The Bay Area is still a literary haven from the mad digital world – San Francisco Chronicle

Photo: Stacey Lewis Literary godfather Lawrence Ferlinghetti, now 98, founded City Lights in 1953.

Photo: Stacey Lewis Literary godfather Lawrence Ferlinghetti, now 98, founded City Lights in 1953.

Chances are that you have because you live in the Bay Area, where books continue to beckon readers, despite the insistent siren calls of digital media. Independent bookstores have found new life, even in the growing shadow of Amazon; festivals, readings and book clubs continue to proliferate; and authors are still managing to make the Bay Area a literary haven even as soaring costs of living force a creative exodus. […] City Lights — the North Beach bookstore and publisher founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti — is also enjoying a string of record sales years, according to head book buyer Paul Yamazaki. “Book publishing in the Bay Area is alive and thriving,” said Steve Wasserman, a native son who recently returned to run Berkeley’s Heyday Books, after stints in the East Coast publishing world and as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. There’s something in the barometric pressure of the Bay Area that attracts writers and artists seeking transcendence and ecstasy, and it makes the Bay Area the envy of the world. The tsunami of the digital revolution is battering much of our cultural heritage into what might be called oblivion. A major theme of this year’s festival is resistance, and among some 200 featured authors will be Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, Bernie Sanders presidential campaign strategist Becky Bond, Occupy Wall Street co-creator Micah White, and feminist Roxane Gay. […] she has proved to be a tireless fundraiser and networker as the festival’s only full-time, year-round employee, bringing in sponsors like The Chronicle, the Economist and the city of Berkeley and philanthropists like Will Hearst, chairman of the board of Hearst Corp., which owns The Chronicle. The tech industry — the holy grail of fundraising for countless Bay Area arts projects and community groups — has proved to be a disappointment, Parsons said. Friends offered him box seats, but he preferred the rowdy, windswept bleachers. Since he lost sight in one eye, it’s been harder for Ferlinghetti, a longtime visual artist, to continue painting.

Source: The Bay Area is still a literary haven from the mad digital world – San Francisco Chronicle

At San Diego’s libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Library assistant Dana Sneberger gives Debbie Hill-Williams (center) and her husband, Bob Williams, hands-on instruction at the new Memory Lab at the La Jolla-Riford Library. Patrons can use software to convert their VHS tapes, photos and other keepsakes to a digital format. (Nancee E. Lewis)

Library assistant Dana Sneberger gives Debbie Hill-Williams (center) and her husband, Bob Williams, hands-on instruction at the new Memory Lab at the La Jolla-Riford Library. Patrons can use software to convert their VHS tapes, photos and other keepsakes to a digital format. (Nancee E. Lewis)

From Rosetta Stone language lessons to Wi-Fi hotspots, a look at the unusual items available for check out at San Diego’s libraries.

Source: At San Diego’s libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots – The San Diego Union-Tribune

How public libraries help build healthy communities | Brookings Institution

Marcela Cabello and Stuart Butler examine the important role libraries play in communities.

 

“They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Increasingly in the United States, you also can’t judge a library’s value to its community by simply its books. Let us explain.”

Source: How public libraries help build healthy communities | Brookings Institution

Free to Use and Reuse: Travel Posters | Library of Congress Blog

“Faraway states, natural wonders and beautiful beaches—these are the settings that often come to mind as we start to plan our summer vacations. They also form the backdrop of hundreds of travel posters in the Library’s collections, including an assortment featured this month on the Library’s home page. The featured posters are U.S. government works, in the public domain or cleared for public use by copyright owners—meaning you can use them as you wish.”

Post about travel posters that have no rights restrictions.

See also.. another example.. https://www.loc.gov/resource/cph.3g12528/

Frank Hazell’s poster of West Point as seen from the window of a train car.

Frank Hazell’s poster of West Point as seen from the window of a train car.

Source: Free to Use and Reuse: Travel Posters | Library of Congress Blog

Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The Met, New York Public Library, Smithsonian & More | Open Culture

Calling all coloring book lovers. You can now take part in #ColorOurCollections 2017–a campaign where museums and libraries worldwide will make available free coloring books, letting you color artwork from their collections and then share it on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Source: Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums: The Met, New York Public Library, Smithsonian & More | Open Culture

The age of unenlightenment

Edinburgh’s statue of David Hume, the 18th-century philosopher © Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures

Edinburgh’s statue of David Hume, the 18th-century philosopher © Kieran Dodds/Panos Pictures

The most pressing question of our age is not what will happen when the computers outsmart us. Nor is it the future of globalisation, or how to stop climate change. It is much more fundamental than these.

Why is everyone so mean and stupid, and why is it getting worse?

Book essay: The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach.

Source: The age of unenlightenment