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Daily Archives: January 10, 2023

Unbanning Books: LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year

Library Journal: “Brooklyn Public Library’s Nick Higgins, Amy Mikel, Karen Keys, Jackson Gomes, and Leigh Hurwitz have been named LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year for their work on Books Unbanned, providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide to help defy rising book challenges across the country. In 2022 Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned Team began providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide, defying rising book challenges across the count. In the past year, book challenges became part of the national discourse. Efforts to censor what materials U.S. kids, teens, and young adults can access—primarily content about race and LGBTQIA+ issues—are increasing, often in the places those resources are needed most. From January to August 2022, the American Library Association (ALA) logged 681 attempts to ban or restrict access to 1,651 unique titles—the highest number of challenges since ALA began tracking them. From July 2021 to June 2022, the freedom of expression nonprofit PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans listed 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 titles. It has become increasingly clear to many that these censorship efforts go beyond complaints from individual concerned parents. Libraries and classrooms have become the targets of coordinated political campaigns frequently led and/or funded by right-wing activists. As a large and well-resourced institution in the relatively liberal jurisdiction of New York City, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is well positioned to ensure access to the full range of books it deems valuable for its community of readers. The library also provides free digital cards to New York State residents, and previously offered out-of-state cards for a fee. But several staff members, as well as President and CEO Linda E. Johnson, felt that BPL could—and should—do more for those beyond the borough’s borders.”

EEOC on the lookout for tech-fueled employment bias

FCW: “The federal agency responsible for enforcing employment discrimination rules plans to sharpen its focus on algorithmic and other tech-related employment discrimination.  The new strategic enforcement plan released by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission on Tuesday covers priorities for fiscal years 2023-2027, and is open for comment through Feb. 9, 2023. The document states that… Continue Reading

Too Many Managers: The Strategic Use of Titles to Avoid Overtime Payments

NBER –  Too Many Managers: The Strategic Use of Titles to Avoid Overtime Payments – Lauren Cohen, Umit Gurun & N. Bugra Ozel Working Paper 30826. DOI 10.3386/w30826. Issue Date January 2023 – “We find widespread evidence of firms appearing to avoid paying overtime wages by exploiting a federal law that allows them to do… Continue Reading

Google Docs’ voice-to-text feature is getting major upgrades. Here’s how to use it

ZDNET: “Your voice is a powerful tool, and Google’s dictation tool can help you harness it, convert it, and even present it. With the Google suite’s voice-to-text capabilities, transferring thoughts from speech to digital copy is quick and simple. On top of that, Google just announced that its upcoming batch of voice-to-text improvements, coming in… Continue Reading

What are Large Global Banks Doing About Climate Change?

What are Large Global Banks Doing About Climate Change? Daniel O. Beltran, Hannah Bensen, Amy Kvien, Erin McDevitt, Monica V. Sanz, and Pinar Uysal. January 2023 – We review the “climate action plans” of Global Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs) and the progress they are making toward achieving them. G-SIBs have identified the drivers of climate… Continue Reading

The 3 Best Alternatives to ChatGPT

MakeUseOf: “Since its public launch in November 2022, ChatGPT, the mesmerizing AI chatbot by OpenAI, has grown in popularity like wildfire. Social media feeds are filled with incredible things people are doing with the chatbot. Jobseekers, programmers, high school teachers, content creators—professionals in almost every field are finding good uses for the tool. However, when… Continue Reading

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

MIT Technology Report: “…While the images shared with us did not come from iRobot customers, consumers regularly consent to having our data monitored to varying degrees on devices ranging from iPhones to washing machines. It’s a practice that has only grown more common over the past decade, as data-hungry artificial intelligence has been increasingly integrated… Continue Reading

Government watchdog spent $15,000 to crack a federal agency’s passwords in minutes

TechCrunch: “A government watchdog has published a scathing rebuke of the Department of the Interior’s cybersecurity posture, finding it was able to crack thousands of employee user accounts because the department’s security policies allow easily guessable passwords like ‘Password1234’. The report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior, tasked… Continue Reading