Library ebook poll

Here’s a question for those of you who borrow ebooks from your library: When do you return them?

Edited to add: I am gathering info for a article on library hold times.

The challenge facing libraries in an era of fake news

library

Written by Donald A. Barclay, University of California, Merced

Imagine, for a moment, the technology of 2017 had existed on Jan. 11, 1964 – the day Luther Terry, surgeon general of the United States, released “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States.”

What would be some likely scenarios?

The social media noise machine explodes; conservative websites immediately paint the report as a nanny-government attack on personal freedom and masculinity; the report’s findings are hit with a flood of satirical memes, outraged Facebook posts, attack videos and click-bait fake news stories; Big Tobacco’s publicity machine begins pumping out disinformation via both popular social media and pseudoscientific predatory journals willing to print anything for a price; Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater characterizes “Smoking and Health” a “communist-inspired hoax.”

Eventually, the Johnson administration distances itself from the surgeon general’s controversial report.

Of course none of the above actually occurred. While Big Tobacco spent decades doing all that it could to muddy the waters on the health impacts of smoking, in the end scientific fact triumphed over corporate fiction.

Today, thanks to responsible science and the public policies it inspired, only 15 percent of adults in the United States smoke, down from 42.4 percent in 1965.

One might ask: Would it have been possible to achieve this remarkable public health victory had today’s social media environment of fake news and information echo chambers existed in 1964?

Maybe not. As a long-time academic librarian, I have spent a good part of my career teaching college students to think critically about information. And the fact is that I watch many of them struggle with the challenges of discovering, internalizing, evaluating and applying credible information. For me, the recent spate of stories about large segments of the population falling for fake news stories was no surprise.

Making sense of information is hard, maybe increasingly so in today’s world. So what role have academic libraries played in helping people make sense of world bursting at the seams with information?

History of information literacy

Since the 19th century, academic librarians have been actively engaged in teaching students how to negotiate increasingly complex information environments.

Evidence exists of library instruction dating back to the 1820s at Harvard University. Courses on using libraries emerged at a number of colleges and universities after the Civil War. Until well into the 20th century, however, academic librarians largely gave library building tours, and their instruction was aimed at mastery of the local card catalog.

Beginning in the 1960s, academic librarians experienced a broadening of their role in instruction. This broadening was inspired by a number of factors: increases in the sheer size of academic library collections; the emergence of such technologies as microfilm, photocopiers and even classroom projection; and such educational trends as the introduction of new majors and emphasis on self-directed learning.

An elementary school librarian in the 1980s. theunquietlibrarian, CC BY-NC

The new instructional role of academic librarians was notably reflected in the coining of the phrase “information literacy” in 1974 by Paul G. Zurkowski, then president of the Information Industry Association.

Rather than being limited to locating items in a given library, information literacy recognized that students needed to be equipped with skills required to identify, organize and cite information. More than that, it focused on the ability to critically evaluate the credibility and appropriateness of information sources.

Changes in a complex world

In today’s digital world, information literacy is a far more complex subject than it was when the phrase was coined. Back then, the universe of credible academic information was analog and (for better or worse) handpicked by librarians and faculty.

Students’ information hunting grounds was effectively limited to the campus library, and information literacy amounted to mastering a handful of relatively straightforward skills, such as using periodical indexes and library catalogs, understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources of information, and distinguishing between popular and scholarly books and journals.

Today, the situation is far more nuanced. And not just because of the hyperpartisan noise of social media.

Thirty or 40 years ago, a student writing a research paper on the topic of acid rain might have needed to decide whether an article from a scientific journal like Nature was a more appropriate source than an article from a popular magazine like Time.

Today’s students, however, must know how to distinguish between articles published by genuine scholarly journals and those churned out by look-alike predatory and fake journals that falsely claim to be scholarly and peer-reviewed.

This is a far trickier proposition.

Further complicating the situation is the relativism of the postmodern philosophy underpinning much of postmodern scholarly thinking. Postmodernism rejects the notion that concepts such as truth and beauty exist as absolutes that can be revealed through the work of creative “authorities” (authors, painters, composers, philosophers, etc.).

While postmodernism has had such positive effects as opening up the literary canon beyond the writings of the proverbial “dead white males,” it has simultaneously undermined the concept of authority. If, as postmodernist philosophy contends, truth is constructed rather than given, what gives anyone the right to say one source of information is credible and another is not?

Further complicating the situation are serious questions surrounding the legitimacy of mainstream scholarly communication. In addition to predatory and fake journals, recent scandals include researchers faking results, fraudulent peer review and the barriers to conducting and publishing replication studies that seek to either verify or disprove earlier studies.

So, what’s the future?

In such an environment, how is a librarian or faculty member supposed to respond to a bright student who sincerely asks, “How can you say that a blog post attacking GMO food is less credible than some journal article supporting the safety of GMO food? What if the journal article’s research results were faked? Have the results been replicated? At the end of the day, aren’t facts a matter of context?”

How can students be trained to be information-literate? Mary Woodard, CC BY-NC-ND

In recognition of a dynamic and often unpredictable information landscape and a rapidly changing higher education environment in which students are often creators of new knowledge rather than just consumers of information, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) launched its Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, the first revision to the ACRL’s standards for information literacy in over 15 years.

The framework recognizes that information literacy is too nuanced to be conceived of as a treasure hunt in which information resources neatly divide into binary categories of “good” and “bad.”

Notably, the first of the framework’s six subsections is titled “Authority Is Constructed and Contextual” and calls for librarians to approach the notions of authority and credibility as dependent on the context in which the information is used rather than as absolutes.

This new approach asks students to put in the time and effort required to determine the credibility and appropriateness of each information source for the use to which they intend to put it.

For students this is far more challenging than either a) simply accepting authority without question or b) rejecting all authority as an anachronism in a post-truth world. Formally adopted in June 2016, the framework represents a way forward for information literacy.

While I approve of the direction taken by the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, I do not see it as the ultimate solution to the information literacy challenge. Real progress in information literacy will require librarians, faculty and administrators working together.

Indeed, it will require higher education, as well as secondary and primary education, to make information literacy a priority across the curriculum. Without such concerted effort, a likely outcome could be a future of election results and public policies based on whatever information – credible or not – bubbles to the top of the social media noise machine.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.  Reposted under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

Daily Links and Deals: Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales

daily_links_1Today, a look at the age statistics some think are driving ebook sales. Also, a Wisconsin library is the poster child for how e-vendor changes affect patrons, Samsung acquires an AI and a a piece on the effects of “security fatigue”. In deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga and a deal on the Alexa enabled Triby.

Daily Links for Thursday, October 6,  2016:

Wisconsin county library system informs patrons of loss of digital magazines (Talking New Media) There’s no getting around it: when libraries change vendors it can be hard for patrons.

Samsung acquires Viv, the AI bot developed by the original creators of Siri (9 to 5 Google) Will Samsung soon have its own AI system?

‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly, New Study Suggests (NIST) Raise your hand if you have ever thought, “If a large corporation like X can’t protect themselves, what can I do?

Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales Though Print Still Holds Strong (Huffington Post AU) Interesting statistics on what age groups really drive ebook sales.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals include Kindred by Octavia Butler and Wolverine: Enemy of the State: Enemy of the State Ultimate Collection by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., and Kaare Andrews.

In Today’s Deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E (3rd Gen) 11.6″ Touchscreen Convertible Ultrabook and the Triby – Smart portable speaker with built-in Alexa Voice Service in Grey.

Through October 9th, the Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap is available for $100.

This week, Prime members can save on Kindles. The basic Kindle is $50, The Paperwhite is $90 and the Voyage is $150.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find features savings on the first eleven volumes of Yusei Matsui’s global hit, Assassination Classroom. The Romance Daily Find has the three books in the Pulse Trilogy from Shoshanna Evers.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is I Know This Much Is True A Novel by Wally Lamb. The Extra Daily Deal is The Saint of Seven Dials
Collectors Edition (four books in one volume).

Also, a selection of titles called Romance On The Ice for $4.99 or Less until October Until October 31st.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until October 14, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Dating Tips for the Unemployed by Iris Smyles.

Google Books has a selection of Hot Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

 

Daily Links and Deals: The FCC Wants To Know Why Journalists Had To Pay $200 For WiFi At Presidential Debate

daily_links_1In today’s stories, the FCC is asking questions about journalists paying for WiFi and the presidential debate. Also, cities in California are trying to pass “Netflix taxes” of their own, there’s a huge setback in getting rid of cable boxes, a interesting piece on a vending machine versus a library branch and more. In deals, a refurbed Dyson fan and savings on camera lenses by Rokinon.

Daily Links for Friday, September 29,  2016:

The FCC Wants To Know Why Journalists Had To Pay $200 For WiFi At Presidential Debate (Tech Dirt) Seriously?  And they are saying it kept crashing too….

46 California Cities Join Rush To Impose ‘Netflix Tax’ (Tech Dirt) Chicago started it and now other cities want to add an “amusement tax” on streaming services.

FCC Postpones Vote on Set-Top Box Reform in a Blow to Chairman Wheeler (Motherboard) Thanks to massive lobbying, that cable box isn’t gone just yet.

Orange County Library Station offers vending machine for books and movies (Daily Tar Heel) Your next library branch may be a vending machine.

You have one month left to buy a Windows 7 PC (ZD Net) It is sunset for new Windows 7 and 8.1 purchases. After November 1st, no new OEM installs from the big PC manufacturers.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Deadly Fate (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham.

In Today’s Deals, a Certified Refurbished Dyson AM08 Air Multiplier Pedestal Fan – White and savings on select Rokinon camera lenses.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson.  The Romance Daily Find is Love On My Mind by Tracey Livesay.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Quiet Game by Greg Iles. The Extra Daily Deal is The Jewel (Lone City Trilogy Book 1) by Amy Ewing.

Also, select romance titles at the Kobo store for 99 cents until October 2nd.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016 – now delayed to September 30, 2016 October 7, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories by Paul Theroux.

Google Books has a selection of Red-Hot Romance Sale with books starting at 99 cents.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: At the library, a cafe and TV studio, and an effort to modernize

daily_links_1Today, story on a library’s attempt to modernize. Also, a story on a new filter that allows you to switch between clean and explicit music and a piece on one amazon scammer and how he got caught. In deals, savings on Logitch PC accessories.

Daily Links for Tuesday, September 27,  2016:

At the library, a cafe and TV studio, and an effort to modernize (Boston Globe) We often hear about cafes in bookstores. This library is getting in on the act and more….

Dash Radio launches a filter that lets you toggle between clean and explicit music (The Verge) I am not a fan of censoring any kind of art, including music,but this might really solve a problem for families with young children.

Revealed: How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars (ZD Net) Not only were a lot of people tricked into buying bad quality ebooks, innocent authors (real ones) get hurt by these scams.when bots download their books in order to “look legit”.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress.

In Today’s Deals, save up to 50% off select Logitech PC accessories, including webcams Bluetooth keyboards and wireless mice.

Amazon has now released the Echo a second color. You can pre-order the Echo now to get it in white. It will be available on September 28, 2016. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Girls’ Weekend by Cara Sue Achterberg. The Romance Daily Find is The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 1-8 Megabundle) by Julia Kent.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad. The Extra Daily Deal is Deep Freeze: West Coast Series (Book 1) by Lisa Jackson

Also, select romance titles at the Kobo store for 99 cents until October 2nd.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016 – now delayed to September 30, 2016 October 7, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Be Here Now by Ram Dass.

Google Books has a selection of Start a New Series titles, with prices starting at 99 cents.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: 6 reasons a library card is more useful than you think

daily_links_1Today, an article about how a library card is can still enrich your child’s life. Also, two stories about New York City broadband problems, HBO and Cinemax are still expanding their apps’ reach and the EU promises free WiFi for everyone. In deals, a Cuisinart 5-in-i griddler (that also makes pannini – yum!).

Daily Links for day, September 15 2016:

6 reasons a library card is more useful than you think (BabyCenter) This article asks the question “Can your local public library still enrich your kid’s life?”

New York City Threatens To Sue Verizon For Failure To Meet Fiber Deployment Promises (Techdirt) This happens over and over and it is one of the reasons we need municipal broadband as an option.

New York kiosks offering public web browsing are being used for porn (Mashable) That free wi-fi is causing a bit of a stir because of how it is being used.

Cable continues to crumble: HBO, Cinemax coming to Sony’s PlayStation Vue service (PC World) The former cord-cutting holdouts are continuing to explore new outlets for their apps.

European Union pledges free Wi-Fi for all citizens by 2020 (The Next Web) Bold premise, I haope they are watching New York City….

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley and The Golden Barbarian (Sedikhan Book 1) by Iris Johansen.

In Today’s Deals, the Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-1 Griddler, Silver, Red Dials.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Changing Season by Steven Manchester. The Romance Daily Find is All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue: The Debutante Files by Sophie Jordan.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Dishing the Dirt: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton. The Extra Daily Deal is Love Hawaiian Style, Aloha Series, Books 1-3 by Chris Keniston.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: It’s official — ebooks really are books and Euro tax could plummet

daily_links_1Today, news that the EU has finally (and sensibly) ruled that ebooks are actually books, paving the way to lower VAT prices. Also, a look at how New York City’s public WiFi is serving the poor, a new way for YouTube creators to interact with their followers and how one library is making itself a public space attraction. In deals, savings on Fossil bags and watches and a Panasonic bread machine. Also, new choices for the Amazon Echo and a new generation of the Echo Dot.

Daily Links for day, September 14, 2016:

Is New York City’s Public Wi-Fi Actually Connecting the Poor? (Motherboard) Part of the mission of LinkNYC is to address the digital divide. How’s it actually doing?

YouTube launches ‘Community’ in beta w/ a new tab for posting text, images, GIFs, and more (9 to 5 Google) Now content creators can engage with their followers directly.

It’s official — ebooks really are books and Euro tax could plummet (Roger Packer) This opens the door to slash the very high EU VAT on ebooks. (This story was in the Financial Times yesterday, but I won’t link to paywalled content.)

Shhhh…ake it off at the library, the new happening place to be (KUOW) How libraries are re-imagining themselves as public spaces.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Good Earth (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 1) by Pearl S. Buck.

In Today’s Deals, get 50% off Fossil watches, bags and more. Also, there’s a Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser, White.

Echo news:  Amazon has now released the Echo a second color. You can pre-order now to get it in white. It will be available on September 28, 2016. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99.  Amazon is offering some interesting bundles, like the one pairing a Echo Dot with the Bose Soundlink Mini II. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

Alexa and the Echo and the Echo Dot are also coming to the UK and later, Germany. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/echo for details.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen. The Romance Daily Find is Imaginary Men by Anjali Banerjee.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Big Thaw by Donald Harstad. The Extra Daily Deal is Mad Tinker Chronicles Collection by J.S. Morin.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.