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Category Archives: Libraries

How the Smithsonian Is Helping Black Americans Trace Their Roots

Smithsonian Magazine – Free sessions hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer visitors advice on researching their genealogy..Genealogy researchers use military records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, wills, legal and court documents, and census records to help piece together the past. The resources referenced by NMAAHC’s team don’t currently include newspaper archives, which contain obituaries, but that “process is moving forward,” Crawley says. Amateur genealogists don’t need much information to start the search. Normally, people begin with the name, birth date, and city or county of residence of a relative born before 1950, the most recent year with available census data. (For privacy reasons, the U.S. Census Bureau only releases census data 72 years after its collection.) In many instances, the initial search will yield multiple results, particularly for more common names. Having additional information, such as the names of fellow household members, especially parents or guardians and siblings, can help verify a person’s identity…”

The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World

Films for Action: “Documentaries have an incredible power to raise awareness and create transformative changes in consciousness both at the personal and global levels. Over the last [16] years, we’ve watched hundreds of social change documentaries and cataloged the best of them in this library. There are now so many that we realized we needed to… Continue Reading

US GPO Webinars – Health Stats and Govt Info

Webinar: Health Statistics on the Web; Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024; Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EST) Register – https://secure.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=10482&evt=20240215-Health-Stats&t=1707829397055 Recording and closed captioning are available. All webinars are free of charge. Speakers: Katie Pierce Farrier, Data Science Strategist, Region 3, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Christine Nieman, Data Education Librarian, Region… Continue Reading

See What Charles Darwin Kept in His ‘Insanely Eclectic’ Personal Library Revealed for the First Time

Smithsonian: On the English naturalist’s 215th birthday, more than 9,000 titles from his expansive collection are now accessible online: “After nearly two decades of sleuthing and meticulous archival research, academics this week marked the 215th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12 with a gift for the world: the English naturalist’s complete personal library,… Continue Reading

Book Banning Goes Digital: Libraries Suspending Their E-Book Services and the Complications It Poses For First Amendment Doctrine

Book Banning Goes Digital: Libraries Suspending Their E-Book Services and the Complications It Poses for First Amendment Doctrine – Catherine E. Ferri.  Stanford Technology Law Review, Stanford Law School. Volume 27  Issue 1.  “Book banning predates the United States and has survived and thrived in a splintered twenty-first century political climate. As the fight for… Continue Reading

Bias, Skew and Search Engines Are Sufficient to Explain Online Toxicity

Association for Computing Machinery. Scholar One Manuscripts. Bias, Skew and Search Engines Are Sufficient to Explain Online Toxicity: “U.S. political discourse seems to have fissioned into discrete bubbles, each reflecting its own distorted image of the world. Many blame machine-learning algorithms that purportedly maximize “engagement” — serving up content that keeps YouTube or Facebook users… Continue Reading

“Cast as Criminals, America’s Librarians Rally to Their Own Defense”

The New York Times [read free]: “…As America’s libraries have become noisy and sometimes dangerous new battlegrounds in the nation’s culture wars, librarians like Ms. Neujahr and their allies have moved from the stacks to the front lines. People who normally preside over hushed sanctuaries are now battling groups that demand the mass removal of… Continue Reading

Neck lamps are a bookworm’s best friend

The Verge: “As convenient as e-readers are, I can’t quit actual books. Maybe it’s their reassuring weight, the satisfying crinkle of their pages, their beguiling musk; but there’s something addictive about that combination of paper, ink, and glue. Despite this — and as much as it pains me to say it — physical books aren’t… Continue Reading

A Search Engine That Finds You Weird Old Books

Clive Thompson: “(tl;dr — if you want to skip this essay and just try out my search tool, it’s here.) Last fall, I wrote about the concept of “rewilding your attention” — why it’s good to step away from the algorithmic feeds of big social media and find stranger stuff in nooks of the Internet.… Continue Reading

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die

“1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is a personal library of lifetime reading, a compendium of engaging essays (snippets from which appear on this site) presenting insights and reflections gleaned from my life as a reader and bookseller. You can browse and comment on The 1,000 below—or join my ongoing conversation with fellow readers… Continue Reading