The clock and calendar regulate many library activities, but the seasonal and temporal dimensions of libraries are largely unexplored. Intrigued by observations of colleagues’ temporal attitudes and behavior, Lora L. Lennertz and Phillip J. Jones at the University of Arkansas drew on the work of sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel to investigate the perceptions of time, schedules, and urgency among professional library personnel. The data showed almost no statistically significant relationships between demographic categories and the employee’s approach to time; however, multiple significant relationships existed between the latter and the employee’s department.
College and Research Libraries 81, no. 4 (May): 701-720
On May 28, Ithaka S+R launched a study in collaboration with 11 research libraries to explore the impact of Big Deal cancellations on users, strategies for accessing content, and perceptions of the library’s role in providing access. The pandemic is intensifying budgetary challenges that were already leading many academic libraries to consider canceling Big Deal packages. Due to this challenging financial context it is increasingly unlikely that these packages will be replaced with alternative plans, such as Transformative Agreements, that ensure continuing access to the full suite of titles previously available. The project seeks to understand the long-term effects of cancellation on researchers.
Ithaka S+R, May 28
On May 27, the James Beard Foundation announced its Media Awards winners for 2020. An online announcement replaced the usual New York City ceremony, originally scheduled for earlier this month. The awards honor the country’s best food authors, broadcast producers, hosts, and journalists. We’ve spent the majority of the past few months indoors, and turning to the kitchen not just for nourishment, but for a bit of an escape: getting lost in a new recipe, embarking on an ambitious project, or finding comfort in an old favorite. The winning books span a variety of topics, from vegetable-forward cookbooks to a “climate memoir.” All are worth adding to your must-read (and cook) list.
Food52, May 28
Leighann Wood writes: “PLA, with its network of public libraries and library advocates, recognizes that health insurance and health literacy are priorities that allow individuals and families to navigate the broader health system to obtain needed care and avoid unexpected costs. Fears about health care (or lack of) during the coronavirus pandemic are raising the profile of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which can help those who have lost their jobs with an option to get health insurance. As of May 14, an estimated 16.2 million workers have likely lost employer-provided health insurance since the crisis unfolded.”
AL: The Scoop, May 29
Podcasts are now unsurpassed in their ability to encourage thinking, compared to other internet media. Of course, much of the competition—listicles, cat videos, TikToks—may not seem especially strong, but podcasting’s combination of the oft-praised intimacy of radio and freedom from the temporal or demographic limitations of traditional broadcast media has proven unexpectedly potent. In fact, humanity’s craving for podcasts is such that, for more than a decade now, there have been too many to choose from. To help guide you through this embarrassment of audio riches, Open Culture has put together this list of the 140 best podcasts to enrich your mind.
Open Culture, May 25
Mirela Roncevic writes: “The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 will take place October 14–18. A decision to that effect was made May 28 by the supervisory board of BBG, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. The 72nd Frankfurter Buchmesse will take place on the fairgrounds in accordance with a detailed health and hygiene plan which will reflect the regulations mandated this autumn by the State of Hesse. Visitors will be admitted contactless after they have preregistered and provided a self-assessment of their state of health. Because of the pandemic, the fair will be a special edition: an onsite program combined with a forward-looking digital offering.”
No Shelf Required, May 28
Marc E. Fitch writes: “My parents often ask me, ‘Why horror? Why can’t you write nice things?’ To which I generally reply, ‘Have you read the newspaper lately?’ Because there is nothing in the world of fiction that compares to the daily atrocities humanity inflicts upon itself, or to the seemingly chaotic and certainly uncaring universe that wields an ugly axe of natural disaster, disease, and death. Horror fiction tends to veil true horror in a guise of metaphor. Noir fiction plots its way through corruption, politics, and murder. Literary fiction, while often embracing a wider range of human emotion and experience, is built on a foundation of suffering, despair, and the prospect of each individual’s approaching death.”
CrimeReads, May 28