Daphne Leprince-Ringuet writes: “Empowering algorithms to make potentially life-changing decisions about citizens still comes with significant risk of unfair discrimination, according to a new report published by the UK’s Center for Data Ethics and Innovation. In some sectors, the need to provide adequate resources to make sure that AI systems are unbiased is becoming particularly pressing—namely, the public sector, and specifically, policing.”
ZD Net, Nov. 27
Richard Byrne writes: “City Walks is a neat website that I recently learned about. On City Walks you can go for a virtual walk in more than a dozen cities around the world. You can experience the cities with or without sound, in the daytime or at night. At the start of each walk you’ll see some quick facts about the city that might help you understand a little more about what you’re seeing during the walk.”
Free Technology for Teachers, Nov. 30
Senjuti Patra writes: “Through the advent of writing, and the wonderful world of books, stories have been transmitted, lived in and variously interpreted for centuries now. But the rising popularity of audiobooks has brought oral storytelling to the forefront once again. These modern, easily accessible descendants of the ancient story circles have much to offer in terms of convenience and entertainment. So, how does our brain react to an oral narrative? How do we process the stories that we listen to in the audio format?”
Book Riot, Nov. 23
Gift-giving in 2020 should be all about whimsy, relaxation, and most important—comfort. And while your favorite librarians and book lovers probably don’t need more reading material, you can indulge them with thoughtful presents that help them enjoy the books they have. On our list, everything is priced under $50, from cozy clothes and decadent treats to design-forward décor and offbeat surprises. You could also consider getting a little something for yourself. After this year, we’ve all earned it.
American Libraries feature, Dec. 1
Sarah Eilers writes: “This year, the Historical Audiovisuals Program at the National Library of Medicine, with support from the Exhibition Program, digitally preserved 55 U-Matic tapes containing HIV/AIDS titles from the 1980s. This is one of many ongoing efforts at the library to identify and preserve content documenting HIV/AIDS, including the newly digitized National Commission on AIDS archives and the annual December additions to the HIV/AIDS web archive.”
Circulating Now, Dec. 1
The National Archives launched a new web-based finding aid featuring digitized historical photographs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs records in Record Group 75. For the first time, you can explore digital copies of over 18,000 photographs through an engaging and easy-to-use interactive experience: the Bureau of Indian Affairs Photographs Finding Aid.
National Archives AOTUS blog, Nov. 25
Kelly Jensen writes: “Despite a COVID-19 positivity rate of over 15% and a stay-at-home order from Mayor Lori Lightfoot encouraging residents to ‘only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries,’ Chicago Public Libraries are still open for in-person browsing, reference, computer use, and more. Major library systems in other US cities, including New York Public Library (with a city-wide positivity rate of about 2%), Los Angeles Public Library (with a city-wide positivity rate around 5%), and Houston Public Library (with a city-wide positivity rate around 8%) have closed to in-person services, instead remaining available for digital access as well as grab-and-go services.”
Book Riot, Nov. 27
Volume II of the Public Libraries Survey report, released November 30 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provides trend analysis of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. Together, Volume I and II document the varied ways in which trends in libraries are similar and different across states, location types, and the size of the populations they serve. For more information about the Public Libraries Survey, including a snapshot of rural libraries and state detail tables, please visit the IMLS website.
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 30
Tor Haugan writes: “Subject headings usually exist outside of the realm of dinner-table banter, often confined to discussions among library folk. But in recent years, the heading ‘Illegal aliens’ and its ilk shot to national attention. After a hard-fought (and ultimately unsuccessful) war of the words started by students at Dartmouth College, which would have changed subject headings used by libraries across the country, UC Berkeley Library saw an opportunity to act. Along with other institutions nationwide, the library has adopted alternatives to the controversial heading—a step toward greater inclusion.”
Berkeley Library News, Nov. 17
Troy Belle, JBH Research and Reference Division at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, writes: “Kwanzaa is one of my favorite times of the year and has been a part of my family celebrations for nearly 20 years. Our family has taken part in all types of Kwanzaa celebrations, including intimate ones at our home, private celebrations with other families, and large public community gatherings. Books have always been incorporated into our Kwanzaa celebrations as a way to reintroduce the principles. I hope you enjoy this collection of books about Kwanzaa, which includes a couple of our family favorites and options for all ages.”
NYPL Blogs, Nov. 23
Paul Collins writes: “On November 22, 1820, the New York Evening Post ran a perfunctory book ad that was none too particular in its typesetting: ‘WILEY & HALSTED, No. 3 Wall Street, have just received SYMZONIA, or a voyage to the internal world, by capt. Adam Seaborn. Price $1.’ As literary landmarks go, it’s not quite Emerson greeting Whitman at the start of a great career. But this humble advert may herald the first American science fiction novel.”
The New Yorker, Nov. 28
The annual publishing convention and trade show known as BookExpo, a decades-old tradition where guest speakers have ranged from Bill Clinton to Margaret Atwood, may be coming to an end. ReedPop, which has managed BookExpo for a quarter century, announced December 1 that effectively immediately it was “retiring” the event, along with the fan-based BookCon and merchandise-based UnBound.
AP News, Dec. 1