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Sometimes I come across stories which are simply intriguing!

This one, written by Susan Falciani and published on Atlas Obscura on July 20, 2017, titled:  The Rare-Book Thief Who Looted College Libraries in the ’80s is well worth a read!

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Recounting the history and eventual capture of James Richard Shinn, whose  love of books may have classified him as a bibliomaniac if only he’d not been so intent on  stealing rare manuscripts from libraries across the US, reads like a ‘who-dunnit’!

Incredible!!

 

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How to spot fake news

A very useful Infographic published by IFLA on their website is an invaluable tool for those of working with students in our libraries.

Incorporating eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News) this infographic is also published in a host of different languages which can be found on the IFLA website by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

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A replica of the Parthenon has been built in Kassel, Germany.

Now open to the public, it is expected that more than a million people will view this installation in the Documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel in which contemporary art is showcased.  Running for 100 days, the exhibition ends on 17 September

Comprised of more than 100,000 banned books, it is the creation of Argentinian artist Marta Minujin.  Students at Kassel University helped to draw up a list of 170 banned books after which the public helped locate 100,000 copies.  The installation has the same dimensions as the original Parthenon built in Athens in 447BC and is located on the same site where German Nazis burned books by Jewish or Marxist writers in 1933.

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Well worth a visit if you are in the area!

This Lonely Planet article lends more insight to the project.

 

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It’s holiday time though ….. so perhaps I will manage to reduce the number in the pile just a little bit before returning to work next month!

This blog has evolved into a place to post anything at all relating to books and reading, so I guess this story is as newsworthy as any other I’ve come across over the  years!

Professor Matthew Goodwin, a professor of politics, was so sure that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party would not poll 38% in the recent UK election, he tweeted that he would “happily eat” his recently released book Brexit if he was wrong.

So ….. live on Sky TV ….. this is exactly what happened!

Almost single-handedly, Amazon, the online giant store, has redefined how we shop.

Amazon’s dominance in the book industry has been profound.  Large retail bookstore chains and small independent bookstores have been impacted greatly by the seemingly unstoppable growth of this online monolith forcing the closure of bookstores and changing the way we search for and purchase books.

And ….. it seems ….. there’s no end insight.  Amazon Books has launched into retail sales.  And, as they have in the past, Amazon have once again set out to redefine how we shop by using data driven stats to create book displays that tempt and guide the purchaser.

A not too happy account of how Amazon is reshaping bookstores appeared recently on the KOTTKE.ORG blog: Amazon’s data driven bookstores.  For the most part, this post laments the fact that online sales data rather than informed bookstore staff recommendations are being used to promote good reads to the public.

But, as in the past, little will stop the growth of this incredible market driven company.   As I blog, 7 Amazon Bookstores are already open in the US, with 6 more slated to be opening soon.  Without a doubt the current list will be updated regularly as the rollout across the US continues.

A recent post on Recode (a fabulous website I’ve just discovered!) gives an up close look inside the recently opened New York Amazon Bookstore.  In between the telling photos are some interesting observations by Dan Frommer – so take a few minutes and have a read of the post: Photos: Inside Amazon’s first New York City bookstore.

My day to day life is immersed in books.  Not only do I love reading, but my day time job revolves around igniting the magical spark of a ‘love of reading’ in young adults.  To nurture this love of reading, I  constantly make recommendations and, like the staff in book shops, I talk to my library patrons about the kinds of books they enjoy and ask what they have read previously to inform me about their tastes and interests.  The kind of philosophy that has dominated libraries and book shops for millennia – putting the right book into the right hands – cannot be achieved by relying solely on circulation or sales stats, the approach reportedly being adopted by Amazon Books.

Anything that encourages reading though is undoubtedly good!

So instead of looking at the flaws and mistakes of Amazon Bookstores, perhaps those of us encouraging and promoting books in schools can look at some of the great ideas being introduced by Amazon Bookstores and adopt them:

  • lots and lots of face out books for starters certainly makes for an appealing look
  • increased displays of ‘if you like this, how about this’ would also be welcome
  • and how about if we start using circulation stats in a big way to drive the creation of displays

Hmmmmm ….. it seems like I’ve just hit a new spark of inspiration!