eleştirel düşünce metodolojisi.

Eleştirel düşünce, rasyonel bir argüman ortaya koyup onu anlamak ve daha önemlisi hatalı ya da safsata dolu bir argümanı tanımaktan ibarettir. Bunu yaparken kendimize sormamız gereken soru, mantık silsilesini takiben vardığımız sonucu ne kadar beğendiğimiz değil, vardığımız sonucun önermeyle uyumlu olup olmadığı ve bu önermenin doğru olup olmadığıdır.”

Sagan’ın kitabında önerdiği palavra tespit yöntemleri şunlar:

    1. Size ‘gerçek’ diye sunulan olguları bağımsız kaynaklardan teyit edin.
    2. Argümanı destekleyen kanıtların tartışılmasını destekleyin. Bu tip bir tartışmayı farklı iki fikri savunan ve hakikaten konunun uzmanı olan kişilerden dinleyip farklı perspektifleri değerlendirmek önemlidir.
    3. Otorite kaynaklı argümanların çok kıymeti yoktur. Geçmişte pek çok otorite hata yaptı, gelecekte de yapacaklar. Bilimde otorite değil, uzmanlık önemlidir.
    4. Birden fazla hipotez oluşturun. Herhangi bir şeyi açıklamak gerektiğinde, gözlediğiniz şeyi açıklayabilecek tüm alternatif hipotezleri düşünün. Ardından bu alternatiflerin her birini nasıl test edebileceğinizi de düşünün. Bu testten başarıyla geçen açıklamanın doğru olma ihtimali, ilk aklınıza gelen ve gözünüze güzel görünen açıklamadan daha yüksektir.
    5. Bir hipotezi, sadece size ait diye fazla benimsemeyin. Sizin hipoteziniz de diğerleri gibi gerçeği bulma yolunda bir ara duraktır. Kendinize neden bu fikri beğendiğinizi sorun, diğerleri ile adil bir şekilde karşılaştırın. Kendi hipotezinizi reddetmeniz için ne gerektiğini düşünmeye çalışın. Bunu siz yapmadığınız takdirde başkaları yapacaktır.
    6. Bulgularınızı ve gözlemlerinizi rakamlara dökmeye çalışın. Eğer öne sürdüğünüz açıklama herhangi bir şekilde ölçülebiliyor ve rakamsal (nicel) olarak ifade edilebiliyorsa bu yöntemle farklı hipotezleri karşılaştırmanız çok daha kolay olacaktır. Net olmayan ve nitel (kalitatif) kavramlar için çok fazla açıklama öne sürülebilir. Elbette açıklama bulmamız gereken pek çok nitel konu da var, ama bunlara ilişkin kanıtlar bulmak her zaman daha zordur.
    7. Açıklamanız bir argümanlar zincirine dayalı ise bu zincirdeki ilk önerme ve akabindeki tüm argümanların doğru olması gerekir. Unutmayın, birbirine bağlı bir mantık zincirindeki argümanların bazılarının doğruluğu açıklamayı desteklemeye yetmez.
    8. Okkam’ın usturasını anımsayın. Elimizde, gözlemlediğimiz olguyu aynı derecede iyi açıklayan iki hipotez olduğunda, çok sayıda ön koşulu gerektirmeyen ve daha basit açıklama genelde doğru olandır.
    9. Hipotezinizin nasıl yanlışlanabileceğini kendinize sorun.  Test edilemeyen, ispatlanması mümkün olmayan önermelerin pek kıymeti yoktur.

Sagan, aynı kitapta bir iddiayı inceleyip teyit ederken ne yapmamız gerektiği kadar, ne yapmamamızgerektiğine de değiniyor. Böylelikle Sagan’ın palavra tespit kiti günlük hayatta sıklıkla karşılaştığımız 20 adet argüman ve mantık safsatasını özetliyor:

  • Adam karalama (ad hominem): Yapılan argümandaki hatalara değil, argümanı yapan kişiye saldırmak: Dr. Falanca vergi kaçırma suçundan hapis yatmıştı, o nedenle verdiği diyet önerisini ciddiye almamak gerekir.
  • Otorite safsatası (argument from authority): Kişinin söylediklerinin geçerliliğine değil ünvanına bakıp söylediğini geçerli saymak : İsviçreli bilim insanları kireç çözücü kullanmanızı öneriyor.
  • İstenmeyen etki argümanı: Yapılan argümanı kanıtlarla desteklendiği için değil, istenmeyen sonuçları engellemek için doğru kabul etmek:  Karısını öldürdüğü iddia edilen sanığı suçlu bulmamız gerekir, aksi takdirde diğer erkekler de karılarını öldürmek için cesaret alırlar.
  • Cehalete başvurma (appeal to ignorance): Ortaya sürülen argümanı, kanıtlarla desteklendiği için değil, aksini gösteren kanıt yokluğu nedeniyle doğru saymak:  Elimizde dünyayı UFO’ların ziyaret ettiğine ilişkin hiç bir kanıt yok, demek ki evrende yalnızız.
  • Özel durum argümanı (special pleading): Argümanı destekleyen delil yokluğunda, argümanı destekleyecek veri bulmaktansa veri yokluğuna bahane bulmak: Aslında telepatik güçlerim var, ama odada TV olduğundan kanıtlayamıyorum.
  • Varsayılan cevap argümanı (assuming the answer): Argümanın destekleyen önermenin, argümanın neden doğru olması gerektiğini cevaplamaması: Suç oranını azaltmak için idam cezasını geri getirmeliyiz. (Oysa idam cezası gerçekten suç oranını azaltıyor mu bilmiyoruz.)
  • Gözlem iltiması (observational selection): Argümanı güçlendiren örnekleri dikkate alırken, aksini gösterenleri yok varsaymak: Bizim şehrimizden nice önemli devlet adamı çıktı! (Seri katiller de çıktı ama onları boş verelim şimdilik!)
  • Küçük sayı istatistiği: Argümanı destekleyen örneklerin sayısının çok az ve limitli olmasını dikkate almamak: Bu akşam rulette dört kez kazandım, demek ki şanslı günümdeyim.
  • İstatistik cehaleti: İstatistiksel verilerin anlamını kavramamak: Yaptığımız ankete göre araba kullananların %65’i ortalamanın üzerinde iyi şoför.
  • Tutarsızlık: Yapılan argümanın mantık kurgusunun, aynı kişinin diğer savunduğu şeylerle tutarsız olması: Modern tıbba güvenmiyorum homeopati tercih ediyorum, çünkü doktorlar para için çalışıyor.(Homeopatlar bedavaya mı çalışıyor?)
  • Buradan bu sonuç çıkmaz argümanı (non-sequitur): Argümanı desteklemek adına verilen önermenin argümanın doğruluğu ile hiç bir ilgisi olmaması: Şu adam Bill Gates ile aynı üniversiteden mezun olmuş. Bill Gates dünyanın en zengin adamlarından biri olduğuna göre bu adam da çok zengin olmalı.
  • Ardışıklık safsatası (post hoc ergo propter hoc): İki olayın birbirini takip etmesi nedeniyle ilkini ikincinin nedeni varsaymak: Kadınlara oy hakkı verilmeden önce nükleer silahlar yoktu.
  • Anlamsız soru safsatası: Argümanı lehinde sonlandırmak için mantıklı bir şekilde cevaplanamayacak soru sormak: Yerinden kıpırdamayacak bir cisme, karşı durulamayacak bir güç uygulanırsa ne olur? (Oysa tanım itibariyle karşı durulamayan gücün karşında hiçbir şeyin duramaması, ya da hareket ettirilemeyen bir cismi hiçbir gücün hareket ettiremiyor olması gerekir.)
  • Sahte ikilem (false dichotomy): Pek çok olasılık olan bir durumda sadece iki seçenek olduğunu ve bunlardan birini seçmek gerektiğini iddia etmek: Tabi, sen gene babanın tarafını tut, zaten annen hep haksızdır!
  • Kısa döneme karşı uzun dönem safsatası: Sahte ikilem benzeri bir safsatadır, ama çok kullanıldığı için ayrıca bahsetmekte fayda var. Biri yakın, diğer uzak dönemde önemli olacak iki durumu sanki birinden birini seçmek zorundaymışçasına lanse etmek: Okul öncesi çocukların eğitimine para ayıramayız, çünkü acil olarak sokaklardaki suç oranını düşürmemiz lazım.
  • Kaygan zemin (slippery slope): Küçük bir olayın çığ etkisi ile uzak gelecekte kaçınılmaz şekilde çok büyük ve önemli bir başka olaya neden olacağını var saymak: Kızınızı arkadaşları ile sinemaya gönderirseniz, yarın öbür gün kötü yola düşer.
  • Korkuluk argümanı (strawman): Tartışan kişinin karşısındakinin argümanını saptırarak saldırmayı daha kolay haline getirmesi: ‘Eğitime daha çok yatırım yapmalıyız’ argümanına cevap olarak karşı tarafın ‘Askeri bütçemizi kısıp düşmanlara karşı savunmasız kalalım istiyorsun demek, sende de hiç memleket aşkı yok!’ demesi.
  • Bastırılmış kanıt / cımbızlama argümanı: Argümanı savunan kişinin, karşı tarafın öne sürdüğü veri ve kanıtları görmezden gelmesi: Geçtiğimiz ay ortalama hava sıcaklıkları normalden düşük seyretti, demek ki küresel ısınma diye bir şey yok. (Ama son 100 yıldır ortalama sıcaklıklar sürekli artma halinde. Neden sadece geçen aya bakalım?)
  • Sinsilik argümanı (weasel words): Bir argümanı savunurken, bilinen ve onu zayıflatacak şeyleri bilerek hasır altı etmek: Yeni koltuk serimiz mağazamızda, 150 TL’den başlayan fiyatlarla…. (150 TL olan koltuk tek bir model ve süper kalitesizken diğer koltukların fiyatı en az 900 TL olabilir.)

Carl Sagan’ın Karanlık Bir Dünyada Bilimin Mum Işığı kitabı, bilgi kirliğinin yayıldığı, hatta kasıtlı propaganda aracı olarak dünyanın her yerinde yoğun olarak kullanıldığı şu günlerde herkesin okuması gereken bir kitap.

Hepimiz, önümüze gelen iddiaları Sagan’ın önerdiği esasları anımsayarak değerlendirmeli, yaptığımız argümanlarda da bahsettiği mantık safsatalarını kullanmaktan kaçınmalı, karşımıza gelen kanıtlar sağlamsa, daha önce inandıklarımızla çelişiyor olsa bile fikrimizi değiştirmekten imtina etmemeliyiz.

Sagan’ın da dediği gibi:

“Bilimin kalbinde birbiriyle çelişen iki kavramın temel dengesi yatar: yeni fikirlere karşı açık fikirli olmak (ki bu fikirler bazen son derece acayip ya da alışılmadık olabilir) ve ister eski ister yeni olsun her fikrin eleştirel düşünce ve şüphecilik ile detaylıca incelenmesi. Ancak bu şekilde engin saçmalıkları, engin gerçeklerden ayırmak mümkün olabilir.”



Posted by: bluesyemre | December 11, 2018

The mighty destroyer of snowflakes

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 11, 2018

David Walliams calls for ‘safeguarding’ of #libraries


David Walliams reading from his book Grandpa’s Great Escape. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

Bestselling author tells Radio Times he would improve access to reading if he were prime minister

David Walliams, the comedian turned bestselling children’s author, has called for the “safeguarding” of libraries.

Walliams, author of Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny, said that “access to reading” should be improved.

Imagining what he would do if he were prime minister, Walliams, 47, told Radio Times magazine: “I’d … introduce new laws on children’s literacy.

“Whenever I am filming around the country I try to make time to go into a school and give out copies of my books.

“World Book Day provides books for children and for a quarter of the kids, it’s the first book they ever own. So I’d want to improve access to reading and safeguard libraries.

“I used to go to the library every couple of weeks with my mum and dad and get out books like Stig of the Dump and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” he said.

The author added: “My son is five and a half, and when we read together, it’s the most magical time. But I know that’s a luxury not everybody has. So as prime minister I’d improve that situation.”

His comments come after an analysis of government figures revealed that libraries in England have had their funding slashed for the fifth year in a row.

The Library Campaign, a national charity, said further cuts to stretched services were “like taking a hammer to a wall that’s already full of holes”.


Ham Petrolün Kıtalararası Seyahati veya Ortadoğu Niçin Vazgeçilmez Haritası

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 11, 2018

This is Finland’s #library of the future

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 11, 2018

An Interview with Library Journal Mover & Shaker Eric Morgan

What exactly is a Digital Initiatives Librarian? We sat down with Eric Morgan, one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers, to learn more about his role at University of Notre Dame. And yes, he is very good at sorting through thousands of words at a time. Eric Morgan is a Digital Initiatives Librarian at University of Notre Dame. We sat down with him to learn more about his role and his recognition as a Mover & Shaker.

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

Is listening to a #book the same thing as #reading it?


Each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

A few years ago, when people heard I was a reading researcher, they might ask about their child’s dyslexia or how to get their teenager to read more. But today the question I get most often is, “Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?”

Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting — rendered it a skill that seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

In fact, they overlap considerably. Consider why audiobooks are a good workaround for people with dyslexia: They allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind. Although decoding is serious work for beginning readers, it’s automatic by high school, and no more effortful or error prone than listening. Once you’ve identified the words (whether by listening or reading), the same mental process comprehends the sentences and paragraphs they form.

Writing is less than 6,000 years old, insufficient time for the evolution of specialized mental processes devoted to reading. We use the mental mechanism that evolved to understand oral language to support the comprehension of written language. Indeed, research shows that adults get nearly identical scores on a reading test if they listen to the passages instead of reading them.

Nevertheless, there are differences between print and audio, notably prosody. That’s the pitch, tempo and stress of spoken words. “What a great party” can be a sincere compliment or sarcastic put-down, but they look identical on the page. Although writing lacks symbols for prosody, experienced readers infer it as they go. In one experiment, subjects listened to a recording of someone’s voice who either spoke quickly or slowly. Next, everyone silently read the same text, purportedly written by the person whose voice they had just heard. Those hearing the quick talker read the text faster than those hearing the slow talker.

But the inferences can go wrong, and hearing the audio version — and therefore the correct prosody — can aid comprehension. For example, today’s student who reads “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” often assumes that Juliet is asking where Romeo is, and so infers that the word art would be stressed. In a performance, an actress will likely stress Romeo, which will help a listener realize she’s musing about his name, not wondering about his location.

It sounds as if comprehension should be easier when listening than reading, but that’s not always true. For example, one study compared how well students learned about a scientific subject from a 22-minute podcast versus a printed article. Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.

What happened? Note that the subject matter was difficult, and the goal wasn’t pleasure but learning. Both factors make us read differently. When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think. Each is easier with print than with a podcast.

Print also supports readers through difficult content via signals to organization like paragraphs and headings, conventions missing from audio. Experiments show readers actually take longer to read the first sentence of a paragraph because they know it probably contains the foundational idea for what’s to come.

So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.

This conclusion — equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones — is open to changes in the future. As audiobooks become more common, listeners will gain experience in comprehending them and may improve, and publishers may develop ways of signaling organization auditorily.

But even with those changes, audiobooks won’t replace print because we use them differently. Eighty-one percent of audiobook listeners say they like to drive, work out or otherwise multitask while they listen. The human mind is not designed for doing two things simultaneously, so if we multitask, we’ll get gist, not subtleties.

Still, that’s no reason for print devotees to sniff. I can’t hold a book while I mop or commute. Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be none.

So no, listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

Daniel T. Willingham (@DTWillingham) is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author, most recently, of “The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads.”


In our very first podcast episode, we talked with Dr Matt Finch about how a kindy teacher ended up delivering keynotes with his mouth taped shut and workshops that use toilet rolls and sticky tape. We also discussed music, library experiences, shaving your legs and GLAM fashion.

Here are links to things we discussed in this episode:

Author, Eula Biss

Matt’s article on Glenn Gould and his piano CD318

LIANZA Open 2017 in the news

Auckland Libraries program for their homeless community

A home for the homeless: Rachel Rivera and the Auckland Library streeties

Matt’s LIANZA keynote – part 1, 2 and 3

Tell us what you thought of our first episode on Twitter or Instagram. Or both!

Sally & Amy

Music by Richard Frohlich


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

The Krikor Guerguerian Archive



The Krikor Guerguerian Archive consists of documents collected by Guerguerian throughout his life, starting from the 1930s until his death in 1988. Despite scholars’ prior awareness of the Archive’s existence, almost nobody had ever utilized it. The primary reason for this is that the Archive had never been sorted, catalogued and classified. The materials within the Archive were in a state of utter disarray were lacking in a systematized structure.

While transferring all of the Archive’s materials online, we conducted a limited classification and divided the documents into three primary categories. We named these categories the First, Second and Third Archives and uploaded them into separate sections. Detailed information about each of these separate archives and the documents that they contain can be found in these respective sections.

The First Archive consists solely of Ottoman materials. The majority of the documents pertain to the trials, from 1919-1921, against the Committee of Union and Progress members and perpetrators of genocide. The original documents of these materials are either lost or being held in secret by the Turkish government. The materials available here are comprised of films taken by Guerguerian in the mid-1960s of documents whose hard copies are being held at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. We had the opportunity of comparing the documents that Guerguerian filmed with the documents at the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. This comparison revealed that Guerguerian had filmed nearly all of the existing materials on the tribunals. We thank the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nourhan Manougian for providing us with the opportunity to conduct this comparison.

For the story on how the documents regarding the Istanbul Tribunals reached the Jerusalem Archive, please look at the section outlining Guerguerian’s life story.

A second portion of these Ottoman documents was taken from the Boghos Nubar Pasha Library in Paris, including the documents containing the Memoirs of the Ottoman bureaucrat named Naim Efendi and the Talat Pasha telegraphs.

The entirety of the Ottoman materials have been sorted, classified and transcribed. Their translation into the English language is ongoing. The Turkish transliterations and the English translations will be uploaded as they are completed. Furthermore, a detailed index explaining the content of each document has been created, facilitating the researcher’s access to documents of interest.

The Second Archive is comprised of Guerguerian’s personal works. Until his death in 1988, Guerguerian worked on the materials he collected by taking various notes and translating them into several languages, including Armenian, French and English. He also wrote books on various topics, such as the Yozgat and Kayseri trials of 1919-1920. Out of respect to Guerguerian’s work as well as the difficult nature of sorting and classifying these materials, we left these extremely disorganized and unsystematized documents as they are. However, we decided to provide special commentary containing some general information on these Armenian, French, English and Turkish materials, as well as a highly detailed index that we prepared. Utilizing these two tools, the reader will be able to navigate the documents of Guerguerian’s Private Archive with ease.

The Third Archive contains original materials collected by Guerguerian from the national archives of other countries. The French and Armenian documents belonging to the Istanbul Patriarchate comprise an important section of the documents in this section. Furthermore, documents from the Austrian, German, British and American national archives can also be found here. A commentary containing additional information on this archive as well as a special index were created for this section.

One of the richest materials in the archive are the documents mostly in hand written Armenian language. Please click here to learn about the contents of these materials: Armenian materials of the Guerguerian archive

The Guerguerian archive is a set of scans in PDF format that reside in Clark University’s Digital Commons.

Visit and navigate through the Guerguerian Archive Collections on Digital Commons:

Ottoman Materials (Archive 1)

Private Materials (Archive 2)

Materials from Other Sources (Archive 3)

Important note: The original materials comprising the Guerguerian Archive have been donated to the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) in Belmont, MA, where they will become part of NAASR’s Mardigian Library.  Following the opening of NAASR’s new headquarters building in fall 2019 these materials will become available to researchers.



An online copy of the first edition of ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’ is published by the National Library of Scotland.

It was exactly 250 years ago that the first pages of ‘Britannica’ were published in Edinburgh.

With a distinctly Scottish viewpoint, the first edition emphasised two themes — modern science and Scottish identity.

Explicit engravings relating to midwifery scandalised subscribers, and were torn out of every copy on the orders of the Crown. Fortunately the Library has a complete copy in its collections, which is available free to view online thanks to a fundraising campaign for its digitisation.

‘Britannica’ was conceived by printer Colin Macfarquhar, engraver Andrew Bell, and William Smellie, who edited the first edition. Originally issued in 100 weekly parts, it took three years to produce and consisted of three volumes when it was completed in 1771.

Subsequent editions expanded during the 19th century, often featuring content written by experts in their field. By the 20th century ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’ was a household name throughout the English-speaking world.








Kütüphanecilik mesleğinin temeli “Kataloglama ve Sınıflamadır” Devlet kurumlarında çalışan arkadaşların Teknik Hizmetler sınıfına geçmesindeki temel dayanaktır.

Mesleğimizi itibarsızlaştırma çalışmaları ne yazık ki hızla sürmekte bazı meslektaşlarda bu olaya alet olmaktadırlar.

Kütüphanecilik mesleğinden Kataloglama ve Sınıflamayı çıkartınca geriye bir şey kalmaz?

Mesleğimizde bir kesim var ki Kataloglama ve Sınıflamayı geçmişte kalan demode bir iş gibi görüyor. Popüler birkaç terim öğrenmişler her ortamda ballandıra ballandıra anlatıyorlar. Bu cafcaflı sözlerin iş hayatında, sahada pek karşılığı yok.  Burası Türkiye! Daha işin başında sayılırız.

Meslekten olmayan fakat has bel kader kütüphanelerde görevlendirilmiş memurlar ne yazık ki Kataloglama ve Sınıflama yapıyor. Günde 100 adet kitap kataloglayan var!

İşler bu şekilde yürüyünce de Kütüphanecilik basit, herkesin yapabildiği bir meslek olarak algılanıyor.

Bir Kütüphaneci Standartlara Uygun Olarak Günde Kaç Adet Katalog Yapabilir?

Bu işin standardı var mı?

Eğitim ve meslek hayatımda bu konuda standart bir rakama rastlamadım.

Kataloglama Üzerine Makale, Tez Ne Kadar Yazılmış?

YÖK Tez merkezinde anahtar kelime araması olarak “kataloglama” yazdığımda sadece 5 adet tez buldum.

Türk Kütüphaneciliği dergisinde 19 makale, Bilgi Dünyası dergisinde ise 3 makale….

Meslek Standardına İhtiyacımız Var

Kütüphanecinin tanımı nedir? Kütüphaneci hangi işleri yapar? Bu işleri ne kadar zamanda ve kaç adet yapar?

Bu ve benzeri konularda standarda ihtiyacımız var.

Örneğin hastanede doktorun yerine hasta bakıcı ameliyat yapabiliyor mu? Ya da inşaat ustası inşaat mühendisinin işini yapabiliyor mu?

Kütüphanecinin işini neden başka çalışanlar yapıyor?

Akademisyenlerimize sesleniyorum… Meslek standardı konusunda çalışmalar yapın. Geriye standardı kurumlara kabul ettirmek kalıyor.  


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

The Children Village School in Brazil

Bilgi varlıklarımızı fiziki ortamda üretiyor ve bazılarını yaklaşık bin yıldır koruyabiliyoruz. Son yıllarda, söz konusu bilgi varlıklarımızı daha çok sayısal ortamda oluşturuyoruz ve bu varlıkları nasıl koruyacabileceğiz sorusunu kendimize soruyoruz. Sayısal koruma kavramı da bu meseleyi incelemekte. Bu noktada arşivciler, belge yöneticileri ve kütüphaneciler olarak “Ürettiğimiz bilgiyi nasıl bulacağız ve erişeceğiz, anlayıp nasıl işleyeceğiz ve güven duyacağız?”, “Bu bilgilerin devamlılığını sağlayabilecek miyiz?”, “Sayısal ortamda ürettiğimiz içeriği gelecek nesillere miras bırakabilecek miyiz?” gibi soruları çözümlememiz gerekmekte. Dünya Sayısal Koruma Günü kapsamında 28 Kasım 2018’de sayısal korumanın önemini bilgi ve belge uzmanlarıyla tartışmak için Öğretim Görevlisi Özhan Sağlık’ın konuşmacı olduğu bir etkinlik düzenlenecektir. Katılımlarınızı bekleriz.

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

İKSV Alt Kat: Öğrenme ve Etkileşim Alanı


İKSV tarafından, İstanbul Kalkınma Ajansı’nın (İSTKA) desteğiyle Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası’nın en alt katında yeni bir mekân açılıyor. Mart 2019’da faaliyete başlaması planlanan İKSV Alt Kat: Öğrenme ve Etkileşim Alanı, toplamı 120 metrekareye yayılan etkinlik ve çalışma alanlarıyla iki ana bölümden oluşuyor. Kültür ve sanatta katılımcı yaklaşımların benimsenmesi amacıyla, yıl boyunca farklı disiplinlerde etkinlik ve atölye programları sunacak İKSV Alt Kat, öncelikli olarak çocuklar, gençler ve kültür ve sanata erişimi kısıtlı olan gruplara ulaşmayı hedefliyor.

İKSV Alt Kat, İKSV’nin diğer bölümleriyle birlikte bu alana özgün içerikler üreterek, disiplinlerarası projeler ve yıla yayılan etkinliklerle kültür-sanat hayatının güncel ihtiyaçlarına yanıt veren alternatif bir yapı oluşturacak. Farklı grupların kendini ifade etme ve kültür-sanatı deneyimleme şansı bularak, kültür hayatına ve üretimine katılımını teşvik edecek mekân, İKSV binasında bir kamusal alan yaratarak izleyiciye ulaşmada yeni yollar açmaya, kültür ve sanata erişimin önündeki engelleri kaldırmaya öncelik verecek.

İKSV Alt Kat, kültür kurumları, sanatçılar ve izleyiciler arasındaki etkileşimi artıran; sivil toplum kuruluşları ve yerel yönetimlerle işbirliği hâlinde çalışan; katılımcı, çok sesli, çok kültürlü, erişilebilir ve esnek bir yapı kurmayı amaçlıyor. Proje, uzun vadede kültürel hayatın zenginleştirilmesine, sanatın gündelik hayat pratikleri içinde daha fazla yer bulmasına ve öneminin daha geniş kitlelerce benimsenmesine katkı sağlamaya çalışacak.


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

Osmanlı’dan günümüze Deniz Harp Tarihi pdf Arşivi

deniz harp

Toplam 450 adet makale ve kitaptan oluşan, Osmanlı’dan günümüze Deniz Harp Tarihi PDF Arşivi…



Google’s goal has always been to organize the world’s information, and its first target was the commercial web. Now, it wants to do the same for the scientific community with a new search engine for datasets.

The service, called Dataset Search, launches today, and will be a companion of sorts to Google Scholar, the company’s popular search engine for academic studies and reports. Institutions that publish their data online, like universities and governments, will need to include metadata tags in their webpages that describe their data, including who created it, when it was published, how it was collected, and so on. This information will then be indexed by Dataset Search and combined with input from Google’s Knowledge Graph. (That’s the name for those boxes that pop up for common searches. So if dataset X was published by CERN, some info about the institute will also be included in the results.)

Speaking to The Verge, Natasha Noy, a research scientist at Google AI who helped create Dataset Search, says the aim is to unify the tens of thousands of different repositories for datasets online. “We want to make that data discoverable, but keep it where it is,” says Noy.

At the moment, dataset publication is extremely fragmented. Different scientific domains have their own preferred repositories, as do different governments and local authorities. “Scientists say, ‘I know where I need to go to find my datasets, but that’s not what I always want,’” says Noy. “Once they step out of their unique community, that’s when it gets hard.”

Noy gives the example of a climate scientist she spoke to recently who told her she’d been looking for a specific dataset on ocean temperatures for an upcoming study but couldn’t find it anywhere. She didn’t track it down until she ran into a colleague at a conference who recognized the dataset and told her where it was hosted. Only then could she continue with her work. “And this wasn’t even a particularly boutique depository,” says Noy. “The dataset was well written up in a fairly prominent place, but it was still difficult to find.”


Making it easier to discover datasets

Google launches new search engine to help scientists find the datasets they need

Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

#Library Ranking Europe


LRE visits, observes and ranks European public libraries from a customer perspective. The method is mystery shopping. The goal is to obtain a higher quality in services.

Kulturvaerftet, Helsingör

Sellon kirjasto, Espoo

Stadtbibliothek Linz


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

#PublicLibraries In Europe: Top And Bottom


This month, we present Library Ranking Europe (LRE), a ranking system created by Maija Berndtson and Mats Öström that focuses on the ability of different European libraries to offer services to its customers.

We have talked with the founders of the project Maija Berndtson, who has worked as Library Director of Helsinki City Library (1987-2013) and Mats Öström, who has worked as Library Director and Director of Culture in Swedish municipalities (1974-2011). They tell us more about the concept and how libraries can benefit from using it. Read more insights below.

1. What is your project about and what is your mission?

The project Library Ranking Europe (LRE) aims to create a ranking system that stimulates benchmarking and strengthens the citizen and customer aspect in developing European public libraries. The criteria of our pilot project are based on the perspective and the needs of the citizen and customer.

LRE really makes it possible to compare libraries in big cities and small villages. You can find top public libraries in Europe in Linz, Helsingör, Esbo, and Herning. And you can find rather poor public libraries in cities like Bratislava, Rimini, Haapsalu, and Malaga. Now we have an embryo to a European ranking system for public libraries.

2. How did you create the ranking system and how is it set up?

The values of our assessment come from the Nordic public library ideology and tradition. In the Nordic countries, public libraries are important for democracy and freedom of expression, information supply, culture, education, research, and social development. Equality is highly desirable and services being free of charge are essential.

In our evaluation, we use the method of Mystery Shopping which are anonymous visits. The ranking system which we use during our visits in libraries has different aspects which are based on our values and on the customer perspective. The whole ranking system can be seen on our website www.libraryranking.com. It consists of main categories such as information about the library and its site, visibility and access, service and supply, premises, choice of collection and freedom of expression and of choice.

For example, in the subcategories we look at what kind of information there is about the library, how easy it is to find the library, how long are the opening hours and how accessible the premises are for those who are disabled. The main category, ‘services and supply’, includes matters like media and fees, programs, special services, information technology, cafés, lavatories, and identifiable staff.  In the category ‘premises’, we assess aesthetics, lighting, seating, and possibilities to be and work in silence or to be social. The versatility of the supply of media and the presence of controversial titles and authors are also evaluated.

In our evaluation, we score every subcategory and get a total amount of scores. The LRE scale generates a ranking system that categorizes libraries according to the scores. We have a scale of six stars from the lowest “Poor” to the highest “Exceptional”.

3. How is the ranking system you created different from others?

The difference of our ranking system with many other existing assessment systems is that we look at the ability of the library to offer services to its customers. We do not study statistics, resources or management as is the case in the Quality Assessment for instance. You can also find ranking lists presenting the most beautiful libraries. That does not have much to do with the quality of services or with the customer comfort.

We have started LRE four years ago as a pilot project to test our system. So far, we have evaluated over 60 libraries in 14 European countries. After these evaluations, we are rather convinced that the system works.

Our ambition is to visit, to review and to rank public libraries in all kinds of municipalities in Europe, no town or city is too small. The size of the municipality or the size of the library is not of crucial importance when talking about the quality of services. Even libraries in smaller towns have reached five stars, the ‘Excellent’ level, and some bigger cities have one star, ‘Poor’ libraries. The biggest part of the libraries belongs to the middle groups, from three to five stars, from ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’. Libraries can also be ‘Very good’, four stars and ‘Acceptable’, two stars.

With so many remarkable libraries all over Europe, we are surprised that hardly any of them are marked on the printed city maps, not to mention, in the guidebooks for tourists. Instead, the national libraries or university libraries – which are sometimes closed for the public – are mentioned. As free spaces and significant cultural institutions, public libraries should, at least in bigger cities, market their premises and services for tourists and guests.

With LRE, we want to introduce a totally new tool and method to stimulate benchmarking and the development of quality among European public libraries. LRE offers an easy way to compare public libraries in different countries and to strengthen the possibilities for a European library discussion over international borders, not only among librarians but also together with European politicians, decision-makers and institutions.

LRE is also a development tool for a single library. Our custom is to do the visits totally anonymous without any contact with the library in advance. But after the visit, LRE can tell in more details, give feedback, how the library could improve its services. Sometimes changes that are not expensive can mean a lot for the customer.

4. How do you envision the project evolving in the future?

We still go on testing our system and try to develop it further. But sometime in the future, we hope that an established institution or organization can take responsibility for the system, develop it, enlarge it and evaluate more libraries. In all, the European public libraries ought to cooperate more to strengthen their positions in their own countries and within the EU. They also could be more visible.

All Europe´s public library units deserve a joint symbol, a logotype, like tourist businesses have the I-symbol. Not to have a shared trademark for libraries within the EU is both short-sighted and defensive. The public libraries have everything to gain if they stick together and demonstrate that they really collaborate in an effective network. A joint symbol connected with a star system like hotels would be still more customer friendly and would encourage the libraries to improve their services.

Simply to decide on, and introduce, a joint symbol for Europe´s public libraries would make them dramatically more visible. But most important is the development of quality and usefulness for the citizens. Mystery shopping from a customer perspective and ranking can be a new tool in this ambition.



Home to a theatre, recording studios and a maker space, Helsinki’s new public library goes far beyond books – although there are still thousands of them under its wavy roof.

ALA Architects designed the building, which sits opposite the Finnish Parliament and around the corner from the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. A third of the library is dedicated to books, but the rest of the space is intended as a gathering point for Helsinki locals. There’s room for exhibitions, 3D printing workshops, pop-up events and a restaurant and cafe, and Oodi’s wraparound windows and balcony offer views across the city.

However, lovers of literature aren’t left out, with a minimalist reading room, named ‘book heaven’, located on the top floor.

Töölönlahdenkatu, 00100 Helsinki, Finland



CRKN Bilingual Logo - Colour

The Canadiana collections of archival material, government publications, periodicals, monographs, annuals, and newspapers will be free to access as of January 1, 2019

November 15, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario – As of January 1, 2019, 60 million pages of Canadian digital documentary heritage will be available at no charge to users. The Canadiana collections are the largest online collections of early textual Canadiana in the world. The removal of the subscription paywall will allow unimpeded access to this unique historical content for researchers, students, faculty, and all users in Canada and around the world.

Making the Canadiana collections available at no cost to users is a result of the recent merger between Canadiana.org, a not-for-profit charity, and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), a not-for-profit partnership of 75 Canadian universities, finalized in April 2018. “When our members outlined the vision and goals of a merged organization, ensuring the widespread access to the Canadiana collections was of vital importance,” states Alan Shepard, Chair of the CRKN Board of Directors and President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University. “Expanding access to this content encourages the study of Canada, both within and outside of the country,” continued Dr. Shepard.  “We are proud to have followed through on our commitment to the community in our first year of operations as a merged organization.”

The Canadiana collections include three flagship collections: Early Canadiana Online, Héritage, and Canadiana Online. The Early Canadiana Online and Canadiana Online collections are comprised of Canadian monographs, periodicals, government publications, newspapers and annuals and amount to over 19 million pages. The Héritage collection, developed in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and CRKN, includes 900 collections of 41 million pages of archival materials. The Héritage collection includes scans of microfilm taken from some of Library and Archives Canada’s most sought-after archival collections. “LAC is proud to have partnered with CRKN to develop this fundamental collection for researchers, students, teachers, and all Canadians interested in their ancestry and shared history,” states Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “We applaud CRKN’s decision to increase access to our documentary heritage.”

The removal of the subscription paywall and user fee does not mean that there are no longer costs associated with the continued maintenance and development of this content. CRKN and the archival community continue to add to the Canadiana Online and Héritage collections and CRKN is currently engaging with stakeholders to develop digitization priorities. Ongoing costs and support for Canadiana collections comes from CRKN members who have made a three-year commitment to fund the development of the collections and access platform. In the coming year, CRKN is looking to make critical updates to its platform, increasing the ability to find and use Canadiana content. An assessment and review of the content is also required to decolonize descriptions, search terms, keywords, and other classifications to ensure that they are culturally sensitive. CRKN also plans to eventually make the Canadiana collections available as open access which would entail a review and implementation of user rights statements. These developments will once again increase ease of use and access to the collections, eventually making them more readily available in research settings and to the general public.

“Historians and digital humanists in Canada and abroad have been working with digitized documentary heritage to explore our history, culture, and identity. The content in the Canadiana collections has been used by researchers for decades. Removing the paywall and thereby increasing access to this essential corpus of Canadian heritage will allow researchers to use tools and technologies to do their work more efficiently and more collaboratively,” says Ian Milligan, Associate Professor of History, University of Waterloo.

For more information, please contact:

Rebecca Ross

Director of Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement

Canadian Research Knowledge Network



About CRKN

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada. Through the coordinated leadership of librarians, researchers, and administrators, CRKN undertakes large-scale content acquisition and licensing initiatives, currently amounting to almost $125 million annually, in order to build knowledge infrastructure and research capacity in 75 of Canada’s universities.


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

How to support your #library with these 10 easy actions


With brick and mortar bookstores seemingly closing left and right and folks attacking libraries for a perceived lack of relevance, you might be wondering how to support your library. The obvious option here for many is to donate old books and other materials. That’s a great way to help out if you’re sure you’re donating items the library can use (pro-tip: always call ahead and save yourself the trip; chances are we can’t use your VHS tapes!), but there are many more ways you can support your public library.


When it comes to public libraries, local politicians can have a big hand in calling the shots in things like budgets. Often, we forget about things like library funding until it’s in jeopardy. Take a minute to write a letter to your local officers in support of your library. Be specific about how you and the rest of the community benefit—does your library offer an array of amazing programs? Does your library do a really excellent job of customer service? Does your library provide invaluable assistance with exam proctoring? Your mayor, council members, and what-have-yous might not be aware of this. They’re busy, so it’s useful for library customers to provide testimonials with reminders that the library is a community centerpiece.


Like writing to politicians, sending letters to the editors of local publications can be a huge help. While not everyone still receives or reads local publications, you never know who might take note of your sentiments. Maybe a stay at home dad in your neighborhood is looking for opportunities to socialize with other parents and, as a result of your letter, finds just the thing with story time. Maybe someone looking to write a will discovers the library has a will writing event coming up and they had forgotten about the library until now, but wouldn’t it be nice to leave something behind for it? Letters to the editor so frequently seem negative or anti-something or other—add some sunshine to your community with a letter of love for your library.


Friends of the Library groups are common across the United States. These fantastic volunteers do things like organize book sales, help out at library events, produce newsletters for the community, and other activities to support your library. They are a wonderful resource and typically easy to join. Some Friends of the Library groups have a membership fee (which usually goes toward the library or toward the function of the group) and it may be as simple as filling out a form online to join. Plus, being a Friend of the Library sometimes means perks, like early access shopping at the book sale!


Whether your library has seasonal book sales, an ongoing book sale, or a combination of the two, there are often plenty of opportunities to buy cheap, secondhand books at the library. Depending on your library, there may also be local kitsch for sale along with the books, DVDs, and CDs (one of my local libraries had a print of an old map of town for sale last year—so cool!). These book sales are likely populated by donated materials which the library couldn’t use in their collection. You’re likely to find many bestsellers along with some obscure gems at a steep discount. Plus, the money raised goes to the library. Win-win!


No kidding; it’s that simple. Libraries often thrive on statistics, so it’s important to use materials the library offers from print books to digital databases. Local politicians and others who have influence over the budget will look to the library’s usefulness in the community. Circulation statistics indicate how many books and other materials are checked out throughout the year. While it’s not always an accurate picture of the library’s impact, circulation statistics are frequently one of the main flags these folks look to. So before you run out to buy a book, take a peek at your library’s catalog to see if it’s available.


Libraries frequently have pages on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and beyond where customers can leave reviews. Most folks feel more compelled to leave a negative review than a positive one, which is just human nature regardless of the business. But if you’ve got something nice to share about the library (or, of course, if you think something needs improvement), sharing that on various social media review platforms can be fantastically helpful for the library. Love your library? Go ahead and give ‘em a five-star rating!


The carts at the end of bookcases—often called “reshelving carts”—in the library are there for a few reasons. One is that ensures books are placed in their proper location. Also important is that many libraries take statistics of books and materials that have been viewed in the library, but not checked out. This is an insightful piece of information that allows better assessment of what kinds of materials customers have interest in, which also points to the library’s usefulness. So before you put that book back where it came from (or so help me! Monsters Inc, anyone? Bueller?), do yourself a favor and just leave it on the reshelving cart.


Library staff aren’t always in a position to ask every customer their opinions of the library. It’s helpful when you tell us, though! Take a minute to let us know what you like and what can be improved. We might be surprised to hear what little things make a difference for you, so let us know. The more we’re aware of what you want, the better we can be. Try folks at the information desk or ask for the manager’s email to ensure your comment reaches the most relevant people.


Like checking out materials, this one seems pretty obvious when it comes to how to support your library. Frequently customers will request specific events and when the time comes, no one shows. If you’re able to make it and the event interests you, join in. Statistics help us prove to officials that the community uses the library and they tell us what programs, events, services, and materials our community wants. Don’t see something you’d like to attend? Talk to a library staff member.


One person supporting the library is great—two is better! Like any typical business, libraries thrive on word of mouth. Libraries are making a shift toward qualitative evaluations of their offerings, but statistics still matter. Besides, the more, the merrier! Tell your friends about the great collection the library has or bring them along to the latest author talk. It’s an easy way to support your library and we’d love to see you!


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 10, 2018

The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs


Dear EarthTalk: Are there health or environmental concerns with LED lightbulbs, which may soon replace compact fluorescents as the green-friendly light bulb of choice?—Mari-Louise, via e-mail

Indeed, LED (light emitting diode) lighting does seem to be the wave of the future right now, given the mercury content and light quality issues with the current king-of-the-hill of green bulbs, the compact fluorescent (CFL). LEDs use significantly less energy than even CFLs, and do not contain mercury. And they are becoming economically competitive with CFLs at the point of purchase while yielding superior quality lighting and energy bill savings down the line.

But LEDs do have a dark side. A study published in late 2010 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that LEDs contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances. LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting,” says Oladele Ogunseitan, one of the researchers behind the study and chair of the University of California (UC)-Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention. “But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant [about] toxicity hazards….”



Conversations with Leading Academic and Research Library Directors

1st Edition

International Perspectives on Library Management

Authors: Patrick Lo Dickson Chiu Allan Cho Brad Allard
eBook ISBN: 9780081027479
Paperback ISBN: 9780081027462
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 7th December 2018
Page Count: 524

Table of Contents

1. Dr. Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian; Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

2. Dr. Susan Gibbons, University Librarian, Deputy Provost, Collections & Scholarly Communication, Yale University 

3. Dr. Gregory Eow, Associate Director for Collections, MIT Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

4. Virginia Steel, University Librarian, University of California, Los Angeles

5. Dr. Deborah Jakubs, University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs, Duke University

6. Dr. James Hilton, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, University Library, University of Michigan 

7. Dr Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at Johns Hopkins University

8. Michael Gorman, University Librarian Emeritus, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno

9. Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, University of Oxford  

10. Mark Purcell, Deputy Director, Research Collections, Cambridge University Library 

11. Jirka Kende, Director, Free University Berlin Library 

12. Prof. Dr. Andreas Degkwitz, Director, Library of the Humboldt University of Berlin  

13. Dr. Rafael Ball, Director of Library, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH)

14. Wilma van Wezenbeek, Director, TU Delft Library (Delft, Netherlands)

15. Helen Shenton, University Librarian, Trinity College Dublin

16. Diane Bruxvoort, University Librarian & Director, University of Aberdeen

17. Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director, Stockholm University Library

18. Philip Gregory Kent, University Librarian at the University of Melbourne

19. Howard Amos, University Librarian, University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) 

20. Qiang Zhu, Director, Peking University Library

21. Peter Sidorko, University Librarian, University of Hong Kong

22. Louise Jones, University Librarian, Chinese University of Hong Kong

23. Gulcin Cribb, University Librarian, Singapore Management University  

24. Dr. Buhle Mbambo-Thata, former Executive Director, Library Services, University of South Africa

25. Christopher D. Barth, Librarian and Associate Dean, United States Military Academy  

26. Daniel De Simone, Eric Weinmann Librarian, Folger Shakespeare Library 

27. Dr. Linda Harris Mehr, Director, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 

28. Dr. Dietrich Nelle, Director, German National Library of Medicine 

29. Elena Ivanova, Head, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research Scientific Library (Moscow)

30. Professor Nikolay Kalenov, Director, Library for Natural Sciences of Russian Academy of Sciences (LNS RAS)



Conversations with Leading Academic and Research Library Directors: International Perspectives on Library Management presents a series of conversations with the directors of major academic and research libraries. The book offers insight, analysis, and personal anecdote from leaders in the library field, giving a unique perspective on how the modern library operates. Readers will learn about the most up-to-date trends and practices in the LIS profession from the directors of 24 internationally acclaimed academic and research libraries in Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and the UK and USA.

This is the first book focusing on leaders and managers of library institutions to offer a global outlook. Facing the need to respond to the expectations of changing populations that librarians strive to serve, this book aims to develop a new understanding of the core values of academic and research libraries, and asks how librarians can innovate, adapt, and flourish in a rapidly shifting professional landscape.

Key Features

  • Presents conversations with library leaders from 24 major institutions
  • Offers a global perspective on the operation and management of libraries
  • Discusses the director’s impact on institutional structures and future landscapes
  • Gives insights based on first-hand experience


Academic librarians, academic library directors, subject librarians, library managers, librarians working in special libraries, public librarians, graduate students and researchers in library and information science, students in MLIS courses, librarians aspiring to positions of leadership, library mentors, library mentees, university administrators, university management



Posted by: bluesyemre | December 9, 2018

Protecting our #DigitalHeritage in the age of cyber threats

digi her

One of the key functions of the government is to collect and archive national records. This includes everything from property records and registers of births, deaths and taxes, to Parliamentary proceedings, and even the ABC’s digital library of Australian news and entertainment.

A new report released today from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) considers the important role these records play as the collective digital identity of our nation.

The report’s author, Anne Lyons, explains how an attack on these records could disrupt the day-to-day functioning of society, and why we need to do more to protect them.

Why are these records important?

Given that we live in the digital era, our digital identity records have been transformed into electronic data and are stored virtually in cloud servers. These servers act as the memory centre of the nation, preserving Australia’s unaltered history.

We can trust these records are accurate, confidential and not interfered with. All this digital information may be referred to as “digital identity assets”.

These assets are worth protecting, because they are important for the functioning of government, and are a legacy for future generations. Collectively, they embody who and what Australia is as a nation, its journey, and its time and place in history.

What could happen if they were hacked?

The impact of any theft, manipulation, destruction or deletion of digital identity assets could be catastrophic.

The courts would not be able to function without the relevant digital records. Manipulated property title deeds could create legal challenges. Passports and visas may not be able to be verified and issued. And historic records could be tampered with or forged.

In the worst-case scenario, such an attack could interfere with the proper functioning of government, and shatter public trust and confidence in government institutions.

Lyons paints a picture of what it would look like if property records were hacked:

You wake up in 2022 to discover that the Australian financial system’s in crisis. Digital land titles have been altered, and it’s impossible for people and companies to prove ownership of their assets. The stock market moves into freefall as confidence in the financial sector evaporates when the essential underpinning of Australia’s multitrillion-dollar housing market – ownership – is thrown into question. There’s a rush to try to prove ownership, but nowhere to turn. Banks cease all property lending and business lending that has property as collateral. The real estate market, insurance market and ancillary industries come to a halt. The economy begins to lurch.

What are we doing to prevent attacks?

Three pieces of legislation have been passed since 2017 to protect the nation against crimes committed over the internet targeting telecommunications, water, electricity and gas equipment. These are the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act, the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act and the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Act.

But cyber attacks are not only targeted at our nation’s critical infrastructure. Servers that host digital identity assets are also at risk. Nation states and individual hackers could gain access to databases using our email communications to gain access.

Despite this risk, our lawmakers have failed to exert the same vigour in crafting laws that protect digital identity assets as they have exerted in efforts to decrypt the WhatsApp messages of criminal targets.

There is no clear and specific cybersecurity governance framework in the law books geared towards detecting and preventing attacks against these assets.

How to protect our digital heritage

1. Assess cyber vulnerabilities alongside social ones

Governments need to improve their holistic situational awareness to counter threats. That means assessing cyber vulnerabilities in conjunction with societal ones.

Online disinformation campaigns and malicious cyber activities are all referred to as hybrid threats. Hybrid threats – which could make use of digital identity assets – are challenging to detect and to make sense of due to their dynamic nature. Understanding the complex nature of a hybrid threat is referred to as cyber situational awareness.

Outside of the cyber environment, situational awareness may refer to an awareness of cultural, ethnic and religious tensions in society that could be vulnerable to online exploitation. For example, in the 1980s the Soviet government used the HIV epidemic to sow social division in the United States. Under operation INFEKTION, Russia spread stories that the American government created the virus and spread it among its population.

In cases like this, it’s feasible that digital health records could be hacked and altered to serve as fake evidence. In this way, societal vulnerabilities can become one part of a mixed bag of threats.

Our ability to effectively resist and recover from malicious hybrid activities depends on our capacity to detect, analyse and understand the nature of the threat, in near real time. Metadata can be used for this purpose to show who accessed a server and from what location.

To improve cyber situational awareness, access logs should be retained and the computer emergency response team must collect metadata from government departments themselves, and analyse the data in near real time. This is a growing trend in the cybersecurity sector and public bodies must gear up.

2. Store copies of historical records offline

We also need to simulate how digital identity assets can be used against us and be prepared to counter the propaganda. Schools and universities can store multiple offline historic records, which can be used to verify accuracy when conflicting stories arise. Using National Archives as a central repository for digital identity assets is a single point of failure. Redundancy work-arounds must be created.

3. Engage the private sector

This is a job too big and too important to be left to government alone. Historical societies and charitable organisations may need to store hard and soft copies of the same records all over the country. Relevant laws must mandate, cybersecurity situational awareness for telecommunications companies, ISPs, computer emergency response teams, law enforcement and security agencies, but in clear and responsible fashion.

We must take a proactive approach that mandates the roll out of appropriate advance counter measures. A legal mandate that is largely based on past incidents may not be an effective strategy to prevent dynamic hybrid threats. This is how we will tell hackers to back off our national heritage.


Posted by: bluesyemre | December 9, 2018

#OpenAccess: Five Principles for #Negotiations with #Publishers



The principles are based on the experiences of LIBER libraries in the past two years, and aim to guide libraries and consortia as they shift from a reader-pays model (subscription licensing) to an author-pays model based on Article Processing Charges (APC).

With these principles, research libraries are encouraged to make the move from paying for information access to organizing the publishing costs for their researchers. The Five Principles are:

  1. Licensing and Open Access go Hand-in-Hand – The world of subscription deals and APC-deals are closely linked. Nobody should pay for subscriptions and pay APCs at the same time (‘double dipping’). Each new license agreed on should therefore contain conditions about both sides of the coin. Increased spending on APCs should result in proportionately lower spending on subscription fees.
  2. No Open Access, No Price Increase – There is enough money in the system already. Libraries have paid annual price increases of up to 8% for years, supposedly to allow publishers to innovate. A key feature of innovation for the research community is that research outputs are freely available. Therefore if an agreement with publishers on Open Access cannot be reached in our contracts, future price increases should not be accepted.
  3. Transparency for Licensing Deals: No Non-Disclosure – The practices of libraries should fully reflect their commitment to Open Access. Licensing agreements should therefore be openly available. Society will not accept confidential agreements paid for with public money in the form of non-disclosure agreements, as recent developments in Finland and The Netherlands have shown.
  4. Keep Access Sustainable – To avoid putting more money in the system, and to strengthen Open Access, some libraries have given up their rights to perpetual access in license agreement. Perpetual access is, however, critical in a quickly-changing publishing environment. Libraries must secure sustainable access to content.
  5. Usage Reports Should Include Open Access – Although APC-buyouts are becoming more common, reporting about Open Access is still rare. Just as libraries receive reports about downloads and usage in the subscription world, they should also receive reports on Open Access publications. It is normal to receive insight into what we pay for.

These Five Principles are part of LIBER’s ongoing commitment to facilitate knowledge exchange between its libraries, national governments and stakeholders. They are inspired by other statements including the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Scienceand the OA2020 Initiative.

Our Principles align with the recently issued Recommendations on Open Science Publishing from the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP). The OSPP guidelines emphasize sustainability, transparency, incentives, research evaluation and community involvement. They also call for stakeholder communities, EU member states and the European Commission to jointly assess and identify how the Commission’s goal of full Open Access by 2020 should be achieved.

For More Information

Please contact LIBER President Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen or Matthijs van Otegem, co-chair of LIBER’s Open Access Working Group, with any questions about this statement. The full statement and accompanying poster can also be downloaded.


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