Politics

14 million fewer books available in libraries than when David Cameron took office

Fourteen million fewer books are available in British public libraries today than when David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010, official statistics have revealed.
Funding cuts and library closures mean that around one in every seven books available on library shelves six years ago have now gone.
Campaigners said Tory ministers had taken an “abysmal and appalling” approach to Britain’s libraries and demanded they act to stop councils closing any more.
The statistics from Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) reveal the depth of library cuts implemented since the Tories entered office.

From 14 million fewer books available in libraries than when David Cameron took office - Telegraph

MI Libraries gagged by new election law ask for relief

The provision in question is Item 3, Section 57, which states: “A public body, or a person acting for a public body, shall not, during the period 60 days before an election in which a local ballot question appears on a ballot, use public funds or resources for a communication by means of radio, television, mass mailing, or prerecorded telephone message if that communication references a local ballot question and is targeted to the relevant electorate where the local ballot question appears on the ballot.” In addition, public employees violating this ruling could be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 and could be imprisoned.

From Libraries gagged by new election law ask for relief

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Metadata that kills

Descriptive metadata is never neutral. It reflects our understanding of our society, and our interpretation of how we think the world should be. It is unavoidably evocative of not just a book, film, or song, but rather the whole society which gave it genesis. When developed, particularly Western, countries wind up determining codes and classifications, a very specific illustration of the world is drawn which is a slim sliver of human understanding of the world.

From Metadata that kills — Medium

Scholarship, Security and ‘Spillage’ on Campus

The irony is that the Dawn or Doom colloquium was Daniels’s own personal project. Two of the organizers told me he is fascinated by the contradictory responses — from celebration to alarm — that tend to accompany big technological advances. He proposed to convene Purdue faculty members and leading national experts to explore the risks and promises of artificial intelligence, robotics, and Big Data surveillance, among other developments.
In his own view, Dawn or Doom is not a hard question. Daniels and I chatted about that theme as we stood in the wings off stage, shortly before my talk.
“The answer always turns out to be, it’s dawn,” he said.

From Scholarship, Security and ‘Spillage’ on Campus — Medium

‘Thanks Obama - that was my idea’

A Cwmgwili library manager has offered his tongue-in-cheek thanks to Barack Obama after the US President appeared to steal his idea.

Steve Jeacock, Labour’s Carmarthen East and Dinefwr candidate for next year’s Assembly elections, instigated a scheme in Killay to ensure every primary school child in the area was made a member of the library.

The scheme won the Gold Award at the Welsh Libraries Marketing Awards and was adopted by the Welsh Government as a pilot project two years ago under the title, Every Child a Library Member.

From ‘Thanks Obama – that was my idea’ (From South Wales Guardian)

The Political Librarian - Vol I Issue 1

Announcing Volume I, Issue 1 of The Political Librarian, our new journal at the intersection local libraries, public policy and tax policy.

We are interested in featuring new voices and lines of inquiry, and are interested in publishing opinion pieces, white papers, and peer reviewed works.  You are invited to contribute to Vol 2 Issue 1 for a March 2016 publication date.  Our editorial guidelines are posted for your review and consideration.

Thanks to our editorial team, including series editor Lindsay Sarin, and general editors Johnna Purcell and Rachel Korman.  We are proud to announce our editorial board

From The Political Librarian - Vol I Issue 1 | EveryLibrary

Sign Your Library Up for National Voter Registration Day

http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/partners/partner-sign-up/
This free and easy program has everything you need!
Imagine if all your library’s users were registered voters? Well, on September 22nd, 2015, librarians have a great opportunity to offer a “program” to register voters on site complete with volunteers and marketing. A large number of libraries around the country will be participating in the event and we want you to participate too. All you have to do is go to the national website and click on the link to become a partner to allow volunteers to come to the library and sign people up. The NVRD will send you marketing materials, teach your staff how to register voters (if you go that route), and the volunteers will take care of all of the paperwork. This is a non-partisan effort supported by organizations like; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.

Signing Up is Easy
You still have time to register as a partnered organization and it’s very easy to do through their website. If you sign up before September 4th, they will provide training and marketing materials for free! You can then use these materials to start planning a voter registration event on National Voter Registration Day on September 22th.

What Will You Have to Do?
We are asking you to sign up as a partnering organization through the website. This is easy to do and requires very little from the library. There are a couple of ways that we are asking you to partner with them and get involved.

You can organize a Voter Registration effort on September 22.
You can allow their volunteers to set up a booth in front of your library to get people registered to vote.
You can simply promote voter registration and/or volunteerism through marketing and communication efforts.
Why Is This So Important?
Plan and simply, the more registered library users in your community, the better your chances of winning an election come election time. Imagine if every library user in your community was a registered voter that your ballot committee could engage with and ask to vote for the library? It is also so important that library staff, from pages to directors get familiar and comfortable with the political process. A well-trained and comfortable staff is a huge asset during your library’s election. You are still the front line on library advocacy and as such, those staff members are all, in a way, candidates.

Is This Legal?
Yes. And it’s basic library work. While it is true that staff can never tell the public that they should vote yes or no on any piece of legislation, especially library ballot measures, they can help members of the public to get registered to vote and give them information about elections.

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Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet

Facebook's Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there's a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.

From Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Anti-Porn Activist Campaigns Against Niles Library Trustee

From the Chicago Tribune: Anti-pornography activist Megan Fox created a 2:30 video urging Niles IL residents to vote against incumbent trustee Linda Ryan.

In the video, which was posted on Fox's YouTube channel on March 11, she accuses Ryan of voting to allow child pornography on library computers. On Nov. 19, the library board voted to add content filters on adult computers that would block all nudity and pornography. At the time, viewing pornography was already against library policy.

During the meeting, Ryan was one of the trustees who voted against the filtering policy, arguing that it went too far, getting in the way of patrons' ability to access information. Fox used the clips from the meeting to suggest that Ryan would be fine with child pornography. In the video, she also insisted that American Library Association's policy were putting children in danger.

Running for Public Office? Pay Those Library Fines First

A candidate in the race to be Kentucky's next lieutenant governor was arrested Wednesday on charges apparently connected to an overdue library book.

Johnathan Masters, 33, a Democratic challenger for the office, was driving to Bowling Green for a TV interview when a Kentucky State Trooper pulled him over. "He said my tags were expired," Masters told The Huffington Post. "I thought he was going to let me go because he was real friendly, but then he went back to his patrol car and was gone for about 15 minutes.

"When he came back, he asked me, 'Did you take out a library book 11 years ago?'" Masters said. It seems Masters had a warrant out for his arrest on of the charge of “theft by failure to make required disposition of property," a misdemeanor when the property is under $500.

"I started to laugh, but he said, 'This is serious!' and he took me to jail for three hours," Masters said.

Masters was booked on the outstanding warrant and paid $100 bond to get out. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 30.

"I plan to fight the charges," he said. "I'm going to request a jury trial."

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