Walker Caplan writes: “For all the fake news fearmongering of the last four years, we’re still very susceptible to myths presented as fact when they’re deployed with authority. February 7 saw the viral Facebook resurgence of a popular tweet from 2018 which claimed that in the event of a fire, all the oxygen is slurped out of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to preserve the library’s collection of over 1 million rare books—killing all the people inside.”
LitHub, Feb. 16
When Penguin Random House said last year that it planned to buy Simon & Schuster for more than $2 billion, the entire publishing industry snapped to attention. The merger of two of the largest publishers in the United States—Penguin Random House is already the biggest by almost any metric—has the potential to touch every piece of the book business, including how much writers get paid, which books get priority at printing plants and how independent bookshops are run.
New York Jewish Week, Feb. 25
Rebecca Torchia writes: “As schools across the nation shifted to distance learning—and then again to a hybrid model—library staff have taken creative approaches to foster student engagement and give students access to literature. From sharing digital resources with teachers to helping students in research projects, librarians around the country have found themselves going above and beyond to guide teachers and students at all grade levels, including in their efforts to engage and educate using technology solutions.”
Ed Tech, Feb. 25
Researchers at Stanford University have confirmed what millions of remote workers already knew: “Zoom fatigue” causes greater stress than meeting in real life because of the “nonverbal overload” of endless video calls. A study by Jeremy Bailenson, professor of communication and founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, found that the underlying causes of Zoom fatigue include “excessive amounts of close-up eye gaze” and “increased self-evaluation from staring at video of oneself.”
Financial Times, Feb. 26
In the latest edition of our online Letters of the Law column, lawyer-librarian Mary Minow explores nuances of meeting room policy affected by pandemic conditions, as well as privacy considerations and liability around tax season.
American Libraries column, Feb. 23
Kelly Jensen writes: “New research from authors Rachel Noorda and Kathi Inman Berenes, both of Portland State University, published by the Panorama Project and funded by OverDrive, ALA, the Book Industry Study Group, and the Independent Book Publishers Association, explored consumer attitudes toward media and books. The findings are fascinating and insightful in exploring who is buying books, where readers are engaging with books, where and how books are being discovered, and more. Of the three age groups studied, it was millennials who engaged with books more than any other. But more specifically, it was avid Black, Latinx, and male-identifying millennials who engaged with books the most, though across all age groups, it was individuals who did not identify as white who engaged the most.”
Book Riot, Feb. 23
Jae Thomas writes: “While supporting Black creators and getting educated on Black history and antiracism are things we all should be doing every month of the year, Black History Month is a great reminder to put even more time and energy into those pursuits. Each of these programs was made by a Black creator or educator, can be completed in the comfort of your home, and involves both historical education and contemporary tools for antiracism work.”
Mashable, Feb. 24