Libraries

English Wikipedia is in decline

English Wikipedia is in decline. As a long-time editor & former admin, I was deeply dismayed by the process. Here, I discuss UI principles, changes in Wikipedian culture, the large-scale statistical evidence of decline, run small-scale experiments demonstrating the harm, and conclude with parting thoughts.
From In Defense Of Inclusionism - Gwern.net
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Libraries Become Unexpected Sites of Hate Crimes

Because of a “sudden increase” in such crimes — three in a couple of weeks after one in a year — the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom is starting to formally track them, the office’s director, James LaRue, said in an email. He said it was difficult to know whether the uptick was “a blip or a trend.” “We hope to track the details, locations and frequency, the better to stay on top of it, develop training or webinars, and support our members,” he said.
From Libraries Become Unexpected Sites of Hate Crimes - The New York Times
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ALA warns Members it is "Concerned" about Trump Administration

From Central NY News:

Statement from ALA Prez Julie Todaro confirms that she is concerned how core values of free access, intellectual freedom and privacy will fit with the president elect Donald Trump's administration. [aren't we all]

"It is clear many of those values are at odds with messaging or positions taken by the incoming administration."

Will this statement soften the blow of Todaro's statement on November 15? (reprinted below):

“We are ready to work with President-elect Trump, his transition team, incoming administration and members of Congress to bring more economic opportunity to all Americans and advance other goals we have in common.”

Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Parchment

While most of the Old World was writing on papyrus, bamboo, and silk, Europe carved its own gruesome path through the history books.
From Hidebound: The Grisly Invention of Parchment : Longreads
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What's the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf?

You work at the college library. You’re in the middle of a quiet afternoon when suddenly, a shipment of 1,280 books arrives. The books are in a straight line, but they're all out of order, and the automatic sorting system is broken. How can you sort the books quickly? Chand John shows how, shedding light on how algorithms help librarians and search engines speedily sort information.
From What's the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf? - Chand John - YouTube
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Colson Whitehead, Rep. John Lewis Among National Book Award Winners

"The past week has mad me feel like I'm living my life all over again — that we have to fight some of the same fights," Lewis said. "To see some of the bigotry, the hate, I think there are forces that want to take us back."

When he later accepted his medal for young people's literature, for his work with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell on March: Book Three, Lewis drew from memories of his own childhood for a tearful speech.

"I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds," Lewis said.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/16/502349046/colson-whitehead-and-rep-john-lewis-among-winners-of-national-book-awards

I recommend listening to the piece so you can hear the emotion with which Lewis gives his speech.
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How To Weather the Trump Administration

"Head to the library" says the LA Times (or maybe you're already there). In small towns and large, in red states and blue, libraries poll better across the political spectrum than any public trust this side of the fire department. In districts where millage increases don’t require a two-thirds vote (and frequently where they do, as in California) modest library bonds usually win.

Librarians may be the only first responders holding the line between America and a raging national pandemic of absolutism. More desperately than ever, we need our libraries now, and all three of their traditional pillars: 1) education, 2) good reading and 3) the convivial refuge of a place apart. In other words, libraries may be the last coal we have left to blow on.

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I was Racially Profiled at the New York Public Library

At an event to honor Harry Belafone one guest stated that he was stopped and questioned upon his entrance to library, story from The New York Post.

Bad News for British Public Libraries

From Inside Higher Ed, Barbara Fister writes:

Last March, the BBC reported that 343 public libraries have closed in the U.K. and another 111 were scheduled to be closed this year. That’s about 15 percent of all public libraries in the UK. Nearly 300 libraries were handed over to community groups to sustain or were outsourced to commercial management. UK libraries have been forced to lay off a quarter of their staff because of budget cuts.

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