Monday, September 1, 2014

New National Library of Latvia Building Opened

Source:, 29 August 2014

August 29 marks the final events of the opening week of the "Castle of Light", National Library of Latvia's new building.

Read more

See also:
The National Library of Latvia: the idea of the project (National Library of Latvia)  

Jobmanji - Employment Search Engine

In simple terms Jobmanji is like using Google to search for jobs. They know that hunting for work can be a struggle – it’s a jungle out there and it’s easy to go bananas trying to navigate it – so thet are on a mission to match the right jobseeker with the right employer. 

Their aim is that every vacancy is successfully filled, to everyone’s satisfaction. To achieve this, they bring all the jobs together in one place, aggregating information from job boards, recruitment agencies and companies and saving jobseekers from spending lots of time trawling though all the many individual sites. In fact, Jobmanji indexes thousands of jobs every day throughout the United Kingdom, America, Romania and Canada, and every day the number of employers and jobseekers using Jobmanji is increasing.


TimeSnapper - Automatic Screenshot Journal

TimeSnapper runs in the background of your computer, taking screenshots of your desktop every few seconds all week long. TimeSnapper lets you play back your week just like a movie. You can play it at any speed you like, and jump in at any time you like. When it's time to fill out that dreaded timesheet, TimeSnapper is a savior. No need to tear your hair out trying to remember where all the time went.

Billions of locusts descend onto Madagascar capital

A swarm of locusts invades the center of Madagascar capital on 28 August 2014
Image: AFP Photo/Rijasolo
Source: RT, 1 September 2014

Madagascar has been taken over by uncountable numbers of locusts. This year, the leaf munchers' invasion has not only brought fears of food shortages - the country's capital city residents are also at risk, as some catch the toxic insects for food.

Read more (includes more photos)  

Top independent school puts lessons free on iTunes

Source: BBC News, by Sean Coughlan, 1 September 2014

A leading independent school is making dozens of its courses available free online, so lessons can be downloaded by pupils or teachers at other schools.

Read full article  

Why plants in the office make us more productive

Source:, 31 Ausgut 2014

'Green' offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than 'lean' designs stripped of greenery, new research shows.

In the first field study of its kind, published today, researchers found enriching a 'lean' office with plants could increase productivity by 15%.

Read more  

Nokia maps to appear on Samsung phones

Source: BBC News, 1 September 2014

Nokia's mapping service will soon be appearing on Samsung smartphones.

A deal between the two will see a test or beta version of an Android app for Nokia's Here maps included free on handsets and the Gear S smartwatch.

Read full article  

WhatsApp 'taking over' SA mobile chat

Source: News24, by Duncan Alfreds, 1 September 2014

Cape Town - South Africans are hooked on WhatsApp as the instant messaging chat application has taken a dominant market share in the country.

According to the South African Mobile Report prepared by Effective Measure, nearly WhatsApp has just short of 80% market share among South Africans.

Read full article  

Disease modelers project a rapidly rising toll from Ebola

Image: A Vespignani
Source: Science, 31 August 2014

Kai Kupferschmidt reports:
Alessandro Vespignani hopes that his latest work will turn out to be wrong. In July, the physicist from Northeastern University in Boston started modeling how the deadly Ebola virus may spread in West Africa. Extrapolating existing trends, the number of the sick and dying mounts rapidly from the current toll—more than 3000 cases and 1500 deaths—to around 10,000 cases by September 24, and hundreds of thousands in the months after that. “The numbers are really scary,” he says—although he stresses that the model assumes control efforts aren't stepped up. "We all hope to see this NOT happening," Vespigani writes in an e-mail.

Read full article  

2014 Ebola Outbreak - Swedish hospital investigates possible Ebola case ... and more

Image: Reuters
Source: Reuters vis CBC News, 31 August 2014

A hospital in the Swedish capital is investigating a possible case of Ebola, Swedish media reported on Sunday.

A man who recently travelled to a "risk area" for the virus was taken to Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm suffering from a fever and is being treated in an isolation unit, the reports said.

Read full article  

Update: Tests show no sign of Ebola in Swedish man (News24, 1 September 2014)

See also:
Ebola, experimental drugs and informed consent: should those at risk simply take what the doctor orders (Forbes, 31 August 2014)

Ebola tests negative for Gatineau girl who remains in isolation (CBC News, 30 August 2014)

Ghana officials to meet to prepare Ebola education strategy (Voice of America, 31 August 2013)

Health workers death toll mounts as Ebola spreads (News24, 1 September 2014) 

How did the West Africa Ebola epidemic get out of control so fast? (PBS NewsHour, 31 August 2014) - video

Liberia's Ebola routine: wear your temperature on your lapel (NPR blog, 31 August 2014)

What's missing in the Ebola fight in West Africa (The Washington Post, 31 August 2014)  

Google reveals secret drone delivery tests

Source: CNN, by Heather Kelly, 29 August 2014

Google is the latest company to branch out into delivery by drone, it revealed Thursday. The technology giant started running its first test flights earlier this month as part of Project Wing, a secretive, 2-year-old program exploring drone delivery.

Read full article (includes video)    

See also: Google reveals self flying delivery drones to take on Amazon's package dropping project (Daily Mail, 28 August 2014) 

MSM Messenger to end after 15 years

Source: BBC News, 29 August 2014

Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will be switched off in China in October, marking a final end to the 15-year-old service.

Read full article 

Could we soon send emails 'telepathically'? Scientist transmits message into the mind of a colleague 5,000 miles away using brain waves

Source: Daily Mail, UK, 29 August 2014

Ellie Zolfagharifard summaries this article's content as follows:

  • Scientists used EEG headsets to record electrical activity in the brain
  • Electrical activity from words ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’ were converted into binary
  • The greeting was sent from Thiruvananthapuram, India to Strasbourg
  • A computer translated the message and then used electrical stimulation to implant it in the receiver’s mind, appearing as specific flashes of light
  • According to the researchers, this is the first time humans have sent a message almost directly into each other’s brains 

  • Read full article 

    Evaluación del servicio de referencia de una biblioteca universitaria: Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla

    Title: Evaluación del servicio de referencia de una biblioteca universitaria: Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla

    Authors: González-Fernández-Villavicencio, Nieves , Cánovas-Álvarez, Encarnación , Arahal-Junco, Consuelo

    Published in: Revista Española de Documentación Científica, Vol 37, Iss 2, Pp e045(2014)

    Date of publication: June 2014

    Full text:

    After a detailed review of the literature on the evaluation of reference services in academic libraries, we describe the evaluation process of the Reference Service of the University of Seville’s library, in both its onsite and virtual models, during two time spans in 2011. We analyse the results using an adapted version of the READ scale. The predominance of the system’s onsite model was confirmed, with the type of service characterized by short questions of a basic nature, quite evenly distributed between the morning and afternoon, with a duration of less than five minutes, with the questions coming predominantly from students and answered by non-specialist staff. 

    Tras una revisión bibliográfica de la evaluación de los servicios de referencias en bibliotecas universitarias, se describe el proceso de evaluación de este servicio llevado a cabo en la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla, en su modalidad presencial y virtual, durante dos periodos a lo largo del año 2011. Los resultados se analizan en base a la escala READ adaptada. Se constata el predominio de la presencialidad del servicio, y las preguntas breves, de nivel básico, casi distribuidas equilibradamente entre mañana y tarde, de menos de 5 minutos, realizadas mayoritariamente por alumnos, atendidas por personal técnico no especializado con escasas derivaciones. 

    ARTICLE (2014) Preparing collections for digitisation: The case of religious archives in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Title:  Preparing collections for digitisation: The case of religious archives in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    Author: Francis Garaba
    Published in: Verbum et Ecclesia , Vol 35, Iss 1, Pp 1-5 (2014)
    Date of publication: August 2014
    DOI: 10.4102/ve.v35i1.1319
    Full text:

    This article seeks to suggest some of the steps that archival repositories with religious archives should adopt when preparing collections for digitisation. The proposed resource manual is based on a survey using questionnaires, observation and interviews that was conducted between 2011 and 2012 in archival repositories with religious archives in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to ascertain their readiness for digitisation. The findings
    revealed that the lack of adequate housing facilities and the need to promote access were incentivising the need to pursue this expensive but noble venture. In other words, the two models of digitisation preferred by these archival repositories were on demand and user initiated, respectively. Despite the great enthusiasm by these surveyed institutions to leapfrog into the digital era, the study concluded, inter alia, that there was a need for the repositories to ensure that their analogue material was meticulously organised before embarking on digitisation. Other pertinent issues included the need for pragmatism, laying parameters in as far as the scope and purpose of what such a project would aim at, identifying resources (human, technical and financial), the benefits to be derived from the digitisation, time framing, transforming the organisational culture, copyright issues, metadata provision, collaborating and selection of content to be digitised. These recommendations come against a backdrop of the poor state of religious archives in the Pietermaritzburg Cluster of Theological Libraries (PCTL) and the need for these repositories to strategically position themselves for the inevitable digitisation, thus ensuring the survival of this record in the long term. It was Bailey who advocated that information professionals need to recognise that although technology moves quickly, with organisations slow to change, we need to work to expedite our responsiveness to change, whatever its pace.  

    Conference paper (2014) Big Data, big Problems?: the 2014 LibTech Anti-talk (by Nathan Rinne)

    Rinne, Nathan Big Data, Big Libraries, Big Problems?: the 2014 LibTech Anti-talk?, 2014 . In 2014 Library Technology Conference , Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 19 & 20, 2014. (Unpublished) [Conference paper] 

    The desire to create automatons is a familiar theme in human history, and during the age of the Enlightenment mechanical automatons became not only an “emblem of the cosmos”, but a symbol of man’s confidence that he would unlock nature’s greatest mysteries and fully harness her power. And yet only a century later, automatons had begun to represent human repression and servitude, a theme later picked up by writers of science fiction. Man’s confidence undeterred, the endgame of the modern scientific and technological mindset, or MSTM, seems to be increasingly coming into view with the rise of “information technology” in general and “Big data” in particular. Along with those who wield them, these can be seen as functioning together as a “mechanical muse” of sorts – surprisingly alluring – and, like a physical automaton can serve as a symbol – a microcosm – of what the MSTM sees (at the very least in practice) as the cosmic machine, our “final frontier”. And yet, individuals who unreflectively participate in these things – giving themselves over to them and seeking the powers afforded by the technology apart from technology’s rightful purposes – in fact yield to the same pragmatism and reductionism those wielding them are captive to. Thus, they ultimately nullify themselves philosophically, politically, and economically – their value increasingly being only the data concerning their persons, and its perceived usefulness. Likewise libraries, the time-honored place of, and symbol for, the intellectual flowering of the individual, will, insofar as they spurn the classical liberal arts (with the idea that things are intrinsically good, and in the case of humans, special as well) in favor of the alluring embrace of MSTM-driven “information technology” and Big data - unwittingly contribute to their irrelevance and demise as they find themselves increasingly less needed, valued, wanted. Likewise for the liberal arts as a whole, and in fact history itself, if the acid of a “science” untethered from what is, in fact, good (intrinsically), continues to gain strength. 

    Thesis (2014) Where to publish? Development of a recommender system for academic publishing (by Christian Gutknecht)

    Gutknecht, Christian Where to publish? Development of a recommender system for academic publishing., 2014 Master of Science in Business Information Systems thesis, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. [Thesis] 

    This thesis using the method of research design is about creating a journal recommendation system for authors. Existing systems like JANE or offer recommendations based on similarities of the content. This study invests how more sophisticated factors like openness, price (subscription or article processing charge), speed of publication can be included in the ranking of a recommendation system. The recommendation should also consider the expectations from other stakeholders like libraries or funders. 

    Sunday, August 31, 2014

    South Africa - The death of the music legend Ollie Viljoen & other famous LIS, arts and culture people who died in August 2014

    Source: News24, 31 August 2014

    Music legend Ollie Viljoen died on Sunday at the age of 76.

    Viljoen was a famous accordion player, who received a Sama award for an album with Valiant Swart named Vuur En Vlam in the Best Traditional Afrikaans Album category.

    Read full article  

    Other artists and famous names in the arts, culture and historic environments who died during August 2014:

    30 August 2013

    • Victoria Mallory, 64, American singer and actress
    • Mayumi Inaba (ja), 64 Japanese writer, Tanizaki Prize recipient

    29 August 2014
    • David Bala, 67, Singaporean comedian and actor
    • Brasse Brännström, 69, Swedish actor (Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter).
    • Ryūko Seihō, 73, Japanese sumo wrestler and actor

    28 August 2014
    • Joe Bethancourt, 68, American folk musician
    • Roberto Cairo, 51, Spanish actor (Cuéntame cómo pasó)
    • Glenn Cornick, 67, British bassist (Jethro Tull) 
    • Stuart Gordon, English violinist and guitarist
    • Bill Kerr, 92, South African-born Australian actor and comedian (Hancock's Half Hour)
    • Petr Šporcl, 72, Czech actor 

    27 August 2014
    • Yehezkel Braun, 92, Israeli composer
    • Jan Groth, 68, Norwegian singer (Aunt Mary, Just 4 Fun)
    • Peret, 79, Spanish singer, guitarist and composer
    • Valeri Petrov, 94, Bulgarian poet, screenwriter (Yo Ho Ho), playwright and translator
    • Benno Pludra, 88, German children's author
    • Scott Rogers, 52, English-born American television presenter (WAFB-TV)
    • Victor J. Stenger, 79, American physicist and author
    • Sandy Wilson, 90, English composer and lyricist (The Boy Friend)

    26 August 2014
    • Peter Bacon Hales, 63, American historian and photographer
    • Caroline Kellett, 54, British fashion journalist
    • Jim Petrie, 82, British cartoonist (Minnie the Minx)
    • Chūsei Sone, 76, Japanese film director (Angel Guts: Red Classroom)
    • Tim Williams, c. 30, American bassist (Suicidal Tendencies)
    • Masakane Yonekura, 80, Japanese actor and stage director

    25 August 2014
    • Jason Curley, 42, Australian bassist (Tumbleweed)
    • William Greaves, 87, American documentary filmmaker (Symbiopsychotaxiplasm)
    • Lars Mortimer, 68, Swedish comic artist
    • Uziah Thompson, 78, Jamaican percussionist
    • Enrique Zileri, 83, Peruvian publisher

    24 August 2014
    • Richard Attenborough, 90, English actor (Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, Jurassic Park) and Academy Award-winning film director and producer (Gandhi)
    • Aldo Donati, 66, Italian singer, composer and television personality, cerebral hemorrhage

    23 August 2014
    • Inga Juuso, 68, Norwegian singer and actress 
    • Birgitta Stenberg, 82, Swedish author, illustrator and translator
    • Jaume Vallcorba Plana, 64, Spanish philologist and publisher

    22 August 2014
    • U. R. Ananthamurthy, 81, Indian writer
    • Jean Sutherland Boggs, 92, Canadian art historian, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1979–1982)
    • Sir Philip Dowson, 90, British architect
    • Joan Erbe, 87, American artist
    • Bohumila Grögerová, 93, Czech poet
    • Emmanuel Kriaras, 107, Greek lexicographer and philologist
    • Helen Mason, 99, New Zealand potter
    • Renato Mori, 79, Italian actor (La Piovra) and voice actor
    • Alan Reynolds, 88, British painter
    Verna Vels
    • Verna Vels, 81, South African screenwriter and programme director

    21 August 2014
    • Gerry Anderson, 69, British broadcaster (BBC Northern Ireland)
    • Lyndam Gregory, 59, Indian-born British actor (The Archers, Coronation Street, EastEnders) (death announced on this date) 
    • Jean Redpath, 77, Scottish folk singer-songwriter

    20 August 2014
    • Anton Buslov, 30, Russian blogger and magazine columnist (The New Times)
    • Earl Calloway, 87, American journalist (Chicago Defender) and performer
    • Lois Mai Chan, 80, American librarian, professor and author
    • Boris Dubin, 67, Russian sociologist and translator
    • Buddy MacMaster, 89, Canadian fiddler
    • Aiko Miyawaki (ja), 84, Japanese sculptor
    • Derek Rieth, 43, American percussionist (Pink Martini) (body discovered on this date)
    • Sava Stojkov, 89, Serbian painter

    19 August 2014
    • Samih al-Qasim, 75, Palestinian Druze poet and journalist
    • Elaine M. Alphin, 58, American author
    • Simin Behbahani, 87, Iranian writer and poet
    • Richard Dauenhauer, 72, American poet, historian and translator, expert on Tlingit history and language
    • James Foley, 40, American photojournalist (death reported on this date)
    • Brian G. Hutton, 79, American actor (King Creole, Last Train from Gun Hill) and film director (Kelly's Heroes, Where Eagles Dare)
    • Adyar K. Lakshman, 80, Indian dancer
    • Geoffrey Leech, 78, British linguist
    • Candida Lycett Green, 71, British author
    • Tom Pevsner, 87, German-born British film producer
    • Odessa Sathyan, 56, Indian documentary filmmaker
    • Deborah Sussman, 83, American graphic designer and artist
    • Maruxa Vilalta, 81, Mexican playwright and theatre director

    18 August 2014
    • James Alexander Gordon, 78, British radio broadcaster (BBC Radio 5 Live)
    • Don Pardo, 96, American radio and television announcer (Saturday Night Live, Jeopardy!)
    • Charles M. Young, 63, American journalist (Rolling Stone)

    17 August 2014
    • Caterina De Nave, 67, New Zealand television director, producer (Shortland Street) and network executive
    • Ger van Elk, 73, Dutch artist
    • Dan Hăulică, 82, Romanian art critic and editor
    • Rebecca Lepkoff, 98, American photographer
    • Toshio Mishima (ja), 87, Japanese singer
    • Ralph Morman, 65, American vocalist (The Joe Perry Project, BUX, Savoy Brown)
    • Miodrag Pavlović, 85, Serbian poet, writer and critic
    • Joanie Spina, 61, American magician
    • Pierre Vassiliu, 76, Swiss-born French singer

    16 August 2014
    • Ménie Grégoire, 95, French radio presenter, journalist and writer
    • Vsevolod Nestayko, 84, Ukrainian children's writer
    • Billy Rath, 66, American bassist (The Heartbreakers)
    • Peter Scholl-Latour, 90, German newspaper and television journalist, Middle East correspondent and author

    15 August 2014
    • Licia Albanese, 105, Italian-born American operatic soprano
    • Jan Ekier, 100, Polish pianist, composer and competition judge, Chopin authority, a winner of the Chopin Competition (1937), recipient of the Order of the White Eagle (2010)
    • Barbara Funkhouser, 84, American newspaper journalist, editor (El Paso Times) and journalism academic
    • Sulejman Kupusović, 63, Bosnian film director
    • Peter McAlevey, 58, American film producer (Flatliners, Double Impact, Radio Flyer)
    • Rick Parashar, 50, American record producer (Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains)
    • Walt Shotwell, 93, American newspaper columnist (Des Moines Register) and television broadcaster

    14 August 2014

    • Mariana Briski, 48, Argentine actress (Primicias)
    • Leonard Fein, 80, American Jewish activist, academic, editor (Moment), columnist (Forward) and author, founder of MAZON and Moment
    • Bracelen Flood, American historical period novelist and journalist
    • Alan Landsburg, 81, American screenwriter, film producer (Jaws 3-D), racehorse owner and official, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board
    • Stephen Lee, 58, American actor (The Negotiator, Burlesque, WarGames)
    • Charles Levitt, 83, British newspaper editor (Hull Daily Mail) and radio broadcaster (BBC Radio Humberside) (death announced on this date)
    • Nery Soto, 32, Honduran journalist

    13 August 2014
    • Frans Brüggen, 79, Dutch musician
    • Columba Domínguez, 85, Mexican actress (Pueblerina)
    • Bernard Evans, 85, British harbour landscape artist (death announced on this date)
    • Edith Flagg, 94, Romanian-born American fashion designer, pioneer in the use of polyester, natural causes
    • Mydin Ibrahim, 76, Malaysian comedian and actor
    • Fanny Morweiser, 74, German writer
    • Jack Shallcrass, 91, New Zealand author, educator, and humanist
    • Dorothy Schwieder, 80, American biographer and historian
    • Robert Bruce Smith, IV, 69, American music expert, writer, historian, and poet
    • Nicolau Sevcenko, 61, Brazilian cultural historian

    12 August 2014
    • Lauren Bacall, 89, American Tony Award-winning stage (Applause, Woman of the Year) and film (To Have and Have Not, The Mirror Has Two Faces
    • Marta Boháčová, 78, Czech opera singer
    • Daroji Eramma, 84, Indian folk artist and storyteller (Burra katha)
    • Jean Favier, 82, French historian, director of National Archives, president of the National Library
    • Bill Hitchings, 75, Welsh newspaper journalist (Herald Sun)
    • Abel Laudonio, 75, Argentine actor and boxer, Olympic bronze medalist (1960)
    • Arlene Martel, 78, American actress (Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes, The Twilight Zone)
    • Lida Moser, 93, American photographer
    • Frederick Ruffner, 88, American book reference publisher, founder and CEO of Gale Research

    11 August 2014 
    • William A. Falkler, 88, American landscape artist
    • Liz Holzman, 61, American animation artist, designer, producer and director (DuckTales, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain)
    • Dick King, 86, American newspaper journalist, columnist and editor (The Topeka Capital-Journal)
    • Pierre Ryckmans, 78, Belgian diplomat, Australian sinologist and author (Chinese Shadows)
    • Kika Szaszkiewiczowa, 97, Polish artist, writer and blogger
    • Joe Viskocil, 61, American visual effects artist (Star Wars, The Terminator), Academy Award winner (Independence Day)
    • Robin Williams, 63, American comedian and Academy Award-winning film (Good Will Hunting), television (Mork & Mindy), and voice (Aladdin) actor

    10 August 2014
    • Milena Brůhová, 83, Czech writer
    • Peter Chippindale, 69, British newspaper journalist (The Guardian) and author
    • Maria Kolokouri, 37, Greek rock singer (Astarte)
    • Dan Lynch, 67, American syndicated editorial cartoonist (Kansas City Star, The Journal Gazette)
    • Dotty Lynch, 69, American television journalist and editor (CBS News)
    • Ann Rowan, 85, Irish actress (The Riordans, Father Ted)
    • Shree Krishna Shrestha, 47, Nepalese actor

    9 August 2014
    • J. F. Ade Ajayi, 85, Nigerian academic and historian of Africa
    • Trevor Boots Harris, 69, Jamaican entertainment journalist and broadcaster
    • Clive Lawrence, 69, British radio broadcaster and producer (BBC Radio Kent)
    • Ed Nelson, 85, American actor (Gunsmoke, Murder, She Wrote, Peyton Place)
    • George Nicholaw, 86, American radio executive (KNX)
    • Emigdio Vasquez, 75, American muralist and pictorial artist

    8 August 2014
    • Anita Ghulam Ali, 76, Pakistani radio broadcaster (PBC), politician and educator
    • Johnny Ray Allen, 56, American roots rock bassist (The Subdudes)
    • Robert Boehm, 55, Australian alt-rock musician
    • Andre Bush, 45, American jazz guitarist (Nnenna Freelon)
    • Menahem Golan, 85, Israeli film director (Operation Thunderbolt) and producer (The Delta Force, Death Wish II), recipient of the Israel Prize (1999)
    • Charles Keating, 72, English Emmy Award-winning actor (All My Children, Another World)
    • Bill McIlwain, 88, American newspaper editor (Newsday, Toronto Star, The Washington Star) and spoof novel contributor (Naked Came the Stranger)
    • Danny Murphy, 58, American actor (There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself and Irene)
    • J. J. Murphy, 86, Northern Irish actor (Mickybo and Me, Angela's Ashes, Dracula Untold)
    • Mack Newberry, 89, American publicist (Dolly Parton, Carol Burnett, Donny and Marie Osmond)
    • Peter Sculthorpe, 85, Australian composer (Kakadu)

    7 August 2014
    • Cristina Deutekom, 82, Dutch coloratura soprano opera singer
    • Tommy Gill, 49, American jazz pianist
    • Henry Stone, 93, American record company executive and record producer (TK Records)
    • Voytek, 89, Polish-born British television director and production designer

    6 August 2014
    • Aloha Dalire, 64, American hula dancer, first Miss Aloha Hula winner (1971)
    • Imre Bajor, 57, Hungarian actor
    • Billy Bowles, 83, American newspaper journalist and war correspondent (Detroit Free Press)
    • Brent Galloway, 70, American linguist
    • Frank Shipway, 79, British conductor
    • Smita Talwalkar, 59, Indian film actress, producer (Tu Tithe Mee) and director
    • Dharmesh Tiwari, 63, Indian actor (Mahabharat)
    • David Weidman, 93, American animation background artist (The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, Wacky Races) and silkscreen artist (Mad Men)

    5 August 2014
    • Diann Blakely, 57, American poet
    • Elfriede Brüning, 103, German writer
    • Marilyn Burns, 65, American actress (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)
    • Ruth Sacks Caplin, 85, American screenwriter (Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont)
    • Scott Ciencin, 51, American author
    • Hans V. Engström, 65, Swedish actor (Rederiet)
    • Edward Leffingwell, 72, American art critic and curator
    • Khalil Morsy, 67, Egyptian actor
    • Vladimir Orlov, 77, Russian novelist
    • Chapman Pincher, 100, British journalist and historian
    • Pran Kumar Sharma, 75, Indian cartoonist (Chacha Chaudhary)
    • Ronnie Stonham, 87, British army officer and broadcasting adviser

    4 August 2014
    • Rich Ceisler, 58, American stand up comedian
    • Val Eddy, 88, American jazz musician, singer and band leader
    • Jake Hooker, 61, Israeli-born American pop musician (Arrows), co-writer ("I Love Rock 'n' Roll") and producer
    • Walter Massey, 85, Canadian actor (Arthur, Lassie)
    • Rafael Santa Cruz, 53, Peruvian cajon musician and actor
    • Vratislav Schilder, 75, Czech puppeteer
    • Richie Taylor, 61, Irish rock music journalist and musician
    • Charles Womack, 71, American newspaper and magazine publisher

    3 August 2014
    • Gene Callahan, 80, American journalist, policy advisor and MLB lobbyist
    • Dorothy Salisbury Davis, 98, American crime fiction writer, recipient of the Grand Master Award (1985)
    • Kenny Drew, Jr., 56, American jazz pianist and composer
    • Robert H. Ellsworth, 85, American collector and dealer of Asian art
    • Yvette Giraud, 97, French singer and actress
    • Jess Marlow, 84, American news broadcaster (KNBC, KCBS)
    • Steve Post, 70, American radio broadcaster (WNYC)
    • Vic Zast, 69, American horse racing journalist and track executive

    2 August 2014
    • Alfréd Hampel, 74, Czech opera singer
    • Rosetta Hightower, 70, American R&B singer (The Orlons)
    • Ed Joyce, 81, American television executive, President of CBS News (1983–1985)
    • Billie Letts, 76, American novelist (Where the Heart Is)
    • James Thompson, 49, American-born Finnish crime writer
    • Pete van Wieren, 69, American sports broadcaster (Atlanta Braves)
    • Olga Voronets, 88, Russian mezzo-soprano folk singer
    • Craig Whittaker, 55, American jazz saxophonist and music academic

    1 August 2014
    • Gretta Bader, 83, American portrait and bust sculptor
    • Godwin Chepkurgor, 45, Kenyan journalist, offered Bill Clinton dowry to marry Chelsea Clinton
    • Norman Cornish, 94, English artist
    • Rod de'Ath, 64, Welsh drummer (Rory Gallagher)
    • Michael Johns, 35, Australian singer-songwriter (American Idol)
    • Jan Roar Leikvoll, 40, Norwegian author
    • Saeed Saleh, 76, Egyptian actor (Madrast Al-Mushaghebeen)
    • Mike Smith, 59, British television and radio presenter (BBC Radio 1)

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

    Millions of historic images posted to Flickr

    Source: BBC News, by Leo Kelion, 29 August 2014

    An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.

    Read full article  

    ARTICLE (2014) Assessing the Fitness of an Academic Library for Doctoral Research

    Authors: Susan Edwards, Lynn Jones
    Published in: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Vol 9, Iss 2, Pp 4-15 (2014)
    Date of publication: July 2014

    Objective – At the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), researchers compared how well the library collections supported doctoral research in the three related disciplines of education, psychology, and social welfare. The goal of this project was to gather empirical data to answer questions about materials cited in dissertations, including ownership, age of materials and disciplinary usage. 

    Methods – Researchers analyzed the bibliographies of doctoral dissertations from three academic departments at UCB: education (2009-2010), psychology (2009-2010), and social welfare (2009-2011). The sampling methodology used a systematic sample with a random start. To achieve a 95% (+/-4%) confidence interval, the sample included a total of 3,372 citations from 107 dissertations. Researchers consulted with a statistician to determine the statistical significance of the results. The test for the age of citation used a signed ranks test, which is typical for ordinal data or skewed interval data. The test for ownership was a chi-square test, which is typical for nominal data or dichotomous data. 

    Results – Researchers determined that a very high percentage of the cited journals were owned or licensed by the Library. The ownership rate for cited journals was 97% for both education and social welfare, and 99% for psychology. There was a statistically significant difference between the three disciplines, with psychology better supported than either education (p=.02) or social welfare (p=.01). However, since ownership rates for journals in all three disciplines were extremely high, this was not a meaningful difference. For books, the researchers found a significantly smaller percentage of books owned in social welfare compared to either education (p=.00) or psychology (p=.00). We found no significant difference between the percentages of books owned in psychology versus education (p=.27). Psychology students cited the highest percentage of journals while education students cited the highest percentage of books. Psychology students cited almost no free web resources, but education and social welfare students did cite free web resources (primarily government documents, working papers, or non-governmental organization reports). All three disciplines cited older material than anticipated. 

    Conclusions – The citation analysis, while time-consuming, provided new and important information about the use of the Library’s collections and the level of support the collections afford doctoral students in the three related disciplines of education, psychology and social welfare. This data has informed collections-related decisions including format purchases and fund allocations.

    First Year University Students Arrive with Some Search Skills, But Struggle with Scholarly Sources

    Author: Cari Merkley
    Published in: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Vol 9, Iss 2, Pp 22-24 (2014)
    Date of publication: July 2014
    Full text:

    Abstract Objective – To determine what existing information literacy skills first year students possess upon entering university. 

    Design – Quantitative survey questionnaire. 

    Setting – A research university in Australia. Subjects – 1,029 first year students in the health sciences. 

    Methods – First year students enrolled in the health sciences were asked to complete a paper questionnaire in their first week of classes in 2009. The 20 question survey was distributed in student tutorial groups. The first 10 questions collected information on student demographics, expected library use, and existing information seeking behaviour. The remaining 10 questions tested students’ understanding of information literacy concepts. Data collected from the survey were analyzed using the statistical software SPSS. 

    Main Results – Most of the students who responded to the questionnaire were between the ages of 16 and 21 (84.3%) with only 2.2% over the age of 40. Approximately 15% of respondents had completed some postsecondary university or vocational education prior to enrolling in their current program.  

    Piloting a national programme for the digitization of Medieval manuscripts in Germany

    Authors: Claudia Fabian, Carolin Schreiber
    Published in: Liber Quarterly : The Journal of European Research Libraries, Vol 24, Iss 1, Pp 2-16 (2014)
    Date of publications: August 2014
    Full text:

    Abstract: An initiative to develop a concerted national programme for the digitization of medieval manuscripts in Germany was launched by five German manuscript centres in January 2013. This new proposal aims at the development of a master plan for the digitization of nearly all surviving medieval manuscripts in Germany and at the establishment of a new funding programme of the DFG (German Research Foundation), the largest research funding organization in Germany.

    Besides this fundamental financial aspect, other objectives are the diffusion of technical standards and know-how to less experienced cultural heritage institutions and the creation of a nationwide network of competent partners, e.g. in the areas of digitization itself, long-term storage of digital data, the administration of persistent identifiers, and the internet presentation of digital collections. An important role will be played by the German manuscripts portal, Manuscripta Mediaevalia, which is intended as the central hub for both the presentation of digital collections of German manuscripts, but also of the relevant metadata, that is, digital and ideally searchable full-text versions of scholarly, in-depth manuscript descriptions. Of course, this centralization and aggregation will also facilitate the exchange of data with other institutions.

    The pilot phase will lead to the definition of a national digitization strategy with a clear prioritization of projects to be approached. It also aims at the creation of a sustainable technical infrastructure for the integration of both primary and secondary digital data. In this way, the current fragmentation of information in a plethora of local digitization projects is to be superseded by a unitary and complete virtual research environment for all those interested in medieval manuscripts from Germany. 

    Too early, too fast? The regulation of the ebook market in France and its possible effects on EU libraries

    Author: Sébastien Respingue-Perrin
    Published in: Liber Quarterly : The Journal of European Research Libraries, Vol 23, Iss 2, Pp 81-109 (2013)
    Date of publication: November 2013
    Full text:

    Abstract: Until now, legislative interventions on ebooks and libraries have been applied to massive digitization. France went further, with global regulations of the ebooks' market. Beyond the French “cultural exception”, the ebook price-fixing law of May 26th, 2011 and the decrease from the ebook VAT rate decided in 2012 will have deep effects on this sector and, perhaps, could prevent the strains between publishers and libraries seen in the USA.

    Above all, legal rules have an impediment: what is an ebook? The French Parliament laid the foundations for the debate. Now, the answers are depending on the EU authorities, who have to define a clear policy.The ongoing discussions could have a major consequence: is the ebook, becoming a juridical object, subjected to the “digital renting and lending right”, in line with the 2006 Council directive? This may be the first step towards a regulation of the European libraries market.  

    BOOK (2015) Managing digital objects: analysis, discovery and retrieval

    Editors: Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty
    Publisher: Facet Publishing, UK, 2015
    224 pages
    ISBN-13: 978-0-85604-941-2

    This book explores the analysis and interpretation, discovery and retrieval of a variety of non-textual objects, including image, music, and moving image. Bringing together chapters written by leading experts in the field, this book provides an overview of the theoretical and academic aspects of digital cultural documentation and the state of the art. Case studies of digitization projects drawn from practitioners within libraries and information organizations showcase both technical and more strategic issues relating to cultural heritage projects, digital asset management and sustainability. Key topics covered include:
    • Semiotics of digital cultural objects: images, music and film
    • Digital cultural object retrieval: semantic and emotional indexing
    • Semantic Web, FRBR, intertextuality and cultural objects
    • Photo retrieval on the web: Flickr, Facebook and other social networking sites 
    • Classical music retrieval on the web
    • Indie music retrieval on the web: Spotify, social tagging, recommender sites 
    • Film retrieval on the web: YouTube, social tagging and sharing, IMDb, indexing, controlled vocabulary  

    The Floating Libraries of Minnesota and New York

    Source: Bookriot, by Margret Aldrich, 28 August 2014

    To check out books at most libraries, all you need is a library card - but this isn't any ordinary library. You'll need a canoe, kayak, paddle board, or inner tube to visit the Floating Library, which sits in the middle of Cedar Lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Read full article  

    2014 Ebola Outbreak (mosly 28 - 30 August 2014)

    Click on image to enlarge.  Image:

    Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea (Reuters, 29 August 2014)

    First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal (News24, 29 August 2014)

    First case in Senegal, five more states at risk of outbreak spread (RT, 30 August 2014)

    Ebola virus is rapidly mutating - twice as fast in humans than animals (Prof Chris Semsarian, Twitter, 30 August 2014)

    WHO: Ebola outbreak 'continues to accelerate'  (, 28 August 2014)

    Ebola: Guineans riot in Nzerekore over disinfectant (BBC News, 29 August 2014)

    Ebola test underway for Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, child in isolation (CBC News, 29 August 2014)

    India - Health Minister directs DHO to file case against Ebola rumour (The Statesman, 21 August 2014)

    Namibia - Ebola rumour in Ongwediva rubbished (Namibian Sun, 29 August 2014)

    Nigeria - Ebola in Rivers state: 160 now under surveillance, late doctor's wife moved to Lagos (H5N1, 29 August 2014)

    BioCryst to launch NHP Ebola drug safety, efficacy studies 'within weeks' (Forbes, 29 August 2014)

    China approves its first Ebola drug (CNTV, 30 August 2014) - includes video

    Ebola drug ZMapp 100% effective in monkeys (Sky News, 30 August 2014)

    Leading Ebola researcher says there's an effective treatment (Medical Xpress, 29 August 2014)

    Air France suspends Sierra Leone flights over Ebola (News24, 28 August 2014)

    Botswana bans travels from Ebola-hit DRC (StarAfrica, 26 August 2014)

    Botswana imposes travel restrictions over Ebola (Botswana Online News, 14 August 2014)

    Burundi: Civil aviation authorities take preventative measures against Ebola  (Panapress, 12 August 2014)

    Burundi steps up guard against Ebola (The EastAfrican, 27 August 2014)

    Ebola outbreak: Airlines stop flights as US expert warns outbreak will 'worsen' (The Telegraph, 29 August 2014

    Ebola outbreak: Canadian scientists back home after being pulled from Sierra Leone (CBC News, 29 August 2014)

    Ghana to become Ebola nerve centre (News24, 30 August 2014)

    Liberia reopens slum barricaded due to Ebola (, 30 August 2014)

    Medical charity MSF wants UN to take lead on Ebola epidemic (Reuters, 29 August 2014)

    Namibia ready for Ebola threat (, 13 August 2014)

    Namibians warned not to visit Ebola hit countries (Namibian, 15 August 2014)

    No Ebola cases in SA - health department (News24, 29 August 2014)

    Rwanda strenthens measures as Ebola hits DRC (The Rwanda Focus, 25 August 2014)

    SAA puts new Ebola rule in place (News24, 29 August 2014)

    Sierra Leone News: MP provide protective gears for health workers (Awoko, 29 August 2014)

    US colleges will screen some students for Ebola (The Washington Post, 29 August 2014)

    'Zimbabwe cannot detect Ebola' (NewsDay, 29 August 2014)