Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: WikiLeaks set 21st century model for cyber-leak journalism; Your car is watching you. Who owns the data?; Facebook, lose my digits: Here’s how to unlist your phone number; and What e-books at the library mean for your privacy.
David Rothman continues his advocacy for a national library endowment to help K-12 and public libraries in Philadelphia, and around the country. His argument in favor of such an endowment is especially resonant in light of the recent college entrance cheating and bribery scams involving the children of wealthy parents and celebrities.
David Rothman is an indefatigable advocate for a national library endowment. He states: “Just ten Americans are together worth more than half a trillion dollars, and the assets of the top 400 U.S. billionaires added up to a cool $2.7 trillion in October 2017. Charity-minded members of the super rich love to give to elite institutions such as Harvard. Its endowment is well north of $35 billion. The Gates Giving Pledge could free up countless billions in future years for prestigious institutions like Harvard. But will America’s libraries miss out while Harvard, Yale, and Princeton grow still richer? Very possibly, if the American Library Association and other good people in the library establishment fail to act in time.”
Alan Rothman suggests a new phrase for a growing subject matter area which he calls Fact-Check Tech. His article introduces to use a prototype TV news voice scanner and fact-checker called Voyc. The significance of this new technology will quickly become apparent to news consumers here in the U.S., and around the world, as we are increasingly confronted with endless charges of “fake news” and counter assertions of what is “real news.” The Voyc technology currently under development can assess the audio of live news media broadcasts to determine the veracity of statements made within seconds of being spoken.
Katherine Daniel, Joseph J. Esposito, Roger C. Schonfeld: Several years ago, we set out to better understand how both library acquisition practices and the distribution patterns of publishers and vendors were evolving over time. Within the academic publishing community, there is a sense that academic libraries are acquiring fewer and fewer books and that university presses are struggling amid declining sales. The latter may certainly be true—a recent UK study found that between 2005 and 2014, retail sales of academic books dropped by 13 percent—but what if the academic libraries that constitute part of that market were in reality not making fewer purchases? As new vendors and acquisition methods disrupt customary means of acquiring books, Joseph Esposito, Ithaka S+R’s frequent collaborator and consultant, was inspired to ask whether book sales were actually depressed, or if they only appeared to be because academic libraries were bypassing the traditional wholesale vendors whose metrics are used by university presses to assess sales to libraries for companies like Amazon.
Cynthia L. Brown, Director Research Services at Littler Mendelson P.C. discusses the firm’s one-stop-shop for all KM and library research inquiries and needs – the Knowledge Desk. The Knowledge Desk is available to all Littler attorneys and staff for any legal research, traditional library resources, KM requests or questions concerning the legal training group Littler Learning Group (LLG). Via the Knowledge Desk, attorneys are connected to subject matter experts, a vast collection of databases, print materials, practice groups, internal work product and proprietary data collections, through which our team can search efficiently to locate exact information.
David Rothman’s commentary argues that “good libraries are all about content and community and the needs of local people.” The FY2019 Federal Budget proposes once again to eliminate Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to America’s libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Rothman identifies what is at stake if these cuts are approved, and how the ALA and others groups are on point to lead a bi-partisan effort to save this funding now and into the future.
Peggy Roebuck Jarrett writes about an issue that is significant to law librarians, federal documents librarians, and to the public. The subject is a draft House bill that proposes “to amend title 44, United States Code, to reform the organization, authorities, and programs relating to public printing and documents, including the Federal Depository Program.” Jarrett shares why this bill could fundamentally change the publication and distribution of official print and digital government information. In addition, Jarrett describes how the future of no-fee public access to reliable government information – which includes the very laws that govern us – is at stake.
If our library had a virtual chat service linked to our website, would our reference librarians receive more questions? Brandon Wright Adler answers this question in the affirmative and shares her recommendations for services that merit your review and consideration.
Law librarian and adjunct professor Paul Gatz provides important guidance on social media discourse and information literacy that is especially timely and instructive as we are experiencing an escalating wave of highly questionable news and data through sites such as Facebook.