Tag Archives: Libraries

FEATURE – Libraries in the Age of Artificial Intelligence | Information Today, Inc.

by Ben Johnson, February 13, 2023

Ben Johnson (bjohnson@councilbluffslibrary.org) is the adult services manager at the Council Bluffs Public Library in Iowa.

Screenshot of article online…

You can ask Google, Alexa, Cortana, Watson, or Siri—but will you be able to ask your local library? A century or so ago, electricity was a new, quasi-magical thing—a novelty with few applications. Back then, nobody could have predicted that it would give rise to telephones, production lines, and microchips. And yet, electricity transformed every industry, including agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. As a foundational springboard for so many new innovations, that novelty was the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century.

Now, in the 21st century, a new quasi-magical thing has come into our lives: artificial intelligence (AI). And just as it was in the early days of the electronic revolution, we are only beginning to grasp how completely this new technology will transform our daily lives. Nearly all of today’s emerging technologies are built on the foundation of increasingly sophisticated machine learning. Every major technology company is betting on machine learning, hoping to be a player in the coming revolution by developing proprietary machine intelligences to perform tasks that used to require human intelligence.

–from article

Today, our interactions with AI are mostly novel (“Siri, why did the chicken cross the road?”)—and the results crude—but so were the first lightbulbs and photographs.

Source: FEATURE – Libraries in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

America’s culture war targets librarians – Coda Story

Librarians across the country are under threat as efforts to ban books about marginalized groups reach a fever pitch

By Erica Hellerstein, 21 December, 2022 

Daniella Zalcman

Amanda Jones awoke one morning in late July to the buzz of a text message. The air was balmy already — Louisiana summer weather. Jones, a middle school librarian with a slick brown bob, bright yellow glasses and the warm demeanor of someone who has mastered the art of talking to teenagers, squinted at her phone.

“You need to look at this,” a friend messaged her, with a link to a Facebook post. When she clicked on it, she began shaking and gasping for breath.

“My heart was racing. My blood pressure was through the roof,” she said. “I lay in bed for two solid days and cried so much my eyes swelled shut.”

It had all started that week at a public library board meeting. The meeting’s official agenda included a vote on whether the library should restrict access to several books that dealt with themes related to gender, sexuality and LGBTQ issues. Jones, who is also the president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, decided to weigh in.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item… see video at link…

Source: America’s culture war targets librarians – Coda Story

This year I’m thankful for US public libraries – beautiful icons of a better civic era | The Guardian

The US can often be cruel to its citizens, but the public library is a sanctuary and a vision of what our country might one day be

By Moira Donegan, Wed 28 Dec 2022 10.13 EST

‘The public library does not understand its patrons as mere consumers, or as a revenue base. Instead, it aspires to encounter people as minds.’ Photograph: BA E Inc./Alamy

If you proposed it now, at any town council or city hall meeting, you would be laughed from the room. The concept is almost unthinkably indulgent, in our austere times: an institution, open for free to anyone, that sells no products, makes no money, is funded from public coffers, and is dedicated solely to the public interest, broadly defined. And it’s for books.

If the public library did not already exist as a pillar of local civic engagement in American towns and cities, there’s no way we would be able to create it. It seems like a relic of a bygone era of public optimism, a time when governments worked to value and edify their people, rather than punish and extract from them.

In America, a country that can be often cruel to its citizens, the public library is a surprising kindness. It is an institution that offers grace and sanctuary, and a vision of what our country might one day be.

Source: This year I’m thankful for US public libraries – beautiful icons of a better civic era | Moira Donegan | The Guardian

2022 Empowering Libraries Year in Review – Internet Archive Blogs | Internet Archive

Posted on December 28, 2022 by chrisfreeland

from article…

The Internet Archive launched the Empowering Libraries campaign in 2020 to defend equal access to library services for all.

Since then, threats to libraries have only grown, so our fight continues. As 2022 draws to a close, here’s a look back through some of our library’s milestones and accomplishments over the year.

In the news

  • When the war in Ukraine started, volunteers began using the Wayback Machine and other online tools to preserve Ukrainian websites and digital collections. The effort, Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO), now has more than 1,500 volunteers working to preserve more than 5,000 web sites and 50TB of data.
    • Watch a compelling story about SUCHO from CBS News featuring Quinn Dombrowski, one of the project leaders from Stanford University, and Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine.
    • In May, we partnered with Better World Books on a book drive supporting Ukrainian scholars. BWB customers were able to donate $1 at checkout to acquire books cited in the Ukrainian-language Wikipedia for the Internet Archive to preserve, digitize, and link to citations in Wikipedia.

Source: 2022 Empowering Libraries Year in Review – Internet Archive Blogs

The Ten Best Science Books of 2022 | Science| Smithsonian Magazine

From a detective story on the origins of Covid-19 to a narrative that imagines a fateful day for dinosaurs, these works affected us the most this year

By Joe Spring, Carlyn Kranking, Riley Black, Dan Falk, Bridget Alex and Shi En Kim December 7, 2022

This year’s picks include Fresh Banana Leaves, Origin and Starry Messenger. Illustration by Emily Lankiewicz

This year in science was filled with amazing discoveries, sobering stats related to mounting illness and death from viruses, and major technological achievements in space. Researchers discovered lost cities in the Bolivian Amazon after flying over the rainforest. Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) spread around the United States, while global deaths from Covid-19 topped six million. And the James Webb Space Telescope unfolded to capture breathtaking images of our universe. In between the breaking news stories, we dug into longer works on a variety of fascinating scientific disciplines. From those, our editors and contributors have picked ten favorites that explore our universe through the lens of creatures ranging from a tiny virus to a dedicated anthropologist to extinct dinosaurs. For a deep look into reproductive anatomy or a memoir connecting music to physics, check out some of Smithsonian magazine’s favorite science books of 2022.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item… see video at link…

Source: The Ten Best Science Books of 2022 | Science| Smithsonian Magazine

New York Public Library: The best books of 2022 | Time Out

Including books for adults, for kids and teens.

Written by Anna Rahmanan, Tuesday November 29 2022

Photograph: Shutterstock

The Brooklyn Public Library recently revealed its list of most borrowed books of all time, but if you still need some literary inspiration (or holiday gift ideas!), we suggest you consult the New York Public Library’s just-released recommendations for best books of the year.

The institution’s lists have become an annual tradition for the past century and, in recent years, the pundits have even issued directories of tomes for teens and others written in Spanish.

Expert librarians have looked through almost 3,000 titles and settled on a fraction of them to make up four lists this year: best new books for adults, best new books for kids, best new books for teens and best books in Spanish for kids.

You can browse through each category in full right here and, below, find a selection of some entries in each group.

Best books for adults

  • The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang
  • The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere–A Memoir by James Spooner
  • A Lady For a Duke by Alexis Hall
  • Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
  • Path of Totality: Poems by Niina Pollari
  • Shutter: A Novel by Ramona Emerson
  • Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora
  • The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird & Tom Waltz
  • Vladimir: A Novel by Julia May Jonas

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item… see video at link…

Source: New York Public Library: The best books of 2022