Author Archive

On losing David Carr

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by Dan Weiss

With the passing of David Carr on February 13, the world has lost one of its great voices.

So much has already been written about him in the past week, but I wanted to note a few interesting things for your consideration.

In his March 9, 2014 Media column for the NY Times, Barely Keeping Up in TVs New Golden Age, he captured my own feelings about the struggle to ‘keep up’, and says this about books (that he’s not necessarily getting to) in this age of info and media overload:
I have a hierarchy: books I’d like to read, books I should read, books I should read by friends of mine and books I should read by friends of mine whom I am likely to bump into.

He recently joined the communications faculty at Boston University and taught an amazing class called “Press Play”. I refer you to the brilliant syllabus to this course, published on the blogging platform Medium. As noted in the February 15 Media column in the Times, David Carr’s Last Word on Journalism, Aimed at Students, the syllabus is, “perhaps David’s most succinct prescription for how to thrive in the digital age. It is also David in his purest form — at once blunt, funny, haughty, humble, demanding, endearing and unique.”

And here are just a couple of other links to remember David Carr.

An obituary from the Huffington Post

David Carr, book critic by Carlos Lozada

Reading David Carr – Colleagues reveling in the work of the beloved NY Times media columnist.

The Best Books of 2014

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by Dan Weiss No Comments

Wow…. 2015!

Now that you’ve had a chance to settle into the new year here’s a great resource from NPR to explore some of the best books of 2014 — Plenty of nice filters to help you narrow your browsing. Catch up with ones you’ve missed before the new years’ offerings start piling up on your nightstand. And once you’ve finished up with 2014 you can delve even further back.

NPR’s Book Concierge

Did you find some of your favorites here?
If not, what did you like best?

And if this isn’t enough, here’s another great list of resources to help you figure out what to read next and what was great in 2014

Happy Reading!

Libraries on the Edge….

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Dan Weiss

If you really want to ponder the value of libraries these days – to communities, to citizens and to society in general, consider the Ferguson (MO) Public Library. Their response during recent events there speaks volumes for libraries and civilizations, and provides lessons for all of us on so many levels.

We’ve all been following the events happening in Ferguson since August, when a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teen.

When the beginning of the school year was put on hold there because of obvious safety concerns, Ferguson Public Library Director Scott Bonner worked with teachers and a host of volunteers to offer math, science, and arts activities for school aged children at the library.

The effort, which helped hundreds of kids, was expanded to other libraries and locations and was aided by local organizations who offered everything from free lunches to additional cultural programming. Library Journal provided some good coverage.

The library, located on the edge of where protests were occurring, was able to safely stay open every day. Not only was it a place for students to go, but anyone in the community seeking respite from the turmoil outside. Signs were posted around the building that read, “During difficult times, the library is a quiet oasis where we can catch our breath, learn, and think about what to do next.”

What a powerful message for us to all to remember.

The events in Ferguson have sparked heated debates on a national level, and St. Louis has a lot of healing and work to do, but one thing we can all agree on is that when a community is in crisis, libraries on the edge have the opportunity, and perhaps even a duty, to respond appropriately and to be a sanctuary — a “quiet oasis” — for all.

There’s been lots of coverage of the Ferguson Public Library — far more than most libraries ever get, especially ones of this size.

In Salon
Library Director Scott Bonner’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) postings on reddit (well worth a look) and so is one author’s response to all of this.

and donations to the library have topped $300k in a week!

In so many ways, even though the Ferguson Public Library’s actions have been exemplary, what they’ve done and continue to do is very much what most libraries do all the time, every day, for the communities they serve — in times of crisis and in ordinary times too — just without as much fanfare.

Thanks to Megan McCarthy, editor of the New Jersey Library Assoc. Newsletter for some of the above.