The U.S. Library of Congress, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment, has launched a new website today, the National Jukebox. The site will stream some 10,000 sound recordings from several historic music collections. This includes music and other audio recordings from the Victor Records collection, one closely associated with the early Victrola hand-cranked record players.
The songs can all be listened to for free online, but they cannot be downloaded.
via Library of Congress Launches A National Jukebox, ReadWriteWeb
“The government more than quadrupled its use of secret court subpoenas, known as 215 orders, which give the government access to “any tangible thing,” including a wide range of sensitive information such as financial records, medical records, and even library records. In 2010, the FBI made 96 applications, up from just 21 in 2009.
When interviewer Jeffrey Trachtenberg asks Makinson about the future of “physical books,” though, Makinson is measured. Physical books will never disappear, he maintains. The reason is that the e-book customer has different motives and expectations than the physical book customer:
“There is a growing distinction between the book reader and the book owner.”
(not our library, also not to scale…)
I have a theory about libraries. I think they make people happy and thoughtful. Kind. Appreciative. You’re in the presence of so much, given free.
Maybe it’s too much sugar in my morning coffee, but I get a little world-peacey about them. There’s something special about a place that lets you walk out with a bunch of books in exchange for nothing more than a chunk of plastic that isn’t even backed by your local financial institution.
I know libraries aren’t really free, of course. They’re funded by our taxpayer dollars, along with tomahawk missiles and metermaids, but when budget-cutting season comes around, it seems like libraries are more expendible.
I love libraries in a way I’ll never love tomahawk missiles or metermaids. I love beautiful historical ones, and ones with modern innovation. Bright libraries with walls of windows, and dark-paneled-enclaves with armchairs. Tiny local branches you can walk to, and big special ones worth the drive. I love knowing that the books on the shelves stay put, regardless of whether a hard drive fails or battery dies, whether a title goes out of print or out of vogue.
What are the best, most beautiful libraries, all the world over? Well now, who’s to say?