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

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

posted in: Blog, Libraries | 0
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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

Creating a Little Free Library – Part 1

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My husband and I are building a Little Free Library for our front yard. Little Free Libraries are small containers used as book exchanges. Signs encourage patrons to take a book or leave a book. You can register with the Little Free Library organization to get yours put on their map and receive newsletters and tips for being a steward. Buying one of the bird-house resembling cookie-cutter libraries wasn’t our style. Andy learned to weld last year, so I bought … Read More

From Mommy Blogs to Multi-Level Marketing: Evaluating “Health” Resources

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Notice I put health in quotation marks in the title. There are many great health resources on the web that are clearly valid: sites run by government agencies, public health officials, and hospitals. This blog post isn’t about those. It’s about all of the other “health” webpages that pop up in your Google search. After all, anyone can post anything online for any purpose. Evaluating content on the web for its motive and trustworthiness is tricky, but necessary when it … Read More

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