CNET: Without Google, people behind bars pen their questions to librarians. “Rachel Kinnon and Jeanie Austin, librarians at the San Francisco Public Library, receive about 60 questions a week from a dedicated group of fans: prison inmates. The inquiries, usually handwritten and sent by post, range from requests for information about transitioning to life outside of prison to explanations of technologies that may not have existed before a prisoner was put away, like 5G and bitcoin. Song lyrics are a frequent ask.”
CityLab: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?. “In recent years, dozens of U.S. cities have released pools of public data. It’s an effort to improve transparency and drive innovation, and done well, it can succeed at both: Governments, nonprofits, and app developers alike have eagerly gobbled up that data, hoping to improve everything from road conditions to air quality to food delivery. But what often gets lost in the conversation is the idea of how public data should be collected, managed, and disseminated so that it serves everyone—rather than just a few residents—and so that people’s privacy and data rights are protected. That’s where librarians come in.”
Nice roundup from Paul Pival: Tweet Archive from Designing Libraries 2018. “The 7th edition of the Designing Libraries conference just wrapped up here at the U of Calgary, and I thought it’d be fun to capture the tweets using the hashtag #designinglibraries, so here you go.” It’s a Google Sheet.
The Kitchen Sisters: The Keepers – A New NPR & Podcast Series. “This week, we launch a new series — The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small. Protectors of the free flow of information and ideas.”
Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Value Labor in Digital Projects. “Digital projects often bring together many different members of an institution, or several institutions, and those members often have very different statuses: students (undergraduate or graduate), workers in precarious positions, those with permanent positions, etc. Understanding and properly valuing all of this work, and the disparate effects such work has on the different people who perform it, is an ongoing challenge.”
BBC News: Life before Google: What was it like?. “In the 20 years since it was founded, Google has provided answers to the most random queries, become a verb and, on Wednesday, received a record $5bn fine after giving itself a bit too much of an edge over its rivals. Some jobs with an emphasis on research have been altered in major ways by its invention, to the extent that it’s hard to imagine how those jobs were once done.”
ALA: New intellectual freedom resources for libraries on social media and controversial programs. “In response to program cancellations and rising concerns about social media access and privacy, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee published new guidelines and a Q&A for library workers. ‘Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries’ provides a policy framework for public and academic libraries that use social media. Topics range from staff responsibilities and acceptable behavior, to privacy and reconsideration forms.”