Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries

From the Washington Post:

Net neutrality is really important for libraries because we are, first of all, in the information business. Our business now is not just increasingly, but dramatically, online, using digital information and providing services in this digital environment. That means that we need to have solid and ubiquitous Internet services.

We’re interested in network neutrality for consumers at the home end, but also because it's key to serving our public. And that means the public libraries, the academic libraries from two-year community colleges to advanced research institutions, as well as school librarians in the K-12 community.

Network neutrality issues must be resolved, and we hope to preserve as much of an open Internet policy as we possibly can. The public cannot risk losing access to important services provided by our libraries, our schools and other public institutions.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friends of the APL book review June 3

Join the Friends of APL every Tuesday at 12:15 pm for some lively and engaging book talks! The talks take place at the Main Library, in the large auditorium on the first floor, and are free and open to the public. Light refreshments are served too.

JUNE 3 — Book Review of “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Silvia Mejia, an associate professor at the College of St. Rose, reviews this novel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Results of Library Trustee Election

On May 20, voters in the city of Albany elected two new trustees — Alison Calacone and Andrew Bechard — to the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees.

The new trustees will begin five-year terms in July. This is Bechard’s second election to the library board, which he joined in 2008 as an appointed trustee. This is the first election for Calacone. She replaces Holly McKenna, who chose not to run for a second board term.

The place order, candidates, and vote totals (according to Tuesday night’s unofficial results) were:

1. Alison Calacone — 1,501

2. Andrew Bechard — 1,263

3. Anthony Gooding — 749

4. Jose Lopez — 529

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1 in 10 in a survey think HTML is an STD

From the LA Times:

If you're talking tech with Americans, you may want to avoid using any jargon.
A recent study found that many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11% in a survey saying that they thought HTML — a language that is used to create websites — was a sexually transmitted disease.
The study was conducted by, a coupons website, as a way to determine how knowledgeable users are when it comes to tech terms.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book-spine switch-plate

From BoingBoing:

Bas Bleu's book-spine lightswitch plate seems just the thing for your library or other bookish venue. $17, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and Sherwood Anderson. Caveat: one reviewer complains about a "high sheen plastic" that covers it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Library Trustee Election is May 20

Four candidates are on the May 20 (Tuesday) ballot for two seats on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees.
The candidates, listed in ballot order, are:

Andrew Bechard of Forest Avenue
Jose Lopez of View Avenue
Alison Calacone of Ramsey Place
Anthony Gooding of Clinton Avenue

The candidates are seeking to fill two trustee positions that both carry five-year terms. Holly McKenna has chosen not to run for re-election, while Andrew Bechard is running to keep his seat.

More information about trustee candidates is available online and at service desks at each APL location.
The library trustee vote is held in conjunction with the school district’s budget vote. Details about voting locations are available on the school district’s website at polls are open on May 20 from 7 am to 9 pm

Monday, May 12, 2014

Immunization Schedules for All Ages

Immunizations help protect infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Take a look at the vaccination schedule for infants and children (birth-6 years) and find a tool to help you determine missed or skipped vaccines.

The importance of vaccinations is not limited to babies and kids. Be sure to keep up with recommended immunizations at all stages of life. Find vaccination schedules for:

Preteens and teens (7-18 years)
Adults (19 years and older)

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information, including answers to the question "Why Immunize?" and resources on vaccine safety.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Comics: A Once-Missed Opportunity

"...During the 1940s and 1950s, comics were the most popular form of reading for young people in the United States, despite widespread disapproval for the medium by librarians and other guardians of reading tastes. Beyond simply reading comics, young people also used comics as a basis for developing participatory cultures. For instance, adolescents published fanzines and entered into political discourse about comics. This paper highlights some of these early examples of participatory cultures around comics to urge today’s librarians to reflect on what media and technology-based practices we may be neglecting to nurture among contemporary adolescents…"

More from ALA, By Carol L. Tilley, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Novice’s Guide to better Landscape Photography

Ghergich & Co worked with Custom Made to make The Novice's Guide To Better Landscape Photography. This Infographic details 10 tips to follow for better landscape photography.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Most Common U.S. Jobs Paying Employees Less In 2013 Than In 1999

From National Memo:

A new Washington Post report reveals how the value of full-time work in the United States has declined – a trend that has ramifications for Americans and the overall economy.

Using employment data from 1999 and 2013, the Post’s Pam Tobey demonstrates how the nation’s 10 most common jobs – 9 of which also constituted the top 10 jobs in 1999 – now offer pay significantly reduced from 14 years ago.

Despite higher numbers of employees in 9 of the top 10 occupational fields, as exhibited in the below chart, workers were paid significantly less in 2013 than in 1999.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Craig Ferguson is a late-night host who embraces writers

From Esquire:

Authors have always made damn good late-night talk show guests. Think Jack Kerouac reading On the Road accompanied by Steve Allen on piano. Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal nearly trading blows on The Dick Cavett Show, which also featured the verbal dueling of Truman Capote and Groucho Marx...

But over the past couple decades, authors have gone largely missing from late night. I'm not talking The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, or Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley, where you'll often see authors as guests... No, I'm talking strictly the Big Three networks. Sure, every once in a while Letterman will have on David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell or Anthony Bourdain. Yet they are as much radio and TV personalities as writers. Conan will occasionally have on a writer whose work has crossed over into film and TV, like George R.R. Martin. But when's the last time Dave or Conan — or Fallon or Kimmel or Meyers, for that matter — had on a true-blue novelist, short-story writer, essayist, or memoirist?

Craig Ferguson is different. He's an author himself — having published a novel and a memoir, both best-sellers — and in nearly a decade of leading The Late Late Show, he's regularly had on fellow scribes. He might joke about the perceived obsolescence of books in the digital age, as when introducing one of Sloane Crosley's four appearances on the show: "My next guest is an author. What's an author, Craig? It's like a bloggy person without a computer." But in truth, few modern media personalities short of Oprah have done more to promote reading and literature. Not to mention boost book sales.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Big Data analysis from the White House: understanding the debate

From BoingBoing:

Danah boyd, founder of the critical Big Data think/do tank Data and Society, writes about the work she did with the White House on Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values [PDF]. Boyd and her team convened a conference called The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of "Big Data", and fed the conclusions from that event back to the White House for its report.

In boyd's view, the White House team did good work in teasing out the hard questions about public benefit and personal costs of Big Data initiatives, and made solid recommendations for future privacy-oriented protections. Boyd points to this Alistair Croll quote as getting at the heart of one of Big Data's least-understood problems:

Perhaps the biggest threat that a data-driven world presents is an ethical one. Our social safety net is woven on uncertainty. We have welfare, insurance, and other institutions precisely because we can’t tell what’s going to happen — so we amortize that risk across shared resources. The better we are at predicting the future, the less we’ll be willing to share our fates with others.

See also: Meet The Woman Who Did Everything In Her Power To Hide Her Pregnancy From Big Data. It was difficult and expensive.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

10 Reasons Real Books Are Better Than E-books

Heather Newman claims: It might be cool to claim you have a Kindle or a Nook or whatever, but let’s be real. Books are better!

7. Libraries and bookstores!
If you’re a book nerd, you know the importance of libraries and bookstores. The smell of all that paper and knowledge in one room is almost too much to handle. These majestic places wouldn’t even exist without books!