Submitted by Blake on February 20, 2016 - 11:19am
Separate and unequal access to knowledge is the antithesis of library ideals. The American Library Association actively commits its programs and resources “to those efforts that combat prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination against individuals and groups in the library profession and in library user populations on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability.”
From Libraries: Liberty and justice for all
Submitted by Blake on February 20, 2016 - 11:18am
Inspired by the Library Freedom Project's uncompromising bravery in the face of a DHS threat against a town library in Kilton, NH, that was running a Tor exit node to facilitate private, anonymous communication, the New Hampshire legislature is now considering a bill that would explicitly permit public libraries to "allow the installation and use of cryptographic privacy platforms on public library computers for library patrons use."
From NH bill would explicitly allow libraries to run Tor exit nodes / Boing Boing
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on February 19, 2016 - 10:47pm
As we traveled around the U.S. reporting on the revival of towns and cities, we always made the local library an early stop. We’d hit the newspaper offices, the chamber of commerce, city hall, and Main Street for an introduction to the economics, politics, and stresses of a town. The visit to the public library revealed its heart and soul.
Submitted by Blake on February 19, 2016 - 11:05am
Submitted by Blake on February 18, 2016 - 9:00am
This issue is much bigger than just Apple providing access to a single device, it’s much bigger than the encryption debate and it’s much bigger than just the US. There are angles to this we haven’t thought about yet and it’ll continue to be sensationalised by the press, misrepresented by the government and rebuked by Apple.
The ramifications of them actually complying with this court order would likely spread well beyond just compromising a device that’s in the physical possession of law enforcement. A precedent the likes of Apple being forced to weaken consumer protections will very likely then be applied to other channels; what would it mean for iMessage when the authorities identify targets actively communicating where they’re unable to gain physical access to the device? It sets an alarming precedent and all the same arguments mounted here by the FBI could just as easily be applied to end to end encryption.
But let me finish on a lighter note: this also has the potential to result in greater consumer privacy for everyone. In part because if Apple successfully defends their stance then they’ll have the precedent the next time the issue is raised. In part also because this incident may well prompt them to tie their own hands even further and indeed this appears to be the case with the newer generation of device. And finally, because the world is watching how this plays out and it will influence the position of other governments and tech companies outside the US. If sanity prevails, we may well all be better off for having gone through this.
From Troy Hunt: Everything you need to know about the Apple versus FBI case
Submitted by Bibliofuture on February 17, 2016 - 11:06am
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2016 - 4:04pm
The rescue of Cashel’s magical but mouldering library
The Bolton Library, which contains rare books from the 13th to 18th centuries, is being transferred to safer environs. Many treasures are being discovered along the way
From The rescue of Cashel’s magical but mouldering library
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2016 - 3:52pm
What did it look like to process 3.5 million books? Data-mining and creating a public archive of 3.5 million books is an example of an application perfectly suited to the cloud, in which a large amount of specialized processing power is needed for only a brief period of time. Here are the five main steps that I took to make the invaluable learnings of millions of books more easily and speedily accessible in the cloud:
From Google Cloud Platform Blog: What it looks like to process 3.5 million books in Google’s cloud
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2016 - 1:21pm
The part of the above quote I want focus on, though, is the phrase “non-peer-reviewed.” Peer reviewed papers have errors, of course (does the name “Daryl Bem” ring a bell?). Two of my own published peer-reviewed articles had errors so severe as to destroy their conclusions! But that’s ok, nobody’s claiming perfection. The claim, I think, is that peer-reviewed articles are much less likely to contain errors, as compared to non-peer-reviewed articles (or non-peer-reviewed blog posts). And the claim behind that, I think, is that peer review is likely to catch errors.
And this brings up the question I want to address today: What sort of errors can we expect peer review to catch?
From When does peer review make no damn sense? - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2016 - 11:19am
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2016 - 7:39am
Index cards are mostly obsolete nowadays. We use them to create flash cards, write recipes, and occasionally fold them up into cool paper airplanes. But their original purpose was nothing less than organizing and classifying every known animal, plant, and mineral in the world. Later, they formed the backbone of the library system, allowing us to index vast sums of information and inadvertently creating many of the underlying ideas that allowed the Internet to flourish.
From A Short History of the Index Card
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2016 - 11:44am
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2016 - 7:48am
For now, assume that all your digital data is accessible by a single instance, say your government. In this case you provide your government with incredible control over yourself and also your relatives. A mere measurement of how defiant you are could be dangerous for you, depending on where you live. Furthermore, someone gazing at your data is not required to remain inactive. One might try to manipulate your opinion by placing solely the content on (social) media platforms that you are supposed to see.
From The dark side of big data
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2016 - 7:31am
Submitted by Blake on February 14, 2016 - 1:00pm
On October 21, 2013, in a post titled Of old books and dying telegrams, I wrote about the famed secondhand bookstalls of south Mumbai, located about 2 km (1.25 miles) from my office and 20 km (12.40 miles) from where I live. The following pictures are of more of these bookstalls situated outside American Express Bank at Flora Fountain, or Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs' Square). So far the municipal corporation has left them alone. Dozens of others on opposite footpaths were not so lucky; they were evicted a few years ago.
From Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema: Footpath libraries
Submitted by Blake on February 14, 2016 - 12:48pm
I Lead from the Library
Join our #ileadfromthelibrary campaign and share with us what you are doing to re-envision leadership in the library! Email ([email protected]) or Tweet (@librarianslead) us your leadership quote and we will beautify it and share it out with the world!
Welcome aboard, library friends!!
From Let the Librarians Lead - Home
Submitted by Blake on February 14, 2016 - 11:53am
The ability of a library board to act free of political influence is imperative in maintaining the local public library as a trusted community institution, one that provides information without discrimination. Libraries and their independent boards work diligently to protect the rights of confidentiality, privacy and the freedom to read.
From Midlands Voices: Library boards need independence - Omaha.com: Opinion
Submitted by Blake on February 14, 2016 - 11:45am
Submitted by Blake on February 13, 2016 - 4:43pm
The current User Agreement is too complicated, which allows large companies to take advantage of user ignorance. What can be done to change it?
Submitted by Blake on February 13, 2016 - 12:48pm
Librarians: Stop the Book Shaming
Today, librarians who are passionate about books are increasingly like the smokers you see outside office buildings: apart, a little embarrassed, and slightly defensive. It’s hardly a surprise. Book collections? A vestige of our past, like the appendix. At conference after conference, keynote speakers argue that public libraries should be community centers, agents of innovation, knowledge creators, and makerspaces. It’s a trend made worse when LIS faculty (who really should know better) lead the charge.
From Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together