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Bill Clinton & James Patterson

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Former President William Jefferson Clinton and well-established mass-production author James Patterson have collaborated on a novel titled The President is Missing. The book is a political cyber-thriller of sorts, the second such book from a member of the Clinton family—that is, if you count Hillary Clinton’s What Happened as one. And just as with with Ms. Clinton’s book, The President is Missing gives shout outs to Russian hacking groups, mentioning Fancy Bear by name.

The President is Missing is, however, a work of fiction. At 513 pages in hardcover. The prose is largely marked by Patterson’s hand as well, but there are places where Clinton’s voice pushes through. The plots about a Democratic president from a southern state is on the verge of facing an impeachment (sound familiar?) in the midst of a national security crisis. A terrorist mastermind has managed to plant “wiper” malware in every computer in the United States. Racing against time, the president disguises himself, exits the White House through a secret tunnel, and meets in person with the hacker who helped distribute the malware while a crack mercenary hit squad led by a pregnant Bosnian sniper attempts to take the hacker and President Duncan out.

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Free Mini Library @ New York City’s Subway System

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Free Books Now Available at Tiny Library in NYC Subway Station
NYPD Officer Damieon Frey unveils the new Free Little Library at the 145th Street and St. Nicholas Ave subway station.

Free mini-library was unveiled this week in a New York underground subway station — @ 145th Street & St Nicholas Avenue station right next to NYPD’s Transit District 3 Precincth allows for constant supervision

The little library stands about five-feet tall. Open the door and anyone can take a book. All the organizers ask it that readers leave a book behind, to fill the gap. The non-profit organization started the initiative in the hopes it would get more people reading.

Little Free Library has outlets all over the world. There are over 10 in the city already, but this is the first in an underground station. NYPD Transit plans to place a Little Free Library in each transit precinct eventually.

Little Free Library founder Todd H. Bol said there will be books for all age ranges and many that will appeal to young children.

“We did this partnership with Marvel, and Marvel is going to give an ongoing supply of books… Disney will send two years supply of Marvel books and comics.

Readers aged 13-18 would act as mentors to the younger children, reading with them after school at the Little Free Library outside the precinct, as part of the NYPD Explorers Program.

 
 
 

Public Libraries Are Rocking This Summer

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U.S. Public Schools Lost Approximately 20% Of Their Librarians Since 2000

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According to a new analysis of federal data, The United States can’t afford librarians. Between 1999-2000 and 2015-16, U.S. public schools lost 19% of full-time equivalent school librarians, according to a School Library Journal article by researcher Keith Curry Lance that examined National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data.

The shortage in public school librarian employment  has not recovered since 2008. Districts serving minorities have been hit the hardest. Among all the districts that have retained all their librarians since 2005, 75% are white, Education Week reports. On the other end of the scale, student populations in the 20 districts that lost the most librarians in the same time comprised 78% students of color.

In essence, while U.S. employment rates are back up in the wake of the Great Recession, the public school librarian sector has not rebounded, and the nation’s collective failure to rebuild its public information infrastructure and minorities have been hit the hardest.

 

Some states suffered a more dramatic loss than the average. The number of librarians employed across Florida’s 67 school districts has dropped by 27% since just 2005, according to a 2017 Herald Tribune article, leaving several districts without any librarians at all. In replacement, the Herald Tribune argues, paraprofessionals run libraries as media aides — a position that requires just a high school diploma and a certification, and which starts at $14.60 an hour. Librarians with masters’ degrees, however, are often the first to go when budgets need to be cut.

Education Week’s articles also argues that librarian’s roles are being replaced by other, less qualified job titles: As public school librarians dwindled by 20%, schools saw an 11% rise in counselors, 19% boost in instructional aides, and a full 28% more school administrators.

 

Several recent studies have indicated that students suffer academically as a result: One nationwide study published in 2011 found signs that states’ 4th grade reading scores dropped in correlation with their loss of librarians. A 2012 Colorado-specific study from the same researchers then followed up, finding a similar correlation in the opposite direction: “Schools that either maintained or gained an endorsed librarian between 2005 and 2011 tended to have more students scoring advanced in reading in 2011 and to have increased their performance more than schools that either lost their librarians or never had one,” that study holds.

 

Thieves Caught With Stolen Egyptian Antiquities

Manuscipts - Press photo

Manuscript – press photo

The Archeological Unit affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities, in cooperation with the Customs Unit at the Cairo International Airport, thwarted a smuggling attempt of seven parcels containing three historic books, manuscripts and 10 governmental documents to an Arab country.

A committee has been assembled to inspect the books and documents; the documents were confirmed to be archeological and were immediately seized. The ministry of Antiquities should receive the seized books and documents in accordance with the law of the protection of antiquities No. 117/1983 and its amendments.

These documents date back to 1230 AH -1251 AH. The committee returned the seized items to the police until the ministry gets the approval to receive them so that they can be restored and preserved.

Manuscripts - Press photo (2)

Manuscript – press photo

 

The Aesthetics of Russian Libraries Is Causing Their Visitors To Dwindle

Nuneaton Library

 Councillor Pete Gilbert, Conservative county councillor for Bedworth West, says libraries that look like car parks are not helping halt the slump in visitor numbers across Warwickshire.  He continues to say” the biggest damage that we’ve caused ourselves is the knocking or pulling down of beautiful buildings that lived and breathed books and building these Soviet-looking flat roofed things that don’t inspire anybody.”

On the other hand in contrast to that, the county was among the best when it came to digital visits with eBook and eAudio downloads at an all-time high. 

Comey Book Sales Top 600,000 The First Week

Comey book sales top 600,000 in first week
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Former FBI Director James Comey‘s new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” sold more than 600,000 copies in its first week, including print, audio and e-books, according to the book’s publisher, Macmillan’s Flatiron Books.

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