Book Review: Algorithms of Oppression

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Big data algorithms can do some amazing things for society. They help us find information online, display advertisements for merchandise we might buy, recommend news articles we would be interested in, and provide new insights for research and development. They act as a mirror to reflect not only what we want but what we need. Unfortunately, this mirror also displays, even amplifies, our ugliest aspects. Author Safiya Umoja Noble focuses in on this problem with Google and its effects on … Read More

Breasts, Bottles, and Formula: Feeding Information Hospitals Often Withhold from New Parents

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When I read this recent article from the BBC, Bottle Feeding is a Woman’s Right, Midwives Told, it hit home with my experiences of our first child this year. I was glad to see it, but wished medical practitioners here in the U.S. were given the same instruction. Once we knew we were expecting our little one, we took all the baby classes our hospital had to offer. My Saturday mornings were booked for a month. We bought the books. … Read More

Getting Started With Paper Marbling

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Paper marbling is by far my favorite arts and crafts activity. You can buy a paper marbling kit or make due with the supplies you have lying around the house. You can research old-school techniques and patterns or go crazy and experiment. The end results are always fantastic. Supplies: Tray for marbling Tray for rinsing marbled paper Acrylic paints Small stick (or in my case a plastic fork) Containers to mix paint Strips of paper for clean up Paper Carrageenan … Read More

Libraries and Neutrality: Is It Time for a Language Update?

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Libraries have always adapted and grown with their communities, yet some things still seem set in stone. Take for example our stance of “neutral,” which is used in most professional codes of ethics. The idea that we are neutral, or passively catering to every idea out there can evoke rage in even the most mild-mannered patrons and librarians. However, I’ve always argued that neutral in the library context doesn’t mean what it first appears to mean.Libraries strive to treat people … Read More

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