Researchers have shown that reading fiction promotes empathy. Children’s book author and illustrator, Anne Dewdney, echoes that finding when she argues that, “When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.” Sadly, studies reveal that parents in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain spend less time reading and telling stories to their sons than to their daughters. In fact, in as early as nine months, researchers found a gender gap in literary activities.

If Walt Whitman Vlogged

If Walt Whitman Vlogged by Kenneth Goldsmith from the New Yorker

What does it mean to be an Internet poet? Since 2010, Steve Roggenbuck, a twenty-six-year-old who lives in rural Maine, has been producing poetry that is made, distributed, and viewed almost exclusively on the Web, taking the form of tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and image macros. He became best known for a series of videos that are a mix of Walt Whitman and Ryan Trecartin, showing Roggenbuck either in bare apartments or out in the forest, manically improvising poems that celebrate the cosmos and our place in it.

If this strikes your fancy, you should check out our upcoming BRIC Capturing Your Poetry class in the Info Commons on Tues, July 29 at 11 am.

Using professional Zoom recorders and audio editing software Audacity, students will create visual poetry pieces ready to be exhibited online.

Tuesday Tech: When Irreplaceable History Lives on Obsolete Tech

What happens when irreplaceable history lives on obsolete tech?


This is a question that many of us who lived through the popularity of the Walkman, floppy disk and record player can relate to. What will we do with all of that amazing stuff we’ve collected but can no longer use?

We hope to provide an answer to these questions with the Info Commons’ newly acquired tools.

               What tools are you using to preserve your history?             

"Cory Arcangel, a Brooklyn, New York–based artist, was watching a video from 1985 on YouTube (below) in which artist Andy Warhol generates a "painting" of Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry on an early Amiga computer, when he wondered, what became of these files? After a quick message to the Andrew Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, he found out: Sitting in the archives, yet to be catalogued, was a series of 3.5-inch floppy disks.

The Computer Club at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh set about retrieving and saving Warhol’s mid-’80s digital experiments. When they succeeded this spring, headlines heralded the achievement for reviving unseen works of one of the 20th century’s best-known artists.

But it also brings up a good question: How much more irreplaceable information, whether historical treasures or family moments, resides on obsolete formats, decaying in archives and closets? And even if the information is salvageable, what happens if we’ve already lost the software or hardware needed to read it?”

Continue reading here.


The so-called Big Five publishers — Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster — don’t appear to be participating in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s new e-book subscription service.

Following the model of services such as Oyster and Scribd, Kindle Unlimited offers unlimited e-books for a fixed monthly fee. Searches through Kindle Unlimited’s library of 600,000-plus titles turn up bestsellers from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, W.W. Norton, Scholastic and other publishers, but no titles from the five major houses. Amazon’s recent dispute with Hachette has highlighted tensions between online retailer and traditional publishers. HarperCollins declined to comment, while Amazon and the other four publishers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More book news here.