U.S. Librarians Gathered Intel Undercover During WWII: Critical Linking, January 5, 2020

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web, is sponsored by our $50 Barnes and Noble gift card giveaway! Enter here.


“No one had a well-defined plan to send microfilm specialists to war when Franklin Roosevelt agreed to established the Interdepartmental Committee for the Acquisition of Foreign Publications (IDC). The agency initially struggled to gain traction. yet over the course of the war, the IDC developed an extensive operation to provide printed sources for intelligence purposes. As bookmen and women became intelligence agents, the ordinary activities of librarianship—acquisition, cataloguing, and reproduction—became fraught with mystery, uncertainty, and even danger.”

Librarian Spies is a book I would read.


“The final lines of Smith’s poem refer to Thunberg’s climate strike, which she began in August 2018 when she refused to go to school and instead sat outside the Swedish parliamentary building with her famous “Skolstrejk för klimatet [school strike for the climate]” sign. While Thunberg eventually returned to school, her strike evolved into the #FridaysForFuture protest, which finds her returning to the Swedish parliament every Friday to demand action on the climate crisis.”

You go, Greta! Not many of us can say that Patti Smith wished us a happy birthday on the gram.


“The point of subscription services is to give users access to huge, deep catalogs of content at a fixed monthly price. That’s what music services like Spotify and Apple Music do: they have catalogs of 40 or 50 million tracks, a number that is roughly equivalent to the number of books available on Amazon.com. The major record labels license almost their entire catalogs to the big streaming music services, and it makes news when an artist tries to hold her catalog back from them. It’s clear that subscription ebook services will only go mainstream if and when the Big 5 decide to license substantially all of their catalogs to them.”

Is this the year ebook subscriptions finally do the thing?