Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Washington Rural Heritage

Washington Rural Heritage

Washington Rural Heritage is a collection of historic materials documenting the early culture, industry, and community life of Washington State. The collection is an ongoing project of small, rural libraries and partnering cultural institutions, guided by an initiative of the Washington State Library (WSL). The initiative provides the infrastructure and training to both digitize and serve unique collections to a widespread audience.

The mission of Washington Rural Heritage is to:
  • Enable small and rural libraries to create digital collections of unique items that highlight institutional holdings and tell the stories of their communities.
  • Make these items accessible online to a wide audience.
  • Provide long-term storage and preservation of digital masters created by WRH participants.
This mission is in line with the larger mission of the Washington State Library to "ensure that Washingtonians have access to the information they need today and the history of Washington tomorrow."
The Project
On-location large-format scanning. Whitman County Library, 2007.
A large number of small and rural public libraries (defined as serving a population of less than 25,000) and other heritage institutions in Washington are in possession of unique, irreplaceable material highlighting the history of their communities. In the majority of instances, these institutions lack staffing, expertise, and resources to make these treasures widely available to the public. The infrastructure to ensure long-term access to online collections is often a major stumbling block for small institutions.
The Washington Rural Heritage initiative shifts focus from funding repetitive projects at individual institutions, to a collaborative model which centralizes infrastructure and supports community projects at the local level.  The initiative provides participating libraries and their partners with training in various aspects of digital project development and management including: selection, copyright research, digital imaging, metadata creation, use of digital asset management software, evaluation & assessment, etc. Initiative staff develop and maintain project standards, guidelines, and best practices.
Washington Rural Heritage also provides on-location services to participating institutions. Traveling staff assist participating institutions with everyday scanning issues, provide specialized scanning on-location (e.g., scanning of-large format items), and train participants in-person.
Collaboration is a critical aspect of the initiative. Identification, research, and cataloging of objects is achieved in a collaborative manner, taking place on-site, within each participating community. Collaboration is encouraged between public libraries and strategic partners such as historical societies, museums, tribes, government agencies, schools, and local subject experts. 
Hudson Bay Company Blockhouse.Stevens County Heritage Collection
The Collections
Washington Rural Heritage collections are made up of items of historical and cultural significance. These include: old photographs, historical texts, memorabilia & ephemera, scrapbooks, maps, artwork, objects & artifacts, etc.  Video and audio files (e.g., oral histories, lectures, interviews) are also part of the online collection. Many of these collections include unique historical resources not previously available in digital format.
The physical collections are housed locally by owning institutions around the state, while the digital collections are housed by the Washington State Library (WSL), a division of the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS). 
Participating institutions select, scan, and describe items which tell the stories of their communities.
Collections are aggregated into a statewide digital repository—improving access to items across the state, ensuring better consistency across the collections, and providing researchers with the choice to search across multiple collections or limit searches within one collection.  WSL creates a customized landing page for participating institutions, allowing for better integration with their own web presence and online collections or catalogs.
Copyright Considerations
Washington Rural Heritage items that fall under copyright protection remain under copyright protection. The Washington State Library is not interested in gaining copyright ownership or selling copies of the images. All requests for use or reproduction of the images will be referred to the owning institutions. 
In order to preserve digital surrogates and provide long-term access to the collection, the Washington State Library obtains a release from owning institutions to preserve high-resolution copies in long-term “dark” storage, and to provide access to low-resolution (i.e., publication and thumbnail copies) online.
Visit the Washington Rural Heritage legal page for a full copyright statement. 
Advisory Committee
Advisory committee members are made up of volunteers from various institutions (museums, libraries, historical societies, tribes) with expertise in digital collections and repositories, as well as representatives from the established target audiences (historians/researchers, k-12 educators, genealogists, etc.) Committee members will advise on aspects of the project including establishing metadata guidelines, collection selection, insight on use, and discuss other aspects of the project.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --Mark Twain

Five Things You May Not Know About Mitt Romney

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Amazon Locks Out Certain Users From Their Kindle Libraries, Can't Answer As To Why

Amazon Puts Your $1000 Kindle Library 'On Hold,' Apologizes, Shrugs

One day in October, Kindle owner Ryan couldn't log in to his Amazon account. He reset his password: no luck. According to Amazon representatives, the account is now "on hold," but no one can tell him what that means. He was told that someone at Amazon would call him back within 24 hours. That was almost a month ago.
Amazon representatives claim that this case is unprecedented. Perhaps the particulars of his case are from Amazon's end, but this isn't the first time we've heard of Kindle owners being locked out of their virtual bookshelves.
I have been a Kindle owner for nearly a year now.
I was recently unable to login to my account with the message that the password was "denied". I reset my password and still received the same denied message even though I had an email confirming my reset.
I called Amazon and was told my account was put on hold, but they couldn't tell me why. I was then asked for some basic information and told that an Account Specialist would be contacting me within 24 hours. This was October 25th.
I no longer have access to the nearly $1000 in Kindle content I have purchased. I disputed all of the Amazon credit card charges that I could, however there is still about 10 months of purchases I have lost because of this.
I have filed a complaint with the BBB, emailed everyone I could at Amazon, called the Customer Service Line, the Kindle "Executive" support line, and Corporate. I have been apologized to by everyone I have spoken to and been told that they have never seen this situation before.
None of them can tell me if I will ever receive the content I have paid for.
If this is what the ebook revolution looks like, I'll buy the written history in paperback.]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Welcome to the Future of Automobiles

What will the Oil Companies do to stop it? 
It is an auto engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us. Take a look.

Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets by August 2012

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.

The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees ($1) per 100 KM (62 miles), that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees (about $2) and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.

This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.

Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true. We'll see in August. 2012

Monday, November 21, 2011

What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called

Remember when your high school summer reading list included AtticusFiesta, and The Last Man in Europe? You will once you see what these books were renamed before they hit bookshelves.

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald went through quite a few titles for his most well-known book before deciding on The Great Gatsby. If he hadn’t arrived at that title, high school kids would be pondering the themes of Trimalchio in West Egg; Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires; On the Road to West Egg; Under the Red, White, and Blue; Gold-Hatted Gatsby; and The High-Bouncing Lover.

2. George Orwell’s publisher didn’t feel the title to Orwell’s novel The Last Man in Europe was terribly commercial and recommended using the other title he had been kicking around—1984.

3. Before it was Atlas Shrugged, it was The Strike, which is how Ayn Rand referred to her magnum opus for quite some time. In 1956, a year before the book was released, she decided the title gave away too much plot detail. Her husband suggested Atlas Shrugged and it stuck.

4. The title of Bram Stoker’s famous Gothic novel sounded more like a spoof before he landed on Dracula—one of the names Stoker considered was The Dead Un-Dead.

5. Ernest Hemingway’s original title for The Sun Also Rises was used for foreign-language editions—Fiesta. He changed the American English version to The Sun Also Rises at the behest of his publisher.

6. It’s because of Frank Sinatra that we use the phrase “Catch-22” today. Well, sort of. Author Joseph Heller tried out Catch-11, but because the original Ocean’s Eleven movie was newly in theaters, it was scrapped to avoid confusion. He also wanted Catch-18, but, again, a recent publication made him switch titles to avoid confusion: Leon Uris’ Mila 18. The number 22 was finally chosen because it was 11 doubled.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird was simply Atticus before Harper Lee decided the title focused too narrowly on one character.

8. An apt precursor to the Pride and Prejudice title Jane Austen finally decided on: First Impressions.

9. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Secretly, apparently. Mistress Mary, taken from the classic nursery rhyme, was the working title for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

10. Originally called Ulysses in Dublin, James Joyce’s Dubliners featured characters that would later appear in his epic Ulysses a few years later.

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss! 

testing ELB's twitterfeed...

testing ELB's twitterfeed...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Snippets from Sheppard's Confidential: News & Events in Antiquarian & Second-Hand Books

The news that the Booksellers Association is downsizing and moving to
smaller premises is not surprising. The numbers of booksellers in the new
book trade has fallen from 1,483 (in 2006) to 1,099. The BA is putting up a
good fight of course on behalf of their members. Obviously, the Internet and
supermarkets have had a huge and damaging effect but it is interesting that
the BA is now also blaming charity shops.

One quote by the Charity Retail Association is odd: 'We think that independent retailers could be supported in a variety of ways without penalizing charity shops . . . and we would support
greater help for independent booksellers in the current economic climate.

 Really.  Then why not government help for every shop that is struggling? And
from whose purse does this financial help come?

Reports that the UK MPs are pushing the Government to have the cheque
guarantee card restored is good news - anything that makes it easier for
collectors to pay by cheque will help our trade.

UK: Library closures declared unlawful!

Many councils in the UK have elected to reduce or close library services to contribute to the
necessary reductions in spending. But a decision which could see 21 libraries close in
Somerset and Gloucestershire has now been been ruled "unlawful". Somerset County
Council wanted to withdraw funding for 11 libraries and Gloucestershire County Council
wanted to stop funding 10 libraries. At the High Court, Judge Martin McKenna said the
closures did not comply with "public sector equality duties" owed to vulnerable social

  Children's laureate Julia Donaldson welcomed yesterday's High Court as "the best news
I’ve had all year".

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Man Behind Dave Robicheaux James Lee Burke talks about violence, writing, littering, alcoholism, liberalism and bestsellers.

An awesome article/interview from 2002 my mother dug up, thanks Ma!


June 5, 2002

James Lee Burke has seen and heard enough to fill a book. Actually, make that 22 books.

Burke is best known for his novels featuring Dave Robicheaux, an Iberia Parish detective who sees the world in black and white, a man who is haunted at times by his own alcoholism and his desire to do right in a world ruled by insanity.

At 65 years old, Burke is a demure man with small, penetrating eyes and a disarming smile. His laughter sounds as if it’s rattling itself free from his bones. There are times he laughs so hard it ends in a coughing fit.

He writes about man’s depravity and his grace, his beauty and his vulgarity. His novels have engaged millions of readers all over the world, propelling him to the top of The New York Times’ bestseller list. But for the man who lives in New Iberia, with a second home in Missoula, Mont., life hasn’t always been a gravy train. The ride to the top has been riddled with detours and unexpected delays.

The Times recently sat down with Burke at his home along the banks of Bayou Teche. He was preparing for a national book tour in support of his latest Robicheaux novel, Jolie Blon’s Bounce. In his office, bathed in sunlight filtered through an oak tree outside of his bay window, he gave some insight into the man behind Dave Robicheaux.

Before drawing any comparisons between Robicheaux and himself, Burke points out the differences between the two men. He says of Robicheaux, “The character defects are mine, none of the qualities.”

He laughs so hard he’s headed for a coughing fit.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Create an Awesome Summer Reading List

Or any seasonal reading list for that matter. Thanks Lifehacker!

"How to Create an Awesome Summer Reading List

The days grow longer and the weekends more leisurely as summer approaches, making it a terrific time to catch up on reading. Whether your reading goal is to stimulate your mind, get lost in an adventure or romance, or learn something new, here are a few helpful tips for curating your perfect reading list this summer.

Before you jump straight into building your list, a few quick tips and considerations." Read More...