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Category Archives: Community

“into the lifeboats” – a review of Nomadland

“You could not have been born at a better period than the present, when we have lost everything.” – Simone Weil Having been forced to flee, a weary traveler returns … Continue reading

February 26, 2021 · 2 Comments

Statues or It Didn’t Happen

Editorial Note: In the aftermath of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, where an anti-fascist protestor was murdered, much of the debate turned to the topic of statues. Specifically: was … Continue reading

October 5, 2017 · 2 Comments

Who moderates the moderators? On the Facebook Files

Speculative fiction is littered with fantastical tales warning of the dangers that arise when things get, to put it amusingly, too big. A researcher loses control of their experiment! A … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · 9 Comments

When it Comes to Social Media – Is There No Alternative?

In the first weeks of a new year, many people look back on the previous year and dwell upon what they wish they had done differently. And thus inspired, they … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 6 Comments

Treat Your Personal Library…Like a Library

Have you ever found yourself at a gathering at which a speaker says something along the lines of “it’s important to read”? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself at a gathering … Continue reading

August 27, 2015 · 3 Comments

Pat Skarda, Professor Emerita & Spinster Aunt to Thousands

I don’t always read my undergraduate college’s alumnae [do stop checking my Latin, though I’ve never studied it, I promise all the feminine declensions are correct] magazine, but I do … Continue reading

January 30, 2015 · 8 Comments

Looking for the Best Deals on Black Friday? (try the library!)

Regardless of what the barrage of advertisements tells you to the contrary – you will not find the best deal in any store or on any website this Black Friday. … Continue reading

November 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Books – Tools for Conviviality

Libraries are about much more than books. Granted, there are caveats to such a declaration. After all, there are rare book libraries, manuscript collections, and many types of libraries that … Continue reading

April 10, 2014 · 12 Comments

Control and Commodification – Facebook Turns 10

The realm of consumer technologies is so fixated upon the “new” that it can be easy to forget just how long some of these platforms have been around. Thus it … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · 6 Comments

Towards Which Utopia in 2014?

The start of a new year is the socially sanctioned moment when people are encouraged to engage in optimistic dreaming. People “resolve” that in this year they shall achieve some … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · 9 Comments

October is Archives Month…and the National Archives are Closed

Throughout the year it is not uncommon to hear that a given month has had a the privilege of having a certain cause or subject attached to it. October, for … Continue reading

October 10, 2013 · 5 Comments

So, you’re going to library school…

With summer reaching its conclusion many are eyeing their backpacks in anticipation of the soon to start school year. It is a time of excitement mixed with trepidation for those … Continue reading

August 29, 2013 · 7 Comments

Grifting, Garbage and Graph Search

Money is much beloved by tech companies and major websites, yet it is hardly the most important thing for them. What glitters most brightly is not gold, but information. Granted, … Continue reading

July 18, 2013 · 6 Comments

Living Within Justice is not Living With Injustice

When confronted with injustice, there are still some who rise to the occasion and take to the streets. Gathering in what public spaces remain they come together, embrace one another … Continue reading

July 15, 2013 · 9 Comments

A Very Kafkaesque Birthday (because it’s Kafka’s birthday)

At times historic anniversaries have an amusing resonance with current happenings. In particular there have been two recent birthdays (of individuals long dead) that nevertheless seem rather fitting for the … Continue reading

July 3, 2013 · 1 Comment

NYC Libraries Survive Another Round

Every year there comes a moment where librarians and library allies pull on the sackcloth and take to the streets to wail to the heavens that “The End [of that … Continue reading

June 25, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Left! For…um… (the Left will return as soon as it remembers how to do so)

Since 1981, New York City has annually played host to the Left Forum conference, a quasi-academic/quasi-activist gathering which brings together a hodge-podge of representatives from the union hall to the … Continue reading

June 14, 2013 · 4 Comments

Advertising Our Ethics – Facebook does the right thing for the wrong reason

There is something about the anonymity – or near anonymity – of the Internet that can bring out the opposite of the best in people. When a bunch of people … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Technologenie! You Can’t Wish away 3D-printers

Gun reform is no longer the major political issue it was even a few months ago, and much of the debate around guns now revolves around ones that would not … Continue reading

May 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

So, Did You Hear the One about the Yahoo and the Tumblr?

People appreciate a good diversion. The humdrum routine of day-to-day life can be so dull, so alienating and stultifying that people yearn for a good laugh. To wrench these guffaws … Continue reading

May 23, 2013 · 5 Comments

The APPS Act is not an Appendectomy (unfortunately)

There is a certain tradeoff inherent in using the technological tools of a modern society. Though people may chafe over more onerous aspects of what they are expected to give … Continue reading

May 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

YouRube! (YouTube has never been free)

Since its premier (in 2005) YouTube has become one of the Internet’s best loved sites of (supposedly) free content. Music videos, amateur news, how to videos, personal narrative, video game … Continue reading

May 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

Hiding in the Pew[s] – technology, class, and libraries in the new Pew study

Evidently, Americans really like their libraries. Even more than we thought just a few weeks ago! While most librarians (even some of the more depressed ones) knew this, it is … Continue reading

May 7, 2013 · 1 Comment

A Year Without the Internet (but with everything else)

Regardless of whether a person believes that humans (in some evolutionary form) have been present on Earth for tens of thousands of years or whether they believe that humans arrived … Continue reading

May 5, 2013 · 4 Comments

E-Books, Libraries, Democracy, Groucho

E-books have presented something of a challenge for libraries. Not because libraries are opposed to e-books, but because many of the largest publishers (collectively called the “Big Six”) have been … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Library

Despite most people’s awareness of the general price attached to lunch, it frequently seems that such insight has limitations. Precisely at a time when people are accustomed to getting much … Continue reading

April 30, 2013 · 6 Comments

While We Were Distracted…CISPA Passed in the House

When the news cycle is focused on tragic events it is all too easy for other important stories to be ignored, particularly stories that might not have garnered much attention … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 3 Comments

We are the 91% (who think libraries are important)

Librarians have become accustomed to the tragic chorus declaring that libraries must adjust to changing times or woe shall befall them. Well, some have become accustomed; others have become frustrated, … Continue reading

April 21, 2013 · 2 Comments

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