Weekly Spotlight!

Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Check out what our writers have spotted this week in library news. Enjoy!


Do you love browsing physical stacks and finding the perfect book by accident? It seems Google does, too, and it’s taken a big step toward wooing librarians and library fans. On April 13th, Google released Talk to Books. Using natural language searches, this tool scours Google Books for answers to your questions. The results are a series of quotes with the option to view the full book. It works better with short, factual questions, such as “When was Melvil Dewey born?” But since the “AI is trained on human conversations” it will respond to any sentence you feed it. It’s a delightful way to creatively investigate any topic.


The Library of Congress launched a new poetry podcast series, “From the Catbird Seat,” to celebrate the National Poetry Month. This series will run for eight weeks, in which the hosts will discuss about the literary events that happened in the LOC since 1943. Interested in poetry? Listen to the podcasts here!


For those interested in digital preservation and library software, the Software Preservation Network (SPN) and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) have recently launched a webinar series on various topics related to software preservation. The first episode, Introduction to Software Preservation is now available for viewing, and includes information about technological infrastructure, metadata, standards, and more. Registration for attending the live series is closed, but recordings are being made available on the SPN and DPC websites, so stay tuned for more informative episodes to come!

Cover photo from Alan Wu on Flickr Commons. Changes were made in adapting this image.  Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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