Libraries

Tracking Excavator: Uncovering Tracking in the Web's Past

As users browse the web, their browsing behavior may be observed and aggregated by third-party websites ("trackers") that they don't visit directly. These trackers are generally embedded by host websites in the form of advertisements, social media widgets (e.g., the Facebook "Like" button), or web analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics). Though web tracking and its privacy implications have received much attention in recent years, that attention has come relatively recently in the history of the web and lacks full historical context. In this work, we conduct a longitudinal archaeological study of tracking on the web from 1996 to 2016. Our key insight: that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine enables a retrospective analysis of properties of the web, even though researchers did not anticipate in advance the need to study these properties over time. We evaluate the potential and limitations of the Wayback Machine for this purpose and offer strategies to overcome several challenges we encountered in relation to using its data to study tracking.
From Tracking Excavator
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Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation

A woman who worked as a custodian at Krause Memorial Library apologized for taking dozens of books, games and CDs, saying she never intended to hurt the Rockford library. “I feel bad for doing that to the library,’’ 33-year-old Sarah Lynn Fifelski told a judge at sentencing Tuesday. “I was grateful for the opportunity of working there and I feel bad for betraying their trust.
From Library custodian who pilfered books after hours sentenced to probation | WZZM13.com
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Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process

The Danville Public Library has spent the past two years purging its collection of worn, duplicate and rarely checked-out books. That hasn’t prevented the library’s director from receiving complaints from at least one resident convinced that books on the Confederacy are being targeted for removal. Residents have also criticized the library’s actions on Facebook. Danville Public Library Director Joe Zappacosta said the library has not set out to remove books on the Civil War and the Confederacy.
From Removal of Confederacy books opens debate; director calls it routine process | Danville | godanriver.com
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'Treasure trove' of 5,500 films will be made accessible by Halifax Public Libraries

Thousands of hard-to-find films will be saved for the public as an iconic rental store gets set to close.  Halifax Public Libraries and Dalhousie University said Tuesday they will buy the films from Halifax's Video Difference. "To have parts of that collection live on and be available for the public is really part of the lasting legacy of Video Difference," Halifax Public Libraries chief librarian and CEO Asa Kachan said in an interview.
From Video Difference film collection being bought by Halifax Public Libraries, Dalhousie - Nova Scotia - CBC News
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Library use in England fell dramatically over last decade, figures show

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has measured the public’s usage of libraries in England since 2005. In the 12 months to March 2016, it reported that just 33.4% of adults had used a public library, compared with 48.2% of adults in 2005/2006, when the survey began. This marks a drop of 30.7% over the decade, and is the first time the government department has highlighted a “significant decrease” in the proportion of adults who used public libraries. In comparison, the proportion of adults visiting heritage sites, museums and galleries increased over the decade.
From Library use in England fell dramatically over last decade, figures show | Books | The Guardian
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IFLA Trend Report Update For 2016

In 2013, the IFLA Trend Report identified five high level trends which are in the process of transforming our global information environment. These evolving developments spanned access to information, education, privacy, new forms of digital engagement and technological transformation. Deliberately conceived to embody more than a stationary snapshot of detected trends, the IFLA Trend Report was designed to serve as a catalyst for wider discussion, analysis and action across the international library community. Key themes and questions • Re-envisioning library services and the future role of libraries • Does the digital disruption of education present new opportunities? • Libraries need to play a physical and digital role in their communities • How can libraries communicate their achievements more effectively? • Learners still need a blend of digital and face-to-face environments • How can librarians embrace innovation without replacing themselves?
From Update 2016 | IFLA Trend Report
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Librarians Continue Disappearing From Chicago Schools

In 2012, Chicago Public Schools had 454 librarian positions in the budget. That dropped to 313 in 2013 and 252 in 2014. Last year there were 217 library positions in the budget. This year, there are just 160 librarians budgeted. “Less than 300 librarians was crazy,” Wiltse said. “We were pretty confident that that was a low point that really needed attention and needed correcting. And now, here we are.”
From Librarians Continue Disappearing From Chicago Schools | WBEZ
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Welcome to The Last Bookstore

Great video of the owner of LA's Last Bookstore (11 & 1/2 minutes but worth it)

Too Poor to Afford the Internet

All summer, kids have been hanging out in front of the Morris Park Library in the Bronx, before opening hours and after closing. They bring their computers to pick up the Wi-Fi signal that is leaking out of the building, because they can’t afford internet access at home. They’re there during the school year, too, even during the winter — it’s the only way they can complete their online math homework.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/opinion/too-poor-to-afford-the-internet.html?_r=0

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New Book on the "Bad-Ass" Timbuktu Archivists

The heroic story of the men who saved thousands of manuscripts from being destroyed by al-Qaeda from the Times Literary Supplement, London.

Librarians, of all groups, may not usually be associated with “bad-ass” fearlessness in the face of extreme violence. Yet in 2012, two of them secretly evacuated about 340,000 early Islamic manuscripts from archives in Timbuktu, when the ancient city was occupied by a coalition of al-Qaeda jihadists and Tuareg separatists. Joshua Hammer, an American journalist, has written a pacy and engaging account of this risky act of cultural salvation. Acting calmly and cannily, the heroes of the story loaded manuscripts into metal trunks and shipped them to safety up the River Niger under the noses of al-Qaeda. It is an inspiring story. The manuscripts had been gathered from private homes and mosques across the Sahel by an enterprising archivist starting in the 1970s and later by his librarian son, Abdel Kader Haidara. These documents formed a detailed record of a humanistic, West African strand of Islam. Here's info on the book:

Joshua Hammer THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS of Timbuktu And their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts 288pp. Simon and Schuster. $26. 978 1 4767 774

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