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Category Archives: Libraries

Considering the challenges that face shuttered newspapers with decades or even centuries of material to preserve

Tedium – Dead on Archival: “…Newspapers and print journalism in general have been dying a slow death for more than 20 years now. While causes and the current state of the industry are very much in debate, there is little argument that print journalism is currently in a dire state. The Hussman School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill counted some 1,800 American newspapers that have closed since 2004. The corresponding loss of readership has been shocking, totaling nearly 50 million with unclear evidence whether those news audiences have moved online. For example, Nieman Lab examined the aftermath of The Independent, a British newspaper, choosing to close its print operations in favor of online-only distribution. When the paper made the decision in 2016, its print circulation was only 40,000, compared to more than 58 million online readers. However, those print readers accounted for more than 80 percent of the consumption of The Independent’s content. The consequences of these closures have not been evenly distributed geographically in the U.S. California lost the most daily publications; New York and Illinois lost the most weeklies. More than 70 percent of closures were in metro areas that served hyperlocal communities, like suburbs and urban neighborhoods “where residents have historically relied on community weeklies to keep them informed.” Rural communities have seen closures too, of course, but surprisingly, only around 500 of these papers have closed or merged since 2004. The study went on to note that the vast majority of daily newspapers in America have a circulation of less than 15,000 issues. What happens when a newspaper closes really depends on where it happens. Most major cities still have at least one print publication but closure can be devastating in rural areas. The lack of information can have devastating effects too numerous to list here. However, John Oliver did a pretty great deep dive into the consequences of all this in 2016…”

Justia Portal by the Numbers: Resources for Aspiring Lawyers (And Practicing Lawyers Too!)

Via LLRX – Justia Portal by the Numbers: Resources for Aspiring Lawyers (And Practicing Lawyers Too!) – Justia’s mission is to make the law and legal resources free for all. In keeping with this mission, the Justia Portal offers free access to statutes from all 50 states, cases from federal courts and the highest state… Continue Reading

The Future of Digital Spaces and Their Role in Democracy

Pew Report – “Many experts say public online spaces will significantly improve by 2035 if reformers, big technology firms, governments and activists tackle the problems created by misinformation, disinformation and toxic discourse. Others expect continuing troubles as digital tools and forums are used to exploit people’s frailties, stoke their rage and drive them apart.. Those… Continue Reading

One of the world’s largest economic databases turns 30

MarketPlace: “It’s been 30 years since the start of the Federal Reserve Economic Data, or FRED, an online database within the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The site contains more than 800,000 data series from over 100 different sources, making it something of a one-stop shop for people trying to understand the economy. “We… Continue Reading

Librarians, Educators Warn of ‘Organized’ Book Banning Efforts

Publisher Weekly – “…New headlines virtually every day tell the story: across the country, there is an unprecedented spike in attempts to ban books from schools and libraries. And while efforts to remove books from schools and library collections are not uncommon, librarians and freedom to read advocates warn that this current spike in challenges… Continue Reading

After COVID boom, ebook aggregators face licensing questions from Congress

Verge: “A Democratic senator launched an investigation into how publishers license ebooks to libraries on Thursday, calling on nine major ebook aggregators to provide details on the licensing agreements they make with libraries. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), sent letters demanding that aggregators like Overdrive and EBSCO provide them with… Continue Reading

Washington DC City Paper – The People Issue 2021

“Narrowing down the list of people to include in this issue is never easy, but this year the process was particularly tough, spanning multiple hours and multiple meetings. Was it because Washingtonians have suddenly become more interesting and taken on new, compelling challenges? Was it because we’ve paid more attention to those around us as… Continue Reading

Library Data Management Leads Research Out of a Digital Dark Age

Johns Hopkins University: “The Sheridan Libraries’ crucial role in the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 global map highlights the importance that libraries play in the data missions of universities. Library data management services reduce burdens on researchers, improve public access to data, foster collaborations, and maintain the long-term integrity of datasets…University libraries aren’t what they used to… Continue Reading