LinkedIn Learning users must give up privacy to take courses.

American Library Association • July 23, 2019

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ALA urges LinkedIn Learning to revise privacy terms

LinkedIn Learning logo

LinkedIn Learning—formerly, a platform used by libraries to provide online learning to library users—plans to make substantial changes to its terms of service that would significantly impair library users’ privacy rights. Under the new terms, a library cardholder must create a LinkedIn profile in order to access LinkedIn Learning. In addition to providing library card numbers and PINs, users will have to disclose their full names and email addresses to create a new LinkedIn profile or connect to an existing one. New users will have their LinkedIn profiles set to public by default, allowing their full names to be searched on Google and LinkedIn....

Office for Intellectual Freedom, July 22; ZDNet, July 23

Battling information illiteracy

Cover of Foundations of Information Policy

Paul T. Jaeger and Natalie Greene Taylor write: “The internet has made it easy for people to be information illiterate in new ways. Anyone can create information now—regardless of quality—and get it in front of a large number of people. The ability of social media to spread information as fast as possible and to as many people as possible challenges literacy, as does the ability to manipulate images, sounds, and video with ease. Since the 2016 presidential election, libraries have constructed hundreds of online fake news pathfinders and tools, but the scope of the problem is larger than learning aids alone can handle.”...

American Libraries feature, July/Aug.

International library innovators

Volunteers in Colombia unload a Libraries Without Borders mobile Ideas Box

Four libraries earned this year’s ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Their projects included sustainability efforts (Biblioteca Pública Central Estatal in Mexicali, Mexico), portable libraries for refugee camps (Libraries Without Borders, Paris), gaming apps to increase engagement (Milton Public Library, Ontario), and installing Tor browsers on patron computers (Toronto Public Library). Presented by the International Relations Round Table, the awards recognize exemplary services and projects that draw attention to the potential for library services to create positive change....

American Libraries feature, July/Aug.

Make global connections with AASL Standards

Cover of Outside My Window

Maureen Schlosser writes: “Take a look outside your window. Imagine the views from windows around the world. How is the landscape different? How is it the same? Author Linda Ashman transports readers to different parts of the world with her book Outside My Window. Her creative storyline appeals to young readers as they make global connections with rhyming text and watercolor illustrations. Use this book to broaden learners’ thinking about the world around them and try these lesson ideas that align with the AASL Standards Framework for Learners.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, July 22
ALA news

Hit by ransomware, Butler County returns to paper

Butler Area (Pa.) Public Library

The Butler County (Pa.) Federated Library System is lending books the old-fashioned way—by tracking loans and due dates on paper—after a ransomware attack froze them out of their computers on July 17. Library officials say they’ve confirmed the ransomware used in the attack, Ryuk, is the same virus used to attack the Onondaga County (N.Y.) Pubic Library on July 12. For now, many library services are unavailable, including the use of public computers, renewal of checked-out items, library catalog access, collection of fines, and the ability to hold books for checkout....

WITF-TV, Harrisburg, Pa., July 22; Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard, July 16

How to protect yourself from online scams


J. D. Sartain writes: “Protecting yourself from online scams is a fact of life now. According to the FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report, internet scams from 2014 through 2018 cost consumers $7.45 billion. Scams include nondelivery of products ordered, identity theft, credit card fraud, and denial of service attacks. Other threats include ransomware, malware, scareware, and viruses, along with a few dozen other categories of crime. I got hit with ransomware twice and learned from the remedies I tried, as well as the experiences of friends who were hit. Read on to see what I did. We wrap up with a checklist that will help you fend off online scams of all kinds.”...

PC World, July 16; FBI 2018 Internet Crime Report

Academic-related browser extensions

Browser extensions for Unpaywall, Open Access Button, and CORE Discovery

Aaron Tay writes: “There has been a resurgence in browser extensions in the past few years, which looks to me like the custom toolbar invasion all over again of the mid-2000s. The latter eventually died out because it became a haven for adware and malware. The most prominent of these tools are extensions that sit quietly as you browse the web and redirect you to papers with open access or to subscribed versions where you have institutional access. Unpaywall is the most famous one, but there are others such as Open Access Button and JISC’s Core Discovery.”...

Medium: Aaron Tay, July 20

The first medieval man on the moon

Dante reaches the Moon, where the blessed can answer his questions: from Yates Thompson MS 36, f. 132r, a Tuscan manuscript from around 1444

Cristian Ispir writes: “While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans on the Moon, there is a figure in medieval literature who may have got there first, around Easter 1300. In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri travels through the afterworlds in search of truth and prepares to ascend to the stars in Heaven, guided and instructed by the fascinating figure of Beatrice. To arrive there, the pilgrim must first pass through the sphere of the Moon, located closest to Earth. Dante’s first stop on the Moon is a giant leap of imagination, but a small step in the traveler’s consciousness, as he instantaneously makes a landing.”...

British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, July 21
Latest Library Links

Family-friendly audiobooks

Box for The Wizards of Once audiobook, by Cressida Cowell and narrated by David Tennant

Melissa Sokol writes: “Every summer I get multiple reference questions about audiobooks for family road trips. My first question is always, ‘What are the ages of everyone who will be in the car?’ Once I know the age ranges of the family looking for audiobook suggestions I try to give them a lot of options (so voting can occur) and titles that I know will engage the imagination and interest of all the family members. I start with titles that have been acknowledged on the Notable Children’s Recordings and the Odyssey Award web pages, which ensures that the recordings are of the highest quality and the narrating talent is excellent.”...

ALSC Blog, July 22

Nine of the best books about coffee

Cover of The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee, by Tristan Stephenson

Elisabeth Cook writes: “Ah, coffee and books: Two of humanity’s great loves. We loved coffee so much we named a table after it. We loved books so much we created a category of books just for that table. But today, we’re going to be mashing these two wonders of the world together and checking out nine of the best coffee books. In other words, books about coffee. Whether you’re looking for the best coffee books for baristas, the best books about espresso, or the best books on coffee in general, read on.”...

Book Riot, July 11, 19
Dewey Decibel podcast

Resources for learning about genetic genealogy

Cover of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

Nicole Dyer writes: “Have you been wanting to learn more about genetic genealogy but are not sure where to start? We have been talking about what basic DNA education would be helpful before doing a DNA research project. Some of our top choices include The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger and Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne. These books are a good way to learn when to use DNA evidence to help answer your research questions, and how to understand DNA test results. Here is a full list of resources for learning about genetic genealogy.”...

Family Locket, July 16

14 great readers’ advisory tools

Whichbook’s ‘explore other lists’ section

Abby Hargreaves writes: “One of my favorite tasks as a librarian is readers’ advisory. But I sometimes have to refer to readers’ advisory tools to ensure I’m pinpointing the best possible options for a reader looking for a good book. Readers’ advisory is more of an art than a science, and no two readers’ advisors will come up with the same list of books for a reader, but these 14 tools can offer guidance when you’re out of your genre or depth. If you’re not a person who performs readers’ advisory, keep reading. You may find some great resources for figuring out what to read next yourself.”...

Book Riot, July 23

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