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Category Archives: Libraries

The Bigot in the Machine: Bias in Algorithmic Systems

“The New York Technical Services Librarians, an organization that has been active since 1923 – imagine all that has happened in tech services since 1923! – invited me to give a talk about bias in algorithms. They quickly got a recording up on their site and I am, more slowly, providing the transcript. Thanks for… Continue Reading

Libraries Are Dealing With New Demand For Books And Services During The Pandemic

NPR: “If you find yourself scrambling for a good novel to escape the novel coronavirus, you’re not alone. Across the country, libraries have seen demand skyrocket for their electronic offerings, but librarians say they continue to worry about the digital divide and equality in access — not to mention the complicated questions that must be… Continue Reading

LC – “A Handsome Box”: The Adams Building

“A Handsome Box” – The Adams Building – Construction, architecture, and history of services in the John Adams Building at the Library of Congress, By Natalie Burclaff, Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress.: “When the Library of Congress moved out of its space in the Capitol and into its own nearby building in… Continue Reading

Bookstores Are Struggling. Is a New E-Commerce Site the Answer?

The New York Times – “The rapid rise of Bookshop.org during the shutdown has been hailed as a boon for independent stores. But some booksellers worry it could become another competitor for online business…Andy Hunter, founder of Bookshop.org, outside Word Bookstore in Brooklyn…Now Bookshop is on track to exceed $40 million in sales this year,… Continue Reading

Libraries are needed more than ever

USA Today – But many aren’t sure how to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic – “…Just 37% of libraries plan to reopen by July, according to a recently released survey from the American Library Association. Nearly half of the nation’s libraries – 47% – do not have plans to reopen their doors to the public anytime soon,… Continue Reading

Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen

The New York Times – “Safely lending books is just the beginning. Libraries are figuring out everything from how to remain welcoming spaces to how to respond to changing reader behavior. In pockets of Virginia, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, there are books sitting in quarantine. They are public library books that have been returned, and… Continue Reading

Activists rally to save Internet Archive as lawsuit threatens site

Follow up to previous posting – Publishers file suit against Internet Archive for systematic mass scanning and distribution of literary works – via Decrypt: “…In March, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shutdown of public libraries, the Internet Archive created the National Emergency Library and temporarily suspended book waitlists—the kind that make you cool your jets… Continue Reading

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations

MIT News: “Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts.  Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task… Continue Reading

Congress Civilian Control of the Military and Nonpartisanship

CRS report via LC: Congress,Civilian Control of the Military, and Nonpartisanship, June 10, 2020: “The possible use of federal armed forces as part of the U.S. executive branch’s response to incidents of violence during racial justice protests has raised questions about how the military is controlled by domestic political institutions and the U.S.military’s relationship with… Continue Reading

Academic libraries will change in significant ways

Inside Higher Education – Christopher Cox predicts the significant ways academic libraries will shift in terms of collections, services, spaces and operations as a result of the pandemic – “In early March 2020, COVID-19 blindsided academic libraries. With little time to plan, we closed our library facilities at Clemson University to protect the safety of… Continue Reading

What’s Lost in a Furlough

American Libraries – “As the US unemployment rate spikes to historic highs, many librarians and other library workers are being furloughed from their positions and navigating the personal and professional challenges that result. One of the biggest challenges—the effect on morale—is heightened when furloughs arrive with little warning, little support, or both…. Continue Reading