Tuesday, January 31, 2017

25 Great Books by Refugees in America | By GAL BECKERMANJAN. 30, 2017

Book review | Reader's Advisory | Diversity | Immigrants in the US 

One way to regard the refugees in the news these frenzied past few days is as potential Americans, individuals and families escaping bad situations who imagine themselves building new lives here. What these particular refugees could become in this country, and how they could contribute to our society and culture, is a question stuck in suspended animation. But we do have the power to look to the past. And in the literary realm it’s unquestionable that refugees, once here, often make major contributions.

Through the 20th century and into this one, those fleeing political persecution or war have produced important works that we think of now as at least partly American, from fiction about the harrowing experiences of exile and dislocation to political treatises by thinkers who want to understand why their homelands fell apart. This is a sampling of 25 of those works.


ALA opposes new administration policies that contradict core values - News and Press Center

Advocacy | Human Rights | Library Ethics

ALA opposes new administration policies that contradict core values - News and Press Center

for Immediate Release

Mon, 01/30/2017

Macey Morales
Deputy Director
Public Awareness Office
American Library Association
(312) 280-4393

— Today American Library Association President Julie Todaro released
the following statement responding to recent actions by the new
administration and specifically addressing issues regarding access to
information, discrimination and intellectual freedom.

“We are shocked and dismayed by recent executive orders and other
actions by the new administration, which stand in stark contrast to the
core values of the American Library Association (ALA). Our core values
include access to information; confidentiality/privacy; democracy;
equity, diversity and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and social

“The American Library Association strongly opposes any actions that
limit free access to information, undermine privacy or discriminate on
any basis. This includes the temporary suspension of visas and entrance
to the US based on anyone’s nationality or religion as well as the
increased scrutiny of any individual’s communication such as mobile
phone and/or social media activity.

“Our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries
serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants,
people with disabilities and the most vulnerable in our communities,
offering services and educational resources that transform communities,
open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.

“ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice,
stereotyping and discrimination is central to our mission. We will
continue to speak out and support efforts to abolish intolerance and
cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities
we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.

“We will continue to speak out and support our members as they work
tirelessly for access to library and information resources on behalf of
all of their community members, while advocating for privacy,
intellectual freedom, critical global research, information literacy,
ongoing access to scientific research, and fair and equitable treatment
for everyone.

“As our strategic plan states, ‘ALA recognizes the critical need for
access to library and information resources, services, and technologies
by all people, especially those who may experience language or
literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social
isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on
the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, housing status,
religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
expression; or barriers to equal education, employment and housing.’

“We encourage our members to continue to speak out and show their
support for and work on behalf of our core values, in their communities
as well as with their local, state and national elected and appointed
officials. Additionally, ALA has tools and resources online to help you
advocate for our core values:

“ALA is committed to using its national platform for speaking up
and speaking out for its members and constituents in these chaotic,
unprecedented and challenging times. We appreciate the library
community’s continued support.”

# # #

Thursday, January 26, 2017

16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read | Zeba Blay

Diversity | Reader's Advisory

The Huffington Post

Earlier this week, actor Matt McGorry gave a shout out to Michelle Alexander’s powerful book on mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow. “I’m embarrassed that I didn’t come across the information in this book sooner,” McGorry wrote on Facebook. “But that’s white privilege for ya... Burning crosses and racial slurs are not the only types of racism affecting people of color. And we owe it to our black and brown brothers and sisters to understand this.”

The “Orange is the New Black” star’s post has gained him plenty of praise for actively trying to educate himself on issues regarding race, but it also serves as a powerful example to other white people and allies on how, sometimes, one of the best ways to better understand racism is to just pick up a book.
In the spirit of this, we’ve compiled a list of books that every white person and ally should read right now, and have included some of each book’s most powerful passages: Read more...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1984 climbs the bestseller list — almost 70 years after it was published | January 24, 2017

Truth and Lies in Media and Politics: A Reading List

Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy
Do Facts Matter?: Information and Misinformation in American Politics
Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts aren’t the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room
Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy
Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics
When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina
It Ain’t Necessarily So: How the Media Remake our Picture of Reality
Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage
Distant Witness: Social Media, The Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution
Information War: American Propaganda, Free Speech and Opinion Control Since 9/11
What Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias and the News
Deciding What’s True: the Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism

shout out to our friends at the Brooklyn Public Library for their topic guide On new, media, and truth

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Discarded Women’s March Signs, Professors Saw a Chance to Save History | By Fernanda Zamudio-Suar├ęz January 24, 2017

Archives | Women's studies | Research

Dwayne Desaulniers, AP Images
Signs line the fence surrounding Boston Common after the Boston Women's March for America on Saturday. Some of those signs could end up in an archive at Northeastern U. 

The signs were pink, blue, black, white. Some were hoisted with wooden sticks, and others were held in protesters’ hands. A few sparkled with glitter, and some had original designs, created on computers with the help of a few internet memes.

Still, at the Boston Women’s March for America on Saturday, hundreds of the signs criticizing President Trump’s campaign promises and administrative agenda ended up wrapped around the fence near Boston Common, laid down like a carpet covering the sidewalk.

After leaving a late lunch with some colleagues, Nathan Felde, a design professor at Northeastern University, stopped to admire the signs. He was struck by their originality, and how most had come from amateur artists. Parks employees told him they had been instructed to dispose of the signs that evening, he said.

"There was that moment where, in looking at that work, it was almost instinctual to say, ‘This all has to be saved,’ and then acting on it before we knew what we were going to do next," Mr. Felde said.
The workers said Mr. Felde and his group were free to take signs. So he rented a van, his colleagues and a few onlookers loaded them up, and off to a newly rented storage unit they went. Dietmar Offenhuber, an assistant professor of art and design and public policy, said the collected signs filled a 40-square-foot storage unit.

Now the group wants to archive the collection, physically and online, with the help of Northeastern University’s library. Read more...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Centuries of New York History Prepare for a Move

Archives | U.S. History

Caked in dust and dating back to 1674, the written records of a growing city
are headed to new homes, to be preserved and made accessible to researchers.

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup

Reading habits | Literacy

January 6, 2017

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated

by Art Swift and Steve Ander

Story Highlights

35% say they read more than 11 books in the past year
53% of young adults read between one and 10 books in the past year
73% prefer printed books to e-readers or audio books

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Despite the abundance of digital diversions vying for their time and attention, most Americans are still reading books. In fact, they are consuming books at nearly the same rate that they were when Gallup last asked this question in 2002 -- before smartphones, Facebook or Twitter became ubiquitous. More than one in three (35%) appear to be heavy readers, reading 11 or more books in the past year, while close to half (48%) read between one and 10 and just 16% read none.

Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated | Gallup: Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated

Internet Truth Debunked: INTERNET LISTS DEBUNKED - Surprising Book Facts | Saturday, 25 October 2014

Reading habits | Infographics | Literacy

Internet Truth Debunked: INTERNET LISTS DEBUNKED - Surprising Book Facts:A pretty infographic showing with statistics to remind you how society is just getting stupider will always get a lot of reshares.  Maybe people are getting stupider, because they accept statistics on pretty infographics as true...

The infographic was created by Rob Brewer in in 2012, later realising the errors in the original he created a new one:

Since the new one are far less surprising and far less emotive than the original, guess which one still gets shared around?

Rob Brewer notes where the original statistics come from and why he now thinks they're dubious on the page above.  Here's an more detailed look at it from a link on his page.

The stats come from a speech given by Jenkins in 2003, so wherever possible, 2002 statistics are used below.  It's important to note that however accurate the statistics in the speech, the speech was to industry people about the industry. Read more...