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Why did librarians remove Dewey’s name from one of their most prestigious awards?

Slate – “…In June, the American Library Association stripped a familiar name from one of its top leadership honors: the Melvil Dewey Medal. As you may recall from grade school, Dewey was the man behind the Dewey Decimal Classification system, the schema of numbers and subject areas used at libraries around the world to categorize books. Founder of the nation’s first library school, co-founder of the ALA itself, and onetime director of the New York State Library, he’s usually revered as a library icon, his name perhaps the one most strongly associated with the institution. So what drove librarians to erase it from their own award? As it turns out, despite the wholesome associations Dewey has accrued in the public imagination since his death in 1931, the man was no saint…What does this shift portend for Dewey’s intellectual contributions? The DDC might be the world’s most widely used library classification system, but like the man himself, it’s not without controversy. Critics say the subjects are heavily Eurocentric and favorable to Christianity. The 200s of the DDC, for example, are devoted to the subject of religion. But the subcategories are nearly all focused on Christianity, with one section for “other religions.”

Smithsonian – The Wild Orchid Mystery

Includes orchid collection photos and a podcast: “You probably know orchids as the big, colorful flowers found in grocery stores and given as housewarming gifts. But those tropical beauties represent only a fraction of the estimated 25,000 orchid species worldwide. While their showy relatives fly off the shelves, North America’s more understated native orchids are… Continue Reading

Reclaim Your Privacy with These Privacy-Focused Alternatives to Google’s Services

make tech easier – “We put up with Google because the apps are awesome. But there are downsides to living in the panopticon. If you’d prefer not to have a corporation and all its buddies breathing down your neck, consider these privacy-focused alternatives to Google’s services [the include: Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Calendar,… Continue Reading

Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report

Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report. “View the current snapshot of people’s positive and negative daily experiences based on more than 151,000 interviews with adults in over 140 countries in 2018. Representing the views of citizens from more than 140 countries and areas, this study measures life’s intangibles — feelings and emotions — that traditional economic… Continue Reading

National Archives Backtracks on Records Purge

DCReport – Move Comes After Outcry Over Planned Destruction of Interior Department Documents – “The National Archives is changing the way it decides what records to destroy after an outcry about proposed mass destruction of records at the Interior Department. The change follows a campaign by writer Russ Kick whose website, AltGov 2, features government… Continue Reading

FT.com free data visualization tool

Center for Data Innovation: “The Financial Times has released a free data visualization tool called FastCharts to help people make professional charts with their data in less than a minute. Users can paste in their data in CSV or TSV format and the tool will automatically create an area, bar, column, or line chart with… Continue Reading

Top Universities Join to Push ‘Public Interest Technology’

The New York Times: “As technology becomes increasingly pervasive in American life, universities across the United States have been devising ways to teach students how to grapple with the consequences on society. Now, 21 leading universities are banding together to promote their various programs. On Monday, the schools announced that they had formed a new… Continue Reading

The Most Important Law Review Article You’ll Never Read

Lawprofblawg, Joe and Bush, Darren, The Most Important Law Review Article You’ll Never Read: A Hilarious (in the Footnotes) Yet Serious (in the Text) Discussion of Law Reviews and Law Professors (2018). Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 50, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3339527 “No! Stop! Go back! Reading the abstract is like taking the… Continue Reading