ALA President Jim Neal released a statement November 21 regarding the proposed repeal of net neutrality rules announced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. It reads, in part: “Libraries, our patrons, and America’s communities will be at risk if the FCC repeals all protections contained in its 2015 Open Internet Order with no plans to replace with any enforceable rules. We strenuously disagree with the FCC’s actions and will continue to advocate for essential net neutrality protections.”
ALA Washington Office, Nov. 21
Federal regulators unveiled a plan November 21 that would give internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use. The move sets the stage for a crucial FCC vote in December that could reshape the entire digital ecosystem. The agency’s chairman, Ajit Pai, has made undoing the government’s net neutrality rules one of his top priorities, and this move hands a win to broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
Washington Post, Nov. 21
Jordan Erica Webber writes: “Gadgets are only as good as their content, and though 2017 has been a difficult year for the world, it’s been a great one for video games. As gaming elbows its way to the center stage of mainstream culture, the titles and their themes are increasingly reflecting the wide variety of players and their concerns. Here are the best games and consoles, and the most exciting trends of 2017 (including recognition of LGBT games and gamers with disabilities).”
The Guardian (UK), Nov. 21
The Library of Congress has acquired the Codex Quetzalecatzin, one of the very few Mesoamerican manuscripts to survive from the 16th century. After being in private collections for more than 100 years, the codex has been digitally preserved and made available online for the first time to the general public. The manuscript dates from 1593, a time when many cartographic histories were being produced as part of a Spanish royal investigation into the human and community resources in the American colonies.
Library of Congress, Nov. 21
Ellen Satterwhite writes: “Millions of internet users have weighed in—including hundreds of libraries and information professionals—to tell FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to roll back 2015’s Net Neutrality Order. So what happens now? Flying in the face of this widespread and deep public support for strong net neutrality rules, the FCC has signaled it will gut these protections. Here’s what we expect in coming weeks and months.”
District Dispatch, Nov. 21
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions will host a new 90-minute workshop, “Blend It 2018: Blended Learning in Our Library Learning Landscape” with Paul Signorelli, on January 18. Blended communication is multidirectional, as prospective participants join us informally on Twitter and other social media platforms and formally through live, well-facilitated tweet chats, Hangouts, and other synchronous and asynchronous learning tools. Registration is through the ALA Store.
eLearning Solutions, Nov. 20
PLA will host a webinar highlighting how select libraries are using Project Outcome to align performance measurement efforts with strategic priorities and measuring their success in priority program areas. This webinar, “Integrating Project Outcome into Strategic Planning and Measuring Priority Areas,” will be held on December 7. Participation is free, but registration is required and space is limited.
PLA, Nov. 20
Ian Bradley-Perrin writes: “On November 16, House Republicans passed a tax plan that takes aim at a surprising target: student workers in higher education. A provision that would tax tuition waivers as income threatens to force doctoral candidates like myself out of graduate school—and could weaken the quality of our universities’ research programs, which not too long ago were considered a vital American asset. Political leaders should understand the very real impact this provision will have.”
New York Daily News, Nov. 20
Benjamin Breen writes: “What can we learn about how people ate in the 17th century? And even if we can piece together historical recipes, can we ever really know what their food tasted like? Taste does change history. The taste for food was a significant factor in the series of global ecological movements between the Old and New Worlds that historians call the Columbian Exchange. Any time we eat kimchi, kung pao chicken, or pasta with red sauce, we are eating foods that are direct results of the Columbian Exchange.”
Res Obscura, Nov. 12
Kristen McQuinn writes: “The earliest recorded mention of Robin Hood was in 1226 in the York Assizes, a criminal court document. It was not until much later, however, with the 1883 publication of Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, that the legend really became popular in literature. The field of Robin Hood studies and popular literature is full of white men, though this is getting a little better. Here are a few novels by and about the Robin Hood legend that I’ve found interesting over the years.”
Book Riot, Nov. 20
Sandy Parakilas writes: “I led Facebook’s efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform in advance of its 2012 initial public offering. What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse. As the world contemplates what to do about Facebook in the wake of its role in Russia’s election meddling, it must consider this history. Lawmakers shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won’t.”
New York Times, Nov. 19
CNN recently launched a “Facts First” campaign to remind people that facts do exist, and that, “An apple is not a banana.” Why is CNN running this ad? Perhaps because one recent poll found that 46% of Americans believe that the “mainstream media” report fake news, that is, they do not tell the truth about events and issues. What can children’s librarians to do to help kids navigate the onslaught of false information? Here are a few suggestions.
ALSC Blog, Nov. 18