Thursday, December 29, 2016

002: The French Dressmaker (1906)

Archives | Podcast | Oral history | Women's Studies | US in the 1900s

In this episode we hear from twenty-five-year-old Amelia des Moulins, a French dressmaker and immigrant living in New York City. Amelia came to the U.S. in 1899. Amelia talks about life in Paris before coming to the U.S., the fashion industry in Paris and New York, and her hard work to be a success in a new country. Her story was collected as part of an anthology published in 1906, titled, The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. The anthology was edited by Hamilton Holt, editor and publisher of the liberal weekly The Independent and later president of Rollins College.

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Navajo Nation Library wants to digitally preserve thousands of hours of oral histories | Danny Lewis | December 28, 2016

Archives | Oral Histories | Native Americans

The library is looking for help protecting its tapes

oral histories1
An audio tape from the oral history collection at the Navajo Nation Library (Irving Nelson)


In the 1960s, the Navajo Culture Center of the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity (ONEO) turned to technology to preserve the oral histories of the Navajo people. Over the course of the next decade, the center recorded thousands of hours of oral histories, logging stories, songs and details about life as experienced by many Navajo elders. But while the preservation effort documented priceless details for generations to come, keeping the stories safe is harder—and more expensive—than it sounds.

Read more:
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Audio Books, Online Courses & More | Free ebooks

Ebooks & E-Readers | Free books | Free courses

December 25, 2016

Santa left a new KindleiPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we’ll do ours. We’ll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials right on a computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 800 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics. Read more...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Library From the Future Arrives In Denmark | Michaela Cavanagh | Dec 20, 2016

Public libraries | Library Design | Library Trends | Technology in Libraries

In Aarhus, Dokk1 merges old and new concepts of how a public place for learning should function.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects  
It’s hard not feel as if you’ve just visited the library of the future after spending a day at Dokk1.
In a formerly industrial part of Aarhus, egg chairs are now sprinkled around the periphery of the massive new “hybrid library.” There, a three-ton tubular bell called The Gong echoes through every time a child is born at the local hospital. Outside, a ferry to Copenhagen comes and goes from the harbor while kids and adults play across a field with teeter-totters, a tire swing, and a huge slide in the shape of an eagle.

Opened in 2015, Dokk1 is more than Scandinavia’s largest library—it’s a community hub that meets the changing needs of Denmark’s second largest city. Last summer, Dokk1 was named the Public Library of the Year by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). As the notion that libraries simply serve as a home for books dissolves, Dokk1 merges old and new concepts of what a library should be. Read more...

Libraries are dying – but it’s not about the books | Simon Jenkins

 Libraries | Ebooks| Advocacy | Programming | Trends

The internet stole the monopoly on knowledge but it can’t recreate a sense of place. Revival is possible

Illustration by Ellie Foreman-Peck
‘The library must rediscover its specialness. This must lie in exploiting the strength of the post-digital age, the ‘age of live’.’ Illustration: Ellie Foreman     
Public libraries have had another bad year. They are like churches and local railways. People like having them around, and are angry if they close. But as for using them, well, there is so little time these days.

The latest Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures on library closures are dire. In the past five years 343 have gone. Librarian numbers are down by a quarter, with 8,000 jobs lost. Public usage has fallen by 16% and spending by 14%. Book borrowing is plummeting, in some places by a half.

The admirable children’s laureate (and cartoonist) Chris Riddell said during the latest campaign for libraries in November that, “if nurtured by government, they have the ability to transform lives. We must all raise our voices to defend them.”

But what sort of library are we defending? I’m not sure the fault in this lies with that easy target, the government, nor even in the once-gloomy fate of the book. Last week I was in my excellent local library and it was near empty. The adjacent Waterstones was bursting at the seams. I know it was Christmas, but something tells me there is a problem with libraries, not with books. When an institution needs a luvvie-march to survive, it looks doomed.
I was a library addict

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2562 68 Beyond books: Eight things you may not know about libraries

USA TODAY NETWORKRamon Padilla, Adam Shapourian, Nicole Vas, Berna Elibuyuk and Mary Bowerman9:48 a.m. EDT April 21, 2016

As people become more reliant on devices and less likely to crack open a paperback, libraries have been forced to adapt.
Most modern libraries offer e-book and e-magazines, plus movies on DVD and other digital items. But did you know that many also provide such services as free Wi-Fi, used bookstores, and even unique items borrowing.

Coming off of National Library Week, here's a look at eight things you might not know about your local library: Read article:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Science Says You Should Still Keep Reading Print Books Over e-Books


Penn Collins | December 19, 2016 

E-book devices like the Kindle and Nook have already changed the industry of publishing in their relatively short lives. Much as the iPod did with music, now authors can self-publish right from their laptops and readers can carry with them every book they own in something about the size and weight of a paperback.

But while the e-book readers might seem good, uh, on paper, you might consider continuing to read print books for the foreseeable future. Science has given us several reasons why the health and wellness benefits of reading printed material outweigh the convenience and affordability of their digital brethren.
Daily Mail


Monday, December 19, 2016

Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York Life’s Complicated Past


In its 19th-century beginnings, New York Life Insurance sold 508
policies covering slaves. Their descendants are grappling with it.

‘Book Doctors’ Say What You Need Is a Good Read

Reader's Advisory

Bibliotherapists recommend tomes they think can help what ails you; finding calm in ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ 


Dutch novelist Mano Bouzamour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Photo: Sarah Sloat 


FRANKFURT—Depressed? Over-the-counter remedies abound, though some are hard to swallow. The 272-page “City of Thieves” by David Benioff, for example.

It is one palliative prescribed by Mano Bouzamour at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, where he sat at a desk sporting a white doctor’s coat and stethoscope. The Dutch novelist, who has no medical license, was serving as a “book doctor.” After brief consultations with people who lined up in the cold drizzle outside a pop-up clinic, he pulled out a prescription pad and scribbled titles to alleviate readers’ woes.


Stand, Fight, Resist

Advocacy & Activism

Jason Griffey | December 16, 2016

The idea that libraries are neutral spaces has been well and disabused over the last few years. From the services we offer to the collections that we curate, the decisions that libraries and librarians make are political ones that reflect values. Sometimes those are the values of the organization, sometimes the values of the individuals, and sometimes they are the values of the communities that the library serves. Those values are illustrated by our technologies, our ontologies, and our descriptors. Those who attempt to hold that “neutrality” of information access is an ideal for which to strive have had a hard time holding to that stance as increasing numbers of librarians question and deconstruct our profession. I would like to suggest something even stronger…that even if it were possible for libraries to be neutral spaces, that to create such a space would be morally questionable, and potentially actively morally wrong. 

I say this as someone who firmly believes in the maxim of combating bad speech with more speech. I am not here advocating controls or restrictions on speech. But it is not the responsibility of every library to collect and distribute literature of hate, or falsehoods, or lies. Some libraries do need to collect everything, the good and the bad, for archival and historical study purposes, but those libraries are fairly obviously identified in practice and the vast majority of libraries should and could take a stand with their actions, programs, policies, and collections to be on the side of justice and scientific fact. 

Neutrality favors the powerful, and further marginalizes the marginalized. In the face of the current political climate, with the use of opinions as bludgeons and disinformation as the weapon of choice for manipulation and intellectual coercion, it is up to those who value fact and believe in the care of those in need to stand up and positively affirm that to do otherwise is evil. 
Read article

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America by Lauren Duca

 Advocacy & Activism

In this scorched-earth op-ed, Lauren Duca takes on Trump's systematic attempts to destabilize the truth and weaken the foundation of American freedom.

Dec 10, 2016 

The CIA officially determined that Russia intervened in our election, and President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the story as if it were a piece of fake news. "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," his transition team wrote in a statement. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again'."

It wasn't one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history, so presumably that's another red-herring lie to distract from Trump treating the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States like it is some rogue blogger to be cast to the trolls. A foreign government's interference in our election is a threat to our freedom, and the President-elect's attempt to undermine the American people's access to that information undermines the very foundation upon which this country was built. It's also nothing new.

Trump won the Presidency by gas light. His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalizing deception. Civil rights are now on trial, though before we can fight to reassert the march toward equality, we must regain control of the truth. If that seems melodramatic, I would encourage you to dump a bucket of ice over your head while listening to “Duel of the Fates." Donald Trump is our President now; it’s time to wake up.


Required reading: The books that students read in 28 countries around the world

Reader's Advisory

Dec 7, 2016 / +


This compilation of reading assigned to students everywhere will expand your horizons — and your bookshelves.

In the US, most students are required to read To Kill a Mockingbird during their school years. This classic novel combines a moving coming-of-age story with big issues like racism and criminal injustice. Reading Mockingbird is such an integral part of the American educational experience that we wondered: What classic books are assigned to students elsewhere?

We posed this question to our TED-Ed Innovative Educators and members of the TED-Ed community. People all over the globe responded, and we curated our list to focus on local authors.
Many respondents made it clear in their countries, as in the US, few books are absolutely mandatory. Take a look at what students in countries from Ireland to Iran, Ghana to Germany, are asked to read and why:

Read article

Secrets of the New York Public Library (5th Ave at 42nd St New York, NY 10018)

Archives & Special Collections

The marble lions (named Patience and Fortitude) outside of the New York Public Library weren't always popular. (Credit: Getty Images )


Walk up the steps at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, past Patience and Fortitude, the iconic Library Lions, and enter the main branch of the New York Public Library.

While the NYPL has branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, its iconic Beaux-Arts building in midtown is perhaps the library's most famous spot.

Free to enter and explore, this often-overlooked museum has plenty of historical artifacts, notable artwork and countless information. Read more...

Monday, December 12, 2016

Google is not ‘just’ a platform. It frames, shapes and distorts how we see the world

 Internet & Literacy

by Carole Cadwalladr. | Sunday 11 December 2016

Did the holocaust happen? Google search for Carole Cadwalladr Photograph: Google 
Did the Holocaust really happen? No. The Holocaust did not really happen. Six million Jews did not die. It is a Jewish conspiracy theory spread by vested interests to obscure the truth. The truth is that there is no evidence any people were gassed in any camp. The Holocaust did not happen.

Are you happy with that answer? Happy that if you have children, this is what they’re being exposed to? That all across America and France and Hungary and Holland and Britain, when people ask that question, this is what they are clicking on and reading and absorbing? No? Well, then, we really, really need to talk about Google. Right now. Because these are the “facts” of what happened according to the number one source of information to the entire planet. Type this into your Google search bar: “did the hol”. And Google suggests you search for this: “Did the Holocaust happen?” Read more...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

 Archives & Special Collections | Digital Humanities

December 7, 2016 | Tim Chambers

The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006


Dorothea Lange—well-known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother—was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”

The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.

I wrote more about the history of Lange’s photos and President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 initiating the Japanese Internment in another post on the Anchor Editions Blog.
Below, I've selected some of Lange’s photos from the National Archives—including the captions she wrote—pairing them with quotes from people who were imprisoned in the camps, as quoted in the excellent book, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment.

I’ve also made a limted number of prints of her photos available for sale at Anchor Editions, and I’m donating 50% of the proceeds to the ACLU—they were there during WWII handling the two principle Supreme Court cases, fighting against the government’s mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans—and they have pledged to continue to fight against further unconstitutional civil rights violations. Their fight seems especially important today given the current tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric, and talk of national registries and reactionary immigration policies.

“A photographic record could protect against false allegations of mistreatment and violations of international law, but it carried the risk, of course, of documenting actual mistreatment.”
— Linda Gordon, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment
Read more... 

Fake News Brings Life-Threatening Consequences in National Capital

by Wayne Rash | Posted 20106-12-07

NEWS ANALYSIS: Enraged by fake news story, a man fires a rifle three time into a pizza restaurant in the U.S. capital, bringing urgency to efforts to find ways to rein in false rumor stories circulating on the internet.

WASHINGTON—It was an event that many of us in the news business have feared would happen: A deranged gunman, fueled by passion based on a series of fake news stories, came to the nation's capital with an assault rifle, entered a place of business and fired.

The gunman, Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, was quickly arrested after shooting into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria three times. He told police after he was arrested that he came to Washington to investigate reports of a child sex-trafficking ring being run out of the pizzeria by Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta.

The fake news about Comet Ping Pong had been circulating on social media since before the election, with increasingly shrill stories seemingly attributed to reliable media sources. The stories got so far out of control that one site, Reddit, banned any discussion of what had become known as "pizzagate" from its forums.

But that wasn't the only incident based on this fake news story. Read more...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The secret life of a librarian: What have I found in books? Streaky bacon and used condoms Anonymous


Illustration by Michael Driver 





Monday 5 December 2016

Unlike many librarians who always dreamed of standing behind a counter and stamping books, I came to the profession by accident. When I left university with a humanities degree in the 1970s, I had no clue about what I wanted to do with my state-funded higher education. I applied for a job as a gas meter reader which seemed suitable for a working-class lad from a council estate, but at the interview I was told that I was over-qualified and so I became a library assistant instead.

I quickly discovered that there wasn’t much to the library lark, but that if I wanted to get on I would have to become a fully qualified librarian.

Armed with my diploma and a burning social conscience, I set out to change the world of public libraries. Nearly 40 years on I have made the smallest of dents in its battleship armour. But on the way I have made met some amazing people. Read more...

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

Public Libraries

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

Books & Bookstores


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

Public libraries

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

Banned Books

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

Prison Libraries
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