Thursday, December 1, 2016

Here's how to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed

(CNN)Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true. It seems so simple, but if everyone knew that, Facebook and Google wouldn't have to pull bogus news sites from their advertising algorithms and people wouldn't breathlessly share stories that claim Donald Trump is a secret lizard person or Hillary Clinton is an android in a pantsuit.
It doesn't have to be this way. Fake news is actually really easy to spot -- if you know how. Consider this your New Media Literacy Guide.
NOTE: As we put this together, we sought the input of two communications experts: Dr. Melissa Zimdars, an associate professor at Merrimack College in Massachusetts whose dynamic list of unreliable news sites has gone viral, and Alexios Mantzarlis, the head of the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute.
First, know the different types of misleading and false news
1. Fake news
These are the easiest to debunk and often come from known sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real.
2. Misleading news
These are the hardest to debunk, because they often contain a kernel of truth: A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context. Look for sensational headlines that aren't supported by the information in the article.
3. Highly partisan news
A type of misleading news, this may be an interpretation of a real news event where the facts are manipulated to fit an agenda.
4. Clickbait
The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information -- which may or may not live up to what was promised.
5. Satire
This one is tough, because satire doesn't pretend to be real and serves a purpose as commentary or entertainment. But if people are not familiar with a satire site, they can share the news as if it is legitimate. Read more...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hayden, Marx in Conversation at NYPL

By on November 8, 2016

Carla Hayden and Tony Marx in conversation at NYPL
Photo credit: Chasi Annexy/The New York Public Library

On Halloween night, Friends and trustees of New York Public Library (NYPL) got a treat that didn’t require a costume: Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and NYPL President Tony Marx sat down together for a lively hour-long discussion of research, preservation, digitization, Hayden’s plans for the Library of Congress (LC), and the influence of Hamilton. The conversation was the first in a series of public programs over the next year highlighting the importance of archival research.

The event was held as part of the celebration of the reopening of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room. These had been closed since May 2014, when a plaster rosette fell from the Reading Room’s 52-foot ceiling in the middle of the night. After an inspection, the ceiling was deemed structurally sound, but NYPL decided to err on the side of caution and reinforce all of the decorative rosettes bordering the ceiling with steel cables, and at the same time to restore the mural on the ceiling of the Bill Blass room. The spaces reopened in October 2016 with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Sitting at the front of the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustees Room—hung with what Marx called “incredibly politically incorrect 400-year-old tapestries”—the two bantered briefly and then got down to business. “Why libraries?” asked Marx.

Hayden described her experiences with public libraries as a young patron and then a librarian, and her dawning realization of what sanctuaries they were for their constituents. Plus, she told Marx, “In the ’70s, when I was a baby librarian, what attracted me was the idea of information as power.”  Read more...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Outrage in Bronx as Barnes & Noble Is Set to Close


Shauna Rose and her son, Nicholai, 4, visited the children’s section of the Barnes & Noble in the Bronx on Wednesday. She says they go there every day after school and read the picture book “I Need My Monster.” Credit Amir Levy for The New York Times

Every day after school, 4-year-old Nicholai Rose demands that his mother take him first to the park then to the Barnes & Noble in the Baychester neighborhood of the Bronx. There, they snuggle in a corner in the children’s section and, each time, read “I Need My Monster,” his favorite picture book.
In a few months their ritual will end — permanently — when the store closes for good, leaving the Bronx, a borough with nearly 1.5 million people, without one general-interest bookstore. For residents, the closing carries a painful sting the borough knows too well, of being long underserved and overlooked, which persists even as the Bronx is experiencing a renaissance.

“How am I going to tell him that the bookstore is going?” said Nicholai’s mother, Shauna Rose, 29, as she sat in the store on Wednesday, the monster book on her lap. “And there’s nothing else.”

With 50,000 titles in its inventory, the Barnes & Noble opened in the Bronx in 1999. Two years ago, it nearly closed after the landlord sought to raise the rent. But it remained open after a public outcry, and after elected officials stepped in to assist in the rent negotiations. It has withstood the economic crunch that shut down smaller bookshops in the borough over the years. While there are a few bookstores in the Bronx attached to various universities and some stores that sell religious texts, the Barnes & Noble remains the last of its kind, until it closes in January, because of a rent increase. It will replaced by a Saks Off 5th store. Read more...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan, Titan Of American Music, Wins 2016 Nobel Prize In Literature 10-13-2016 Colin Dwyer

Bob Dylan performs in Chicago in 1978. He is the first American to claim the Nobel Prize in Literature since Toni Morrison won in 1993.
Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. In doing so, the prolific musician became the first American to win the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Dylan won the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize. The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, announced the news Thursday.

The win comes as something of a shock. As usual, the Swedish Academy did not announce a shortlist of nominees, leaving the betting markets to their best guesses. And while Dylan has enjoyed perennial favor as an outside shot for the award, few expected that the musician would be the first to break the Americans' long dry spell — not least because he made his career foremost on the stage, not the printed page. Read more....

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Go Inside the Renovated New York Public Library Reading Room

Olivier Laurent October 5, 2016

The renovated New York Public Library Rose Reading Room / Ryan Fitzgibbon

A group of Instagram photographers got an early look at the Rose Room

It all started with a piece of plaster. On May 30, 2014, a piece of ceiling fell inside the New York Public Library Rose Reading Room. The stunning landmark space was forced to close for “about two weeks.” That turned into two years.

Now, the Rose Room is finally ready for its reopening. And the results are stunning. “I’ve been to the library for events or just to explore the space prior to the closure of the Rose Main Reading Room, but it’s clear that the heart and the history of the New York Public Library stems from this two-city-block-wide study hall,” says Ryan Fitzgibbon, the founder of Hello Mr. magazine. Read more...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How Banning Books Marginalizes Children by Paul Ringel

Oct. 1, 2016 [from The Atlantic]
Since the 1800s, attitudes about which books are “appropriate” for kids to read have too often suppressed stories about different cultures and life experiences. Comstock / Getty

Every year since 1982, an event known as Banned Books Week has brought attention to literary works frequently challenged by parents, schools, and libraries. The books in question sometimes feature scenes of violence or offensive language; sometimes they’re opposed for religious reasons (as in the case of both Harry Potter and the Bible). But one unfortunate outcome is that 52 percent of the books challenged or banned in the last 10 years feature so-called “diverse content”—that is, they explore issues such as race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, and disability. As a result, the organizers of Banned Books Week, which started Sunday, chose the theme “Celebrating Diversity” for 2016.

Since the inception of the American children’s literature industry in the 1820s, publishers have had to grapple with the question of who their primary audience should be. Do kids’ books cater to parents and adult cultural gatekeepers, or to young readers themselves? But as books that address issues of diversity face a growing number of challenges, the related question of which children both the industry and educators should serve has become more prominent recently. Who benefits when Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian, which deals with racism, poverty, and disability, is banned for language and “anti-Christian content”? Who’s hurt when Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings’s picture book I Am Jazz, about a transgender girl, is banned? The history of children’s book publishing in America offers insight into the ways in which traditional attitudes about “appropriate” stories often end up marginalizing the lives and experiences of many young readers, rather than protecting them Read more...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Donate Your Books to Prisons: What, Why, and How by Becky Stone
When you research how to donate your books to prisons, the same phrase comes up over and over again: that books are a lifeline for prisoners.

As someone who is fortunate enough that most of my experience with the prison system has happened through Netflix, I took that to mean simply that when you’re in the same small space day after day, it gets boring. But providing prisoners with books offers so much more than relief from monotony.

According to a Baltimore Sun article about Maryland’s prison libraries:

Many who are within a year or two of release use library services to prepare for re-entry — to get their GED, to improve their vocabularies and language skills. The recidivism rate in the United States varies, from 50 percent to as high as 67 percent in some states, and there are two main reasons for that level of failure: the employment challenge facing ex-offenders on the outside and the lack of preparation for re-entry on the inside.

Read more.... 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Inside the New York Public Library's new $23 Million Subterranean Book Vault

The New York Public Library just spent $23 million to create a gigantic storage space beneath Bryant Park to stash millions of books. Our Michael Scotto takes look.