What’s coming up in net neutrality.

American Library Association • November 21, 2017
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FCC unveils plan to repeal net neutrality

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo by Zach Gibson / Bloomberg

Federal regulators unveiled a plan November 21 that would give internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use. The move sets the stage for a crucial FCC vote in December that could reshape the entire digital ecosystem. The agency’s chairman, Ajit Pai (right), has made undoing the government’s net neutrality rules one of his top priorities, and this move hands a win to broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast. Here is what to expect in coming weeks....

Washington Post, Nov. 21; District Dispatch, Nov. 21

House tax plan threatens student workers

Harvard students graduating

Ian Bradley-Perrin writes: “On November 16, House Republicans passed a tax plan that takes aim at a surprising target: student workers in higher education. A provision that would tax tuition waivers as income threatens to force doctoral candidates like myself out of graduate school—and could weaken the quality of our universities’ research programs, which not too long ago were considered a vital American asset. Political leaders should understand the very real impact this provision will have.”...

New York Daily News, Nov. 20

Making a splash

Miriam Tuliao

Miriam Tuliao (right) didn’t learn how to swim until she was in her 40s. Now the 56-year-old library marketing manager at Penguin Random House is an open-water masters swimmer. On August 6, Tuliao competed at New York’s Rockaway Beach, where she helped raise more than $1,400 for the ALA Spectrum Scholarship program, which helps promote diversity in the library profession. Tuliao spent more than 20 years in public libraries, formerly working at New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library....

American Libraries Bookend, Nov./Dec.
2018 Midwinter Meeting

Albany library will keep teen poster

Poster in Albany (N.Y.) Public Library

The Albany (N.Y.) Public Library responded November 17 after a parent’s complaint about a poster placed in the restrooms. The poster points teens to books on subjects like suicide, drugs, and sex, but some adults said the library shouldn’t be encouraging kids to look up this type of information. Assistant Director Melanie Metzger said the library put the posters up about a year ago and has them in multiple branches. She said they will consider changing the poster to steer teens specifically to the teen section of the library....

WRGB-TV, Schenectady, N.Y., Nov. 17

Jamestown library says it needs to sell artworks

James Prendergast Library, Jamestown, New York

As collectors prepared for Sotheby’s European art sale November 21, some residents of Jamestown, New York, lamentes the inclusion of paintings from the city’s James Prendergast Library, a 19th-century landmark that has housed a respected art collection built with funds provided by its founders. The library says it needs to sell most of the 50-odd works in its collection to make ends meet. “We can no longer function as an art gallery,” said trustee Tom Rankin, “and we could no longer provide proper maintenance to an art collection worth over one million dollars.”...

New York Times, Nov. 17

Don’t trust Facebook to regulate itself

Graphics of Facebook pages were displayed at a hearing on Capitol Hill about Russia’s interference in the election. Photo by Shawn Thew / European Pressphoto Agency

Sandy Parakilas writes: “I led Facebook’s efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform in advance of its 2012 initial public offering. What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse. As the world contemplates what to do about Facebook in the wake of its role in Russia’s election meddling, it must consider this history. Lawmakers shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won’t.”...

New York Times, Nov. 19
Latest Library Links

Is the love affair with digital over?

Analog and digital tech. Illustration by Jackie Ferrantino

David Sax writes: “Like most relationships we plunge into with hearts aflutter, our love affair with digital technology promised us the world: more friends, money, and democracy; free music, news, and same-day shipping of paper towels. Many of us bought into the fantasy that digital made everything better. Today, when my phone is on, I feel anxious and count down the hours to when I am able to turn it off and relax. The love affair I once enjoyed with digital technology is over—and I know I’m not alone.”...

New York Times, Nov. 18

Get local and host a meet-up

YALSA meet-up in the Johnson County Library makerspace

Kate McNair writes: “Looking to connect with other YALSA members and staff serving teens in libraries and organizations of all types? Don’t wait around for someone else to name the occasion. Host a meet-up yourself. After a long time of talking about it, I teamed up with another local member, Amanda Barnhart, to host a meet-up for YALSA members and anyone serving teens in libraries. Our meet up was literally by the book, as we just followed the easy instructions in the YALSA meet-up manual.”...

YALSA Blog, Nov. 20
Dewey Decibel podcast

Robin Hood retellings and histories

Cover of Marian, by Ella Lyons

Kristen McQuinn writes: “The earliest recorded mention of Robin Hood was in 1226 in the York Assizes, a criminal court document. It was not until much later, however, with the 1883 publication of Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, that the legend really became popular in literature. The field of Robin Hood studies and popular literature is full of white men, though this is getting a little better. Here are a few novels by and about the Robin Hood legend that I’ve found interesting over the years.”...

Book Riot, Nov. 20

The top 10 gaming trends of 2017

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PC/PS4) stars a woman who experiences psychosis

Jordan Erica Webber writes: “Gadgets are only as good as their content, and though 2017 has been a difficult year for the world, it’s been a great one for video games. As gaming elbows its way to the center stage of mainstream culture, the titles and their themes are increasingly reflecting the wide variety of players and their concerns. Here are the best games and consoles, and the most exciting trends of 2017 (including recognition of LGBT games and gamers with disabilities).”...

The Guardian (UK), Nov. 21

LC acquires rare Mesoamerican codex

A portion of the Codex Quetzalecatzin

The Library of Congress has acquired the Codex Quetzalecatzin, one of the very few Mesoamerican manuscripts to survive from the 16th century. After being in private collections for more than 100 years, the codex has been digitally preserved and made available online for the first time to the general public. The manuscript dates from 1593, a time when many cartographic histories were being produced as part of a Spanish royal investigation into the human and community resources in the American colonies....

Library of Congress, Nov. 21

What did 17th-century food taste like?

A woman with Brassica oleracea in Pieter Aertsen, Market Scene, 1569

Benjamin Breen writes: “What can we learn about how people ate in the 17th century? And even if we can piece together historical recipes, can we ever really know what their food tasted like? Taste does change history. The taste for food was a significant factor in the series of global ecological movements between the Old and New Worlds that historians call the Columbian Exchange. Any time we eat kimchi, kung pao chicken, or pasta with red sauce, we are eating foods that are direct results of the Columbian Exchange.”...

Res Obscura, Nov. 12

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